MIFF 2020: Animation Shorts Program

Wood Child and Hidden Forest Mother (2020)

Director: Stephen Irwin

A hunter in the forest shoots a magical wood elf and then has his house destroyed by rainbows, then things start to get weird.

A very strange and funny short with interesting animation and a big hairy man breast feeding magic elves to grow their beards.

While the short starts out as black and white, it quickly becomes more colourful and strange. It does look like cut out paper animation in parts but it is more detailed from than that.

Interesting character designs and funny to watch even if you do not really know what is going on.

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Wade (2020)

Directors: Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, Kalp Sanghvi

Writers: Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, Kalp Sanghvi

Set in 2042 after global warming has destroyed the city of Calcutta, the survivors look for food on the flooded streets only to be confronted by a pack of tigers. Who will survive?

Nice painted style for setting the scenes of the ruined city and the animation style is similar with detailed characters that suit the story.

There are some confronting images and situations in this short, but it does make for a more realistic story. From the first time I saw one of the characters with a mask on the back of their head I knew there would be a tiger attack as I have seen such a thing in stories about tiger attacks as they always attack the third person in a group of people (some people wear motorbike helmets instead).

This is meant to be speculative fiction but it does feel like the real world and they do not show you how many people have died from the result of climate change, only the survivors and what their lives have been reduced to.

Statement by director

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Something to Remember (2019)

Director & Scriptwriter: Niki Lindroth von Bahr

Animals in human clothes sing a mournful tune and then the world ends, again.

A great little stop motion animated story with a fully realised world that has its own story.

We don’t find out if the animals took over this world from the humans or it is an alternate reality where humans never existed but CERN is involved somehow.

Trailer

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Mother Bunker (2020)

Director: George Metaxas

Producers: Pia Dulu, Jason N. Rodriguez, George Metaxas

In the robot bunker after the humans have been destroyed a robot puts on a show.

A great little stop motion animated short with an interesting setting and self-contained setting. Almost feels a shame it is over so quickly.

Even though killer robots have been done a lot in science fiction, this is original as why would robots want to see a drag show? They are 1s and 0s and would not have time for culture I thought?

Trailer

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Kapaemahu (2020)

Director: Directed by Joe Wilson, Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, and Dean Hamer

The traditional lore of how the traditional healing knowledge of the native Hawaiians came to the islands is told through the story of the four healers who gave their spirits to the stones and how it has been forgotten.

While I know a bit about Hawaiian culture as does everyone due to the popularity of surfing and the shirts, I have not really heard much about the native culture in terms of their own stories. This was a great animated short and contained a lot of information in a short time.

I would recommend this one if you are interested in Hawaii at all and want to learn more about it.

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Inès (2019)

Director: Élodie Dermange

A young woman has to make a momentous decision that will affect her life. While it is not directly discussed what that is, the film does heavily imply something in that direction.

An interesting short in that it looks like every frame is a separate watercolour painting for the main figures as the hair and clothes change tone from frame to frame. Rather than making the whole thing look choppy and amateur it makes it look endearing and gives it a unique style.

There are not many characters in the film but it still manages to tell a good story from them and only the one location.

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Human Nature (2019)

Director: Sverre Fredriksen and Zaou Vaughan

In a world where the humans are the animals and cats look at funny human memes on their phones we get this film.

This was one of my favourites due to the animation style of stop motion sewn puppets and such strange scenes as the human cats and the field of human cows.

Not too sure if some of the images are safe for work but it is a funny film any way.

Trailer

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He Can’t Live Without Cosmos (2019)

Director: Konstantin Bronzit

Screenplay: Konstantin Bronzit

A young boy is born into a spacesuit near the cosmodrome and his mother tries to stop him from going to space, but can’t stop destiny.

While simply animated and only set in the one room mostly, it manages to tell a heartfelt and sweet story about motherly love and connection.

Some things are never answered like why the boy is born into a spacesuit but it does not really matter as they are treated like a normal child by their mother and even rugged up in winter even though they are already in a spacesuit.

Trailer

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Ghosts (2020)

Director: Park Jee-youn

Two people in a flooded room are shadowed by a crow and strange things happen.

Given the fact that this is a film festival and the animation shorts program you occasionally get things that make no sense and try your patience. This is one of those.

I did enjoy the animation style and surrealism of it but not really much else as it did drag on and on.

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Flesh (2019)

Director: Camila Kater

Cast: Helena Ignez, Larissa Rahal, Raquel Virginia, Rachel Patricio, Valquiria Rosa

Various women recount their own stories related to their own bodies over various stages of their lives. Several different animation styles are used and they are very effective.

One of my favourite shorts for the program and I would recommend this one to health educators and parents talking to their children about health issues.

Even though it is in another language and I don’t actually know these people, the way these stories are told is very engaging and I wanted to hear how they turned out.

I did like the one that was animated by being painted onto dinner plates as it looked like it was very time consuming.

 

Trailer

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