MAF 2018: Short Films 1

I am so glad that I have managed to visit the Manchester Animation Festival again this year after being unable to go last year. This is a fantastic festival showcasing and celebrating all things animation with panels, Q&A’s and screenings over the three days that can certainly get your creative juices flowing. Over the next few weeks I shall be going over the highlights of each of the events I got the chance to see in November, so don’t forget to come back for more!

Image result for Bloeistraat 11
Bloeistraat 11 by Nienke Deutz
  • Really interesting look into adolescence, seeing these two girls friendship develop and change as they do themselves
  • Has some quite jarring moments in the animation when quite dramatic things happen, such as one of the girls piercing her own belly button, all made more powerful with there being no dialogue throughout the film, only noises that come out such as grunts and gasps
  • It is a really great looking animation, definitely worth looking into the making of this film and it ends with an amazing fade away


Image result for Panta Rhei animation
Panta Rhei by Wouter Bongaerts
  • Digital 2D Animation following a man who is obviously troubled and going through something, he seems not happy and stressed, his partner obviously wants to help but not able to
  • This may explain the title as we see him as he needs a change to be able to accept help and talk, this happens by the end of the short
  • Some very powerful moments within this film, all around the show of water and the feeling of drowning, the whale can’t breath on the beach and he can’t breath in his environment, interesting look at mental health


Image result for Carlotta’s Face
Carlotta’s Face by Valentin Riedl & Frédéric Schuld
  • Really eye catching texture to this film that makes it look almost like a print, using bold colouring of black and white with the occasional pop of red
  • Illustrated the story told by the German woman, rather abstract and perfect way of telling the disorientation this condition has cause Carlotta as she is face blind
  • The voice over over the top [with English subtitles on the screen] and the sound effects underneath create this powerful mood to go with the powerful imagery


KL by William Henne & Yann Bonnin
  • This films uses over 3000 different images in Poland of the World War II camps, showing this powerful imagery in an equally powerful mashup
  • It makes you think of the place behind the images and what happened to these people and how it could have happened
  • The film is emotional without speech, without having to speak a word we all know the message and it sticks with you in the audience


Image result for Weekends by Trevor Jimenez
Weekends by Trevor Jimenez
  • This animation uses a great artistic style of digital 2D animation, creating these atmospheric backgrounds that look like almost watercolour paintings and the bold simpler characters in the foreground catching your eye immediately
  • Following this little boy the story is a very powerful display of what divorce can be like for a child, having to live with one parent and only see the other on weekend visits can be a strange environment to adjust to
  • The mix of reality and childlike imagination and perception of the things going on around him is really interesting throughout the film and you really do begin to understand what the child is going through


Image result for Raymonde or the Vertical Escape by Sarah Van Den Boom
Raymonde ou l’évasion verticale / Raymonde or the Vertical Escape by Sarah Van Den Boom
  • I personally was really excited when I saw they were screening this animation at the Manchester Animation Festival as I have previously seen the above image of this work elsewhere online and always wanted to know more about this project, how it was made and the film itself. So this was a must see for me
  • The Stop Motion Animation of the film did not disappoint as it is really breathtakingly detailed, from the wonderful set of this cottage in the woods to the anthropomorphised animal puppets you are drawn straight into it’s beautiful little world
  • The story itself is really interesting too, and unexpected as a lot more rude and comical than it may first look on the outside with the sweet nature style, a really enjoyable film to see


Image result for Via by Izzy Burton
Via by Izzy Burton
  • Burton really plays to her strengths in this film using these beautiful vast backgrounds with the smaller characters moving through them in the story
  • It is a really unusual kind of composition with such large backdrops it makes for a rather memorable piece, and has great use of colour and lighting to make a range of different places and worlds
  • It is a beautiful animation that you definitely just want to dive straight into and makes you want to see more and explore more


Image result for Animal Behaviour by Alison Snowden & David Fine
Animal Behaviour by Alison Snowden & David Fine
  • This was probably one of the most comical of all the animations in this screening, showing a bunch of animals in a support group talking about their problems, joking with the typical attributes to each of the animals with the dog as the therapist
  • The voice actors are brilliant at bringing to life each of these different anxious characters, they are dynamic and comedic
  • I especially loved the build of the emotions throughout the story as it slowly escalates and blows comically at the end, rather reminiscent of Aardman’s Creature Comforts but with a more adult tone


That wraps up the films screened in this ‘Short Films 1’ screening. These were a really interesting collection of short films, with a range of styles and genres that shows a great range of animation. I hope you have enjoyed my short reviews of each film, make sure to come back here next week when I wrap up Manchester Animation Festival 2018 in the Final Post!



– Photographs in Feature Image © [image left] Weekends by Trevor Jimenez [image right] Raymonde ou l’évasion verticale / Raymonde or the Vertical Escape by Sarah Van Den Boom [logo] Manchester Animation Festival

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