September 9, 2008

Anime After Dark is a new event being kicked off this year by the Boston Science Fiction Film Festival. On October 18, a collection of anime features will be screened at the Somerville Theatre from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. (Among the lineup: Grave of the Fireflies, Ghost in the Shell: Solid State Society, Cat Soup, Project A-ko, Tekkon Kinkreet and Millennium Actress.)

The cost? A mere twenty bucks if you buy tickets now, $25 if you wait until September 20, and $30 at the door.

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October 27, 2007
Sunday is World Animation Day. Here are some events that are happening in different cities. Check with web sites, media outlets and your friends to learn more. Let us know what's up in your neighbourhood.


Hiroshima: Award-winning works of the Hiroshima International Animation Festival


Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram:
Simultaneous ASIFA-India celebration


1 p.m. Catherine Arcand discusses her film Nightmare at School

3 p.m. Master class with Madame Tutli-Putli directors Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski
7 p.m. Toon Boom Internet Animation Contest Screening and Classic Films of the DEFA Screening

1 p.m.
Talespinners 2 workshop for children and families

2 p.m. Animate It! workshop for youth

2 p.m. Talespinners 2 screening (recommended for children ages 5-9)


3 p.m. Institute of Contemporary Art presents New England Animation

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October 19, 2007
Atopia has acquired North American rights to The District (Nyocker!), the 2005 Hungarian feature by Aron Gauder. The film screens in Montreal beginning Friday, October 26th at the Cinema du Parc for a two-week run. The film will then show at Boston's Brattle Theatre, Austin's Alamo Drafthouse Cinema beginning November 16 for a week, Winnipeg's Cinematheque from November 26 to 28, and Cleveland's CIA Cinematheque in late January.

In Fall 2005, I had the pleasure of seeing it at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and Matt Forsythe saw it a several weeks later at the Waterloo Festival for Animated Cinema. It sported bold visuals, an infectious hip-hop soundtrack, and starred a motley group of teenagers from the streets of Budapest. Gauder did not shy away from any subject and touched on many, including sex, ethnic differences, politics, and time travel, just to name a few.

The District's satire is raw, strange and very funny, and you never know where the story is going to lead you, and that is all part of the experience. Some films try to be too many things at once, but the film's break-neck pace and unpredictability are definitely a part of its charm.

Over the last two years, fps contributors joined the chorus of voices that have noted the film's irreverent style and storytelling. It continued to be a hit a festivals and many people wondered why more films that broke the mold weren't available to a wider audience. If you didn't have a chance to see The District, here's your chance.

Hopefully, the continued successes of non-formulaic international animated features like The District will open up the theatrical market to innovative animated features that are not afraid to tell new stories, with distinctive visual styles.

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April 23, 2007

This Saturday the Boston Cyberarts Festival will be hosting the first Visual Music Marathon, a twelve-hour screening of 64 historic and contemporary animated works that marry sight and sound. The Marathon starts runs from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Northeastern University's Raytheon Amphitheater. You can find the complete lineup, as well as a nine-minute compilation of clips from the marathon, here.

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