[NOTE: Posted partially unedited due to health problems ~ Curtis]

Association International du Film d'Animation
(International Animated Film Association)

July/August 2014



Coming in the Sept. issue will be a review of Signe Baumane's first feature Rocks in my Pockets (it has won 3 festival prizes so far including Best Feature at a festival in Poland), an interview with her, details about a disgusting wage fixing scandle that includes Pixar, ILM, DreamWorks Animation, a review of the Annecy International Animation Festival by Nancy, lots of trade news, details about our ASIFA-SF party in July with 2 suprise guests and who won the Best in Show and Special Jury Prize (not in the following article) and other news.

THE 3RD ASIFA-SF ANNUAL SPRING SHOW FEATURED EXCEPTIONAL FILMS, TOPPED OFF WITH AN EXTREMELY FUNNY LIVE PERFORMANCE BY STEVE SEGAL AND HIS ANIMATION by KC The audience at the Randall Museum was treated to the world premier of Outside the Box, a magical experience presented by Steve Segal. Steve has created a brilliant new form of cartoony humor. It was a well rehearsed act that began with the ! image on the screen breaking down and Steve going on stage to “fix” things. One the first things he did was to ask us to point our fingers towards the screen and wiggle them. I’ll not spoil the fun as I hope everybody will get to see him perform the act at our Sunday, July 20 party. Instead I’ll pass along a few comments about his piece. People said it was “brilliant,” “visually stunning,” “extremely funny,” and “the highlight of the festival.”
While Steve’s work was wonderful, it didn’t win first prize for personal work by an independent animator. That prize went to Betty’s Blues, a powerful film experience about a black couple who duck into a rural church to make love. Unfortunately they interrupt a KKK meeting… The film by Belgium animator Remi Vandenitte was submitted by Nancy Phelps who was one of his voice actors.
Steve’s Outside the Box came in a close 2nd along with Mark Kausler’s Some Other Cat, Joanna Priestly’s Split Ends and Signe Baumane’s trailer for her first animated feature Rocks in my Pockets. Kausler whose long career includes animating Roger Rabbit for Disney created a delightful retro film that captures the spirit of 1930s cartoons. Signe’s trailer left several people saying they really wanted to see the feature. One person said Signe’s character animation was the best in our festival. Her feature is supposed to play locally in “late summer.”
There was a lot of humor in some films in our festival ranging from gross violent gags in Jimmy Loves Juice by director David Lee and his students at San Jose State (it got an honorable mention, the gags are similar to Happy Tree Friends humor) to the light-hearted whimsical humor of Tony Claar. We showed three of Tony’s 30 second films and two people told me his shorts were “great!”
The funniest film was also the most highly polished film in the program: John R. Dilworth’s The Fog of Courage work for Cartoon Network. It is influenced by Tex Avery’s fast paced outrageous gags and it was voted first place for sponsored productions.
The other sponsored winners included a tie for second place. Hatch by Corrie Francis Parks is a show opening for a community movement to create a better world. It is a handsome experimental work made with sand animation, richly colored liquids flowing and other materials. The other film that tied for second was Coal 101 by Javier Saldena. It is an excellent work of propaganda made for the Sierra Club. It tells why our nation needs to switch to wind and solar power ASAP.
Coming in third was Tarzan, a naughty music video by Signe Baumane made for Joe Cartoon. An honorable mention went to Ric Carrasquillo’s music video Parkas Indoors made for Upstairs Downstairs. It is an experimental work animated with masking and gaffer’s tape.
The winner of the student animation category was Silent Voices by Jeeyoon Na from the University of Southern California (USC). It is a very moving work about child abduction. The gentle artwork is lovely to look at and one person called the film “a good approach to a sensitive subject.”
There were two other films shown that dealt with serious unpleasant subject matter. Our Legacy by Willie Williams from USC is a shocking story about slavery in the old south and how one of his ancestors was sexually assaulted by her owner.
The other, Chakravyuh: the Vicious Circle by Dhvani Desal from India, is a public service announcement promoting a government legal service that helps people to escape a vicious cycle of corruption and non governance.
Other student prize winners were Operation Animator by Bruna Berford from the Academy of Art It explains some of the animation process and it came in second.
Command Performance, a sensitive statement about animal abuse by Lee Bicker from DeAnza came in third. Honorable Mentions went to Jimmy Loves Juice from San Jose State, Still Life! by Youyou Li from De Anza, Class President by Tim DuBay and Marc Pedruco from SF State, Neo Looper Grove by Lilly Zaldivar from SF State, Bless this House, Heather Castro by from the Academy of Art and Sapling from the University of Bournsmouth, UK.
A final observation is that among the 31 films we showed were several really fine experimental animated shorts including some that are totally abstract. While the audience applauded each film shown and commented favorably to me about some of them, they didn’t get many votes. I see that as a comment on what the American public wants from animation. One person said one film was “weird, but fun to watch.” To me the experimental films of Max Hattler, Edward Ramsey Morin, Rebecca Ruige-Xu, Tristian Ggoik, Heather Castro and others ! are wonderful uses of animation. We look forward to showing more of these works and I hope that in time the public will gain more of an appreciation of animation as a fine art.

PIXAR HAS ANNOUNCED “LAVA” WILL BE THE SHORT THAT WILL BE SHOWN BEFORE “INSIDE OUT” IN 2015 It is described as “a musical love story taking place over millions of years that is inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes.”


