short film

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Animation

João Gonzalez’s Animated Short ‘Ice Merchants’ Follows a Cliff-Jumping Father and Son

January 9, 2023

Grace Ebert

A frigid and precarious tale, the beautifully animated short film “Ice Merchants” by João Gonzalez follows a father and son as they harvest and sell ice. The pair live on a cliff-side home and dive from their balcony each day, allowing their parachutes to deliver them and their product safely to the village market below. When temperatures rise, though, the ropes that tether their house to the mountain begin to fray.

Gonzalez, who also performed and composed the accompanying soundtrack, created “Ice Merchants” in a minimal, illustrated style similar to his award-winning “Nestor” and “The Voyagers.” He shares about the film: “Something that has always fascinated me about animation cinema is the freedom it offers us to create something from scratch. Surrealistic and bizarre scenarios and realities can be used as a metaphorical tool to talk about something that is common to us in our more ‘real’ reality.”

The full film was recently released on The New Yorker’s YouTube, and you can follow the Portuguese director on Instagram to stay up-to-date with future projects.

 

An animated image of a father and son chopping ice and jumping from a cliff

A still of a father and son cliff jumping

An animated image of a boy swinging

A still of a father and son at home with a fire

A still of a son peering over the edge of an icy cliff

 

 

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Documentary

A Chicago Mother Raises an Abandoned Baby Squirrel in the Heartwarming Documentary ‘My Duduś’

January 6, 2023

Kate Mothes

In the summer of 2020, photographer and director Tom Krawczyk returned home to Chicago from Łódź, Poland, where he was studying film. “When I got there, my mother quietly walked me into a room where she gently pulled a strange, hairless creature out of a shoe box,” he recounts. “It looked as if it had plummeted to earth from another planet.” Meet the star of “My Duduś,” a friendly gray squirrel that tumbled out of its nest when it was only a couple of days old and into the endearing care of the filmmaker’s mother.

Krawczyk’s nine-minute Op-Doc presented by The New York Times chronicles the developing bond between his mother and the young squirrel, which she nurses and shelters in the family’s house at a time when animal shelters were filled to capacity. “My intuition told me to pick up a camera,” he explains. “I knew something special was happening. My mother, a Polish immigrant who had raised me by herself, had been dealing with her newly empty nest after I left for school, and I knew the joy that raising the squirrel would bring her.”

As Duduś grows, so does their emotional connection, but his instincts begin to take hold. He spends more time outside, and the relationship transforms as the young rodent matures. See more of Krawczyk’s work on his website and Instagram.

 

A still from the short film 'My Duduś' featuring a young squirrel raised by a woman in Chicago.

All images © Tom Krawczyk and The New York Times

A still from the short film 'My Duduś' featuring a young squirrel raised by a woman in Chicago.

A still from the short film 'My Duduś' featuring a young squirrel raised by a woman in Chicago.

A still from the short film 'My Duduś' featuring a young squirrel raised by a woman in Chicago.

A still from the short film 'My Duduś' featuring a young squirrel raised by a woman in Chicago.

A still from the short film 'My Duduś' featuring a young squirrel raised by a woman in Chicago.   A still from the short film 'My Duduś' featuring a young squirrel raised by a woman in Chicago.

 

 



Animation

A Verdant Ecosystem Emerges from a Barren Landscape in the Animated Music Video for Moomin’s ‘For Willow’

December 15, 2022

Kate Mothes

In a psychedelic, otherworldly vista, colorful flora and fauna interact in a seamless series of events in the music video for Moomin’s “For Willow.” Illustrators and animators Alex Gamsu Jenkins and Joe Taylor collaborated on the three-minute short, which opens on a forlorn, stony figure standing in a barren landscape, who begins to metamorphose with signs of vitality and greenery. Incorporating speckles onto each frame to suggest the graininess of analog film, each scene unfolds continuously from the last as the environment gradually becomes lush and teems with life.

 

A still from the music video for Moomin's "For Willow."

All images © Moomin

A still from the music video for Moomin's "For Willow."

A still from the music video for Moomin's "For Willow."

A still from the music video for Moomin's "For Willow."

A still from the music video for Moomin's "For Willow."

A still from the music video for Moomin's "For Willow."

 

 



Animation

Ride the Emotional Rollercoaster of Entrepreneurship in Siqi Song’s Series of Stop-Motion Animations

December 14, 2022

Kate Mothes

Los Angeles-based animator and director Siqi Song has a knack for capturing the nuances of relationships and social situations. Her critically acclaimed animated shorts like “SISTER” and “THE COIN” tap into family histories and personal stories from the relatable perspective of stop-motion, felted wool characters. In a new series of shorts commissioned by It’s Nice That for Mailchimp Presents, Song dives into the world of entrepreneurship in All in a Day’s Work.

Song directed six of the series’ twelve episodes, which run between two to three minutes each and feature a cast of six small business owners who find themselves on an emotional, enterprising rollercoaster. A florist’s new employee struggles with hay fever in “First Hire,” a baker working through the night resists falling asleep in “Unstoppable Rise,” and a finely-tuned Zoom setup comes crashing down during an important call in “Silicon Valley Legends.”

To make the films as internationally relatable as possible, dialogue was removed entirely. “Without language, the characters can only express their emotion in the stories through body language and facial expressions,” Song explains. For anyone who has launched a product, grappled with time management, or stepped outside their comfort zone to pursue a dream, Song’s animations demonstrate the universal ups and downs of a courageous journey.

You can watch all of the films, including an additional six episodes by creative studio BUCK, on Mailchimp Presents. Find remarkable behind-the-scenes footage on Song’s website, and discover her painstakingly crafted miniature sets, storyboards, and characters.

 

A still from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

All images © Siqi Song

An animated image from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

A still from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

An animated image from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

A still from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

An animated image from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

A still from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

An animated image from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

A still from a stop motion animation short by Siqi Song.

 

 



Music Photography

A Dizzying Zoetrope Flashes Scenes of Portugal Through a Train Window

September 20, 2022

Grace Ebert

Irish director and animator Kevin McGloughlin (previously) and his brother Páraic (aka the McGloughlin Brothers) recently collaborated on a new short film that speeds through urban and rural regions of Portugal with an eye toward recurring structures and patterns. The music video for Bonobo’s new single “ATK,” the zoetrope flashes a series of photos at an incredibly fast pace, appearing to capture the scenes from the window of a train. Spliced into a dizzying sequence, the animation reveals a range of cohesive elements from the lines of terracotta roofing and ceramic tiles with colorful motifs to skinny streets that flicker in rapid succession.

Watch more mesmerizing compilations by the McGloughlin Brothers on Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation

A Kayak Trip Sends a Father on Anxiety-Provoking Adventures in an Adorable Animated Short

August 30, 2022

Grace Ebert

Multiple scenarios that would give any parent nightmares actualize in the adventurous animation “Kayak.” What begins as a peaceful trip down the river for a father and baby becomes an endless slew of anxiety-inducing incidents as the child trips, ends up upside down in the water, launches into the air several times, and is even preyed upon by a hungry eagle. The short film, which teeters on the terrifying, is a graduation project by students at the French animation school École des Nouvelles Images.

 

 

 

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Artist Cat Enamel Pins