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Animated Spirits - Animated Short Film Festival | 2nd Edition | Day 1

ANIMATED SPIRITS: 

EUROPEAN ANIMATED SHORT FILM FESTIVAL IN NYC IN MAY 2016

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL

Animated Spirits2nd edition: New Animation from Europe
The European National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC)– New York City Cluster presents the second edition of Animated Spirits: European Animated Short Film Festival this spring. The festival brings some of the most exciting, recent animation from Europe to New York City. Artists from 12 European Union countries ‘illustrate’ the spirit of experimentation at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York (11 Est 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022) and at the Hungarian Consulate General (227 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022) on May 4 and 5, 2016.
Each night gurus of contemporary animationJeffrey Scher (USA), Holger Lang (AT), Alexander Stewart (USA) —discuss the state of European animation. Panels are dealing with differences between experimental and artistic approaches in the field of animation on both sides of the Atlantic and with the industry itself, the possibilities for European filmmakers in the United Stated as independent and applied artists.
Emphasizing the new, the exciting and the unconventional, while finding the space to reflect on the continuing potential of the traditional techniques as well, Animated Spirits gives a carefully curated program, picking from the cream of European animation to bring to the NYC audiences. Two selections will be screened each night: EXPERANIMA, featuring highlights of the most inventive animated films, which seek to discover the boundaries of animation and live action, narrative strategies and the visual language of animation and ANIMASTORY which offers mesmerizing fictional stories with unique visuals.
Initiated and organized by Balassi Institute, Hungarian Cultural Center, New York in partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum, NY with the participation of 9 European national institutes of culture: Arte Institute Portugal; Arts Council Malta in New York; Bonobo Studio Croatia; Consulate General of Estonia in New York; Consulate General of Slovakia in New York; Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Czech Center New York; Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Washington; Flanders House New York; Polish Cultural Institute New York.
Curated by Anna Ida Orosz animation historian, lecturer at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design and co-founder and curator of Primanima Short Film Festival, Budapest. A European National Institutes of Culture (EUNIC)– New York City Cluster event.


DATES AND VENUES
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 | 7.30pm
Austrian Cultural Forum, NY
11 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022
EXPERANIMA 1 / ANIMASTORY 1 –  ANIMATED SPIRITS!(92’)

Followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Jeffrey Scher (USA),New York-based filmmaker and animator; lecturer at the School of Visual Arts and adjunct instructor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts; opinionator at the New York Times and Holger Lang (AT), Assistant Professor and Research Faculty, Webster Vienna Private University and Adjunct Professor, Webster University St.Louis
For the festival opening on May 4, at the Austrian Cultural Forum NY, please make reservations here:
http://www.acfny.org/event/reservation/animated-spirits-2016/
The first screening will be followed by a reception and networking event at the Austrian Cultural Forum NY.

Thursday, May5, 2016 | 7.30pm
Hungarian Consulate General | Bartók Hall
227 East 52nd Street, New York NY 10022
EXPERANIMA 2 / ANIMASTORY 2–ANIMATED SPIRITS!(95’)

Followed by a discussion and Q&A with with Holger Lang (AT), Assistant Professor and Research Faculty, Webster Vienna Private University and Adjunct Professor, Webster University St.Louis and Alexander Stewart (USA), filmmaker and co-director of the Eyeworks Festival of Experimental Animation in Chicago.
For the screening on May5 at the Hungarian Consulate General, please make reservations at the dedicated Eventbrite page:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/animated-spirits-film-festival-2nd-edition-animated-shorts-from-europe-tickets-24635939759

Both screenings are free and open to the public.

