Thursday, 14 June 2018

Animation NOW! festival returns to Auckland for third year

Animation NOW! festival returns to Auckland for third year

Animation NOW! festival returns to Auckland for third year


The New Zealand International Film Festival (NZIFF) presents Animation NOW!, a smorgasbord of international animated shorts . Animation NOW! returns for a third festival year as a stand-alone weekend of screenings immediately following NZIFF in Auckland.

Image: Five Thirty Five – Alex Dunford (International Showcase programme)

Myriad voices and styles are packed into six thought-provoking and artistically distinct collections of animated shorts curated by Malcolm Turner and Annie Murray.

“We look at the strangely normal aspects of urban life in Crazy Towne, explore the re-occurring dark themes in our modern climate in Dark Hearts, are delighted by movement, mutations and textures in Morph ‘n’ Move, look at stunning hand-crafted animation in Handmade, travel the world through a miscellaneous mix of shorts in the International Showcase and put a spotlight on the best to come out of an animation oasis in Fresh Eyes on Estonia,” says Animation NOW! programmer Malcolm Turner.

Two New Zealand shorts will screen as part of the programme. David Midgley’s Tom features in the Dark Hearts collection while Paul James’ Trap will screen as part of the International Showcase. Another highlight will be the Oscar-nominated marvel Negative Space by Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata which will screen as part of Handmade.

The Festival will screen at Academy Cinemas in Auckland from Friday 10 August until Sunday 12 August. The full schedule is available now, and tickets go on sale from Friday 29 June at the special Festival price of $12.50 each.

The six collections screening at Animation NOW! 2018 are:

Animation NOW! Crazy Towne
78 mins approx. | Censors rating TBC
Sunday 12 August 6:00pm
A tumultuous, surreal and sometimes comical ride through the complexities of an urban landscape.
Animation – plugged into the right power supply – can take you to some pretty crazy places. Any semblance of real-world norms is jettisoned as a fusion of images, energy and imagination takes charge of the controls and sends us full speed ahead.
The power of this programme derives from each work’s ability to maintain the pace, as they race down paths void of the usual signposting and narrative edifice that are part and parcel of conventional cinema. Only in the world of animation could ideas bounce off each other like this and careen inexorably towards one wildly improbable conclusion after another. If you’ve been looking for a place where none of the rules apply, you just took the right turn. — MT


Animation NOW! Dark Hearts
78 mins approx. | Censors rating TBC
Saturday 11 August 8:00pm
A thought-provoking collection dissecting modern fears through animated metaphors.
Some animators treat their craft as a kind of creative poultice; a savage form of therapeutic release drawing out all manner of inner demons. Oh God (Betina Bożek), God Bless America (Dane Cree, Michelle Brost) and Parasitic Endeavours (Simon Christoph Krenn) share this visceral willingness to marshal the unique properties of animation to explore the furthest imaginings of what can be done to a human body, in ways impossible in any other artform. — MT


Animation NOW! Morph ‘n’ Move
75 mins approx. | Censors rating TBC
Sunday 12 August 4:00pm
A satisfying exploration of movements, twists and warps that can only be achieved through masterful animation.
Morph ‘n’ Move is animation’s street parade moment. It’s a chance to show off all its fanciest moves, wow the crowds and win new hearts. — MT


Animation NOW! Handmade
78 mins approx. | Censors rating TBC
Saturday 11 August 4:00pm
Beautifully crafted objects take on a new life in this wonderful collection honouring the analogue world. This screening includes the Academy Award Nominated short, Negative Space.
Some animators just want to see their drawings move, their paintings come to life and their puppets take the stage. To these animators – and they are legion – animation is very much a hands-on medium created with the most physical of materials. They simply know no other way. This programme is our annual tribute to the very best of these works. In them resides a passion to create with one’s own hands and a heroic patience sufficient to build a world and tell a story, one painstaking frame at a time.— MT


Animation NOW! International Showcase
79 mins approx. | Censors rating TBC
Friday 10 August 6:30pm
This is where animation is right now. There has never been a time when more animation was being made by more people in more places. In excess of 4,000 films vied for a spot in Animation NOW! this year. Trying to honour the breadth of what the international animation community is creating is the starting point for this programme.


Animation NOW! Fresh Eyes on Estonia
77 mins approx. | Censors rating TBC
Saturday 11 August 6:00pm
A taste of the unique artistic and cultural perspective from a northern oasis of Animation.
Animation NOW! has long championed Estonian animation. No country produces such persistently great, immediately recognisable work. It is home to Priit Pärn, one of the undisputed living masters, as well as rising stars such as Ülo Pikkov, Priit Tender, Mait Laas and Chintis Lungren.
Animator, musician and VJ Annie Murray journeyed to Estonia and came home with this wonderful programme of the best of the new Estonian animation, it would seem, is in very fine shape indeed. — MT

Visit nziff.co.nz for full programme details
Tickets go on sale from Friday 29 June at the special Festival price of $12.50 each.

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