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The 5th Xiamen Cyber Sousa Animation Festival, 26 through 29 October, 2012 - Xiamen, China

My visit to the 5thXiamen Cyber Sousa Animation Festival in Xiamen, China was in marked contrast to my visit to Changchun, China six weeks before.  Changchun is located in the far North East of China near to the South Korean and Mongolian borders and although the weather had not turned cold yet the heavy coats and boots in the department stores foretold what was to come soon.

Xiamen is situated on the South-eastern coast of China on the Taiwan Strait which gives it a beautiful tropical climate with lush flowers and foliage.  The most marked difference between the two events was the much more relaxed pace of the Xiamen festival.  Although there was an array of events, there were very few that we were required to attend, so I could choose what was most interesting to me.



Dear filmmakers, producers, students and distributors,

Now is your chance to submit your animated films for the 4th GOLDEN KUKER – SOFIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL!

will be held from May 7 to 12, 2013 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

You are kindly invited to participate in our festival’s competition this year with your animation films produced after 1st January 2011!



20th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

The award ceremony will take place on April 26, 2013 in the Mercedes-Benz Museum Stuttgart.

again – aiming at the myth of the „Silver Arrow“. All interested national and international filmmakers – students from film and animation schools as well as young companies – are invited to animate the famous German Grand Prix racing cars of the 30s and 50s in a personal and innovative way.

Information on the terms and conditions, the competition categories and the awards you will find here:


12th FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DU COURT METRAGE 16-21 October, 2012 - Lille, France

There is nothing that I like better than sitting in a dark theatre watching film.  Usually it is animation but during my 2 days at the Festival International Du Court Metrage (International Short Film Festival) in Lille, France I got to catch up on some live action and documentary shorts as well as the 3 excellent programs of animation.  As the name implies, no film was over 30 minutes.  The majority of the works were 15 minutes or under, so even though I was only at the festival on Friday and Saturday, I got to watch a wide variety of work.

The high points of the animation programs for me were Oh Willy by Emma De Swaef and Marc Roels, Tram from the extremely talented Michaela Pavlatova, and Hisko Hulsing’s Junkyard.  These 3 films have been garnering honors at festivals worldwide and it was no surprise that Hisko and Junkyard took the Best Animation award back to the Netherlands.  It was very impressive that Oh Willy walked away with the International Grand Prix, beating out hundreds of short films, documentaries, and animations.



Arriving in Changchun, China for The International Animation, Comics, and Games Forum was a very abrupt switch from my previous weeks in Kosovo and Serbia.   Any thoughts of long, leisurely meals with friends and watching good animation went out of my head when I was handed my schedule.

“Breakfast  7:00-7:30 AM PROMPT”.  Immediately after breakfast we boarded a bus for the trip to the Jilin Animation Institute.  Most mornings we went straight into the auditorium to listen to speakers.  The rest of our day was equally regimented right up to our 6:30 PM dinner time.

The only exception was on the first morning when there was a visit to the Jilin Animation Institute from 8:10 to 9:50AM.   The 9 year old school, located in the new industrial park, has a staggering 6,500 students in the institute’s 5 departments:  animation and comics, games, design, and advertising. That is an amazing number of students studying media arts in just that one school alone.  One afternoon I was astonished to walk out of the auditorium to find a group of students standing at attention in military uniforms.  I later learned that every student, including those in the animation department, is required to undergo a month of military training along with their regular classes.


FESTIVAL OF EUROPEAN STUDENT ANIMATION - Belgrade, Serbia, 1 & 2 September 2012

When I left you in my last article I had finally arrived in Belgrade, Serbia after my 19 hour bus adventure from Peja, Kosovo and was enjoying a 4AM meal at my good friend Rastko ?iri?’s home.  I was in Belgrade to attend the Festival of European Student Animation on 1 and 2 September.

I had never visited Belgrade before and Rastko was the perfect tour guide showing me the sights as we ran the last minute festival errands. I had time for leisurely walks and, of course, Rastko took me to charming restaurants for delicious meals.

