January 16, 2007

Last week, the Sundance Film Festival announced that selected shorts would be available for purchase at Apple's iTunes store this year. According to their official podcast (from January 12, 2007) Sundance was the first film festival to stream films online, and they continue to break new ground with this announcement. Short films, and animated short films in particular are perfectly suited to this type of digital delivery. Distribution has always been difficult in this arena, and here's hoping we see more festivals follow suit.

You'll be able to view shorts for free starting January 18, 2007 at festival.sundance.org/2007/ and they should remain online through June 2007. Nearly half the shorts in this years program will appear on iTunes starting next Monday, January 22, 2007 www.itunes.com/sundance and while it hasn't been announced which animated shorts we'll get to see online or on iTunes, The Animation Spotlight program features these 8 films, 3 of which also happen to be Oscar nominees*, ehr, correction, make that Oscar contenders (who didn't actually make the Academy Awards shortlist):

Updated January 18:

Destiny Manifesto by Martha Colburn, U.S.A., 2006
Dreams and Desires—Family Ties by Joanna Quinn, United Kingdom, 2006 *
Duct Tape and Cover by Yong-Jin (Gene) Park, U.S.A., 2005
Everything Will Be OK by Don Hertzfeldt, U.S.A., 2006 *
Golden Age by Aaron Augenblick, U.S.A., 2006
One Rat Short by Alex Weil, U.S.A., 2006 *
Paulina Hollers by Brent Green, U.S.A., 2006
Phantom Canyon by Stacey Steers, U.S.A., 2006

In addition, these four films are part of the Shorts/Shorts with Features Program:

How She Slept At Night by Lilli Carre, U.S.A., 2006 (Shorts with Features)
In Passing by Christopher Thomas Allen & Robert Rainbow, United Kingdom, 2006 (Shorts with Features)
The Tragic Story of Nling by Jeffrey St. Jules, Canada, 2006 (Shorts Program)
t.o.m. by Tom Brown & Daniel Gray, United Kingdom, 2006 (Shorts with Features)

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August 16, 2006
Whether you can't wait or can't go, the Ottawa International Animation Festival has begun a new initiative this year on their website: podcasts, or anicasts, as they put it.

You can get the anicasts via iTunes, but if you don't have it installed, go directly to their site to download the content, including Norman McLaren illustrations for the first edition of the festival, John Straiton discussing his work, and signal films from past editions of the OIAF and the Student Animation Festival of Ottawa (SAFO). The 2005 signal film is already up, and you'll have to watch it a few times to really get everything, so go check it out now.

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June 4, 2006
Nmerichi "Chi" Umennachi is a Nigerian-American exchange student working at a new anime studio in Japan. You'll be hearing more from Chi on the fps site, but for now I'd like to call your attention to two Tokyo Anime Insider video podcasts from his website, which cover the Tokyo International Anime Fair.

In the first video, Chi drops some awesome news: Toei Animation is in talks with Apple to distribute animation from their catalogue on iTunes. There's no word yet on titles, or even if people outside of Japan will be able to access these videos. But we're still all tingly just thinking about it.

In the second video, Chi compresses the entire event into a three-minute video montage. It's just like being there, but hopped on caffeine and at lower resolution. You know you want to see it.

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