HIGHLIGHTS, WINNERS & VIDEOS: July 2021 ANIMATION FEEDBACK Film Festival

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
Best Short Film: BEHIND THE GLASS
Best Animation Film: EMPTINESS
Best Direction: TOTAL CATCH
Best Performances: MOVING-IN-LAW
Best Cinematography: ESCAPE PARTY
Best Sound & Music: STILL HERE

Theme of night: Life

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

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterWHY I LIKE MY FILTER BUBBLE, 2min., Germany, Animation


festival posterARTICHOKE BOY, 2min., USA, Animation


festival posterBEHIND THE GLASS, 5min., Canada, Animation


festival posterCHIMICHANGA DAY, 3min., Russia, Animation


festival posterEMPTINESS, 9min., Mexico, Animation


festival posterTOTAL CATCH, 2min., USA, Comedy/Romance


festival posterMOVING-IN-LAW, 5min., USA, Drama


festival posterESCAPE PARTY, 5min., USA, Comedy


festival posterTHE BEAUTIFUL PICTURE, 3min., Australia, Documentary


festival posterTHE MYSTERY OF ANGKOR, 3min., Hong Kong, Documentary


festival posterDELIVERY!, 1min., UK, Experimental


festival posterOASIS, 1min., USA, Experimental


festival posterBRE’S DEATH, 3min., USA, Drama/Experimental


The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

Upcoming Short Film Festival: Wednesday August 4th.

Bookmark this page and come back at midnight EST on Wednesday August 4th to watch this amazing festival. Then you’ll have 30 hours to watch. Then the link shuts down.

LEMONS, 2min., USA, Animation

Directed by Siena Kuan

“Lemons” is a minute and half long short film which explores the idea of perfection, and the pursuit of perfection. Of course perfection is hard to achieve and even if we cross our t’s and dot our i’s sometimes it doesn’t work out. “Lemon” also speaks to what failure could feel like, and what it means to fail.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


THE GAME JUST GOT REAL, 1min,. Switzerland, Animation

Directed by bellopropello

Dogs and humans want to play. or not?

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


YELLOWSTONE 88 – SONG OF FIRE, 6min., USA, Animation

Directed by Jerry van de Beek, Betsy De Fries

A remembrance of the Yellowstone fire that raged unabated for months engulfing the Park until a winter snow of intense severity extinguished the flames. That winter surviving Fauna exhausted from fire and weakened by hunger fall where standing. The cosmos turns and eventually life in the park begins anew.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


ARE YOU OKAY?, 9min., USA, Animation

Directed by Ryan Cannon

“Are You Okay?” is a short film produced by Wonder Media in collaboration with the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation to bring awareness to the effect of cyber-bullying among teens. This bystander story is told through the perspective of a 15-year old girl, Raquelle, who witnesses her classmate Noah being bullied. When doing the right thing transforms Raquelle from bystander to victim, she finds herself trapped in the same emotional quicksand of her peers.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


THE SHIFT, 7min., Sweden, Animation

Directed by Johan Samuelsson

Many years ago tech giants lost control of AI robotic technology. By kidnapping and monitoring newborns, the Ai robots are now trying to master the one thing they have yet to understand…

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


THE DEPRESSION OF DETECTIVE DOWNS 2: ON DEPRESSION’S EDGE, 19min., USA, Animation

Directed by Anthony Thurman

Detective Rolando Downs is back and this time he has to locate a missing man while trying to keep the emotional and physical symptoms of his depression under control.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


BARE NAKED TRUTHS, 4min., USA, Comedy

Directed by Amy E. Powell

A micro-short comedy series that allows you inside the minds of the bored and often eccentric models who pose nude for drawing classes.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


FALL, 5min,. USA, Drama

Directed by Habibi Sarandi Rodriguez

Dad takes daughters camping to have fun and make memories. Until he is faced with the torment of waking up and facing his greatest fear.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


