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15 Animated Short Films Selected to Compete at Sundance 2019

Animated short films from 10 countries including Estonia, Germany, Mexico, Poland and Spain selected to compete at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival running January 24 through February 3.

‘Acid Rain’ by Tomek Popakul (Poland) is one of 15 animated short films selected to compete at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

The Sundance Institute has announced selections for Shorts, Indie Episodic, and Special Event programming at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival in January, including 15 animated shorts from 10 countries including Estonia, Germany, Mexico, Poland and Spain.

“Our newly-expanded programming team took in a full spectrum of human experience across genres and formats in creating this year’s Festival program,” said Kim Yutani, the Festival’s director of programming. “Following the success of last year’s inaugural Indie Episodic section, we’re immensely proud to showcase these stories told across installments, alongside several provocative, conversation-starting Special Events.”

“This year’s crop of shorts are rowdy, reflective, visionary,” senior programmer Mike Plante added. “We are excited to discover so many new voices and perspectives on today’s world.”

The Sundance Film Festival received a total of 9,443 submissions this year, selecting 73 short films to compete at the 2019 edition, which runs January 24 through February 3 in Park City, UT. More than half the projects selected for the Shorts, Indie Episodic, and Special Events programming were directed or created by one or more women (53 percent), and directed or created by one or more filmmaker of color (51 percent); 26 percent of the selections were created by one or more people who identify as LGBTQIA.

The full list of animated short films selected to screen at Sundance 2019 is shown below:

Acid Rain / Poland (Director and screenwriter: Tomek Popakul) – After running away from her depressing village in eastern Europe, a teenage girl meets a new friend under a bridge. International Premiere

Albatross Soup / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Winnie Cheung) – A dizzying descent into deductive reasoning based on an entertaining yet disturbing lateral thinking puzzle.

animistica / Austria, Germany, Mexico (Director: Nikki Schuster) – An expedition into rotting animal carcasses and rampant spider webs, accompanied by a gloomy drone like a swarm of hungry flies. Foraging around the borderlands of the horror genre in a kaleidoscope of ecology in all its horrifying beauty. North American Premiere

The Call / Romania, France (Director and screenwriter: Anca Damian) – A phone call, a bathroom and a woman are at the intersection of the world. U.S. Premiere

CHICHI / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Nessl) – My dog has dreams and he tells me about them. I made a movie about those dreams. This is that movie. U.S. Premiere

Count Your Curses / Belgium (Director and screenwriter: Lorène Yavo) – In a town where supernatural beings are part of everyday life, two roommates had their house spirit devoured overnight, again. They go on their way to find a replacement spirit and a solution to their pest problem.

Knockstrike / Spain (Directors and screenwriters: Marc Torices, Pau Anglada, Genis Rigol) – Two men accidentally exchange briefcases. One contains a videotape that will lead the new owner to embark on an unexpected journey to figure out what is in it.

Muteum / Estonia, Hong Kong (Director and screenwriter: Aggie Pak Yee Lee) – In an art museum, we learn -- from outer to inner, from deep to its deepest, seriously and sincerely.

OBON / Germany (Directors: André Hörmann, Anna Samo, Screenwriter: André Hörmann) – During the festival of Obon, one of the last survivors of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima receives the spirits of her parents, and is haunted by memories.

OCTANE / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeron Braxton) – A man’s street race through hell and back parallels the Black experience in America.

The Phantom 52 / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Geoff Marslett) – Loneliness: a trucker who calls out on his CB radio waiting for a reply that never comes. A ghost that haunts the deserted highways. A whale that sings at a frequency no other whale can even hear. World Premiere

Reneepoptosis / U.S.A., Japan (Director and screenwriter: Renee Zhan) – Three Renees go on a quest to find God, who is also Renee. As they traverse the mountains and valleys of Renee, they discover all the great joys, sorrows, and mysteries of being Renee. U.S. Premiere

Sister / U.S.A., China (Director and screenwriter: Siqi Song) – A man thinks back to his childhood memories of growing up with an annoying little sister in China in the 1990s. What would his life have been like if things had gone differently?

Under Covers / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Michaela Olsen) – On the night of a lunar eclipse, we uncover the sweet, salacious, and spooky secrets of a small town. From a pigtailed psychopath to naughty nuns, this stop-motion animated film conjures a comforting thought: that weird is relative. World Premiere

Untravel / Serbia, Slovakia (Directors: Ana Nedeljkovic, Nikola Majdak, Screenwriter: Ana Nedeljkovic) – A girl lives in an isolated country, enclosed by a huge wall. She has never traveled anywhere, but all her life she has dreamed of leaving forever for a perfect world called Abroad.

Source: Sundance Institute

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.