Women Animators from Near and Far
This 90-minute programme, presented by Leeds Animation Workshop, includes the premiere of a new short film Own Skin made at the Workshop, as well as some favourites new and old, from the local women’s collective, set up 40 years ago. Also showing, will be a selection of films by women animators from the UK, and around the world - including film by indigenous artists, and emerging animators, never before seen in this country.
Image: Own Skin
Two recognised classics
The Black Dog
Dir: Alison De Vere | United Kingdom | 1987 | 18mins | 35mm
Alison De Vere (1927 – 2001) was first woman in the UK to make cartoon films as an individual artist. Black Dog, shown here on 35 mm film, is recognised as her major lifetime achievement. The subject is a story of self-discovery and life experience: a woman travels through a fantastical dreamscape accompanied by a shamanic dog. A classic, influential film and winner of many international awards.
Dir: Martine Chartrand | Canada | 2000 | 9mins,
This breathtaking animation by Martine Chartrand tells the story of black people’s culture and history in her native Canada.
In the middle of a Montreal winter, an old lady sits down with her grandson to help him learn about the events that shaped their cultural heritage.Haitian-Canadian Martine Chartrand travelled to Russia to study the demanding paint-on-glass technique. Each oil-painted frame is destroyed by the next, and exists only for the present moment: symbolising both the way history sets the foundation for the future, and a determination never to return to the evils of the past.
Three films by two brilliant young women directors from the Czech republic
New Species (Nový Druh)
Dir: Katerina Karhánková | Czech Republic | 2014 | 6mins
This is a story about three kids who find a mysterious bone and their journey in trying to find the creature that the bone belong to.
Dir: Linda Retterová | Czech Republic | 2017 | 5mins
Animated entirely from felt and embroidery, this is a dark, updated version of a traditional fairytale about a childless woman whose husband carves a tree stump into the shape of a baby. Their new child however is unusually greedy…
The Fruit of Clouds (Plody mraků)
Dir: Katerina Karhankova | Czech Republic | 2017 | 10mins
This wonderful new film is about fear of the unknown. Despite dire warnings from the whole community, one individual makes a brave venture and finds a way to share the benefits with everyone.
Czech Grand Design Awards Nominee 2017
Two films by amazing young animators from indigenous peoples, reflecting on their heritage
Nutag - Homeland
Dir: Alisi Telengut | Canada | 2016 | 6mins
Made by a member of the indigenous Siberian Kalmyk community, who is now an animator living in Canada, this award-winning film is a hand-painted visual poem about diaspora, homeland, and the tragic mass-deportations of the Kalmyk people during WWII.
Dir: Asinnajaq | Canada | 2017 | 14mins
In this award-winning short film, Inuk artist Asinnajaq plunges us into a sublime imaginary universe of luminescent, archive-inspired cinema, revealing the present, past and future of her people in a radiant new light.
Diving into the vast archive of Canada’s National Film Board, she unpicks the complicated cinematic representation of the Inuit, from a range of sources—newsreels, propaganda, ethnographic docs, and work by Indigenous filmmakers. Embedding historic footage into original animation, she conjures up a vision of hope and possibility.
A film by an emerging young US animator
Dir: Melissa Ferrari | United States | 2017 | 7mins
This award-winning film is about the uncanny and the unknowable. It draws parallels between Mothman, a prophetic demon creature of West Virginia folklore, and Narcotics Anonymous, which is helping to treat those affected by West Virginia’s addiction epidemic. Rooted in nonfiction, this film contemplates the role of belief systems in perception and pseudoscience; the tendency to assign supernatural meaning; anonymous and apocryphal oral histories; and the attraction of the moth to the flame. Made by a Cal-Arts graduate animator, using natural materials and pastel-on-paper palimpsest animation woven together using a multiplane and analogue overhead projection.
And from Leeds
Dir: Leeds Animation Workshop | United Kingdom | 1996 |12mins
Once upon a time, there was a magnificent castle, the domain of a queen both wise and good… This film about equality at work is an entertaining fairy story with a difference: taking as its theme the very real issue of sexual harassment.
Queen Ella is a model employer, but everyone makes mistakes: perhaps she should not have appointed Lord Bluebeard to an executive position. Disguising herself as a serving maid, the queen discovers what is really happening in the organisation at canteen and office level.
A Leeds Animation Workshop from over 20 years ago, this film is as topical as ever.
They Call Us Maids
Dir: Leeds Animation Workshop | United Kingdom | 2015 | 7mins
This short animated film tells the story of the thousands of women from extremely poor backgrounds, in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, South Asia or Africa, who have to find work abroad to support their families.
Based on the real life stories of migrant domestic workers, THEY CALL US MAIDS uses vivid watercolour animation to reveal some disturbing truths about modern slavery. Commissioned by Pavilion and made in consultation with the organisation Justice 4 Domestic Workers.
Leeds Animation Workshop’s most recent film won the “Best UK film on Modern Slavery” award earlier this year.
Dir: Geena Gasser and Saskia Tomlinson, United Kingdom, 2018, 3mins
Made during their internship at Leeds Animation Workshop earlier this year, this hand-painted film by two emerging animators is about body image and how all of us, particularly young people, are affected more and more by the pressure to look perfect. The voice-over is a specially-written poem by Bristol-based performance-poet Malaika Kegode, read by herself. Music composed and performed by Lucy Treacher.
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