Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Stick Talk
For our sixty-second episode of the Skwigly Animation Podcast we meet award-winning filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming, whose body of work includes the animated biography The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam (2003) and the adaptation of Bernice Eisenstein’s I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors (2010) as well as her first full-length NFB animated feature Window Horses, which saw its premiere at Annecy back in June of this year. Having gathered production funds via IndieGogo, the film features Ann Marie’s long-established animated avatar Stickgirl ‘starring’ as Rosie Ming, a Canadian poet whose cultural horizons and perceptions of her family history are broadened when she finds herself invited to participate in a poetry festival in Iran.
Primarily animated by longtime collaborator Kevin Langdale, Window Horses draws upon the talents of multiple artists in the visual depictions of its poetry, including Janet Perlman, Louise Johnson, Jody Kramer, Kunal Sen and Lillian Chan, with Sandra Oh and Ellen Page among its cast. Having screened at a number of major festivals including the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Fantoche International Animation Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival where it won for Best BC Film and Best Canadian Film, Window Horses will see its UK premiere at the London International Animation Festival on December 11th.
Also discussed in this episode: Children’s BAFTA winners, Oscar contenders for Best Animated Short, the ‘dark turn’ of Cars 3 and the return of the Late Night Work Club, whose second anthology Strangers launched earlier this week.
Stream below, subscribe or direct download:

Monday, 28 November 2016

Something indie this way comes
Now that Intimate Animation has wrapped up, today I've finally gotten off my photogenic behind and started a long-in-the-works new Skwigly podcast strand Independent Animation to tie-in more directly with my book. The first episode is nothing special - just a basic introduction to the podcast itself, plus a reading of the actual (abridged) introduction to the book - although what I have planned for the next few will hopefully take things in an exciting new direction, presenting future case studies in more of a documentary format similar to the presentation of the book itself rather than the usual 'talkshow' style podcasts we've done so far. Knock wood in the next one I'll be hearing from some of the talents involved in the second Late Night Work Club (an initiative that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of modern indie animation) anthology Strangers that launched today.
Until then, however, have a listen to my solo ramblings; it can only go up from here:
Should you so desire this episode is available to download.
The timing works out rather well as today the publishers are having a site-wide #CyberMonday sale, and until tomorrow you can pick up a copy of the book with 25% knocked off the price! Not too shabby, eh? Especially considering the holidays are just around the corner and you doubtless have many hard-to-buy-for animation enthusiasts in your life.
Well, worth a shot. If you feel so inclined you can buy it over on the CRC website, but act fast; Cyber Monday, one assumes, comes but once a year.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Mumians on the Riviera
Following up on my previous announcement that Klementhro would be back in Brazil this December for the 14th MUMIA Underground World Animation Festival, the festival programme has been published so I can now confirm when and where the screenings will actually take place.
At 4pm on Sunday December 4th festival patrons - Mumians, I've decided should be the collective term - can catch the film as part of the International Competition 8 screening at the Cine Humberto Mauro. Then at 5pm on Wednesday December 7th there will be a repeat screening at the Cine Sesc Palladium.
So there ya go. Oh, it's in Belo Horizonte, by the way. Incidentally MUMIA was one of the last festivals to screen The Naughty List, so it's fitting that it would be among the last to screen this one too. OR WILL IT?

Thursday, 24 November 2016


Today sees the conclusion of the first season of Intimate Animation, the podcast in which Laura-Beth and myself have been dissecting animation's more lovey-dovey side. Well, mainly we've been talking about animated genitals, but the lovey-doveyness gets a look in every once in a while.
In episode 6 we end things on a bang (I apologise) with the great Andreas Hykade, whose filmography includes the multi-award-winning shorts The Runt (2005), Love and Theft (2010) and Nuggets (2015) as well as the children’s series Tom, produced in association with esteemed German studio Film Bilder. Prominently discussed in this episode is the director’s intense and hallucinatory Western opus Ring of Fire (2000), whose themes of relationships, sexuality and conflict were drawn from his own life. The film would go on to win Best Animated Short at several major festivals including that year’s Ottawa International Animation Festival. As always feel free to either direct download or stream below:
Also discussed in this episode – the threat of tightening UK censorship laws on depictions of ‘non-conventional’ sexuality, Studio Pupil‘s delightful short Tabook (one of my personal favourites from MAF last week) and the bizarrely compelling visuals of Genital Jousting from Free Lives.
Thanks very much to everyone who's supported this new venture, it's proved to be a very valuable extension of the animation conversation Skwigly has endeavoured to keep alive and we're already excited about season 2 next year. We'll be bringing you two other new themed podcasts over the next month or so that I hope will prove to do likewise, in the meantime however if you missed any of the first season of Intimate Animation you can listen to every episode in our handy playlist:

