Art from ‘The Boxtrolls’ at the Cartoon Art Museum


If you liked Laika’s latest film, ‘The Boxtrolls’, then you may want to check out the exhibit at the Cartoon Art Museum featuring concept art from the film. Runs now through February 15.

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Animation at the Mill Valley Film Festival

The Mill Valley Film Festival is underway.  Here’s some animation screenings you might want to check out.  Their website is here:

5@5 That Train Won’t Stop Here
October 8, 3:45 PM and October 10, 9:30 PM 

thattrainwontstophere_tkt“Looking out my window, I see my world has changed. The sun won’t rise this morning.” Whether you desire dark, introspective, or tubed-meat undertones, this year’s stop-motion and hand-drawn animation shorts program will take you on locomotive rides both comedic and surreal. Kicking off the journey is Tamara Hahn’s Gnosis (US, 5 min), featuring a monster’s desire to steal a baby, followed by Santiago “Bou” Grasso’s Father (Argentina, 12 min), in which a woman ponders over her dear wartime leader. José Miguel Ribeiro takes us on a gorgeously illustrated Journey to Cabo Verde (Portugal, 17 min). Then Eric Cheng’s Higher Sky (US, 6 min) slaps a kung-fu lesson to a monkey and swallow. Brats and chicken sizzle alive at the beach in Carlo Vogele’s Wurst (US, 6 min). The animation train screams to a stop with visual effects master Phil Tippett’s first installment of Mad God (US, 11 min), where characters writhe in macabre, nightmarish splendor.

5@5 This Bird’s Gonna Fly
October 12, 12:00 PM 

thisbirdsgonnafly_tktNonverbal or in English. “So this bird’s got to fly…I’m tellin’ you, honey, this bird’s got to fly.” This program of animated shorts from around the world is sure to delight children of all ages. The Argentinian Llama Drama gets us off to a hilarious start. The French LaMi (in three segments) tells the story of the notes of the scale as they make friends. Miriam’s Kite from Estonia follows the adventures of Miriam and her duck. Nunavut, Canada brings us the Inuit The Orphan and the Polar Bear. The evolution of the New World is a bright, bouncy short short from the UK’s Oliver Sin, followed by a bright and bouncy 13 from Marin’s own Cynthia Pepper. The Australian The Gallant Captain is a boy on a mission. Through sand drawing, the classic hoop is transformed and erased and transformed again in Tess Martin’s Hula Hoop A blend of 2D and 3D, Rabbit and Deer, our centerpiece from Hungary, will amaze and tickle you. Russia’s Tin Can bounces down some funny roads. The poignant, child-produced The Man Who Loved to Whistle is more of a heart-wrencher; it was produced in Croatia by our cultural partner, SAF Cakovec. All ages.

The Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo)
October 12, 11:15 AM 

boyandtheworld_tktFOCUS ¡VIVA EL CINE! Nonverbal Handdrawn animation and music from luminaries in Brazil’s contemporary music scene enhance this wordless tale of a boy’s travels to find his father, who no longer can earn a living from the land. Traveling from his rainforest playground through the cotton harvests and factories where people like his father find work, to the anonymous city littered with a confusion of signs, billboards, and flyers that tout the values of a commercialized society, the boy keeps looking for his father. He sees his birds, trees, and song replaced by endless lines of trucks, piles of trash, and displaced people and knows only that he wants to restore his happy family and life of color and wonder. But the new world has chosen progress—armored monsters razing forests and people turned into identical, anonymous commodities—over traditional ways of life, cultural heritage, and natural diversity. Awash with color, motion, music, and wonder, The Boy and the World is an experience meant for the big screen, even as it precisely captures the viewpoint of one so small. Ages 6+ 


Hoppity Goes to Town AKA Mr. Bug Goes to Town
October 10, 7:45 PM 

hoppity_tktFREE OUTDOOR SCREENING The City of Mill Valley, Mill Valley Recreation, the Chamber of Commerce, and MVFF invite you to a free outdoor screening of a croony, swoony animation classic that’ll delight the young—and the young at heart! Bugville, a bustling insect community, sits at the edge of a city garden that’s threatened by foot traffic and construction. Good-hearted grasshopper Hoppity returns to Bugville to find Mr. Bumble and Honey, his lovely daughter—and Hoppity’s bee-loved—fearing for their community’s safety from big-shoed humans. They should worry more about C. Bagley Beetle and his droning henchmen, Swat the Fly and Smack the Mosquito. Beetle wants Honey for himself—and he doesn’t care who he has to squash to get her. Hoppity thinks he’s found a way to give the bugs a safe and beautiful home, but it’ll require trusting some “human ones” and foiling Beetle’s schemes. The whole family will enjoy the rich colors, buzzy animation, and swinging songs by Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser.

