Theme of night: Death and Rebirth

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterMOGU AND PEROL, 8min., Japan, Family/Animation

festival posterTHE BOX ASSASSIN, 3min., USA, Animation/Action

festival posterTHE BAT AND THE MATT, 3min., USA, Comedy/Animation

festival posterTWO DIFFERENT KINDS OF LOVE, 6min., USA, Animation/Drama

festival posterSUIT UP!, 2min, USA, Comedy/Animation

festival posterDREAM CATCHER, 4min., USA, Animation/Fantasy

festival posterYARLUNG, 5min., Canada, Drama/Animation

festival posterTHE ABANDONED BLOCK, 6min., Canada, Animation

festival posterGO FETCH, 2min., USA, Animation/Comedy

festival posterTHE AMERICAN DREAM, 5min., USA, Comedy/Drama

festival posterINCLUSION IS FREEDOM, 2min., USA, Experimental

festival posterCARLITOS, 4min., Canada/Cuba, Documentary

festival posterWHY WE PROTEST, 2min., USA, Documentary

festival poster2 BULLET SOLUTION, 3min, USA, Action

festival posterSAUSAGE, 5min., Poland, Comedy/Drama

festival posterCHILLI PEPPER, 5min., Taiwan, Relationship

festival posterINFATUATION, 4min., USA, Experimental

festival posterPEACH COBBLER, 5min., USA, Drama

The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

Director Biography – Tsuneo Goda (MOGU AND PEROL)

Creating “Domo”for NHK led Goda into the field of stop motion animation establishing dwarf studios in 2003. Domo TV series was broadcasted globally on Nickelodeon in 2008.His other stop motion series “Komaneko” has also been highly praised at various film festivals.His recent work includes “The Curious Kitty & Friends” for US Amazon Studios, “By Your Side”, a charity project with Sade for Great East Japan earthquake and TO&KYO a short film depicting two petite-demons living in downtwon Tokyo.
Director Statement

Some days are fun, and some days are sad.
Sometime we argue, and sometime we feel down.
We all have our ups and downs, but sharing a meal with someone and say “This is so yummy!” is enough to turn it to a HAPPY DAY!

The story about Mogu and Perol came to us from this simple idea.

Despite the complications we go through in life,
I truly hope this world will be filled with yummy moments.

Short Film: MOGU AND PEROL, 8min., Japan, Family/Animation

A story about two friends living on Yummy Island, where delicious food can be found everywhere! Whenever Mogu is cooking, Perol just pops up and eats the yummy meal. One day Perol finds a very tasty looking Brrrr-berry that Mogu was about to pick. Perol doesn’t wait for a second to taste the berry which brings about an unexpected quarrel between the two.

Project Links

Short Film: SUIT UP!, 2min, USA, Comedy/Animation

A sleeping superhero is abruptly awoken by an emergency phone call in need of his expertise—a monster is invading the city. In the morning rush that ensues, our hero equips himself with the gear needed to save the day. As he and the monster begin to face-off, it’s only then that he realizes he is woefully ill-equipped with the wrong suit. He is bewildered. Our hero is wearing his wife’s magic girl costume and he has no idea how to use it…

Project Links

Director Biography – Avery Rouda (DREAM CATCHER)

Avery Rouda is an award-winning writer, director, & producer whose work in the entertainment industry impacts social and spiritual change. As a content creator, Avery develops consciously uplifting scripts for film & TV through her production company, Enlighten Productions. She is the daughter of U.S. Congressman Harley Rouda and Bestselling Author Kaira Sturdivant Rouda.

Director Statement

Enraptured with the art of weaving worlds from the tangles of the imagination, Avery spends her days traversing the inner realms – engineering a kind of Rainbow Bridge between spirituality & the art of storytelling. Creativity, accompanied by an unquenchable thirst for wanderlust, has sent this Dreamer on the journey of a lifetime.
May all who view Dream Catcher allow this message into her/his heart:
Do not follow your nightmares.
Follow your dreams!

Short Film: DREAM CATCHER, 4min., USA, Animation/Fantasy

This animated short film takes viewers into the magical world of a dreamcatcher, reminding children to always follow their dreams.
☆ ☆ ☆

About the Film:
It is the Young Sorter’s first day on the job in the Dreamcatcher Factory where all kinds of imaginative characters work through the night to catch, sort, and sift through all of the lovely little dreams dreamt by Sleeping Girl. But on this night, under the glow of the full moon, Sleeping Girl has a nightmare! The dark cloud is caught inside the dreamcatcher and finds its way to the Young Sorter’s sorting station. Determined to protect the little girl sound asleep in her bed, Young Sorter chases the dreadful Nightmare through the inner webs of the Dreamcatcher Factory, learning along the way that he should never be led by nightmares, and instead should always follow his dreams.
☆ ☆ ☆

Director Biography – Kunsang Kyirong (YARLUNG)

Kunsang Kyirong enjoys making tactile and textured materials move under the camera. She integrates her cultural history and themes of identity and memory through her research and practice. Her body of work exists as documentation of memories through straight ahead animation. She completed her BMA in 2D+ Experimental Animation at the Emily Carr University of Art+ Design.

Director Statement

Storytelling has been paramount to my artistic practice, especially ones which play with a mélange of fiction and non-fiction narratives. I am interested in cultural history and how that can be explored in a way that does not preserve typical stereotypes. The narratives that have driven me are through lived experience and through the experience of others. Growing up in the Tibetan diaspora community has provided me with the privilege of hearing many personal stories.

The use of charcoal and straight-ahead animation in my film adds to the whimsical and fluid nature of story-telling. Often drawing in unusual perspectives and working with transitions that weave in various landscapes and changes in a character’s point of view. These shifts often occur spontaneously as it does when listening to a story or remembering a dream.

Short Film: YARLUNG, 5min., Canada, Drama/Animation

Three children in the Tibetan village of Tezu, India interact with the Yarlung Tsangpo (river) in different ways in response to a death in the family.

Project Links

News & Reviews

Director Biography – James Bourne (THE ABANDONED BLOCK)

Born to a family of doctors in Rochester Minnesota, James Bourne took a career path in the arts instead of the family profession. After high school, he was accepted into Brigham Young University’s Center for Animation. Since graduating with a BFA in Visual Arts Animation he has worked in various departments for different animation studios including Blue Sky, Bardel, and Moonbot. Currently living in British Columbia, James now specializes in storyboarding for animation and film. Much of his inspiration for storytelling comes from history and mythology, both of which are sacred to him. The Abandoned Block is his directorial debut. After storyboarding for television series in Vancouver, his future goals are to storyboard and direct for Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks, and be a creator and showrunner for several pilot episodes he is currently pitching.

Director Statement

“This is a great story! Why hasn’t someone made a film about this?” That’s what I asked myself as I learned the origins of one of the greatest works of art. I was so moved by the humble beginnings of this masterpiece: a useless, damaged block of marble abandoned for decades, and how someone saw it not for what it was, but what this block COULD BE. From then on, I became determined to not only tell this moving story, but to tell it through the medium of animation, or as the old Disney artists refer to it, “The Illusion of Life”. I love a good underdog story; seeing how obstacles are overcome, defying all expectations and meeting the end of a journey in triumph. That is the essence of storytelling in and of itself and what I want audiences to feel from this film: amazement at the humble origins of a masterpiece and that there is untapped potential in all of us, no matter our background.