Animation I

Cut Bait

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Directed by Robert Walkine

Proverb “You must fish, cut bait, or get out of the boat!” To put food on the table, a father and son duo must venture out to sea to catch some fish. Cut Bait is an animated short that examines an estranged father son relationship with the comedic aspect of a Bahamian folklore. Audience members young and old will appreciate the morals and lessons to be learnt from this visually-stylized interpretation of an old Bahamian proverb about taking up space in a boat.

3 minutes

The Legend of Rasputin

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Written/Directed by Jamie Shannon; Produced by Heather Henson, Sam Koji-Hale

Mystic, prophet, healer, love-god – Grigori Rasputin’s unique talents bring him to St. Petersburg’s luxurious Winter Palace to heal the dying Prince Alexei, heir to the throne, in the waning days of Tsarist rule. When Rasputin succeeds, he becomes spiritual aid to the royal family, and infamous national celebrity to a public that is becoming increasingly critical of its rulers. Rasputin’s hedonistic desires, and the negative attention he draws to the ruling order, is upsetting to a certain faction of the nobility, who plot to kill him in an effort to restore the clean image of the Russian royalty, and to maintain their power in a time of revolutionary crisis. Rasputin’s prophesy that his murder by Royalty proves true, leading to the destruction of the Tsar and his dynasty. This is a dark historical comedy about the first tabloid star, Grigori Rasputin … told with puppets.

13 minutes

LizardQuest

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Written/Directed/Produced by Nicole Cespedes, Jessica Castillo, Micah Breitweiser

A plucky young gecko goes on an epic journey with a barbarian turtle and a mage chameleon to defeat the great Komodo dragon.

5 minutes

Mermaids and Rhinos

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Written by Polett Dus, Dorka Gergely, Viktória Traub; Directed by Viktória Traub; Produced by Polett Dus

Eight-year-old Tilda’s memories of her family as surrealistic visions come into life: the circus member ex-mermaid grandmother, the erotically overheated mother and the disappeared father whose broken heart, anger and jealousy manifest as a rhino. The acts of present and the past are in constant metamorphoses and transformation. The characters overstep their own and the surrounding world’s physical borders. Tilda’s life is full of grotesque, bizarre characters hungry for love. The atmosphere of wistfulness, desire, passion and sorrow frame the story.

16 minutes

Yamasong

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Written/Directed by Sam K. Hale; Produced by Heather Henson

Events are set in motion when a mysterious Trickster hurls a star through outer space. Nani, a patchwork girl, chases the star to discover a world she’s never set foot upon. In her quest she saves the life of Shojun, a tortoise fisherman and warrior. Together they travel through his surreal, fantastic world to the star’s mountain resting place to discover its secrets.

From turbulent coastal waters to frozen mountains and unknown nether spaces, Yamasong takes the viewer on a fantastic journey filled with stunning live-action Japanese-style puppets in a hybrid world of computer-generated and real objects. Set to the music of On Ensemble, an L.A.-based percussion band, the story is an instrumental and visual metaphor for a journey taken with another across a new cultural landscape, and walking away changed from the experience.

Yamasong is an exciting blend of traditional puppet techniques married with new digital technology. From using green screen to After Effects to the Canon 7D camera, the story aims to create a visual world that is neither purely real or imaginary, but somewhere between and evocative as a place all of its own.

9 min

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