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Cheer and Loathing in Animation: Episode XXXI - I Sell The Circus

Every Friday, Chris Robinson unleashes improvised and hastily scribbled cheer or loathing on the animation community to be digested, swallowed or... expelled. 

I normally don’t like to pimp stuff.

Oh wait, yes, actually I do. I’ve been pimping indie animation for a quarter century.

I guess I mean more specifically, crowdfunding. I already spoke about my weird feelings about that though and well, whatever, it is what it is. I’ve tried to stay a bit distant from those requests cause maybe it’s a bit weird for a festival programmer to be putting coin into the production of a film that they will likely be judging. That hasn't stopped other artistic directors from supporting some projects. Besides… I’m a cold enough fish when it comes to festival film selection that I wouldn't hesitate to reject the film if it didn't tickle my soul balls feet.

Anyway… here we are… indie animator, Chris Sullivan is looking for some help for his proposed feature film project: The Orbit of Minor Satellites.  I like this guy and I like his films. His work stands out from other ‘indie’ animations. It’s got a more…what did my friend Richard say… more of a literary quality than a lot of animation and I mean that in a good way. His films deal with difficult issues (mental illness, spirituality, mortality, sin, human imperfections) and challenge viewers on many levels. They can be confusing and gingerly paced, which is a big no no to many consumers of animation (indie or mainstream) who expect it to be briskly paced, linear and easily digestible...but it’s good…Sullivan’s films make us squirm because they invite us to ponder elements of our life that we perhaps ignore or don’t even consider. His work lingers long after you’ve left the cinema… they poke prod and ruffle our senses, just any art worth salt should.

So… I’m not gonna tell you what to do, but, shit, supporting art and alternative voices that strive to be heard… well…isn’t that a nice way to fend off the jingoistic intolerant twits of the world?

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A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.