Preceeded by Mill Valley Redux, Tiffany Shlain and Devon McAllister’s homage to Rita Abrams’s 1970 hometown hit.

Movie screening is free with general admission seating. Please bring your own blanket or low beach chair. Snacks may be purchased with proceeds to benefit community programs. For more information contact Mill Valley Recreation:

Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants (Minuscule: La Vallée des Fourmis Perdues)
October 11, 11:00 AM 

miniscule_tktNonverbal. A real forest landscape is the backdrop for a 3D animated story about the tiny, scuttering creatures that live there, including our petite protagonist: a recently hatched ladybug who is minus one wing and one family after an encounter with a gang of flies. Finding refuge in a tin full of sugar cubes-part of a picnic abandoned by two humans driving, of all things, a VW Beetle-the ladybug is carried off by a pillaging troop of black ants hungry for the sweet loot. But a red ant wants to take the booty back to his own queen, and right in the middle of the epic battle for the sugar is the plucky little ladybug. Despite being on location in Provence, les insectes of Minuscule don’t speak a word of French, or a word of anything, in this buzzed-about film. There is no rapid-fire dialogue but lots of Tati-esque sound effects and a wordless immersion in the wondrous-and sometimes menacing-natural world. All ages.


Sponsored by Bellam Self Storage

Panel – Variety Conversations: THE LEGO MOVIE
October 11, 11:00 AM 

legomovie_tktConversations with filmmakers from films that are part of awards season, these discussions are designed to illuminate the creative filmmaking process. Edited versions of the discussions will be available at

Steve Chagollan – Senior Features Editor, Variety, will lead the discussion on The Lego Movie.

Invited guests: Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Sponsored by Variety

The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Kaguya-Hime No Monogatari)
October 9, 11:00 AM 

taleofproncesskaguya_tktThe revered Studio Ghibli retells one of the oldest of Japanese legends. An elderly bamboo cutter discovers a tiny child growing out of a shining bamboo shoot. He carries her home, even as she begins to magically grow in his hand, and, along with his wife, adopts her. When another bamboo shoot starts gushing with gold and silks, the woodsman becomes convinced their beautiful “Princess” daughter is destined for a grander existence and uproots the family to an opulent life in the city. But her background is more magical than even the princess herself suspects. In a stunning style that is at once evocative of the woodblock prints of Hokusai and Hiroshige and the broad brushstrokes of animators John and Faith Hubley, director Isao Takahata-in his last film before retirement-paints a perfectly elliptical ending of love and loss.

Sponsored by Community Media Center of Marin

The 3D Sideshow
October 12, 11:00 AM 

3dsideshow_tktThrill to these depth-defying shorts, all in 3D! Watch a ribbiting rogues gallery in Robert Bloomberg’s Frogs & Friends (US, 7 min). Jason Jameson and James Hall’s One Night in Hell (UK, 7 min) depicts a skeleton’s underworld journey. Did Georges Méliès create the world’s first 3D film? See for yourself in The Infernal Cauldron (France, 3 min). Commissioned by his granddaughter, Suzanne Lloyd, this iconic sequence, from Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last, originally shot in 2D, wasmagically transformed by the 3D conversion wizards at Legend3D (US, 4 min excerpt). A train journey goes surreally off track in Santiago Caicedo’s Moving Still (Colombia, 3 min), while Jeff Boller’s A Geek Like Me (US, 4 min) is a tribute to shared interests. Joséphine Derobe’s Diary of a Fridge (France, 9 min) chronicles 30 years in a family’s life. All Is Not Lost (US, 4 min) is a kaleidoscopic view of human connection via OK Go, Pilobolus, and Trish Sie. Bob Venezia’s Pieces of the Fair (US, 3 min) reveals the secret life of carnival rides. David Silverman’s The Longest Daycare (US, 5 min) pits Maggie Simpson against the Ayn Rand School for Tots. Trish Sie’s White Knuckles (US, 3 min) combines 12 pups and a rock band. In Lauren MacMullan’s Get a Horse! (US, 6 min), Mickey Mouse takes a special wagon ride. And finally, Patrick Osborne’s Feast (US, 6 min) shows one man’s love life from his dog’s perspective. Ages 6+

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Up next: The National Film Board of Canada



Me and My Moulton by Torill Kove, National Film Board of Canada

Members have enjoyed a couple great events recently – the annual Animation Show of Shows anda preview screening of Laika’s “The Boxtrolls”.  The next thing for us all to look forward to is a special night with the National Film Board of Canada at the Walt Disney Family Museum!


