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‘Aria for a Cow’ Headed to Los Angeles Shorts Fest

Animated short ‘Aria for a Cow,’ based on an unreleased song by the Oscar-winning team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, makes its Los Angeles premiere at the LA Shorts Fest on Sunday, September 6.

Aria for a Cow, an animated short based upon a song of the same title by the award-winning team of Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the men behind the music of Little Shop of HorrorsThe Little Mermaid and Beauty and The Beast, is headed to the 19th annual Los Angeles International Short Film Festival running September 3-10 at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 in downtown Los Angeles.

Directed by veteran Disney animator Dan Lund, Aria for a Cow is a fast-paced musical journey with a message of treating all life with love and respect. When a callow young farmer shows himself to be completely uninterested in the sensitive art of milking cows, a bovine diva named Aria and her singing/dancing back up bulls belt out a tune demanding respect for more than just dairy products.

Lund’s passion to see the short realized -- with no budget or crew -- brought him together with producers and artists at the top of the animation industry as well as students still studying their craft in schools around the world.

Sarah Ashman Gillespie, the late Howard Ashman’s sister, offered the song to Lund so he could bring this long-forgotten tune to center stage. Lund and producer Connie Nartonis Thompson (Frankenweenie, Despicable Me 2) launched Gotta Barn Productions, designed to bring together students and artists from across the globe to get their shot at feeling the thrill of “putting on a show.” Helping to lead the creative effort were art director Amos Sussigan, production manager Siddhartha Maganti, lead vocalist Kate Pazakis (the voice of Aria), and musical director John deHaas.

“I believe Howard would be thrilled to be contributing to the development of talented young people,” Gillespie says. “He loved animation, and he specifically loved seeing his words come to life through animation. Seeing Aria spring to life in the hands of such enthusiastic young talents is an absolute gift.”

Aria for a Cow is making its Los Angeles premiere at the LA Shorts Fest, Program 15 on Sunday, September 6, at 1:00 PM. This year the animated short has been a crowd pleaser as an official selection at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April, as well as at the Palm Springs International Short Fest in June and Anima Mundi in Sāo Paulo in July. In addition to the LA Shorts Fest, upcoming film festival appearances include the Portland Film Festival on September 2nd, Encounters Film Festival in Bristol, England on September 17th, and more still to be announced. Aria has also enjoyed private screenings at Disney, Heritage, and ILM.

Source: Gotta Barn Productions

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.