Pieced together by Curator in Residence, Emma Hough Hobbs, the Animated Shorts Package samples some of the most unusual, emotionally jerking, ridiculously humorous and impressively creative short films from around the world.
Opening the package is UK short film Inanimate, from director Lucia Bulgheroni, which focuses on the normal world of Katrine which is suddenly turned upside-down. Katrine is a normal woman with a normal life full of normal activities like work, grocery shopping and living with her normal boyfriend, until one day her world begins to – quite literally – fall apart.
From the vivid imagination of director Lorenz Wunderle comes Coyote, a colourful acid trip for the audience that tells the story of a coyote whose family is brutally murdered by a fierce pack of wolves. Taking on human emotions of grief and anguish, the coyote struggles to process the event and becomes more and more filled with evil and a thirst for revenge.
The short film Icebergs is based on Scenes, a book written by award-winning screenwriter Efthymis Filippou. It follows in the absurdist footsteps of Filippou’s most well-known works, The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, with its black humour as it plays out 14 short vignettes that range from the everyday to the truly bizarre.
Australian short film Barbara, from directors Larissa Behrendt and Marieka Walsh, is an emotional journey pulled into a matter of minutes, exposing the obvious legal discrimination that still exists towards Aboriginals. The only criticism that can be made is that the film is simply not long enough, leaving the audience craving more of the story in an attempt to find some level of understanding about the heart-wrenching events that occurred.
Untravel is a humorous highlight amongst the more serious themes, with the French/Turkish short film focussing on a young woman (with a distinct unibrow and lively hair) who lives in a depressingly grey city surrounded by a bright red wall. She has never travelled outside and dreams about a place of political correctness and equality called ‘Abroad’. The child-like, claymation style helps to create a lighter take on the themes of emigration, tourism and censorship.
Canadian/French short film, Embrace, elegantly captures a woman’s consumption of her present by the un-shakeable memories of her past. As the echoing of a strong wind and the rhythmic crashing of waves fills the room, an unknown woman stands at the window, mesmerised by clouds that take the shape of past passionate encounters. This is director Justine Vuylsteker’s first professional film and she has used a unique animation technique known as a pin screen which is a delicate process suitable for an emotionally delicate subject matter.
Passage, the shortest film of the package at only two minutes long, sees the audience taken on a surreal, nightmare-like journey via a painted, expressionistic female figure. As she steps through a doorway her body begins to contort and disfigure. and her identity becomes unrecognisable. The use of a manually exhaustive process is incredibly effective with the end product of the individually digitally painted frames pulling the audience deep into the distorted world.
Turkish short film, Wicked Girl has been selected in more than 50 festivals and won multiple awards, including the Jury award in Annecy, the World Animation Award in Leeds and Grand Prix in Clermont-Ferrand. An 8-year-old’s wild imagination vividly depicts her memories of animals, her favourite stuffed toy and joyous holidays spent with her grandparents, but these are all shadowed by a dark, menacing presence.
Estonian short film Manivald provides the uniquely humorous story of Manivald, a 33-year-old overeducated and unemployed fox who lives with his overbearing mother. He spends his days learning piano at home under his mother’s watchful eye until one day the un-healthy co-dependence of their relationship is challenged by Toomas, a confident and sexy wolf repairman.
Slightly more underwhelming short films include Little Star and Spermaceti which, although beautiful in their creation, find it hard to compete with the other impressive short films.
The animated shorts previewed at this year’s Adelaide Film Festival provide an interesting insight into the creativity and talent that lives all around the world. For those wanting something different and outside their comfort zone, this package is the perfect choice.
The Animated Shorts Package is screening as part of the Adelaide Film Festival which runs until October 21st.
Click here for session details.