Belgrade is a beautiful, historic city and The Main Powder Magazine of the historic Belgrade Fortress was a perfect site for the premier edition of The Festival of European Student Animation 2012 (AESA ’12). Located atop a hill overlooking the juncture of the Sava and Danube rivers, the fortress was built as a defensive structure between the 2nd and 18th Centuries, and is now the Belgrade History Museum. The main powder magazine where the festival was held was built between 1718 and 1721 during the large reconstruction of the fortress undertaken by the Austrians who occupied the territory at that time.  The building was a huge technical achievement consisting of two halls with nine pillars each cut into the rock and an entrance passage with massive exterior walls.  Although the temperature outside was very hot we were advised to bring a sweater because the interior of the fortress was extremely chilly.



It's hard to believe that November is almost gone and it is time to start thinking about gifts for all of the animation lovers on your list.  Just in time for the holiday season the very talented Australian animator Dennis Tupicoff has released 5 of his most popular award winning films on DVD and BluRay.

Just in case you haven't had the chance to explore his work you can check it out at: and enjoy!


Total length: 64:00

DVD & BluRay available from:

For the first time: a chance to see these prize-winning 1983-2007 films
collected on DVD and BluRay.


FROM KOSOVO TO SERBIA: Not As Simple As It Seems

When I last left you I was on a bus from Pristina, Kosovo headed to Belgrade, Serbia where I was planning to meet my old friend Rastko Ciric and attend the first edition of the Festival of European Student Animation that he had organized.  It was supposed to be a six hour trip.   I knew that Serbia did not recognize Kosovo as a country and people travelling on a Kosovo passport could not cross this border but I had been assured that I would not have a problem since I was travelling on a United States passport.

As the bus approached the border crossing which was in the middle of nowhere, a Kosovo border guard collected our passports and then we waited while the guard disappeared into a small building with them.  I always have a bit of a sinking feeling whenever I see my passport vanish into an official building, but after a few minutes the guard reboarded our bus, passports in hand.



Anifest  Rozafa is an international animation festival of films by and for children held yearly in Shkoda, Albania.  As well as screening animation, the festival conducts seminars and workshops.

The 2012 Anifest Rozaka Children’Jury and the Adult International Jury gave following awards:

Shkoder, september 29th 2012
The members of the International Jury
Mrs. Céline Ravenel (FRANCE) , Mrs. Francie Liebschner (GERMANY) , Mr. Artur Dauti (ALBANIA ), Mr. Robert Turlo(POLONI) , Mr. Sytki Brahimi (ALBANIA) .
BEST ANIMATED FILM of Rozafa Anifest : LUMINARIS / Argentina / Juan Pablo Zaramella
Best animated short film for children : THE STORY OF LITTLE PAOLO / France – Belgium / Nicolas Liguori
Best animated short film from students : GALLERY / Poland / Robert Proch
Best animated short film for adults : DOVE SEI, AMOR MIO / Croatia / Veljko Popovic
Special mention : NULLARBOR / Australia / Alister Lockhart and Patrick Sarell
Special mention for an Albanian film : The meaning of life / Jani and Irida Zhonga
BEST ANIMATED FILM of “Rozafa Anifest 2012” by children “ Granny Fly Swatter ” / Croatia / Filmmakers :Jakov Skok 12 years , Anja Kundid 11 years
First prize : goes to animated film made by children “Snub-nosed Elf” – “ Qerratai mosperfilles ”/ Hong Kong / Filmmakers : Ling Fung SHEK , Ngo Yin IP , Chi Keung WONG , Man Ho WAN , Ki YUEN TSANG
Second prize : goes to animated film made by children “ The Ball from Space ” – “ Topi nga hapesira “ / Germany / Filmmakers : Team “ Jugendfilm e.V.”
Third Prize : goes to animated film made by children “ The Lost Moon ” / Albania & Greece / Filmmakers : Joan Kamberaj
BEST ANIMATED FILM of “ Rozafa Anifest 2012” , by augjenca TRING DIGITAL TV “ The Meaning of Life ” – “ Esenca e Jetes ” / Greece & Albania / Jani and Irida Zhonga .


