2017 Oscars: Animated Short Contenders

Award season is slowly approaching for the Academy Awards. This year the Academy’s Short Films and Feature Animation branch has deemed eligible a record 70 animated shorts. There are ten shortlist animations followed by the final five nominations for the Oscars. Last year had 60 total animated shorts.  Previous years included 33 in 2010 to 58 in 2014. The Academy has yet to release the contenders but here is a list of contenders I believe that will make the cut for this years shortlist. The contenders are a varied lot shot in many styles, from the shortest, BAFTA-winner Ainslie Henderson’s “Stems” (Scotland), to the longest, Rob Valley’s “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” (Canada) at 35 minutes, just under the 40-minute mark. Disney has also been pushing two shorts this year, Alan Barillaro’s “Piper” and Leo Matsuda’s “Inner Workings.” Pixar has recently released a captivating independent short, “Borrowed Time.” I expect to Pixar to mean a strong contender for this year but I do hope a lot of the international films get recognized as well. The five nominees will be announced January 24, 2017.

1. Ainslie Henderson’s, “Stems” (Scotland)

Trailer for a new very short, short film about making puppet making make music. featuring the music of Poppy Ackroyd
Made possible by Puppet Animation Scotland.

2. Rob Valley’s, “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” (Canada)

Drink and smoke…that’s what Techno Stypes really likes to do, and fight. He was in no condition to fight. He was sick, really sick. His disease had whittled him down to a shadow of his former self. He was crippled from a car accident when he was 17 but that’s not how he lost his big toe. He lost that in a motorbike accident, yeah he was broken alright… what the hell was he fighting for anyway and what was he still doing in China? His father had given me two clear instructions: 1. Get Techno to stop drinking long enough to receive the liver transplant, and 2. Get him back home to Vancouver. This was not going to be easy.

3. Georges Schwizgebel, “Erlking” (Switzerland)

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2016: Odense International Festival Films

Films In the Program:
Information about Odense International  Festival

The streets at night; a slow saxophone plays. A howling wolf roams the city. Dad is on the loose. Sally, an introverted 15-year-old girl, tries to tame her wolf father, who has lost himself in the wilderness.
Director: Juliette Viger

Missing One Player 
A mahjong game is planned. Everyone waits for the last player to show up. The other three have no choice but to wait and sit there silently in tears. Never losing hope, they do believe that the fourth player will come. They look up to the sky waiting for this miracle to happen.
Director: LEI LEI

A couple lives in an idyllic seaside village, where giant machines have begun to upturn the cobblestone streets, and dust fills the air. Yet its residents go about their everyday lives. Losing a child and losing a city are two different things, yet loss destructively makes itself anew each day.
Director: Sunit Parekh

Sunday Lunch
James observes his family. They ask him questions and don’t listen to his answers, they give advice but don’t follow it, they stroke him and slap him, but it’s ok; that is the way Sunday lunch has always been and always will be.
Director: Celine Devaux
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2016: Fantoche International Animation Film Festival

Fantoche sits next to the annual festival in Baden for animation in all manifestations one. Throughout the year, Fantoche organized in cooperation with theaters, cultural institutions and festivals at home and abroad different programs to animation and enthusiasts.The festival is from September 6 to September 11, 2016. Located in  Baden, Switzerland.

Last years films included, World of Tomorrow which was nominated for an Academy Award for best animation. Festival sponsors include Sterk Cine Ag, Baranday, FedEx Express, Schwabe, Merker areal and RVBW. 14 feature films as premiere include “Ma vie de courgette” opened the Baden Animation Film Festival and “Kubo and the two strings.” There are twelve films from France, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Korea, Canada and the USA. 