New Animation: National Film Board of Canada, 2014


My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts, 2001 10’ (Oscar nomination)
The Danish Poet, 2006 15’ (Oscar winner)
Me and My Moulton, 2014 13’
Torill Kove presentation re: autobiography, plus Q&A 15’


A Science Minute, Please! 2000 1’
Private Eyes, 2011 (optional Stereoscopic 3D) 14’
No Fish Where to Go, 2014 12.5’ (Annecy award winner)
Nicola Lemay presentation re: adaptation of literary work, plus Q&A 20’


Bus Story – Tali, 2014, 11’ (double Annecy award winner)
Soif – Michelle Cournoyer, 2014, 9’
Jutra – Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, 2013, 13.5’

SEATING IS LIMITED!!  PLEASE RSVP by NOON, Wednesday Oct 1st to:  RSVPs will be confirmed.  If the list is full there will be a waiting list.  If you RSVP and can’t come, please tell us so someone on the waiting list can have your seat.

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ASOS16-BannerWith special guest artists to be announced


Monday, Sept. 22, at Dolby Labs in SF
100 Potrero Ave. 7:00 pm, free,
Arrive early to sign in at the guard’s desk
ASIFA-SF Members Only.  Limit 1 guest as this is a small theatre
Not a member?  Visit for membership information

Friday, Sept. 26 at San Jose State University
Morris Dailey Auditorium, 7:00 pm, free, RSVP to Animation Show of Shows website and click on upcoming shows or
Need directions?

The program includes Disney’s FEAST (opens with the animated feature Big Hero Six, Nov. 2014) and Pixar’s LAVA (opens with Pete Docter’s animated feature Inside OutJune 2015).  Also included are 365 by Greg and Myles McLeod (they created 365 one-second films chronicling a year of their work), Torill Kove’s ME AND MY MOULTON, Disney animator Glen Keane’s directorial debut DUET (produced by Google), Mikey Please’s stop motion tour de force MARILYN MYLLER (produced by Google), the Hiroshima 2014 Grand Prix winner THE BIGGER PICTURE by NFTS graduate Daisy Jacobs, Julien Bisaro’s haunting first professional film BANG BANG and Konstantin Bronzit’s WE CANT LIVE WITHOUT COSMOS.  (Bronzit got an Academy Award nomination for Lavatory Lovestory. Closing the program will be Piotr (Crime and Punishment) Dumala’s transformative HIPOPOTAMY, It explores the bestial behavior of one of nature’s most dangerous creatures, but in this allegory the beasts are represented in human form.  Additional shorts may be added to the program.  Running time will be about 100 minutes.

DVD’s of past Animation Show of Shows shorts will be offered for sale, $5 EACH (3 shorts per DVD)
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Wednesday, September 10, 7 PM
SF State, Coppola Theatre, Fine Arts Bldg. room 101, free


They are heads of story on Sony’s HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2. They will show some of their great animated SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE  comedies   JOURNEY TO THE DISNEY VAULT. AMBIGUOUSLY GAY DUO, SADDAM AND OSAMAHOT DATE  made for WHEEL OF FORTUNE  and their new musical comedy for HBO, MY DEPRESSION: THE UP AND DOWN AND UP OF IT.  It stars the voices of Sigourney Weaver, Steve Buscemi, Fred Armisen and Dan Fogler.  Please RSVP to

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Picture This: Classic Children’s Books on Film at PFA

Noisy Nora

Picture This gathers over twenty charming  children’s books film adaptations for four Sunday programs

June 29, July 13, July 20, August 10                                                                                               all at 3:30, and all with an Author/illustrator in person

more info at PFA link

2575 Bancroft Way
Between College and Telegraph
, Berkeley

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At the Randall Jr. Museum’s Theatre, free, public invited, lots of free parking

Ode to Joy, a tribute to Joy Batchelor (Halas and Batchelor, UK)

