The 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows returns to theaters across North America and will have its US theatrical premiere at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles on December 14th, and at the Quad Cinema in New York on December 28th (many other cities will follow). Since 1998, the Animation Show of Shows has been selecting the best in animated short films from around the world and has been presenting new and innovative short films to appreciative audiences at animation studios, schools and, since 2015, theaters in the US and other countries. Over the years, 38 of the films showcased in The Animation Show of Shows went on to receive Academy Award® nominations, with 11 films winning the Oscar®.
The 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows will present 15 thought-provoking, poignant, and very funny animated shorts from around the world. In a year when the best and worst of human nature has been on constant display, the works in this year’s show remind us of both the universality of shared ideals, as well as the diverse challenges we face. “Animation is such a flexible and open-ended medium that it lends itself to exploring the innumerable aspects of what it means to be human,” says founder and curator Ron Diamond. “And this year’s program, as much as any of our past presentations, really illuminates human strengths and foibles, and the bonds that unite us across cultures and generations.” The 20th Annual Animation Show of Shows represents the work of artists from six countries and includes six student films. Funny, moving, engaging, and thought-provoking, The Animation Show of Shows not only has something for everyone, but is a remarkable and insightful microcosm of our world.
The show has a running time of 98 minutes and includes 15 films, four of which have qualified for Academy Award® consideration *.
20th Annual Animation Show of Shows Lineup
The Green Bird * – Maximilien Bougeois, Quentin Dubois, Marine Goalard, Irina Nguyen, Pierre Perveyrie, France
One Small Step * – Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas, U.S.
Grands Canons – Alain Biet, France
Barry – Anchi Shen, U.S.
Super Girl – Nancy Kangas, Josh Kun, U.S.
Love Me, Fear Me – Veronica Solomon, Germany
Business Meeting – Guy Charnaux, Brazil
Flower Found! – Jorn Leeuwerink, The Netherlands
Bullets – Nancy Kangas, Josh Kun, U.S.
A Table Game – Nicolás Petelski, Spain
Carlotta’s Face – Valentin Riedl, Frédéric Schuld, Germany
Age of Sail * – John Kahrs, U.S.
Polaris – Hikari Toriumi, U.S.
My Moon – Eusong Lee, U.S.
Weekends * – Trevor Jimenez, U.S.
The power of family ties, and specifically the enduring connection between parents and children, are sensitively evoked in Hikari Toriumi’s deeply affecting “Polaris,” about a young polar bear leaving home for the first time. “One Small Step,” Bobby Pontillas and Andrew Chesworth’s inspiring story of a Chinese-American girl’s dream of being an astronaut, centers on her evolving relationship with her father. The beautifully designed “Weekends,” by Trevor Jimenez, explores the complex emotional landscape of a young boy and his recently divorced parents, as he shuttles between their very different homes and lives.
The darker side of relationships is forcefully explored in Veronica Solomon’s “Love Me, Fear Me,” a tour de force of claymation that uses dance to delve into the lengths people go to to deceive each other and try to pass for something they’re not. Eusong Lee’s “My Moon” takes a more cosmic and lighthearted approach to a troubled relationship, depicting a celestial love triangle played out by the sun, the moon, and the earth.“Carlotta’s Face,” by Valentin Riedl and Frédéric Schuld, illuminates a different kind of relationship dysfunction in its sensitive portrayal of a woman who suffers from prosopagnosia, the inability to recognize faces, and her salvation through art.
Among the other program highlights are the very funny computer animation “The Green Bird,” winner of a 2018 Gold Student Academy Award® International Animation, which harks back to classic cartoons of the mid-20th century. Oscar-winning director John Kahrs’ “Age of Sail,” the latest in Google’s series of Spotlight Stories, chronicles the adventures of an old sailor who rescues a teenaged girl after she falls overboard. Alain Biet’s jaw-dropping “Grands Canons” is a dizzying symphonic celebration of everyday objects that uses finely detailed drawings created by the filmmaker. And two very short films, “Supergirl” and “Bullets,” take their inspiration from poems composed by surprisingly eloquent preschoolers.