Monday, 21 November 2016

One more for November
Quick update on my previous post about Klementhro's upcoming screening as part of Hungary's 14th Anilogue International Animation Festival in Budapest - the film will be part of the Programme B which screens 3:30pm this Wednesday (November 23rd) at the Puskin Cinema and the 5pm following day at the Urania National Film Theatre. I'm very humbled to see it's screening alongside some of my favourites of the past year, including films by recent interviewees Dávid Dell'Edera (Balcony), Terri Matthews (The Wrong End of the Stick), Anete Melece (Analysis Paralysis) and Réka Bucsi (Love), the latter two films I was privileged enough to screen myself at MAF last week.
While things do seem to be winding down a bit for our lonely lad Klementhro, there are a couple more confirmed outings on the horizon after this one. Watch this proverbial space, my friends.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

KLIK Tracks
Despite not being able to attend the event in person, I'm happy to be carrying on last year's tradition of Skwigly mini-podcasts for the KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival. As before these consist mainly of short Q&As with attending filmmakers conducted by German animation historian Hans Walther. These include chats with Giovanni Braggio (Cthupid), Junaid Chundrigar (Fixed Fairy Tales: The Princess & the Pea), Fleur Odylle of in60seconds (Manfred the Monkey), Artūrs Lācis (Versus), Carolina Cruz (Balbina: Das IST, die Zeit ist ein Egoist), Evelyne Dubois (Home Sweet Home), Nyan Kyal Say (My Life I Don't Want) and Daphna Awadish (Journey Birds)
One of the talkshow sessions unfortunately got misplaced and so to fill the remaining filmmaker slot my stalwart pal Jo Hepworth gave me some time to discuss her own KLIK! entry The Urban Fox, a lovely piece of work some of you may have caught when I screened it at MAF last year.
You can stream all the entire series below or, if you'd prefer, you can download episodes one, two and three respectively - gratis and for keepsies! Man alive do I ever treat ya right.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Keeping up appearances