HOW TO STOP BEING CHINESE, 4min., USA, Experimental

Directed by Isaac Kau

How To Stop Being Chinese is an exploration of the importance of recognizing one’s own cultural heritage. In the film, a shadowy book teaches three tragic heroines about the blood ties that bind them to over 4,000 years of ancestral heritage. Each step of the book’s instructions dares its readers to break a traditional superstition in order to escape their Chinese culture—but the unforeseen consequences are deadly.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


FAULTY CONNECTIONS, 5min., USA, Drama

Directed by Ian Odermatt

Two teenage boys battle the effects of loneliness, isolation and toxic masculinity.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


Director Biography – Johan Samuelsson (THE SHIFT)

Johan Samuelsson is a swedish motion designer currently working in the commercial film industry in Stockholm, Sweden. Over the years he has worked with many different styles and clients such as Netflix, Microsoft, and American Express.

The Shift is his first narrative project, and has been a personal project on the side of his daytime job since he graduated school in 2017. The project was successfully funded with a budget goal of $5500 on Kickstarter in early 2020 which made It possible to complete the project in 2021.

Director Statement

The Shift is about creativity, and the things that separate humans from robots.

The idea for “The Shift” grew from the development of new Artificial Intelligence (AI) focused technology that simplify, and replace humans tasks and jobs.

As a motion designer I experience this constantly in updated softwares, and countless of plug-ins that simplify daily tasks. For example some crafts that took several hours to complete by hand a couple of years ago, can now be done in a few minutes or have been entirely replaced AI technology.

Eventually, together with the development of technology the techniques and mechanics of animation will be simplified to the extent that anyone will be able to produce a pretty moving image. However, I believe that the ability to create concepts and develop ideas cannot be replaced by technology.

Short Film: THE SHIFT, 7min., Sweden, Animation

Many years ago tech giants lost control of AI robotic technology.
By kidnapping and monitoring newborns, the Ai robots are now trying to master the one thing they have yet to understand…

Creativity.

The film starts with a kidnapped human baby boy. We see two of the AI droids implanting iris surveillance chips into the babies eyes.

15 years later. The film follows one of the children that are being studied. One day he stumbles upon a strange device that gives him an insight to the reality that he actually lives in.

Director Biography – Jerry van de Beek, Betsy De Fries (YELLOWSTONE 88 – SONG OF FIRE)

Multi award-winning Bay Area production studio Little Fluffy Clouds, founded in 1996 by creatives, Betsy De Fries and Jerry van de Beek, specializes in high-end motion graphics and animation.
Talented, imaginative, experimental yet pragmatic, Little Fluffy Clouds, brings a unique edge to concept design, live action with integrated motion graphics, state-of-the-art VFX, character development, 2D and 3D animation, title sequences and all forms of interactive and mobile media.
Their compulsion for storytelling, interwoven with a constant eye for exploration, development and investment in the latest technologies, allows this talented duo to think freely, playfully question, concept, dream, draw, code, animate, produce and deliver experiences that enable their clients’ ideas to shine. Diversity of style is the studio’s byword.

Director Statement

Evocative, magical, suspended in that mythic world of woodland folklore where animals are predominant and the planet moves to encircle the ecosystem in a constant tranquil accord.
Yellowstone 88 – Song of Fire tells the story of the devastating fires that engulfed the park for five months of 1988 until winter snows and rain quelled the inferno and ended the destruction – or did it?
In tones of fiery reds, purples, yellows and oranges set against a dark, burning backdrop of damaged, diseased and drought ridden trees, dry lightning sparks a fire that rages like an avenging angel until its crusade is complete.
We see the many animals that live in the park – bear, bison, elk, deer, ground squirrels, fox and coyote. We see trees and scrub and plant life. We see mountains and rivers and valleys. We see dawn and dusk and the dark night skies that reveal the magnificent nebula in the galaxy above.
These sculpted two dimensional animals – part spirit and part real – flee the fire to quickly reach a place of safety, if they can, some go to water, some go underground. Eventually a white winter snow of intense severity covers the scorched earth where now nothing edible can grow and fauna, exhausted from the fire and weakened by hunger, starve to death in search of food.
Bleak and desolate the starry cosmos turns from one season to the next and the next, and the land rests and renews and life begins again like the primordial spring. Flora grows in abundance, nourished by the fallen ashes of destruction, and animals and birds return in strength to once again reclaim their birthright. And so the story is as much about evolution as loss, and the spirit that resides in such an ancient forest.
At the time of the fire there were no wolves living in the park but their existence in Yellowstone predates the creation of the park and their presence and soul has always been felt, and so the spirit of the wolf speaks through this poem and guides us through the animation. Once reintroduced into the park their presence altered the shape of the ecosystem and returned it to an original stature.

