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  • Brian Giovanni

Let's All Flock to the Animation Block

Lots of new festival news on the horizon, but before I dig into that, let's retroactively look back at another festival from last year - only 6 months late! Back in July of last year, I had the pleasure of attending the 14th Annual Animation Block Party Film Festival in Brooklyn, NY. Having just completed my short film "When Comes the Rain," it was actually the first festival I submitted to, and my first acceptance!

I had followed the festival for some time, and was very excited to finally be a part of it. It's the largest animation festival on the east coast, and a huge showcase of some of the leading indie animation happening today, so it was only natural that the first festival I wanted to submit to would be this one. Founder Casey Safron and festival manager Taylor Armstrong and their staff were wonderful to meet and work with, and they put on an amazing four-day event! I would highly recommend for any animator to submit their films to this festival, and getting involved!

Opening night (Thursday) was held at Rooftop Films - a lovely outdoor venue set against the backdrop of the Brooklyn waterfront. Highlights include the incredible short 'My Man Octopus' by Stephanie Cadoret - the eventual Best in Show winner of the festival - as well as meeting LA based animator Ron Yavnieli. Check out their work!

The rest of the weekend was held at the amazing BAMcinématek. Friday and Saturday included dozens of other shorts, as well as a panel for the hit Netflix show Bojack Horseman, with designer Lisa Hanawalt and director Mike Hollingsworth. I also had the pleasure of seeing an early screening of Birdboy: The Forgotten Children by Alberto Vazquez and Pedro Rivero - which has become a big awards contender - and also checked out a screening of Late Night Work Club's anthology Strangers. If you're not familiar with the Late Night Work Club, check out their vimeo page! They have a tremendously impressive approach to the animated anthology as an art form.

My film screened on Saturday afternoon as part of the 'Animation for Kids' block. It's not explicitly a kid's film, but I enjoyed being a part of this category because all the parents brought all their kids, so the house was extra packed! Always good to have a full audience to see your work!

On Sunday, I was part of a panel with a few other animators who had shorts from the Saturday 'Kids' block. It was great sharing stories and talking about our respective journeys as animators. Fellow panelists included Ty Primosch & K-J Mathieson for their film Corky, Rogerio Boechat for his film New Toy, and Alisa Stern who did a fun Doctor Who-themed stop motion short. It was great to be among such talented artists!

Hard to imagine that so much was packed into a short four days, but the whole experience was amazing, and I hope I can return this year for more fun!

Check back soon on more upcoming festivals, plus one more I was at last October. I'm almost caught up to the present!


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