Animovies 2023

March 19, 2023 
cSPACE Eau Claire Neighbourhood Hub
 see the lineup at

60 minutes

Curated by filmmaker Loretta Simeon, this fascinating and entertaining program of shorts from around the world uses an astonishing array of stop-motion, puppetry, and animated object techniques to explore complex and whimsical themes.


March 19, 2022

The Curator

Aba Wathtech, I am Loretta Simeon from the Iyarhe Nakoda, from Mini Thni, the traditional territory of the Stoney people. I am currently a student; it has been a long-time goal to work in a science field. I am currently working toward a career in environmental technology. I have always had a passion for the environment and decided it was time to be proactive about my beliefs. I worked for six years as a cultural support worker for indigenous youth in the group home system. As someone who grew up in foster care I always worked to help and support youth in my community, if it was within my capacity. I enjoyed my work and spending time with the youth; however, my passion for science was hard to ignore. Despite my love for science, I also have a love for the arts and creativity. My talents lie in beadwork with both traditional and contemporary inspired styles. I do take work on commission occasionally but mostly allow myself to be inspired as I bead. Along with beadwork I enjoy sewing, reading, hiking, travel and history.
The history of my people has always been a topic close to my heart and I seek out knowledge continuously. All the paths and careers I have chosen in life have been to support my community in some way with that support being through personal, professional or artistic endeavors. My past and my future are connected to my community and my people.

Curatorial Statement

There was no theme I was going for when I was watching the films. I was waiting only for a spark, a spark of joy, or sorrow, or wonder. Each film that I have selected ignited one of these emotions or more.

The Fable of the Fox & The Stork was a joy to watch. I enjoyed how they illustrated the story with cut-out drawings dressed in silk, as well as the contrast between the two ladies and the parallels with their animal counterparts. I enjoyed that they may have their differences and were able to accept one another as they were.

One thing I did not expect was to have my heart broken by a coffee machine. Phillip did exactly that, I loved everything about his character. It showed the circle of a life in less than four minutes as well as how things can have so much meaning to an individual but no real impact beyond that. It showed how people are dismissive of things that no longer benefit them.

Shadow animations are one of my favourite types to watch and Red Ryder really delivered on that front. The story of the journey between a girl looking for her grandmother and a wolf looking for revenge. The grandmother being the catalyst for the destruction of a nation. I was captivated from beginning to end.

I love anything to do with colourful bricks. Seeing the entire history of the world through colourful constructions bring such a sense of joy. I was smiling the entire time and wanted to build empires of my own once the film was over.

So many, unfortunately, can identify with the destructive thinking in Rumination. For a film with no words and only illustrations it left such a strong impact on my heart.  The flashes of a woman’s life as she stares with empty eyes kept a part of me that identified with such sorrow, captivated from beginning to end.

Spring Roll Dream touched on a subject that I have seen all too many times, people being embarrassed of the culture they come from. Seeing Linh rethink everything after she upset her father made me so emotional. The reconnection between the family as she works on accepting her father, the past and he culture. I loved everything about it.

Blue Madness,  I think many people can identify with unfair authority, not to this extent. The way both characters are being stubborn I their owns ways shows that conflict can arise in any situation, even if one thinks they are being calm. 

A spark of joy, or sorrow, or wonder


The Fable of the Fox and the Stork

Anna Lee

A retelling of Aesop’s Fable of the Fox & the Stork featuring paper puppets and original music.

Anna Lee is a Korean/Taiwanese-American animator, illustrator, and musician currently hanging out in Los Angeles, CA. She loves experimenting with different filmmaking techniques and hates talking about herself in the third person. Contact her at so she can stop.


Red Rider/ Marcach Dearg

Emma and Ivan Fisher-Owen

In a futuristic Ireland where corruption and greed have decimated the land, a girl embarks on an adventure to find her grandmother, a wolf seeks vengeance for the murder of his pack and a women searches for redemption. A bilingual Irish/English shadow stop-motion animated film by Beyond the Bark, funded by the Arts Council/ An Chomhairle Ealaíon

Emma Fisher-Owen is a puppeteer, animator, director, writer, designer, researcher and educator. She completed her PhD in puppetry and disability in 2018 at Mary Immaculate College. She founded Beyond the Bark, an inclusive puppet and installation theatre in 2007. Films include Marcach Dearg, I am a Hill and An Fhairaige which was nominated Best Animation at the Nenagh Children’s Film Festival 2020. Emma was nominated Irish Times Set Designer in 2010 for Revengers Tragedy and Don Juan in Hell. Recent theatre productions include Wunderground (Ceol Connected), Treehouse(Ceol Connected), On the Inside and On the Outside (MIC) and Bread not Profits ( Guna Nua) which won the Irish Times Theatre audience choice award. 