Short Film: YELLOWSTONE 88 – SONG OF FIRE, 6min., USA, Animation

A remembrance of the Yellowstone fire that raged unabated for months engulfing the Park until a winter snow of intense severity extinguished the flames. That winter surviving Fauna exhausted from fire and weakened by hunger fall where standing. The cosmos turns and eventually life in the park begins anew.

Project Links

News & Reviews

Short Film: ARE YOU OKAY?, 9min., USA, Animation

“Are You Okay?” is a short film produced by Wonder Media in collaboration with the Barbara Sinatra Children’s Center Foundation to bring awareness to the effect of cyber-bullying among teens. This bystander story is told through the perspective of a 15-year old girl, Raquelle, who witnesses her classmate Noah being bullied. When doing the right thing transforms Raquelle from bystander to victim, she finds herself trapped in the same emotional quicksand of her peers. At an age when social acceptance weighs heavy and the stress of social media follows you home, Raquelle and Noah learn that no one can make it through alone. “Are You Okay?” explores the impact that reaching out can have on someone in crisis.

Project Links

Director Biography – Anthony Thurman (THE DEPRESSION OF DETECTIVE DOWNS 2: ON DEPRESSION’S EDGE)

In the summer of 2000, a college student by the name of Anthony Thurman, created a documentary film based on a class trip to a computer show that he and several of his classmates attended. He edited it on a VCR and created his own production company logo to air before and after the film as sort of a joke. This is when the name ALT Key Productions was born. The name comes from a combination of Anthony’s initials (A.L.T.) and a reference to an actual ALT Key on a keyboard since his major in college was Computer Information Systems.

The film was such a surprise hit with the people at his college, that he realized he should start taking filmmaking seriously. About a year later, Anthony decided that it might be best to further his college education by fulfilling his dream of going to an art school. After being accepted, it wasn’t soon after that Anthony understood that the cost of classes would be too high for him to enroll. One of the advisors at the art school even insisted that he would amount to very little if he let his lack of money stop him from attending.

That same week, Anthony used his frustration towards his unfortunate financial situation, and at what the advisor said, to move him into another positive direction. He decided to go back to work on a short animated project that he had earlier abandoned due to the cancellation of a contest he wanted to enter. He rewrote many aspects of the story and decided to make it 22 minutes and 30 seconds longer than it was originally intended to be. The short was about two explorers in the future who go in search of a lost 20th Century artifact. The name of the short film was “Tomb Hackers.” It was the first official film, since his playful stint at documentary filmmaking, to use the name ALT Key Productions.

From then on, Anthony has continued to use his natural artistic abilities and his skills on a computer to create short films that not only entertain, but that often invoke serious thought and conversation.

Director Statement

I decided to direct this film because of my own struggles with depression; and also the fact that the first ‘Detective Downs’ film seemed to be my most well-received film. I wanted to explore the character of Rolando Downs further and explain this time around what caused his depression. This film is very special to me because I was able to get help from very talented actors and production members because they saw how much work I put into the films and they believed in my vision. The goal was to explore mental health in a way that not many films do today. Often times, the depressed person is the bad guy in the film and he’s the one taking hostages or you’re rooting for something bad to happen to him. In this film, it was important to show how capable Downs is as a person and detective. He’s a normal and likeable guy who does his job well. It’s just harder for him to get it done with the everyday problems he faces and his difficulty coping with them. At the end of the day, I’m very proud of this film because it not only entertains people, but helps them to understand themselves better and also those around them.