Movie review of “The 18th Annual Animation Show of Shows”: Sixteen cutting-edge animated shorts make up this festival. A shorter family-friendly version is also available. Rating: 3 stars out of 4.
“The 18th Annual Animation Show of Shows” is not quite like other animation film festivals.
Though its name makes clear the series has been around almost two decades, this showcase of cutting-edge short works from around the world — displaying every type of animation from stop-motion to hand-drawn to computer-generated and more — is only in its second year of public screenings.
For most of its history, “Show of Shows” has exclusively toured animation studios, schools and sundry societies. But now we can all see the curated films, and it’s well worth it. Thirty-two shorts from past “Show of Shows” programs have earned Oscar nominations; nine of them won.
Movie Review ★★★
‘The 18th Annual Animation Show of Shows,’ by various directors and writers. In two versions: family-friendly (90 minutes) and mature (97 minutes). See www.siff.net for schedules of both. SIFF Cinema Egyptian.
“Show of Shows” organizer and curator Ron Diamond will be on hand for the screenings Friday, Oct. 7.
This year, there are two versions of the schedule. Sixteen titles make up evening screenings, of which 12 will play in the daytime. The difference is that the earlier program is family-friendly, while the extra four titles have more mature content.
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Here are some highlights:
“Stems,” by BAFTA Award-winning writer-director Ainslie Henderson, is a haunting reflection on the strange appeal of stop-motion puppets: “little actors who only ever get to play one role.”
“Shift,” a collaboration by Argentine Cecilia Puglesi and Chinese CG artist Yijun Liu, is like a chapter from a secret Charlotte Brontë novel. A lonely, repressed young woman meets her naked, feral doppelgänger, and sees other possibilities for her life.
Only a few seconds of longtime Pixar animator Alan Barillaro’s “Piper” were available for preview, but the film — inspired by birds Barillaro sees near his office — looks to be as utterly charming as one would expect from an artist who worked on “Toy Story 2” and “WALL*E.”
“About a Mother,” from Moscow native Dina Velikovskaya,” will remind viewers of Shel Silverstein’s beautiful “The Giving Tree.” A mother’s long hair becomes various gifts to her children over the course of a lifetime.