October 22, 2008
The National Film Board is getting an early start on World Animation Day festivities and is turning the party out well after. From October 24 to November 12, Canadians in 13 cities will be able to enjoy free screenings of the Get Animated! series to celebrate World Animation Day (October 28).
Get Animated! features one program of ten new works (including Theodor Ushev's Drux Flux and George Schwizgebel's Retouches) and a second of ten children's animation shorts (including Claude Cloutier's Sleeping Betty, and shorts from Hothouse 4 participants Carla Coma and Jody Kramer). Many of the cities will include complementary screenings and workshops in addition to these programs.
Two short are available at the event site. Just click a graphic above to view Howie Shia's Flutter (top) or Tali's At Home With Mrs. Hen.
Thanks, Matt and Jody!
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.