Mar 232015

I just spent most of the last five days in Utrecht at the Holland Animation Film Festival. I was lucky that three of my films were screening: The Lost Mariner was included in a Student Animation Competition as well as a Dutch Animation Competition program. Mario and Lam 2: Red Hands were included in a Dutch Animation Competition also.


What a fun time! The programming was great, the weather not too bad, the venue has 4 screens and 3 bar/cafe areas under its roof, and most importantly, lots of filmmakers were attending. Dutch animation stars were there, of course, like Rosto, Hisko Hulsing and Paul Driessen, but also international stars like Pierre Hebert, Theodore Ushev and Motomichi Nakamura.

I didn’t get a chance to see all the short films, and didn’t get to see any of the features, some of which looked really interesting. But here are the films I did see that stuck with me:
1. World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt. Apparently this film will be available on demand on vimeo starting March 31st. In the meantime, below is the trailer. This short I believe is Don’s first digitally made film, and it suits him. Absolutely lovely and clever and funny and visually arresting. A must see.

2.  It Takes Time by Mateusz Sadowski. This 3 minute mute film had a lot of cool ideas involving piles of paper growing and diminishing, while the contents of the photo also changes.  A bit hard to describe! You can see an excerpt from the film here.

Still from It Takes Time

Still from It Takes Time

3. Planet Sigma by Momoko Seto. I first saw one of Monoko Seto’s Planet films back in 2011 in Paris when we both screened shorts at La Peniche Cinema. These pieces are incredibly mesmerizing. She uses time lapse photography to make things look like things they’re not, like mold that looks like alien seas or tiny bugs trapped in ice that looks like giants.

4. Wile E. by Christopher Holloran. I’d actually seen this at HAFF last year, but it was so nice to see it again. I forgot how funny it is. This film revolves around an audio (phone? Skype?) conversation between a couple. It’s delightfully absurd and combines the animation and the soundtrack in interesting ways. A part of the film looks like is animated with photocopies or print outs from footage, but is actually projection onto paper, which I thought was cool and inspiring:

Wile E. from Christopher Holloran on Vimeo.

5. Forming Game by Malcolm Sutherland. I found this short intriguing and actually also liked Malcolm’s film Light Forms that was also screened in the same special program. But Forming Game was also really interesting and comes with a great Making Of documentary that really explains step by step the filmmaker’s process and choices:

Forming Game (HD – 2008) from Malcolm Sutherland on Vimeo.

The Making of Forming Game (2008) from Malcolm Sutherland on Vimeo.

What a great festival! I recommend submitting to everyone, and I hope I can attend next year.

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