San Francisco's 2nd Annual International Animation Festival ("IAF") launches tomorrow evening, Thursday, November 8, 2007 and runs through Sunday, November 11 at Landmark's Embarcadero Center Cinema. As San Francisco Film Society programmer Sean Uyehara details in his curatorial statement, the International Animation Festival endeavors to "celebrate the kinds of work that inspire and entertain us, but also to take a step back and reinvest animated work with a renewed sense of wonder and engagement." In its second year the festival achieves this—not only by bringing the best of international animation, as we might expect—but, additionally, through a focus on animation in non-fiction and on the overlap between animation and video design. In discussion with Eve O'Neill at SF360, Uyehara accentuates these upcoming trends in animation with his own personal influences.
Among guests who have confirmed their attendance at this year's International Animation Film Festival are Leslie Iwerks (The Pixar Story); Serge Penezic, aka D. Jud Jones (Film Noir); Claude Cloutier (Sleeping Betty); Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Madame Tutli-Putli); Kelly Sears (The Drift); Song E. Kim (Dinner Table); and Betsy de Fries and Jerry van de Beek (Today).
Here's the line-up:
SF INTL ANIMATION FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT
6:45PM The Pixar Story (Dir. Leslie Iwerks, USA 2007, 87 min)
8:00PM Reception with Leslie Iwerks
9:30PM The Pixar Story
Detailing the meteoric rise of the Bay Area-based juggernaut, The Pixar Story is a live-action documentary that illustrates the cross-pollination of expertise at the base of the pioneering company. In particular, the film traces the backgrounds and fortuitous intersection of John Lasseter (animator), Ed Catmull (scientist) and Steve Jobs (entrepreneur), which gave rise to one of the most successful film production companies in filmmaking history. Featuring candid interviews with these principals, along with George Lucas, Roy Disney, Brad Bird, Tom Hanks and many others, in concert with great historical footage of the early days at locations such as Pixar, CalArts, Disney Studios and the University of Utah's computer graphics laboratory, The Pixar Story offers a new perspective on the animation business for novices and experts alike. This special screening and reception will feature director Leslie Iwerks and an onstage discussion with a bevy of Pixar artists.
2:00PM Animating the Internet (panel discussion)
Apple Store, 1 Stockton Street (at Ellis)
The Internet opens animation to new methods of production, distribution and exhibition, and through its interfaces and interaction potentially provides a different medium for animated work. This panel will explore the state of animation in the online environment. Panelists include Phil Robinson (animator,
W!LDBRAIN), Tiffany Shlain (founder, Webby Awards), Tom Sicurella (digital content lab mentor, American Film Institute) and Mark Sikes and Spencer Riviera (art director and writer, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners).
7:00PM Top Drawers
Don't let the title of this shorts program fool you. While it does present hand-drawn work from master animators such as Joanna Quinn (Dreams and Desires: Family Ties), Georges Schwizgebel (Jeu) and Signe Baumane (Teat Beat of Sex), it also includes intensely crafted computer-generated imagery, claymation and stop-motion techniques. The program runs from highlight to highlight, including the Platform International Animation Award–winning I Met the Walrus, which features archival audio of a teenager's interview with John Lennon; Annecy standout Bully Beef, Wendy Morris's conceptual rendition of connections between the colonial Belgian Congo and Germany's invasion of Belgium; and two new works by local audience favorites Kelly Sears (Devil's Canyon) and Semiconductor (200 Nanowebbers, Brilliant Noise). Sears's The Drift is the latest installment in her series on frontierism and madness. Semiconductor's Magnetic Movie visualizes scientific concepts of magnetic forces and fields, based on interviews conducted at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley. This program contains sexually explicit imagery and is not suitable for children. TRT 76 min