CALL FOR ENTRIES: 20th Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (23 - 28 April 2013)

There’s a reason to celebrate in 2013: The Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (ITFS) will take place for the 20th time! And in its anniversary edition, too, the festival will offer a platform to directors and production companies to present their films as well as a chance to fans of animated film to watch animated short and feature films, to meet well-known filmmakers and young talents, and participate in numerous workshops, informational events and presentations for six days.

Since its foundation in 1982, the festival has developed into an essential event within the field of animated film in Germany and is regarded as one of the biggest and most important festivals for animated film around the world. Around 80,000 viewers and approximately 2,500 accredited people attended the festival last year. Both professionals and friends of animated film appreciate the quality and up-to-date programmes as well as the unique atmosphere at Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz. They come to Stuttgart to gain information, to educate themselves and to establish contacts. The high-profile conference FMX will take place in parallel to ITFS. With the Animation Production Day (APD) – held in cooperation with FMX and organised by Michael Schmetz Mediaconsult – the festival offers an additional marketing platform for the animation sector.



Dear filmmakers, producers, students and distributors, Now is your chance to submit your animated films for the 4th GOLDEN KUKER – SOFIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL!

IAFF GOLDEN KUKER will be held from May 7 to 12, 2013 in Sofia, Bulgaria.   You are kindly invited to participate in our festival’s competition this year with your animation films produced after 1st January 2011! Our call for entries is open until January 1, 2013. No entry fee!

Submit your film online via VIMEO | | | or via ftp.

Submit a film in the following ways:

* fill out the online entry form electronically (, print it out for your records and in order to send a signed copy, and click SUBMIT to send it online.



A Heritage Museum is situated in an urban house dating from the 18th century that contains examples of regional clothing, beautifully crafted jewellery, musical instruments, and every day household items from the past.  The town also hosts a large open air market twice a week as well as the oldest mosque in Kosovo and a monastery located in the mountains is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

There are numerous cafes serving delicious freshly grilled meats and local bean dishes as well as excellent local beer made from the water that flows from the surrounding mountains.  Each evening the main square comes alive as people come out to promenade after the heat of the day and small children take to a fleet of electric cars that are for rent in the square.


THE COFFEE TABLE BOOK OF DOOM by Steven Appleby & Art Lester

Hard Cover, 224 Pages

Published in UK by Square Peg, A member of the Random House Group

Order on Amazon ( and also .com)  £14.99 (approximately €19)

US Release Date - 25 September, 2012  by Plume, A member of the Penguin Group

Just in case you don’t have enough to worry about, writer Art Lester and artist/cartoonist/animator Steven Appleby have just published their new book, The Coffee Table Book of Doom.

As you laugh your way to your fallout shelter germ mask firmly in place, Lester and Appleby alert you to everything from religious and political doom to medical and technological catastrophe and beyond.

But never fear, they also give us a glimmer of hope by reminding us of many of the impending doomsayers’ predictions that have never materialized.  Remember Y2K and the fundamentalist preachers who were so confident that the world will end that they have even predicted the exact dates and times?  So far they have been wrong . . . but as The Coffee Table Book of Doom reminds us - it can always happen.



Everyone knows John Kricfalusi, or John K as he is better known, the creator of the legendary Ren and Stimpy Show.  After a string of commercial works John has begun a very personal animation project and you can be part of it.

The ever generous John K. is not just taking.  For a pledge of $1.00 or more you will receive a DRM free digital copy of Cans Without Labels sent to you with John K.’s gratitude.  There are more fabulous rewards for your generosity moving up the scale at about $5.00 increments all the way up to a $10,000 pledge level.  For a donation of $10,000 you will receive a personal caricature done by John K. and he will “animate your ass” into Cans Without Labels!  You will also receive an esteemed Executive Producer credit along with a DVD of the film.  As a special gift you will receive a can without a label with your credit on it personally signed by John K.  SUCH A DEAL!!!!


ANNECY INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FESTIVAL 2012 - 4 through 9 June 2012, Annecy, France

I always approach Annecy with mixed feelings.  On the one hand it is an opportunity to see so many dear old friends from all over the world, along with special programs that won’t screen at any other festival, but over the past few years it has become very commercial and shifted the emphasis away from short, independent animation to feature films.  With over 7,000 people attending the festival it has become harder and harder for people to get tickets to screenings that they want to see, and if you don’t book a room very early you could end up staying miles from the festival. This year, in spite of many potential difficulties, I did enjoy myself.