Annecy 2016 lineup

Nine features have been selected to appear at the 2016 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, 11 films have been selected to screen outside of the competition.
1. 25 April
Leanne Pooley
Matthew Metcalfe, New Zealand

2. Snowtime! (Cleo)
Jean-Francois Poulot, Francois Brisson
CarpeDiem Film & TV Inc, Canada

3. La jeune Fille Sans Mains
Sebastien Laudenbach
Les Films Sauvages, France

4. My life as a Courgette
Claude Barras
Blue Spirit Productions, Rita Productions, Gebeka Films, Switzerland, France
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Long Way North (2015)

Long Way North is an animated feature developed by director Remi Chaye. Remi Chaye has worked on the storyboards of, The Secret of Kells and was assistant director of Le Tablueau. Writers include Claire Paoletti and Patricia Valeix. The production includes Sacrebleu Productions that has worked on numerous stories and movies from children to adult. Long Way North, is a French film that that was released at Annecy Film Festival in 2015. The movie is about 90 minutes long and has a 7.8 out of 10 rating on IMDb.

tumblr_lygy1xDiHw1r0c5dxo1_1280The story details of a young girl located in St. Petersburg in 1892 named Sasha. Sasha is a young Russian aristocrat that has always been fascinated by the adventurous life of her late grandfather, Oloukine. He was a renowned explorer, designer de son splendid Arctic ship, the Davaï, but never came back from his last expedition to conquer the North Pole. Now, his name Is being tarnished and her family is disgraced. To save the families honor, Sasha runs away. Going a long way North, she rushes in the footsteps of her grandfather to find the famous ship.

The movie once again appeared at Annecy in 2015 and uses a 2D computer technique. Distribution includes Diaphana Distribution. Music includes Jonathan Morali as of recently is known for the Life is Strange soundtrack. Sound is from Regis Diebold, Mathieu Z’Graggen and Florent Lavallee. Editing includes Benjamin Massoubre with a voice cast including Christa Theret, Audrey Sable, Remi Caillebot, Thomas Sagols and Feodor Atkine. A release date for the movie has not yet been confirmed but we should be hearing great things from this film once it’s release date is revealed.


Annecy Film Festival Nominees (2015)

The Annecy International Animation Film Festival was created in 1960 and takes place at the beginning of June in the town of Annecy, France. Initially occurring every two years, the festival became an annual event in 1998. It is one of the four international animated film festivals sponsored by the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (or ASIFA, the International Animated Film Association). The festival is a competition between cartoon films of various techniques (animated drawings, cut-out papers, modelling clay, etc.) The competition is classified in various categories; feature Films, short films, films produced for television and advertising, student films and films made for the internet. The features, many of which are co-productions, originate from 14 different countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and the United States. The festival will make history in 2015 with an all women jury.

1. Adama by Simon Rouby (France)

2. April and the Twisted World (Avril et le monde truqué) by Franck Ekinci, Christian Desmares (France)

3. Long Way North by Rémi Chayé (Denmark, France)

4. Miss Hokusai by Keiichi Hara (Japan)

5. Mune by Alexandre Heboyan, Benoît Philippon (France)

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The Little Prince (2015) New Trailer

The Little Prince is an upcoming French 3D computer animated film based on the 1943 novel, The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupert. The film is directed by Mark Osborne that has worked on notable films of More, and Kung Fu Panda.His brother is Kent Osborne an American screenwriter, actor and producer and his work includes Spongebob SquarePants and Adventure Time.  The film is produced byAton Soumache and Dimitri Rassam and written by Irena Brignull. The films stars notable French, Canadian and  American actors like Marion Cotillard, James Franco,Rachel McAdams and Jeff Bridges. The film will be released in France on July 29, 2015  and has a estimated budget of $80 million. The film will make it’s debut at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

The story centers on a pilot who crash-lands in the Sahara desert and comes across a little boy who says he is a prince fallen to Earth from his home on an asteroid. As the pilot repairs his plane, the little prince regales him with stories about his home and the foolish inhabitants of nearby asteroids. Bridges will be voicing the pilot and Marion Cotillard has the offer to voice the part of a rose. Wild Bunch is overseeing the film sales; US rights have gone to Paramount Vantage, while the film will be distributed by Entertainment One in Canada. Here is the official, The Little Prince website.