From the Curator: Anna Ida Orosz

As the legendary Hungarian-British animation filmmaker couple John Halas and Joy Batchelor put it: animated films are able “to evoke the internal space and portray the invisible.” Illustrating this vivid description, our selection from the most recently created animation short films in Europe will intrigue audiences and play with their understanding of reality. The program of Animated Spirits #2 features important canonical authors as well as recently graduated young talents.
European animation production ranges from independent solo artists, through educational institutions specializing in animation, to studios of the most varied sizes, often including cross-national productions. Co-operations include Pan-European collaborations and co-productions between European and non-European artists.
In the sections EXPERANIMA 1 and 2 audiences will see some highlights from the most inventive animated films, which seek to discover the boundaries of animation and live action, narrative strategies and the visual language of animation. The title of the program, EXPERANIMA, coined by Hungarian neo-avantgarde filmmakers in the 1980s, refers to the experimental nature of the audiovisual qualities of these works. ANIMASTORY 1 and 2, mesmerize audiences with fictional stories, comedies and dramas; tales made even memorable through their unique animated visuals.

DAY 1
May 4, 2016 | 7.30
AUSTRIAN CULTURAL FORUM


EXPERANIMA 1


COMPOSITION by Mitja Manček (Slovenia)
scratching on film print / 2015 / 3' 34''
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7qhOey8iQw

Composition tricks the senses, making sounds visible and the images audible. The film builds a strong connection between the tone and the rhythm. Two audiovisual and film basics - sound and image - are created by the same lines engraved directly on primary audiovisual medium, film track, striving for harmony between the two. The film received the Vesna Award for Best Experimental Film at Slovenian Film Festival in Portorož and was given Special Mention for Experimental Animation at the 12th European Animated Film Festival in Belgrade, Balkanima.

MITJA MANČEK
was born in 1987 in Postojna, Slovenia. He graduated in 2009 from the Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic. Since March 2010 he has been working as a freelance artist in Slovenia. He has made 16 animated films in 16 years.


SHUT UP MOON by Gudrun Krebitz (Austria, UK)
drawing on paper / 2014 / 4’
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/104846318

Shut up moon is a hand drawn animated short full of awkwardness and fun. It´s difficult to fit in, especially when you are new in a town, and don’t have anyone to talk to. From this loneliness spark the inner monologues, the conversations with the moon, with imaginary friends, that this film so wittily portrays.

GUDRUN KREBITZ
was born in 1980 in Graz. She studied illustration at the Vienna Art School, and is now studying at the Konrad Wolf Film and Television School in Potsdam Babelsberg.


LOOP by Michał Socha
2d computer / 2014/ 3’

Exercising, eating, exercising, eating, exercising, eating, counting calories. Never ending loops of people seeking to be ideal. Experimental animation based on the filmmaker's graphics.

MICHAŁ SOCHA
was born in 1981, Warsaw, Poland. He is a director, graphic designer, animator and illustrator, who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. He is a wizard of storytelling and through his unique and compelling style he has captured audiences worldwide. His animated short films Stone (2006), Icarus (2007) and Concert (2007) were screened at festivals around the world, while Chick (2008) won awards at various international film festivals, including awards at Annecy IAFF, Ottawa IAFF and the 49th Cracow Film Festival just to name a few. He also created an interesting couch gag  for The Simpsons. In 2014 Michał participated as a segment director, and created the short animation  On freedom in the feature film „Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Michal is now focusing both on making short films and directing commercials, commissioned work. He is the co-owner of the animation and post production Studio BrosFX.


VELODROOL by Sander Joon
drawing on paper / 2015 / 6'11"
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/130698416

An addicted biker runs out of cigarettes. He joins a race to get more, but has to ask for the help from a number of peculiar people in the audience to stay in the competition.

SANDER JOON
was born in 1990, in Tallinn. He is a Tallinn based animator and VJ artist. He completed his BA degree in animation at the Estonian Academy of Arts. He concentrates on coherent design and uses animation to create a surrealistic world, spiced with humor.


 

SATURDAY SYMPHONY by Iris Frankhuizen (Netherlands)
2D computer / 2015 / 2’58”
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/131631528

Frankhuizen’s graduation film, Saturday Symphony, is a short animation about the atmosphere and excitement of a sunny Saturday in the city. For many, a familiar, warm feeling. The film builds up like a symphony with a focus on the contrast between serenity and liveliness. The film is painted on animation cels made with analog techniques with a digital touch.