The big news of the week wasn’t about film per se, but was Serge Bromberg’s closing night announcement that after 14 years as Festival Artistic Director he is passing the artistic baton to Marcel Jean.  Serge wants to concentrate his efforts on his production company, Lobster Films which finds and restoring classic films such as his recent efforts in restoring missing footage to George Milies’ 1902 film A Trip to the Moon.  He did say that he “would see us all next year because I already have my ticket to the 2013 festival”.



The Goethe-Institut Italy is launching a contest for animated short films in occasion of the 200 anniversary of the Children and Household Tales by the Brothers Grimm.
Are you a young animator and do you want to accept the challenge to explore Grimms classics innovatively and transport them into today's reality creating animated short films with a maximum length of 5 minutes?
Deadline of submission: August 24, 2012
First Prize: 1500 € audience award for each an Italian and German short
For more information and participation please consult the website:
The first videos have already been submitted and can be viewed or commented on our website!


Announcing the Festival of European Student Animation - Belgrade, Serbia

This is a new student festival under the direction of animator and Renaissance man extraordinaire Rastok Ciric.  If he is involved I know that the festival will be well run.  Only European Student Films will be accepted for the competition but student films from other countries can be submitted for non-competition screenings at the festival.

Initiated by the Public Enterprise “Belgrade Fortress”, FESA – Festival of European Student Animation, was established in 2012 under the auspices of Serbian Ministry for Culture.
The main goal of the festival is to promote the art of animation from the European countries and to create conditions that will enable the younger generation to conquer new concepts and new technologies.
The Festival of European Student Animation is going to be held in the period of September 1th to 2nd 2012.
The Festival is comprised of Students Competition programs (film schools and single student authors)
This year’s competition theme is THE RITUAL in the widest sense of the terms.
Only animated films / works of European production not longer than 30 minutes will be accepted (using classical »frame by frame« or computer animation techniques or combining live action and animation (Animation being primary media).
Works completed in this Millenium will be considered eligible for this year’s festival.
Works coming from Non European Countries cannot be accepted for competition, but can be screened at the festival
if chosen by the Pre-Selection Committee.
One author can submit more than one film according to festival rules.
There is no entry fee.
For Pre-Selection films must be sent in MP4, AVI or MOV format.
The ENTRY FORM – please download from the festival website:
They should be sent to –
The Entry Form must be sent together with:
- digital copy of the film for Pre-Selection,
- two or more stills from the film (6 cm width, 300 dpi),
- film synopsis (maximum 500 characters)
- photo of the author,
- brief biography of the author and filmography.


TRICKFILM FESTIVAL OF ANIMATED FILM - 8 to 13 May 2012, Stuttgart, Germany

This year was a very special 30th Anniversary for the Trickfilm Festival of Animated Film in Stuttgart, Germany.   My week began Monday evening, the night before the official festival opening, when I attended the opening reception for an exhibition of works by former students of Professor Albrecht Ades, founder of the prestigious Film Academy Baden-Wurttemberg in the nearby town of Ludwigsburg.  He is credited with ushering in a new era of modern German animation which was highly influenced by Czech works and laid the foundation for today’s thriving entertainment industry in the Baden- Wurttemberg region.

From 1980 to 1991 some 30 films were produced in his class and the Professor’s strong motivating influence on his students is reflected in the works of some of the now famous animators who studied under him.  Looking at the graphic works in the exhibit, some by Thomas Meyer-Hermann, Andreas Hykade, Sabine Huber and Gil Alkabetz, I could see that they have taken their teacher’s motto “We must kill Mickey Mouse” to heart.


Call for films: Animage 2012 in Recife, Brazil

Even if you cannot get away to Brazil during the cold winter months your film can  thanks to my friends at ANIMAGE festival.