Corrie Francis Parks, Hatch (made for a community movement to create a better world)
Dhvani Desai, Chakravyuh, The Vicious Circle , produced for the govt. of India. It informs people about a recently established legal way to escape a vicious cycle of corruption and non governance.
Luke Jaeger, Fishwife, a bittersweet work that evokes parenthood’s complex emotional landscape
Javier Saldena, Coal 101, produced by the Sierra Club
Joanna Priestly, Split Ends
John R. Dilworth, The Fog of Courage
Mark Kausler, Some Other Cat
A special short tribute to Max Hattler from the UK:
Collision (2005), AANAATT (2008), A Very Large Increase in the Size, Amount, or Importance of Something Over a Very Short Period of Time (2013).
Rebecca Ruige-Xu, Anatomy of a Poem, Syracuse University
Remi Vandenitte (Belgium), Betty’s Blue with voice work by Nancy Phelps
Ricci Carrasquillo, Parkas Indoors a music video for Upstairs Downstairs
Signe Bauman, trailer for her soon to be released feature Rocks in my Pockets
and Tarzan, a 3 minute short featuring music by Joe Cartoon
Steve Segal, Outside the Box, 4 minutes of an unconventional work-in-progress
Tony Claars’ On & Off and Lost & Found
Tristian Goik, Spanish Chocolate
Tsvika Oren (from Tel Aviv, Israel), A.B 1, a one minute CG short
Willie Williams, Silent Voices
Additional films are expected

Jimmy Love Juice by professer Dave Yee and his students at San Jose State University
Command Performance by Lee Bicker and Still Life! by Youyou Li, De Anza
Class President by Tim DuBay and Mark Pedruco, SF State University
Silent Voices by Jeeyoon Ng from USC
Additional student work expected

Late entries
It isn’t too late to enter work. There are no forms to fill out and no entry fee. Just send us a DVD by June 16. Please limit your entry to less than 10 minutes so all works submitted can be shown. All works must be a movie (not a sata file) that will play on a standard DVD deck. You do not have to be an ASIFA member to enter, but you are invited to join if interested. details at
Mail work to: Karl Cohen, 478 Frederick, SF, CA 94117

You can be a judge!
The audience’s vote helps determines who will get the prizes:
A small cash grand prize and certificate awards will be given (best in show, best student, independent and professional works, second prizes, honorable mentions, etc. Last year we also presented jury awards for the funniest film, the best experimental work and the best educational work.

How to find the museum
The Randall Jr. Museum is at the top of Corona Heights, right in the geographic center of the city, but it is sometimes hard for newcomers to find; for a map and instructions on how to find it by car, Muni and on foot
If in doubt, call (415) 554-9600 for assistance. 199 Museum Way, San Francisco, CA 94114.

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Wednesday, May 28, 7PM, Doors will open at 6:45PM

At The Exploratorium, in the Kanbar Forum, On Pier 15 on the Embarcadero at Green St., free, public invited. The Forum is just to the right of the main doors

IN PERSON: Dutch animation director Joost Lieuwma and Tunde Vollenbroek, KLIK’s program director

KLIK is a major European animation festival that has organized a West Coast tour to introduce itself to the animation communities in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland.   Come and enjoy discovering the work of talented animators from Holland.  The tentative program will include Fata Morgana, Canal, Through you, Little Freak, Snapshot, Leaving Home, Junkyard, End Trip, Blik, Things You Better Not Mix Up, According to Birds, My My, and Rabbit and Dear plus some fun footage that captures the delightful spirit of this annual event.

You will also experience the comforts and incredible sound and 2K digital projection systems of the Exploratorium’s state of the art Kanbar Forum.  There will also be a reception for you to meet our guests.

The tour is supported by The Netherland Film Fund and Eye International.

For program details

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PFA = Perfectly Fine Animation


Coming to the Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley
Tuesday July 22: Emily Hubley in person with a program of Faith and John Hubley’s films
(new 35mm prints)

maxresdefaultTuesday July 29: Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis in person

sc02Thursday August 7: Sally Cruikshank in person (new prints)

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by Karl Cohen 

Their not-to-be-missed show goes under a boring name “Shorts 3 – Animation,” but boring it isn’t!  This is an excellent selection of cutting edge works and each is outstanding in a different way.  But be warned, this is not a nice gentle family show for kids, but a program of fascinating, intelligent, prize winning works of art for adults.