I like my animation festivals like I like my women; COVERED IN BEES...
This week I'll be enjoying my first Manchester Animation Festival. Well, that's not technically accurate as I was there last year, but it was in the final weeks of writing my book before the manuscript deadline and so I was laptop-bound 90% of the time and a jittery, coffee-soaked mess, periodically breaking down and screaming at imaginary dogs that lived behind my eyelids. So happily this will be a more chilled affair.
As with last year I will be involved in some of the events, however, the first of which ties in with the book itself. If you swing by Book Your Ideas Up at the HOME event space around 3:15pm Tuesday 15th I'll be part of a panel of fellow animation book scribes discussing our work. I'll also be signing copies of Independent Animation: Developing, Producing and Distributing Your Animated Films if that's a remotely appealing prospect, plus I'll have some with me if you're on the fence about buying a copy but might be swayed upon seeing one all up close and shiny-like.
On Wednesday 16th I'll be presenting another Skwigly Screening showcasing some of the best films I've come across in the past year or so, again in the event space at 3:15pm. The full playlist is as follows (the film titles in bold link to recent interviews with the filmmakers):
  • Tiny Encounters (Dani Abram/Lauren Orme/Michael Ostrolenk/Chris Wright, UK, 2016) 
  • Love (Dir. Réka Bucsi, France/Hungary, 2016) 
  • Parrot Away (Dir. Mads Weidner, Denmark, 2015) 
  • Feathers (Dir. Hands On Deck, Canada, 2016) 
  • Le Clitoris (Dir. Lori Malépart-Traversy, Canada, 2016) 
  • Analysis Paralysis (Dir. Anete Melece, Switzerland, 2016) 
  • Eat Up (Dir. Pretend Parent, UK, 2016) 
  • Player 2 (Dir. Charlie Miller/Harry Slinger-Thompson, UK, 2016) 
  • James: Dear John (Dir. Péter Vácz, UK/Hungary, 2016) 
  • Final Call (Dir. Sara Barbas, Portugal/UK/Denmark, 2016) 
  • Wednesday With Goddard (Dir. Nicolas Ménard, UK, 2016)
Immediately after that you might want to stick around for the latest Skwigly Quiz that Steve and I will be presenting. These are always a larf and there are some pretty tremendous prizes to be won, because frankly we at Skwigly Corp* spoil your asses rotten.
On Thursday 18th myself and Steve will be winging it for our first live podcast. Come by the Event Space (we love that space, it's just so...event-y) at 11am to watch it all unravel in person - or, if you can't make it, stream it via our Facebook page. Of course you can check out the full range of nifty MAF events via the festival website, so if you can't stomach the sight of me there's plenty of other stuff to do. Personal recommendations would include a rare UK screening of the beautiful My Life as a Courgette, a Chris Shepherd masterclass and retrospective, not to mention Joanna Quinn's lifedrawing class (kicking myself that I'll be missing that one). Hope to see some of you there!
*Not what we're called.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Stayin' Down South
While Klementhro's adventures in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo (courtesy of Anima Mundi) came to an end yesterday, some good news for any Brazilians among ye who didn't catch it - or may wish to again - is that the film will be back in the country next month for the 14th Mumia Underground World Animation Festival!
I'm happy to say this isn't the first time my work will be shown at this event, as back in 2012 it was one of the later festivals to screen The Naughty List during its original festival run. I don't have any info more specific than the film will play in the International 8 screening and that the festival takes place in Belo Horizonte from December 1st-18th. More info when I gets it! In the meantime you can check out the full selection here.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Of course the Samaritans have been told to expect an influx of activity once the listening audience discover I'm off the market
Mine and Laura-Beth's love'n'sex'n'stuff podcast series Intimate Animation continues today with episode 5, in which we meet Réka Bucsi, who has followed up her tremendous student short Symphony No. 42 with the multi-award-winning Love.
Produced in association with Passion Paris, Boddah and The Animation Workshop, the film premiered at the 66th Berlinale Shorts Competition to immediate acclaim, going on to screen at other prominent festivals including the Ottawa International Animation Festival, AFI Fest, Go Short, Melbourne International Film Festival and the BFI London Film Festival. Manchester Animation Festival passholders will also be able to see the film as part of our Skwigly Screening (alongside Lori Malépart-Traversy’s Le Clitoris, featured in episode 4) later this month - I'll be elaborating on what else will be on offer soon. More recently Love earned a European Film Award nomination at the Uppsala International Short Film Festival as well as being shortlisted for the Cartoon d’Or when it won Best European Short at 3D Wire.
Also discussed in this episode are the broader themes of ‘love’ – beyond romantic and sexual relationships – that animation has effectively tackled, from family fare such as The Nightmare Before Christmas to more challenging work as Ma Vie de Courgette and Mary and Max. Laura-Beth and I also have a special announcement for the benefit of any podcast listeners who haven't heard our recent and rather wonderful news elsewhere. Give it a stream above or a cheeky little direct download.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Another Busy Weekend
It's been a long journey, but this Friday November 4th will be the final stop of the Nuit du Court Métrage leg of Short Film Nights, the touring programme that has graciously included Klementhro, seeing the film screened throughout Switzerland over the course of this year. The twenty-third and final city on what's been a terrific tour with some brilliant and much-appreciated exposure will be Lausanne, the screening itself taking place at the Pathé les Galeries at 7:25pm. Many thanks again to the Short Film Nights team for bringing my bizarre little film along for the ride!
On Saturday November 5th the film will see its Chinese premiere at the KuanDu International Animation Festival in Taiwan. It will be screening in the programme KDIAF's Choice 5 for a relatively early (9am) start. It's another interesting crop I'm very happy and humbled to be amongst, with work from some great artists including Kim Noce, Shaun Clark and Isabelle Favez among others.
On those exact same dates the film will doubtless be befuddling Brazilians over at Anima Mundi. Following the first batch of screenings that took place in Rio de Janeiro, the second wave will be in São Paulo with two screenings at the Cinemateca Brasileira. On November 4th it'll screen at 6pm in the Sala Petrobras, with a 3pm screening in the Sala BNDES the following day.
Tchau for now!