IRIS FRANKHUIZEN
is a 2D animator based in Amsterdam. In her work she seeks to create a unique visual language by combining analogue and digital techniques. Her narrative approach is concentrating on storytelling in an abstract way, while her visual focus is on color and well crafted design. She has experimented with stop-motion and 2D digital animation techniques. Besides executive animation, she also disciplined in animation production and currently works as a freelancer.


 

UNCANNY VALLEY by Paul Wenninger (Austria, France)
pixilation / 2015 / 13’
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygtu9OaAkjI

A diorama represents two young soldiers in the trenches. All of a sudden, we are thrown into the diorama: the immobile soldiers come to life – the camera dances around them – explosions, chaos, everything flies about in the air. In Uncanny Valley, we are at once bombarded by the psychological and physical intensity of a battle fought between desperate soldiers during the First World War. Each frame of this animated live action piece reveals its own painful yet detailed history. The numbing futility of war, the agony of conflict and survival, the discovery of brotherhood, and the madness of it all. Uncanny Valley is a hypnotic nightmare, a revelation that is impossible to forget. Through its choreographic approach of animation, Uncanny Valley questions the representation of this terrible reality, and refreshes the memory of the trenches with a contemporary audiovisual language.

PAUL WENNINGER
was born in 1966, in Vienna. He is a freelance dancer, author of choreographic pieces, and film maker with a focus on pixilation and animation. He is the artistic director of Kabinett ad Co. since 1999, a working platform for interdisciplinary projects with a focus on the body. He has been a part of many collaborations with various choreographers and companies, e.g. in France with Cie. Catherine Diverrès at Centre Choreographique National de Rennes et Bretagne. His works have been shown internationally and received several awards.

 


ANIMASTORY 1


THE BENCH by Claudia Chircop (Malta)

live action, 2D computer / 2015 / 6’10”

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/131436604

A story about two separate benches, two distinctive ages, two interesting habits. Until a decision makes two stories become one. Her current work highlights her interest in character design, animation and illustrations, characterized by magical atmospheres and environments. A combination of drawing, digital painting and use of colors play an important role in the film.

CLAUDIA CHIRCOP
Following the completion of her BA (Hons) in Fine Arts at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology in 2013, Claudia Chircop continued her studies in MA Character Animation at University of Arts London, Central Saint Martins, and graduated in July 2015. Chircop is very enthusiastic about working with young people both locally and abroad. She delivered art workshops to children at the Art Museum in Gelsenkirchen, Germany for two summers in 2012 and 2013. One of Chircop’s main strengths is her ability to weave a compelling story, which she does by capturing distinctive moods through illustration and 2D animation.


AION by Patrica Heleninová (Slovakia)
2D computer, rotoscope / 2014 / 6’53”
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/125128263

What would you do if you found a remote control on the ground that could put the world on pause? Well, that's what happens to our hero. He uses the remote control to his advantage, but every action has its repercussions. The film  received awards for Best Animation and for Best Sound Design from Student film festival Acko 2014, Bratislava, Slovakia; in 2015 it has also won the "Gold Panda" Awards for the The Best Screenplay for Animation at the 13th SCTVF International Students of Sichuan TV Festival in Chengdu, China. Aion premieres in the USA at Animated Spirits.

PETRA HELENINOVÁ
was born in 1989 in Bratislava. She graduated from the University of Tomas Bata in Zlín. She studied Classical Animation at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications. Her graduation project was Stranger. Since 2012 she has been studying at the Academy of Performing Arts Bratislava, Film and Television Faculty, at the Department of Animation.


THE MASTER by Riho Unt
Puppet animation / 2015 / 18’
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/117208806

The Master is based on the short story Popi and Huhuu by Estonian author Friedebert Tuglas. A dog and a monkey are waiting for their master, but it soon becomes clear that he is not coming home anymore. Their lives are changing as they are taking on the roles of dominance and submissiveness. With a deceptively straightforward narrative, the film is a comment on today’s world and asks whether we can cope on our own and take sufficient responsibility. The film has won the Jury Award from the Annecy Film Festival.

