20th Annual Animation Show of Shows! - LAST DAY!

Nov 6 to Nov 10
Tuesday to Saturday 4pm, 8:15

various - 2018 - 98m

Returning to theaters across North America this fall, the ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS will present 15 thought-provoking, poignant, and very funny animated shorts from around the world - four of which have qualified for Academy Award consideration!  In a year when the best and worst of human nature has been on constant display, the works in this year’s show remind us of both the universality of shared ideals, as well as the diverse challenges we face.  

“Animation is such a flexible and open-ended medium that it lends itself to exploring the innumerable aspects of what it means to be human,” says founder and curator Ron Diamond. “And this year’s program, as much as any of our past presentations, really illuminates human strengths and foibles, and the bonds that unite us across cultures and generations.”

The Green Bird * - Maximilien Bougeois, Quentin Dubois,  Marine Goalard, Irina Nguyen, Pierre Perveyrie, France - The soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission in this mordantly funny computer animation, in which the eponymous character suffers an unfortunate series of setbacks when she finds herself a mother-to-be. Harking back to the classic cartoons of the 1940s and 1950s, “The Green Bird” features the great timing and superior slapstick that defined the mini-epics of the past and never gets old.

One Small Step * - Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas, U.S. - A young Chinese-American girl yearns to be an astronaut in this touching story about the importance of pursuing your dreams and never giving up. Featuring a bold formal design and sharp visual style, “One Small Step” is a universal tale that reminds us that all dreams begin with a single step. 

Grands Canons -  Alain Biet, France - Composed of thousands of drawings of familiar objects painstakingly created by the filmmaker, this extraordinary, compulsively watchable film is a symphonic celebration of materiality in its innumerable forms. Deriving its power from motion, rhythm and sheer abundance, “Grand Canons” defies easy description, joining the ranks of those animated shorts that must be experienced to be understood.

Barry - Anchi Shen, U.S. - How many of us have passionately dedicated ourselves to achieving a particular career goal, only to have our dreams shattered simply because we were a quadruped? Probably not many, but that doesn’t mean we can’t relate to the underlying universality of this wry and touching moral tale of an aspiring doctor who triumphs over the prejudices of his critics through talent and tenacity. 

Super Girl - Nancy Kangas, U.S. - One of a series of short animations based on the writing of a group of preschoolers, “Supergirl” is an exuberant and gleeful exploration of the yearnings and imaginings of one irrepressible four-year-old poet. With a visual style that perfectly matches the free-flowing musings of the text, this whimsical film captures the magic and effortless creativity of childhood.

Love Me, Fear Me - Veronica Solomon, Germany - This tour de force of claymation explores the ever-changing roles we play and shapes we assume in our continual efforts to impress others and be accepted by them. Conceived as a sequence of dances, “Love Me, Fear Me” displays a virtuosic command of form as it delves into the deeply emotional territory of interpersonal relations and expectations.

Business Meeting - Guy Charnaux, Brazil - Based on a short story by Brazilian writer Rafael Sperling, this very funny animation may confirm your worst fears about business meetings, as well as possibly lead you to doubt the sanity of the short’s creators. The minimalist hand-drawn animation is perfectly suited to the dubious subject matter, which begs the question, “#+-4$#2?”

Flower Found! - Jorn Leeuwerink, Netherlands - A case of mistaken identity has seriously unpleasant consequences in this unsettling arboreal tale that might or might not be a parable of our times. When a special flower unaccountably goes missing, an ever-growing group of animals sets off in pursuit of the purloined bloom, but, as is often the case, the best intentions lead only to unforeseen catastrophe.

Bullets - Nancy Kangas, U.S. - This short animated film was made for the The Preschool Poets: An Animated Film Series.  The Preschool Poets is a series consists of eight short films and feature a poem composed and read by its preschool-aged author. The poems were composed during poetry residencies sponsored by the Ohio Arts Council, and selected from hundreds written over the course of seven years.  Each film was made by one of eight animators from all over the world and curated by co-directors Nancy Kangas and Josh Kun.

A Table Game - Nicolás Petelski, Argentina - "A Table Game” was partially produced during an exchange program at the Estonian Academy of Arts, supervised by the internationally known animator and director Priit Pärn, and inspired by the absurdity and black humor that characterizes Estonian animation. The film can be seen as an exercise in patience, not only for the spectators in the film, but for the film’s audience, who must sit through its monotone events in order to be rewarded in the end with an unexpected outcome. 

Carlotta's Face - Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld, Germany - Prosopagnosia is a rare neurological disorder in which individuals are unable to recognize faces, including their own. This poignant and beautifully stylized animation is based on the first-person account of a woman who suffers from this ailment, offering an intimate look at the difficulties she encounters in her life and, ultimately, the salvation she finds through art.

Age of Sail * - John Kahrs, U.S. - Set on the open ocean in 1900, this hair-raising and poignant tale chronicles the adventures of an old sailor who rescues a teenaged girl after she falls overboard from a passing steamship. With a distinctive visual design inspired by the American illustrator Bernie Fuchs, “Age of Sail” is an inspiring paean to hope, and a timely reminder that redemption often arrives at the darkest times.

Polaris - Hikari Toriumi, U.S. - Any film that opens with a polar bear hugging a penguin has potential, and in fact the sweetness of that image carries through the rest of this wistful and very touching film about a young bear setting out on her own for the first time. With the simplest of storylines and an understated, almost childlike, visual design, “Polaris” is an evocative celebration of the deepest bonds that persist throughout one’s life. 

My Moon - Eusong Lee, U.S. - This charming and ethereal short depicts the interplay among the moon, earth and sun in terms of human relationships – a celestial love triangle replete with jealousy, recriminations, hurt feelings and, ultimately, forgiveness. Featuring a panoply of heavenly colors and beautifully stylized design, “My Moon” is a modern fairy tale, at once thoroughly contemporary and as ancient as the cosmos. 

Weekends * - Trevor Jimenez, Canada - In this beautifully designed, hand-animated film set in 1980s Toronto, a young boy shuttles between the homes of his recently divorced parents. Mixing all-too-realistic details of a domestic breakup with surreal, dream-like moments, “Weekends” is a model of sophisticated storytelling that is both deeply affecting and admirably philosophical in its depiction of a painful period in a child’s life. 

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20th Annual Animation Show of Shows! - LAST DAY! poster