The program will open with “Cosmic Flower Unfolding,” an exquisite visionary film by Ben Ridgway, a Bay Area computer animator.  There is a lot to ooh and ah over in these two breathtaking minutes.  Ben teaches at SF State.

Then it is on to Bill Plympton’s “Drunker Than a Skunk” that combines a bold, raw soundtrack with his outrageous cartoony drawings.  The art illustrate a most unusual work of poetry recited by the author Walt Curtis.  Bill told me Curtis arrived at the recording session with a half empty jug of wine that he had just purchased.  It is a very realistic soundtrack.

 From the National Film Board of Canada comes “Subconscious Password” by Chris Landreth.  He won an Oscar for “Ryan,” and his newest film takes us on a bizarre ride though the subject’s subconscious mind as he tries to remember somebody’s name at a social engagement.  Along the way he meets a host of celebrities from Yoko Ono to H. P. Lovecraft and Salvador Dali.  You will be amazed by this strange comedy.

An even bolder film from the Canadian Film Board is “Gloria Victoria by Theodore Ushev.  This is a powerful dense experimental work of art set to Dmitri Shostakovich‘s “Leningrad Symphony.” The symphonic score builds to a rousing climax just as Ravel’s “Bolero” does, but here the abstract music and visuals suggest the growth and struggle of a new nation in times of war and peace.

In stark contrast to the powerful Russian experience comes “Little Vulvah and Her Clitoral Awareness” by Sara Koppel from Denmark.  It is beautifully drawn with an exquisite use of line and a refined artistic sensibility.  At times it is reminiscent of the erotic illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley.  It includes unexpected surprises.

In “Oh Willy by Emma de Swaef and Marc James from Belgium, the story begins with Willie going to a nudist colony to see his mother.  This stop-motion puppet film has won several audience awards and grand prizes at European festivals. 

Guilherme Marcondes’ “The Master’s Voice: Caveirao” is a surreal adventure in a mysterious town where spirits of the night come out for a carnival-like boogie until… The cast includes highly imaginative looking ghosts and ghouls plus an inquisitive mosquito and a not quite human policeman. 

The Missing Scarf by Eoin Duffy from Ireland and narrated by George Takei, has won over a dozen top awards at festivals in the US and Europe.  It was also one of ten finalists for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short this year (so were “Gloria Victoria” and “Subconscious Password”).  It begins as a cute film for kids, but the innocent squirrel ends up in a black comedy that explores some of life’s major fears.  This is certainly not a kid friendly film.

A most unexpected subject for a contemporary film is Lyndon B. Johnson, the former president of the USA.  In “The Rancher by Kelly Sears, she imagines his dreams, nightmares of his world coming apart.  Kelly is the grand lady of American experimental film.

Finally this 21st Century animated program for adults includes two tiny films by Max Hattler from England.  “Stop the Show” (aka “WAR”) was made for Amnesty International.  It has a big message while “Very Large Increase in the Size, Amount, or Importance of Something Over a Very Short Period of Time” is a one minute trip to infinity and beyond.

Shorts 3: Animation” will be shown Saturday, April 26, 9:45 PM and Monday, May 5, 9:00 PM at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, 76 minutes, $13 members / $15 general. 

The festival is also presenting a family oriented program of animated shorts.  “Shorts 6: Family Films” includes several works that are bound to please including two new films from Moonbot Studios.  They are best known for their Academy Award wining short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.”  One is “Silent, A Short Film” that stars the delightful Buster Keaton-like man who was also the star of the “The Fantastic Flying Books.”  The short premiered at The Oscars Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony held in LA in February.  The second Moonbot film is “The Numberlys,” a William Joyce story that takes place in a world full of numbers, but without any letters.

The other films in the program that I’ve seen are also crowd pleasers.  “Soup of the Day” is a fun music video by Lynn Smith (NFB of Canada) and “My Mom Is an Airplane” by Yulia Aronova fromRussia is a charming kids fantasy.  Ron Diamond (Acme Filmworks and saw Yulia’s work at a festival in Europe and is now distributing her charming work with a new English soundtrack.

The two films in the program that I haven’t seen are “The Dam Keeper” and “I Want my Hat Back.”  The latter is based on Jon Klassen’s classic children’s book.  “Shorts 6: Family Films” will be shown Saturday, April 26, 10:15 AM at the Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, $13 members / $15 general, ages 6 and up.

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