RIHO UNT
was born in 1956, and has been working in animation since 1983. He holds classes, workshops and animation courses. He has taken part in several group exhibitions, and has had a few individual retrospectives.


DIAMOND by Gert Vandenbroele and Kris Mergan (Belgium)
2D computer / 2013 / 12’26”
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/81202874

Diamond explores the true nature of the world around us. The fact that each individual has their own perception of reality requires us to examine the lenses through which we look at our environment; to open the cultural windows and let the light come in unobstructed.

GERT VANDENBROELE
was born in 1963. From 1980 to 1984 he studied commercial art and graphic design at Sint-Lukas Brussels, and from 1984 to 1988 printing art and animation at the Academy of Antwerp and Sint-Lukas. In the 1990s he worked as screen-designer and animator for commercials, billboards, interfaces etc. He is also an author of several animation movies. Since 2003 he has been teaching animation at Sint-Lukas Brussels. He lives in Antwerp, Belgium.

KRIS MERGAN
has made 310 animations, of a total of 250 minutes. He has 35 indie films, 110 TV-program openers on 18 TV-channels, 25 awards and nominations and he worked as an animator for 21 studios. He has also been teaching animation since 1995. Since 2005 he has been a commission member of the Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF) for ‘Filmlab’.


AMÉLIA & DUARTE by Alice Guimarães and Mónica Santos (Portugal, Germany)
Pixilation, 2D, 3D computer / 2015 / 8’
Trailer: https://vimeo.com/119428279

What if there were a place where we could revisit the memories of a relationship? In this archive of remembrances we are guided through the story of Amélia and Duarte, two people that fell out of love and are trying to cope with the feelings that come after a relationship has ended. Their loss was so deep that they tried to divide, wrap, cut, tear and ultimately erase all recollections of each other.

ALICE GUIMARÃES
studied digital arts at the Portuguese Catholic University's School of Arts. Since then, she has taken a special interest in animation. Through the years she has made short animated films for various brands such as Sonae, the Intermarché or the publisher Leya, as well as educational films, such as the award-winning A incrível História das Linhas de Torres Vedras.

MÓNICA SANTOS
studied at the Royal College of Art in London having received a Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation scholarship. Her films have been shown in Portugal, UK, France and Italy. Interested in both cinematic theory and practice, she is currently pursuing a PhD in Film Studies. In addition to working in animation and cinema, she does illustrations for various periodicals.



Curator Anna Ida Orosz (Budapest, 1986) is an animation historian, festival programmer and curator. She studied film theory and cinema history at the Budapest Eötvös Lóránd University (ELTE) of Budapest. Currently she is a PhD student at the Institute for Art Theory and Media Studies at ELTE. She teaches animation history at Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design in Budapest, and has been working as an animation specialist at the Hungarian Film Archive since 2012. She has been in the programming board of the Kecskemét Animation Film Festival (KAFF) since 2009.

She is the co-founder and curator of Primanima World Festival of First Animations, which debuted in 2012 in Budaörs, Hungary. She has been a jury member and curated both retrospective and contemporary Hungarian animation programs for major international animation film festivals including Monstra (Lisbon, Portugal), Animator (Poznan, Poland) and Anifilm (Trebon, Czech Republic). In 2015 she co-curated Hungarian Animation 100, a retrospective exhibition about the past hundred years of animation in Hungary.

 


Animated Spirits 2016 was made possible through the participation of the following European cultural institutes in New York City: Arte Institute Portugal; Arts Council Malta in New York; Austrian Cultural Forum, NY; Balassi Institute, Hungarian Cultural Center, New York; Bonobo Studio Croatia; Consulate General of Estonia in New York; Consulate General of Slovakia in New York; Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Czech Center New York; Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Washington; Flanders House New York; Polish Cultural Institute New York.

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