Dear filmmakers,

ANIMAGE 2012 is now open for submissions! We would like to invite you to submit your animated short (up to 30 minutes) until july 31th.
ANIMAGE is an international animation festival that takes place annually in the culturally bursting city of Recife, Brazil.The focus of our festival is the author and the artistic qualities of the films.
On its past editions, ANIMAGE has screened works of filmmakers such as Don Hertzfeldt, David O'Reilly, Priit Pärn, Bill Plympton and Georges Schwizgebel.You can find the rules and the submission form on our website: www.animagefestival.comprizes:Best Short: R$ 4000
Best Short For Children: R$ 3000
Best Short - Public's Choice: R$ 3000
Best Brazilian Short: R$ 3000


SETTING the SCENE - The Art and Evolution of Animation Layout

SETTING the SCENE - The Art and Evolution of Animation Layout

By Fraser MacLean

Foreword by Pete Docter

Published by Chronicle Books

Price $60.00, £40 ($37.80 on Amazon)

260 Pages,   Hardcover

At first glance Fraser MacLean’s Setting the Scene: The Art and Evolution of Animation Layout looks like a lovely coffee table sized picture book, but the minute you begin to read it you realize that it is a major work, full of information on the important but often overlooked art of layout.

Fraser knows who and what he is talking about because he worked on Touchstone’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Space Jam at Warner Bros., and Tarzan at Walt Disneyalong with several other Disney Productions. This book takes the reader behind the scenes in this under-appreciated segment of the animation world, from the early days of Winsor McCay, the Fleischer Brothers, and 1930’s Walt Disney right up to the latest 3-D and video game technology.


Rausch Brothers win Peabody

The Rauch Brothers, Tim and Mike, have won the prestigeous 71st Annual George Foster Peabody Award for their StoryCorps animated shorts commemorating the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. They share the honor with StoryCorpsPOV, the 9/11 Memorial and MusuemNPR’s Morning Edition, and YouTube. My congratulations The Rauch Brothers  and the teams who worked on StoryCorps' 9/11 radio broadcasts and mobile app, which was also named as part of the award. The StoryCorps 9/11 animated short series was also recently announced as an Official Honoree of the 16th Annual Webby Awards for Documentary Series.
In a press release Tim and Mike Rauch said "Thanks to our partners—StoryCorps and POV—for helping us share these important remembrances, and to commemorate the 10th anniversary last September. We especially thank the courageous families that so generously shared their stories with us. We must always remember the people who lost their lives that day."

If you have not heard StoryCorps on Morning Edition or seen it on POV be sure to check out the Rauch Brothers web site:


Tricky Women - Women in Animation, a Book Review


12 Essays on Women in animation and one DVD

Edited by:  Brigitt Wagner/Waltraud Gruber (Hg.)

Published By:  Schuren Verlag  (Marburg, 2011)

Price  : €24,89 (approximately $33.00 USD)

You can order the book on line at the Tricky Women Animation Festival Store (

or from the publishers.

The Tricky Women Animation Festival have published a 189 page book honoring  women in animation.  Birgitt Wagner and Waltraud Grausgruber (Hg.), directors of the Vienna based festival have edited the twelve essays written by scholars, animators, and educators.


Call for Entries - KLIK Animation Festival

KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival: 7-11 November 2012

And... your entry will also automatically compete for the following awards:
Amsterdam Audience Award
Young Amsterdam Audience Award
Political Animation Award

So send those animated beauties to our offices, pronto! Submit your film online via

P.S. Keep an eye on the deadline: June 1, 2012.
P.P.S. KLIK! doesn't charge entry fees.
P.P.P.S. Films are eligible when the submitted film does not exceed 25 minutes and was finished after January 1st, 2010. For more regulations, read our Terms and Conditions.


CALL FOR ENTRIES - Punto y Raya Junior

This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who teaches animation to young people, have a young animator in your home or are a JUNIOR animator. I am familiar with the festival's work and can wholeheartedly recommend it.  -- Nancy

version of our festival, made FOR and BY children aged 6 to 12 years.
Following the same spirit that has earned us the title of "Most abstract festival in the World", this edition will host the same kind of activities as the "adult" one (calls for entries, workshops, screenings, installations, exhibitions and live PyRformances) under the motto "No representation, only dots and lines".