Ivan Fisher-Owen is a multimedia artist, animator, inventor and engineer from Washington State, USA. His past artistic work includes making strange gadgets, costume design and creating art that uses wooden mechanisms to explore light and shadow. Ivan’s engineering pursuits have included developing open-source 3D printable prosthetics, working on an immersive virtual experience for Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen, and creating technical support processes for laser cutters. His invention of the first 3D printable prosthetic hand lead to coverage in multiple national media outlets as well as the receipt of awards including the Daily Point of Light Award from a former U.S. president. His most recent artistic work has focused on creating films incorporating live shadow puppetry and stop-motion silhouette animation with his wife and artistic partner, Dr. Emma Fisher-Owen.


Blue Madness

Hebert Poll Gutièrrez and Josè Alberto Susano Ruiz

In a city in America, whose name I do not remember and sometimes regret to remember… A policeman stops a citizen. Both are offended, mistreating each other with such intensity that there is only one solution left. The play is a social denunciation. A way of saying that still in the 21st century, some people still discriminate because of the color of their skin. The play is a way of saying that the Cuban national poet Nicolás Guillen became a universal artist when he said: My homeland is so beautiful on the outside and so bitter on the inside.

Hebert Poll Gutierrez is a writer, storyteller, playwright, and scriptwriter for Film, Radio, and TV. 

I am a Cuban Canadian artist trying to connect with the world through writing and storytelling. I write for young and no so young audiences. I always use clear, communicative, and even humorous language. I never forget that my commitment as a creator is: Contribute to human enrichment.


Jose Alberto Susano Ruiz ( Director of Michtlans Arts and Research Group).
Mexican Collective of Performance Arts and Artistic Research Formed by experienced artists from Mexico, started performing in Calgary in November 2018. With Ximena González, Almendra Vergara, and Alberto Susano, this is the result of the common interest in investigating, sharing, and performing the rituals, art, philosophy, and mythology that are part of the heritage of the ancient cultures of Latin America in general and of Mexico in particular. The Mictlan Collective aims to “create shows that bring the cultural heritage closer to Mexican culture and diversity to a multicultural audience” They have performed in many workshops, stage and street shows, storytelling, and plastic arts to promote Mexican cultural heritage in the province. Trying to build cultural bridges between Mexico, Canada, and other countries.




Ashley Vallaincourt

At night, a woman’s mind wanders as she chops firewood.

Ashleigh is a multimedia artist and filmmaker working out of the unceded and ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations (aka Vancouver, Canada). She studied at Emily Carr University, graduated with a Bachelor of Media Arts in Animation, and has shown her films and digital projections in film festivals and galleries internationally.

Ashleigh’s work explores themes of personal resilience and social empathy, as well as the interplay of analog painting and generative digital art.


Len & His Spitfire

Noelle Duddridge

As a young child of the 1920’s, Len sustained serious injuries from a dynamite blast cap. As a young adult, despite his disability, he enlisted in the fight against the Germans in World War II. Adventures and near deaths ensue, after he finds himself in the cockpit of a Spitfire.

Originally from North Battleford, Noelle Duddridge is a Métis Saskatchewan Independent Filmmaker now based out of Regina.  She started out creating documentaries about relevant social issues, ie. the initial effects of social media on our socialization activities (Facebook a Social Construct).  Through her studies at the University of Regina, her films have slowly evolved into more personal stories; whether it be her own story of coming out as queer in rural Saskatchewan, or a prairie settler’s story of immigrating to Saskatchewan in 1908.  Although her initial area of filmmaking was primarily documentary, since having discovered the puppet film medium she has enjoyed creating historical prairie puppet films.



Andre Maat

PHILIP tells the story of old coffee machine on its last day before retirement. A bittersweet fable about the rapid life cycle of modern technology.

Andre Maat (1975) lives in Amsterdam and mainly works as a director for commercials. 

When he is not shooting commercials he spends his time creating crazy absurd short films that have earned him several Vimeo Staff Picks. Andre likes to visit short film festivals and his shorts such as WOODOO (animation) and The Upper Story (live-action) have been shown at festivals around the Globe.

Andre creates visual comedy that lives in a playful and imaginative universe. With tongue-in-cheek humor he guides his actors through the wonderful worlds he builds around them. 