Apnee (Claude Chabot, France, 4 min)
Bully Beef (Wendy Morris, Belgium, 6 min)
Dinner Table (Song E. Kim, South Korea/USA, 3 min)
Dreams and Desires: Family Ties (Joanna Quinn, USA, 10 min)
The Drift (Kelly Sears, USA, 9 min)
I Met the Walrus (Josh Raskin, Canada, 5 min)
The Irresistible Smile (Ami Lundholm, Finland, 7 min)
Jeu (Georges Schwizgebel, Canada, 4 min)
Magnetic Movie (Semiconductor: Joseph Gerhardt, Ruth Jarman, England, 5 min)
Teat Beat of Sex (Signe Baumane, USA/Italy, 4 min)
Theme (Kenji Hirata, USA, 8 min)
Zlydni (Stepan Koval, Russia, 12 min)
9:00PM Film Noir (U.S. premiere; Dir. D. Jud Jones, Risto Topaloski, USA 2007, 100 min)
It's universally understood that you're in a pinch if you wake up beneath the Hollywood sign next to a dead cop. Things are a bit more dicey if you also have amnesia. As you piece together your identity and find out that you're a sadistic bastard wanted by good and bad guys alike, you know you're in for some serious trouble. This is our hero's predicament, and the question of just how he will find himself forms the premise of Film Noir. Representing a truly global approach to filmmaking, this French-distributed, English-language film was produced by a primarily Serbian crew. Filled with twists and turns, and gleaming with an aesthetic reminiscent of classic black-and-white Hollywood flicks, Film Noir adds flashes of color and a generous dollop of explicit sex to update the form. (For mature audiences)
1:00PM Best of Annecy 2007
The Annecy International Animated Film Festival is widely regarded as the most important festival for animation in Europe, if not the world. We are pleased to present a slate of award-winning shorts from the 2007 Annecy fest. The films include a dark Aardman delight, artistic sheep, a satire on the controversial new wall in Israel and an update on the Jack the Ripper story. TRT 66 min.
Beton (Michael Faust, Ariel Belinco, Israel, 6 min)—The day-to-day life of an enclosed military world is disturbed by the appearance of a black kite behind its high walls.
Devochka Dura (Zojya Kireeva, Russia, 7 min)—Ordinary love by no ordinary girl.
Méme les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Samuel Torneux, France, 9 min)—A priest conducts a frenzied chase to save a soul in peril.
The Pearce Sisters (Luis Cook, England, 9 min)—A black tale of love, loneliness, guts, gore, nudity, violence, smoking and tea.
Premier Voyage (Grégoire Sivan, France, 10 min)—Excessively energetic 10-month-old Chloe and her father share their first real conversation during a train trip.
The Runt (Andreas Hykade, Germany, 10 min)—If you wanna eat it, you've gotta kill it.
Shaun the Sheep "Still Life" (Sadler Christopher, England, 7 min)—A farmer takes up oil painting and is determined to create a masterpiece. But when his back is turned, Shaun and Co. decide to have a go.
t.o.m. (Tom Brown, Daniel Benjamin Gray, England, 3 min)—A young boy's journey.
Welcome to White Chapel District (Marie Viellevie, France, 5 min)—A neighborhood in London comes alive to relate the story of Jack the Ripper to a passing camera.
2:45PM Komaneko: The Curious Cat / Komadori eiga Komaneko (Dir. Tsuneo Goda, Japan 2006, 60 min; Intertitles in Japanese with English translation.)
Komaneko is a burgeoning animator. She creates puppets and sets, then films them stop-motion style. She has a series of adventures with her friends Radi-Bo, a ghost and a Bigfoot-like creature whom she tries to document with her 8mm camera. Featuring a sweet soundtrack with little dialogue, except a few strategically placed "meow, meow, meows," Komaneko: The Curious Cat depicts new friendships, creativity and the conflicting emotions that accompany a childhood filled with wonder. Director Tsuneo Goda has created Japan's first major stop-motion animated film. It is a delicate, beautiful and undeniably cute work enlivened through brilliant technique. This screening will delight children of all ages. (Recommended for ages four and up.)
