March 29-April 30
$10 – buy tickets at Eventbrite
A streaming package of family-friendly shorts from around the world. Watch anytime between March 29-April 30.
Curated by Amber Twoyoungmen, this fascinating and entertaining program of family-friendly shorts from around the world uses stop-motion, puppetry, and animated objects to explore the human condition in relation with the land, the environment and space.
Presented by Calgary Animated Objects Society in partnership with the Festival of Animated Objects
March 29-April 30
Ca va: A puppet quarantine
Jaime Lyn Beatty, USA
A puppet struggles to find meaning in his life during quarantine…
Aurora Adams, UK
What happens if you follow the tracks? What happens if you don’t? ‘Tracks’ is a noir encounter in a paper world.
That There Hawbit: A Redneck Puppet Parody
Mark Stephen Smith, USA
Burlbo Back-Itch, a respectable layabout Hawbit, is whisked away from his cozy hilltop home by Gandawful, an unemployed fireworks salesman, to steal a mountain-full of treasure from a bona-fide fire-breathing dragon.
Kamela Portages, USA
A wild baby puppet is born in a cabbage field with an uncomfortable feeling of being out of place. It decides to explore the world, and accidentally meets its parent in another realm.
Rozhan Abedi, Islamic Republic of Iran
A man reading a newspaper feels a hole under his finger.
Farzaneh Omidvarnia, Denmark
Based on real events, in Austria 2015, and in Ireland 2019:
A Group of refugees tries to reach themselves to a safe country in search for a better life. They pay a smuggler to convey them across the borders in a fridge truck. However, the freezing temperature of the truck turns their hopes for a better future into a fierce struggle for survival.
The Bothersome Bird
Xander Phillips, UK
A mischievous bird attacks Cliff for disturbing his day with unexpected consequences.
The Great Popcorn Escape
Scott Morris, Canada
When the rest of her friends are taken away to be eaten, Poppet, a brave young piece of popcorn must gather her strength to rescue them from a dangerous fate.
Paul James, New Zealand
After a trial adoption Christine finds herself struggling to adapt to her new home. The couple that adopted her also face difficulties, beyond a child’s ability to comprehend. Seeking solace in the creepy crawly world, Christine finds a way to set everyone free.
Amber Twoyoungmen is a storyteller and a young leader. She is one of the founding members of the Nakoda AV Club, an arts collective that works to promote storytelling through film on the Nakoda reserves. She is the first female film director from her Nation, and as such, is an inspiration to other young women struggling to succeed. Amber is also a musician, composing the scores for her short films, and an artist specializing in animation. Amber is also an important member of her family, and she takes pride in her role as a caretaker and mentor to her young relations. Her family and her culture are very important to her, and they are part of everything she does. Amber’s practice as an artist has recently grown to include arts administration and she has been supporting the Nakoda AV Club and its members on several projects in this way.
I’ve been fascinated with animation for as long as I can remember, but for a lot of my life my ideas about what animation is and could be were limited by what I saw coming from big commercial studios. It’s hard not to be impressed with all the incredible work that comes from animations with a big budget behind them. Since then I’ve learned a lot about what animation makes possible. As an animator myself, I’ve labored over tiny cut outs, and losing parts, I’ve freaked out when a door is slammed and my whole set shifts, and I’ve cried over tiny clay arms that accidently got smooshed. Animation, no matter the budget, it really hard work, and it can go very wrong.
What I’ve come to learn is that a good animation is that it’s not the amount of money that a project has that makes it special, it’s the care that the filmmakers take with their work. These selections more than prove that.
One of my favorite things about animation as an art form is that it makes anything possible. When you’re working in this medium, you are limited (conceptually at least) only by your own creativity. The flexibility of animation as a method of storytelling is an incredible marvel; In this package I hope that you see yourself and your world in the most unexpected shapes, and also see the farthest thing from your life in characters that look just like you. Animation lets us play with the limits of our world, and reflects our realities in unexpected and surprising ways.
Each of these films has, at its heart, an incredible artistry. As you watch, you’ll be able to glimpse a little bit of the makers passion through story. In some cases the content is delightfully irreverent, in others it’s heavy like a kick to the gut. Such is the flexibility of animation, that through the filmmaker’s ingenuity and careful attention to detail, anything is possible. Each of these films is the product of incredible dedication, and each one is a marvel, a beautiful window into our strange, wonderful, and terrible world.
(these films are suitable for teens and above, maybe younger with guidance, but there are some heavy topics here)
Jaime Lyn Beatty
Jaime Lyn is a director, writer & comedian originally from NYC. She has her BFA from The University of Michigan and has studied at UCB, The Groundlings, & The Second City. She is a founding member of the musical theatre company Team Starkid and is an Associate Artist with Rogue Artists Ensemble. Currently, she lives in Los Angeles with her dog (Nori), her fish (Alan), and her puppet (Frupert)….oh yeah, and also her husband (Andrew).
Kamela Portages (Little Journey)
Little Journey is a collaborative puppet project with a TV puppet company Images in Motion in Sonoma California, and an interdisciplinary puppet project Shilo Kloko created by Nao Kobayashi, a puppet artist from Japan. Nao explores the potential of raw materials with a spirit of wabi-sabi, a Japanese aesthetics of finding beauty that is imperfect in nature.
Alexander “Xander” Phillips is an actor, producer, voice actor and musician best known for his role as Tias in the four-time award-winning film “The Bastard Sword”.
Aurora Adams is an actor, puppeteer and writer, director from London. As well as working freelance, Aurora enjoys creating her own work.
Islamic Republic of Iran
Rozhan Abedi is 18 and studies cinema in fine arts. This is their first experience as a filmmaker.
Scott Morris a film student out of Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario,
Mark Stephen Smith
Prof. Mark “Toonery” Smith, author/illustrator of The Art of Flash Animation, became captivated by his first viewing of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. “Animation! That’s what I wanna do for a living,” he immediately exclaimed.
Farzaneh Omidvarnia was born in Iran, Graduated from University of Tehran, faculty of Fine Arts. She received a PhD in Design in 2015 from Technical University of Denmark. Following her graduation, she began to focus on creation of fabric sculptures and writing short stories. Her artworks soon appeared in several art exhibitions in Europe and Iran, and she published her first collection of short stories in 2016. In 2017, she directed and produced her first animated film “To Be” (6 minutes, drama). The movie was acclaimed internationally and won prizes in different festivals. Her second film “Song Sparrow” has been qualified for Oscars 2021. She is now based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Paul is creative director of the WAXEYE, a New Zealand-based creative studio. His work as an animation director has been recognized through commercial industry awards. Paul’s short film Graham (2007) opened the New York Underground Film Festival, placed third at the Stuttgart Animation Festival, screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival and was a finalist in the international Film Minute short film competition.