Andre studied advertising at the Art Academy in Berlin and started his career shooting music videos and stop-motion animations. Over the years he developed a fine sense for smart camera work and skilfully crafted production design.


The History of the World in 10.000 Bricks

Matthias Daenschel

The history of humanity is a story of construction and decay, of evolution and revolution.

Matthias Daenschel has been working as a freelance animator and animation director for twenty years, serving a wide variety of styles and genres. Be it an opera premiere, a movie or a short film, quality and high artistic standards always come first. He lives and works in Berlin.


Spring Roll Dream

Mai Vu

Linh is a Vietnamese mother who lives with her son in America. When her father visits and insists on cooking a traditional Vietnamese meal, Linh is confronted with the past and culture she left behind.

Mai Vu is an animator/ animation director from Sai Gon, Vietnam. She started making stop-motion short films in 2010, and started writing, animating and directing in stop-motion series Say Hi To Pencil (2012 – 2019). From 2016, she has been making stop-motion for a number of commercials for Vietnam Airline, Perfetti Van Melle, Clé de Peau, Pepsi, Forbes… 

In 2020, she started the MA for Directing Animation at the National Film and Television School, UK, to further pursuing her directing career and telling stories from Asian perspective.



“Short and Sweet” at the Nanton Grain Elevators


Stan & Sven: A Plan to Help Stan

Amber Stacey

‘Stan & Sven’ tells the story of two best friends, Stan a robot and Sven a fun loving alien. Sven is on a mission to cheer up his buddy Stan who has been walking around with a frown for far too long. Sven soon realises that this is going to be harder than first thought.

Amber is a stop motion animator, director, puppet fabricator and voice over artist based in Perth, Western Australia with a key focus in storytelling and exploring unique methods throughout her animation. 

After spending most of her life studying, performing, directing and choreographing for theatre, she decided to explore other creative avenues with the hope of one day being able to explore her love for animation and puppets. 

Since graduating with her BA in Creative Advertising, Graphic Design & Digital Design from Curtin University, she has spent the last decade working as a Senior Graphic Designer, Multimedia Artist and Creative Producer across live events, in-house and ad agencies. Over the past 4 years she has been Lecturing in Digital Media & Design. 

She is currently finishing her Masters in Animation, Game Design and Interactivity at RMIT University and is excited to be exploring her love of storytelling, through combining her passion and skills from theatre and interactive or animated mediums. 

In 2021, she received the ‘John Bird Award for Outstanding Achievement’ for her work within the Masters program, along with becoming a Dean’s List Award Winner for the School of Design. 
Amber also enjoys the art of needle felting, where she has enjoyed combining her 3D art skills with craft in order to create memorable characters and hand made puppets for animation through a new little small business ‘Pickle and Husk’ in partnership with author Denise Stacey ( 

Amber continues to perform in her spare time, loves film scores, all things animation/film, playing the piano, games and adventuring out into the wilderness with camera in hand.

Spring Roll Dream

Mai Vu

Linh is a Vietnamese mother who lives with her son in America. When her father visits and insists on cooking a traditional Vietnamese meal, Linh is confronted with the past and culture she left behind.

Mai Vu is an animator/ animation director from Sai Gon, Vietnam. She started making stop-motion short films in 2010, and started writing, animating and directing in stop-motion series Say Hi To Pencil (2012 – 2019). From 2016, she has been making stop-motion for a number of commercials for Vietnam Airline, Perfetti Van Melle, Clé de Peau, Pepsi, Forbes… 
In 2020, she started the MA for Directing Animation at the National Film and Television School, UK, to further pursuing her directing career and telling stories from Asian perspective.


Walinong Sari

Eugene Foo

A warrior princess of Inderapura has to choose between a kingdom that comes with a strategic marriage or, to follow her heart for a life of adventure with a man who truly understands her. This is a folklore known to many Malaysians which have yet to discover its true ending.

As the animation world becomes increasingly preoccupied with the pursuit of making state-of-the-art 3D renders for feature films and games, I felt I needed to go back to our past for this film to search for a style that truly reflects our culture and identity. I found this from three specific areas from our great pool of rich cultural heritage – wayang kulit (shadow puppets), early Nanyang artist paintings, and peranakan fabrics. The result of the characters design and style of movement is an eclectic merge of these visual inspirations. We made a concious effort to keep a lot of the design historically correct. But, for the more fictional characters and settings the imagination was also rooted in our history and cosmologies – which is not nation or race specific, but one that transcends that. This is so that I can make this beloved story of Walinong Sari a tale of a warrior princess for all people.