4:30PM "Maker's Dozen"
This 13-film shorts program presents fresh, sweet and savory morsels for your enjoyment. Anchored by the multiple-award-winning Madame Tutli-Putli, an astonishingly beautiful Hitchcockian tale of a woman confronting herself, "Maker's Dozen" surveys the landscape of animation techniques and forms. Humorous shorts such as Siggraph favorite Raymond, which illustrates pseudo-scientific breakthroughs in human locomotion, and the understated Pingpongs, a tender look at a longstanding marriage, commingle with Billy Collins's poignant action poems in Sundance Forgetfulness and Today and the political exposé Court Order–In Memoriam Peter Mansfeld, a record of a turbulent period in Hungarian history. Rounded out by the truly unique Forest in Winter, a cross between a Russian version of Little Red Riding Hood and a cute Japanese commercial for snack food, and Wolf Daddy, a South Korean tale of a philandering beast, this program offers treats for all. TRT 73 min.
Court Order—In Memoriam Peter Mansfeld (Zoltan Szilagyi Varga, Hungary, 8 min)
The Forest in Winter (Jake Portman, Bill Sneed, England/USA, 5 min)
How She Slept at Night (Lilli Carre, USA, 4 min)
Lovesport: Paintballing (Grant Orchard, England, 2 min)
Madame Tutli-Putli (Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski, Canada, 17 min)
Naked (Sex) (Mischa Kamp, Netherlands, 6 min)
One D (Mike Grimshaw, Canada, 5 min)
Pingpongs (George Gendi, England, 6 min)
Raymond (Bif, France, 5 min)
Sleeping Betty (Claude Cloutier, Canada, 10 min)
Sundance Forgetfulness (Julian Grey, Canada, 2 min)
Today (Jerry Van De Beek, Betsy De Fries, USA, 2 min)
Wolf Daddy (Chang Hyung-Yun, South Korea, 10 min)
6:30PM Film Noir (Dir. D. Jud Jones, Risto Topaloski, USA 2007, 100 min.)
9:15PM "Play It by Eye"
This program of animated music videos provides a generous helping of the most creative, beautiful and risky new works alongside some recent classics. A program for the design-conscious and the musically curious, "Play It by Eye" brings cutting-edge and trendsetting commercial work to the big screen. The eclectic mix ranges musically from Beck and M. Ward to The Knife and Aesop Rock, representing an equally compelling visual mélange. Each video incorporates a unique style and approach to musical interpretation, and some challenge technical boundaries. In fact, a few videos here challenge the definition of animation itself. Directors such as Michel Gondry, Nima Nourizadeh, Alex & Martin and Floria Sigismondi share screen time with up-and-comers like Roboshobo and Japanese artist Motomichi Nakamura. TRT 75 min.
Aesop Rock: None Shall Pass (Jason Herring, USA, 4 min)
Air: How Does it Make You Feel? (Alex & Martin, England, 4 min)
Beck: Cell Phone's Dead (Michel Gondry, England, 4 min)
Camera: Out on the Water (Frater, England, 4 min)
Dan Deacon: Crystal Cat (Jimmy Joe Roche, USA, 4 min)
Dan Deacon: Drinking Out of Cups (Liam Lynch, USA, 3 min)
Fujiya Miyagi: Ankle Injuries (Wade Shotter, England, 5 min)
Hot Chip: Over and Over (Nima Nourizadeh, England, 4 min)
Jamiroquai: Don’t Give Hate a Chance (Alex & Martin, England, 4 min)
Kasabian: Shoot the Runner (Alex & Martin, England, 4 min)
Kiss Kiss: The Machines (Roboshobo, Canada, 3 min)
The Knife: Silent Shout (Andreas Nilsson, Sweden, 4 min)
The Knife: We Share Our Mother's Health (Motomichi Nakamura, USA, 4 min)
M. Ward: Chinese Translation (Joel Trussell, Eric David Johnson, USA, 4 min)
The Raconteurs: Broken Boy Soldier (Floria Sigismondi, Canada, 4 min)
Smog: Rock Bottom Riser (Brendan Cook, Paul McNeil, Australia, 6 min)
The White Stripes: 7 Nation Army (Alex & Martin, England, 4 min)
Yuki: Sentimental Journey (Nagi Noda, Japan, 6 min)
1:00PM Komaneko: The Curious Cat / Komadori eiga Komaneko (Dir. Tsuneo Goda, Japan 2006, 60 min; Intertitles in Japanese with English translation)
2:45PM Best of Annecy 2007
Cross-published at Twitch.