2 happy directors: Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn ready to screen Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 for a very excited full house at the ByTowne Cinema
By Lia Abbate
Last night, the festival was officially kicked off in a more somber tone befitting the morning’s horrific event. After respectful words of condolence to the victims’ families from the Canadian Film Commission, Chris Robinson, our Fearless Artistic Director, took the mic and abstained from making a speech. Instead, he regaled us with several animator jokes of his own making. My favorite being: “How do you know animators have something on their minds? They’re wearing hats.” With that, the first Short Competition lit up the screen. The varied subject matter and challenging narratives did not disappoint. Chris always seems to find the right balance between the irrepressible works of Color! Music! Fun! and the truly bizarre interludes that dive under your skin to grip your heart and brain simultaneously. Yes, a felt puppet who loses his mother can make you cry.
Special Screening: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
Okay, this was definitely the highlight of the day. Running into Cody and Chris in the lobby of a cinema in Ottawa was a bit of an out-of-body experience (I work with them at Sony Pictures Animation). At the beginning stages of Cloudy 2, I helped manage visual development team. There is nothing like watching a brand new world being created before your eyes and then watching it come to life on the screen. Unless it’s watching it in a fully-packed movie house – with some pretty tough animation customers – who laugh and “awww” and hoot at all the parts the crew loved as the story was coming together. The screening was an unmitigated success, so well deserved, and a great memory for Cody and Kris to take back with them to the premiere this weekend.