Director: John C Kelley | United States of America | 2020 | Best Animation Short Nominee
In the disorienting wake of loss, an artist begins to question his identity. Strange experiences – windows that open themselves, phantom dogs on the highway, and all of the brief dog-lives that chaptered an upbringing in rural Arkansas – frame this exploration of grief, mental illness, and family connection.
Cast: John C Kelley
Writer: John C Kelley | Producer: John C Kelley | Editor: John C Kelley | Music: John C Kelley
Death Is Smoking My Cigars
Director: AJ Leon | Philippines / United Kingdom | 2019
Death Is Smoking My Cigars, a poem by Charles Bukowski, has long been a favourite of the Misfit Productions team. As a tribute to this life-affirming, defiant piece, Misfit Productions have created its first ever animated adaptation, combining a rousing reading with a lush, original aesthetic.
Cast: L. Harvey Gold
Writer: Matt Owens | Producers: Melissa Leon, Jessie White | Editor: Nikko Tan, Van Pacamo | Music: Van Pacamo
Drawing On Autism
Director: Alex Widdowson | United Kingdom | 2021 | UK Premiere
Drawing On Autism explores the ethical issues that arise when a non-autistic filmmaker attempts to represent an autistic documentary participant. Through a cycle of dialogue and reflection, the filmmaker and participant discuss autism tropes, unconscious bias, and the risks and rewards of using animation as a documentary medium.
Cast: Alex Widdowson, anonymous participant
Producer: Alex Widdowson | Director of Photography: Alex Widdowson | Editor: Alex Widdowson | Music: Vicky Freund
Have a Nice Dog!
Director: Jalal Maghout | Germany / Syria | 2020
Trapped in Damascus, surrounded by war, a lonely man is desperately waiting for a chance to leave, losing himself in constant fantasies of escape and introspection. Only his dog still offers him a response. But even the dog’s behaviour seems to be a mirror of his master’s inner life.
Cast: Husam Chadat, Eman Dwagy, Bassam Hashem
Writer: Jalal Maghout | Producer: Karsten Matern | Director of Photography: Jalal Maghout | Editor: Jalal Maghout | Music: Dascha Dauenhauer
Humanity Has Not Yet Failed
Director: Norma V. Toraya, Jared P. Scott | United States of America | 2021 | UK Premiere
Best Animation Short Nominee
In this animated short, climate activist Greta Thunberg juxtaposes the absurdity of political inaction with the straightforward high stakes of the climate emergency. Playful and poignant, the film pits a ludicrous status quo against the clear-eyed activism necessary to shift the balance of power and create a sustainable society.
Cast: Greta Thunberg
Writer: Greta Thunberg, Jared P. Scott, Norma V. Toraya | Producer: Jared P. Scott | Music: Malcolm Francis
Director: Yoon Hei Cho | United States of America / Korea | 2021 | UK Premiere
Panic attacks can strike at unexpected moments. In Parked, a panic attack occurs in a car park. The film is a representation of having one’s internal consciousness struggle to get out of an inescapeable internal torture, while the physical self is paralysed, parked in the external reality.
Cast: Mi Je Cho
Writer: Yoon Hei Cho | Producer: Yoon Hei Cho | Director of Photography: Yoon Hei Cho | Editor: Yoon Hei Cho | Music: Brian Griffith
Someplace In Time
Director: Scott Palazzo | United States of America | 2021 | European Premiere
Best Animation Short Nominee
Late at night, Billy Pilgrim views his world in reverse, and sees the universe defying the logic he attaches to it. Illustrating a passage from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, Someplace In Time looks through charcoal, watercolor, collage and film to capture the mind of a man reliving his past.
Cast: Steve Lefever
Writer: Kurt Vonnegut | Producer: Scott Palazzo | Editor: Scott Palazzo | Music: HOWND
Stationary Peaceful Protest
Director: Shiyi Li, Xhosa Cole | United Kingdom | 2021 | International Premiere
Stationary Peaceful Protest is a collaboration between BBC Young Jazz Musician 2018 winner Xhosa Cole and animator Shiyi Li. Following Xhosa’s spoken narration and music, Shiyi uses abstract geometric shapes, animations and symbolism to illustrate his experience attending the Birmingham Black Lives Matter March in 2020.
Writer: Xhosa Cole | Producer: Shiyi Li, Xhosa Cole | Director of Photography: Shiyi Li, Xhosa Cole | Editor: Shiyi Li | Music: Xhosa Cole
Director: Kinga Syrek | Poland | 2021 | UK Premiere
An animated short film depicting the life of Edie Sedgwick, star of Andy Warhol’s films. The film, however, is not about Edie’s relationship with Warhol, but the relationship with her abusive father. Her difficult childhood has cast a shadow on her adult life, soaked in alcohol and filled with drugs.
Cast: Edie Sedgwick, Rosie Soko, Wayne Stewart
Writer: Kinga Syrek | Producer: Kinga Syrek | Director of Photography: Kinga Syrek | Editor: Kinga Syrek | Music: Robert Margouleff, Gio Bertuccelli, Aaron “Zeus” Zepeda, Stanisław Saługa, Kinga Syrek
What Really Happened During The Attica Prison Rebellion
Director: Tomás Pichardo Espaillat | United States of America / Dominican Republic | 2021 | European Premiere On September 9th, the spontaneous uprising began. Prisoners overpowered guards and captured supplies. Soon, over 1,200 prisoners had assembled in the yard with 42 hostages, demanding that changes be made to the inhumane living conditions in the prison. This is a cut-out animation about the Attica Prison rebellion.