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CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF THE TRICKFILM FESTIVAL: 23 - 28 April, 2013,Stuttgart, Germany

Each year I wait with great anticipation for the International Trickfilm Festival of Animation and the 2013 20th anniversary edition did not disappoint me.  As befits a milestone 20th anniversary special guests abounded.  The venerable British master of puppet animation, Barry Purves, presented 2 programs of his films, and a screen play workshop he titled “The Naked Animator”.  Alas, Barry did not appear in the altogether but he did bare the naked truth and some harsh realities about a life devoted to puppet animation.  Barry is such an entertaining speaker that I would go out of my way anytime to listen to him read the telephone book which I am sure would be most eloquent with numerous funny asides so the opportunity to hear him talk about what still drives and inspires him to continue to create after 35 years in the land of puppets was a rare treat.



Greetings, our animatin' friends! This year's Call for Entries is in full swing! Animated beauties in the categories Professional, Student, Commissioned and 3-D Stereoscopic animation are flooding in. Don't forget to submit your newest animation too, before it's too late, meaning before July 1st! You can submit online via Aside from the category you submit your animation to, your animation will also automatically compete for the Amsterdam Audience Award, the Young Amsterdam Audience Award and the Political Animation Award.


Nikola Majdak, pioneer of Serbian animation, passed away on May 4, 2013 at the age of 86.  Born in Valjevo in the former Yugoslavia on November 30, 1927, his fascination with cinema spanned 6 generations.

At the age of 16 young Nikola began work in a laboratory, graduating to the projection booth and finally to camera operator.  After graduating from the Art History Department of Belgrade University he went on to a career as a director of photography working on over 200 documentary, feature films, and animations, many of which won major awards worldwide.

Nikola served as the long-time president of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’ Animation) Serbia, representing his chapter on the ASIFA International Board.  He also served on numerous juries at such prestigious festivals as Annecy, Hiroshima, and Espinho.


MOVING INNOVATION, A History of Computer ANIMATION By Tom Sito, MIT Press

It isn’t often that I read a text book that is a real page turner, but Tom Sito’s new book - MOVING INNOVATION, A History of Computer Animation is definitely a must-read.

It covers over a century of innovations including the first motion capture experiments of Etienne-Jules Marey, a contemporary of Eadweard Muybridge, to the use of optical effects by Georges Melies in his magical films, the design and optic effects wizardry of John Oxberry’s revolutionary contribution, the Oxberry camera, and on through the dawn and emergence of the Computer Graphics revolution, Moving Innovation follows the trail of historical developments of dreamers and inventors right up to the present.  Even though such innovators as Elfriede and Oskar Fischinger, Mary Ellen Bute, and Norman McLaren never touched a computer, we are taken step by step through the groundwork they laid for present day CG.  The book brings to life the colorful cast of math nerds, avant-garde artists, cold warriors, dope smoking hippies, video game enthusiasts and studio executives who were the strange bedfellows who brought about this new medium.



I was lucky enough to be invited to the International Short Film Festival last year and it was a wonderful experience.  The festival is open to both live action and animated shorts with awards for separate categories.

You can read my article about the 2012 edition under January 2013 in my blog archive and then be sure to send your film.

The 13th edition of the International Short Film Festival will take place in October 2013 (9th to 13th) in Lille, France.

The international short films competition is composed of 3 categories : International, National and Young Audience.

These competitions are opened to all shorts (maximum 25 minutes and completed in 2012 / 2013).