Wednesday, 2 March 2022

Roundup: February 2022

My pals at the Manchester Animation Festival have kicked off a new series of year-round social/screening events MAF Presents, which began earlier this month with their first programme They Love Me, They Love Me Not that kindly featured my latest film Speed. If you're up North be sure to keep your eyes on their site and socials for updates on upcoming events as I'm sure you're itching to get back into the swing of that whole human contact thang.


On a similar note, the wonderful Cardiff Animation Nights gang have resumed their in-person events as well as carrying on the online screenings they started during the pandemic, so be sure to follow what they're up to as well. Even more exciting is the return of the Cardiff Animation Festival, whose third edition will take place at their usual Chapter Arts venue April 7th-10th, knock wood, with an online version going through to the 24th. There'll be more specific programme info to come but in the meantime I can confirm I'll be there to host the filmmaker Q&As and Laura-Beth Cowley's recent project Crafty Witch is among the festival's official selection as part of the Shorts 7: After Dark category. Pop it in your schedules!

Also on the events front, the biennial British Animation Awards - on which I mucked in as preselector/jury - will be happening on March 10th at the BFI Southbank with signal events in Bristol, Cardiff, Salford and Stirling if a Thursday night trek to London isn't doable but you still want to check out the festivities. All being well I'll be at the main event so hopefully will see some of y'all in the big smoke; I won't hug you but we can affectionately exchange finger-guns. Otherwise be sure to check out their site for the various viewing and ticket options they have.

Before any of that will be Speed's inclusion as part of Anima Brussels next weekend. Since the announcement of the official selection I now know it will be part of the second Animated Nights block on Saturday, March 5th, kicking off at 10pm in Flagey Studio 4 and 10:30pm at Palace. I'm properly gutted that I won't be able to make it in person as seeing Sunscapades as part of the same programme a couple years ago was an absolute blast, but right now the faff of getting in and out of Belgium would just be too disruptive to make it feasible. Fingers crossed I'll make it back over there before too long.

Following on from last month's UK streaming release of Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires, it will be traveling further afield as of March 1st with its arrival on streaming platforms in the US, Canada and Australia. It's a job I have a lot of fond associations with and it's really nice that all the hard work the crew put into it will get some wider visibility. Check out what viewing options are available to you here.

Over on Skwigly I've delved a bit further into the production of the incredible Netflix film The House (the directors of which I interviewed last month) via an interview with Nexus Studios producer/co-founder Charlotte Bavasso. As well as discussing the film itself we also go into the early days of the studio and what the future may hold - it was a real treat to chat with her and I hope you find her insights as inspirational as I did.

Having been out of print for a little while I'm pleased to see that We Still Care A Lot, the tribute album I contributed to in honour of the late Chuck Mosley, has finally gotten itself a digital release. You can check out the full album over on Bandcamp.

Not a whole bunch else I can explicitly talk about but if you happen to be one of those trendy youngsters who lurk about on TikTok you might want to go ahead and follow this little IP that's on the grow. The keen of ear may even detect a familiar vocal performance in the video below:


Finally, these pipes have gone viral.

Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Roundup: January 2022

Been a quiet-ish start to 2022 as far as things I can publicly mention, so as we reach the end of the month here's a few bits and pieces to throw into the ol' void in one go.


Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires
, the insane stop-mo feature I did some bits on a few years ago, is finally being released to buy or rent this coming Monday after last year's brief theatrical run. This is just online and in the UK for now but knock wood there'll be some physical/international release updates soon.

The House, one of the projects I was looking forward to the most in 2022, had the good manners to be released right at the beginning of the year, so I've rather gleefully devoted some time to giving it coverage. Head over to Skwigly and have a read of my review and interview with the incomparably gifted directors Emma De Swaef, Marc James RoelsNiki Lindroth von Bahr and Paloma Baeza. As with Chuck, this boasts some true stop-motion greats among its crew, although tonally it's miles away. Definitely give it a watch if you get a sec.


Going back to something I worked on (in a small sense) - Laura-Beth Cowley's Crafty Witch has a couple more screenings coming up. Firstly the excellent Berlin festival British Shorts (who have been gracious enough to screen my films Klementhro, Sunscapades and Speed in the past) will be showing it tomorrow at two venues - 8pm at City Kino Wedding and 8:15pm at Sputnik Kino. Laura-Beth also spoke with culture blog The New Current about making the film - have a read here.


Another Berlin outing for the film will be on Saturday, February 5th at the Final Girls Berlin festival. Crafty Witch will be screening as part of the 11pm Shorts 6: Midnight programme, again at City Kino Wedding. Grab your tickets here.