CANCELLED: The 21st Annual Animation Show of Shows

image from the film CANCELLED: The 21st Annual Animation Show of Shows

image from film THE FOX AND THE BIRD

The Animation Show of Shows, a curated selection of the “best of the best” animated short films created by students and professionals around the world is back! Featuring ten films from seven countries, the current edition of the program offers an array of highly imaginative, thought-provoking, and moving works that reflect the filmmakers’ unique perspectives and their relationship to the world. “Animation is an incredibly versatile medium that allows artists to explore situations and ideas that you won’t see anywhere else,” says Animation Show of Shows founder and curator Ron Diamond. “From political and philosophical concerns, to the complexities of individual identity and personal relationships, animated short films are uniquely able to capture the many facets of human experience.”

The 21st Animation Show of Shows includes three films that have qualified for Academy Award® consideration.

The complete lineup is:

Kids - Michael Frei, Mario von Rickenbach, Switzerland

Rubicon - Gil Alkabetz, Germany

Portrait of Gil Alkabetz (Rubicon) - Marta Trela Germany

Five Minutes to Sea † - Natalia Mirzoyan, Russia

Récit de soi (Self-Narrative) - Géraldine Charpentier, Belgium

Le jour extraordinaire † (Flowing through Wonder) - Joanna Lurie, France

Hounds - Amit Cohen, Ido Shapira, Israel

Portrait of Amit Cohen and Ido Shapira (Hounds) - Shlomi Yosef

The Fox and the Bird (Le renard et l’oisille) - Sam & Fred Guillaume, Switzerland

Daughter † - Daria Kashcheeva, Czech Republic

Personal relationships are at the heart of several of the films in this year’s program, including Daria Kashcheeva’s International Student Academy Award-winning puppet animation Daughter, a deeply moving exploration of the ties between a father and daughter. Charting a very different, but related, course, The Fox and the Bird by Sam & Fred Guillaume, is a beautifully observed fable about an unlikely friendship between the two eponymous characters. Filmmaker Michael Frei and game designer Mario von Rickenbach provide a more clinical view of human behavior in their mesmerizing Kids, which explores the nature of group dynamics.The question of individual identity informs both Hounds by Amit Cohen & Ido Shapira and Récit de soi (Self-Narrative) by Géraldine Charpentier. In the former, a highly domesticated dog undergoes a disturbing change when a pack of wild hounds gathers near his house, while the latter offers a clear-eyed and heartfelt look at a young girl’s journey to self-realization as a transgender person.

Animation has often been the medium of choice for artists seeking to explore abstract ideas or philosophical issues, and these themes are well represented in the program. Joanna Lurie's mysterious and transcendent Le jour extraordinaire (Flowing through Wonder) chronicles an extraordinary ritual and celebrates the transformative mystery that underlies life and death. In Airship of Unknown Direction, Alexandra Galitskova creates a strange and beautiful alternate universe that both seduces and challenges the viewer with its opaque narrative. Natalia Mirzoyan's Five Minutes to Sea in which a young girl waits impatiently to go back in the sea, takes a more lighthearted approach, while playing with conundrums of time and perspective.The program is rounded out by Gil Alkabetz's Rubicon, a frenetic and very funny hand-drawn animation based on the classic riddle about how to ferry a wolf, a sheep, and a cabbage across a river without something getting eaten. In addition to the slapstick, the film also serves as a parable about the convoluted nature of political negotiations, specifically those related to the Middle East.

The program also includes two mini-documentaries about the creative process featuring Alkabetz and Amit Cohen & Ido Shapira (Hounds).

With a run time of 1 hour 24 minutes, this year’s show is kid friendly, life-affirming, funny, inspirational, purposeful and memorable. Suitable for ages 8+.