PIXAR SHOWED FOOTAGE FROM “INSIDE OUT” AT ANNECY Pixar has said almost nothing about Inside Out, the feature being directed by Pete Docter that they will release in June, 2015 except that it takes place entirely inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl. At Annecy Docter presented clips and gave what Variety called a “stunning presentation.” They said Pixar’s 15th feature “will forever change the way people think about the way people think” and it is “by far the most high-concept project Pixar has ever undertaken.” They remained vague about the film’s content.
Docter said, “It’s based on a strong emotional experience I had watching my daughter grow up. When she turned 12 much of her childhood joy disappeared, and she became more moody and withdrawn. There is something that is lost when you grow up.” The film explores that emotional change.
Docter said Riley Anderson, the girl in the film is “one of those kids who seems like she was born happy, in truth, Riley is not our main character; she is our setting.” He then showed the unfinished opening sequence that takes place in her subconscious, where her emotions are represented by anthropomorphized figures. They represent how the girl feels at any given moment and they hang out at a control panel “that looks something like the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise.” Her emotions are represented in the film by five characters that appear in orbs of different co! lored lights. Fear is voiced byBill Hader, Sadness by Phyllis Smith, Joy by Amy Poehler, Disgust by Mindy Kaling and Anger by Lewis Black. Pete joked “like our version of Walt Disney’s seven dwarfs.”
Stuart Heritage who wrote the Variety article goes on to say, “These distinct color-coded characters help Riley to process new experiences and to make memories, which are constantly being recorded within brightly colored orbs that look something like those translucent bath-bubble balls… The inventive opening scene extends from the moment of Riley’s birth and the creation of her first memory to the introduction of its five main characters, ending with an encounter between Joy and Sadness where the former can’t seem to figure out Sadness’ role in the operation. Once the clip ended, Docter explained that Riley and her parents relocate from a quiet rural home to San Francisco at a particularly impressionable age, resulting in a new-school trauma that forces Joy and Sadness out of the control panel and into the far, unfamiliar reaches of her mind.”
“While Fear, Disgust and Anger awkwardly try to keep things under control - as illustrated in a second clip set around the family dinner table, Joy and Sadness put aside their differences and take audiences through a tour of Riley’s thinking process. This epic road trip entails crossing such areas as Imagination Land (‘a giant amusement park full of everything Riley has ever daydreamed about’), a movie studio where nightmares are made, the Train of Thought (a free-ranging locomotive that can go zooming off in any direction) and Abstract Thought - the zone Docter had the most fun translating to the screen.”
Heritage went on to write about Docter’s theories on what goes on inside our heads and how we visualize them, but neither his article nor one published by the Guardian provide details about what we will actually see on the screen. Docter told Heritage things like “we’re approaching it from a poetic viewpoint. It’s not even trying to be scientific at all… One of the big things in this film has been simplifying and making things ‘gettable’… I thought I was making a film about my daughter, but the truth is I’m more making a film about myself in relation to my daughter and und! erstanding that. The film is told from a parent’s point of view, and being a parent, I just sort of slipped into that, I guess. It’s definitely made me think again about the way I grew up, my adolescence and even on a day-to-day basis what I’m doing and why.”
The Pixar news site Pixar Times.Com is also vague about what the film will be like. Samad Rivzi writes, “The story of the film is about how she experiences moving from the country to a smaller house in the city. Sadness tries to make her cry on her first day at the new school, but Joy tries to stop her. They fight and fall out of Headquarters into the depths of Riley’s consciousness… The film explains how imagination and déjà vu work, along with other things the br! ain experiences. It’s not set in the brain, there are no blood vessels or stuff like that, but the design has taken influence from how brains look.”
· Jerry Beck writes (Animation Scoop), “I believe Inside Out has the potential to be Pixar's most profound movie in its exploration of how the mind works metaphorically.&nb! sp; (It) is about the difficulty of adolescence, when sadness replaces joy. In fact, Docter explained that the inspiration came from his own daughter… He couldn't figure out why she was so sad and had lost that wonderful sense of joy. So being an inside/out kind of artist, Docter was compelled to make a movie about this fascinating topic: a road trip… in which her five emotions act like the Seven Dwarfs in protecting her psyche as she grows up… Going imaginatively inside the mind has provided Docter and Pixar with the opportunity to embrace a classic, hand-drawn animation style more fully than ever before.”
While I’m unsure of what to expect when I see Inside Out, I assume I will be amazed. The Guardian article ends by saying, “Pixar has long been a studio unafraid to deal with emotional complexity, but Inside Out sounds like it might be a high-water mark. The question is where it goes from there. The only other films firmly on its slate are The Good Dinosaur, a story about the moral travails of! a parallel-universe dinosaur, and a film about the Mexican Day of the Dead. Both of them sound far more mature than say, Despicable Me, but neither sound as unapologetically bold as Inside Out. Aside from releasing a film where the words ‘You are ultimately alone’ flash up on screen for two hours accompanied by the sound of a distant weeping child, it's hard to imagine how Pixar will be able to make the executive's nose wrinkle this much again.”
Last minute addition: A new Pixar press release tells us Inside Out is an extraordinary adventure “from a balloon ride above the clouds to a monster filled metropolis, all inside Riley’s mind as she struggles to get used to her new life.”

I HOPE ALL READERS OF THIS NEWSLETTER ARE FREE OF THIS PROBLEM OR CAN CELEBRATE THE END OF IT SOON: CONGRATULATIONS TO TYRONE McCLOSKY He was bubbling over with excitement when I ran into him at UC Med where he works as a librarian. He told me, “Today I paid off my student loan.” He studied animation in the late 1980s at SF State with Marcy Page and worked at Colossal Pictures animating the opening titles to Twilight Zone. Tyrone no longer animates but he recently had a show of his paintings at the Kezar Pub at Carl and Cole. KC

DID SAN FRANCISCO SUFFER A BIG LOSS? We lost a museum kids would have loved because they could see amazing Star Wars movie memorabilia. Some adults might have enjoyed the collection of lovely popular taste illustrations used on magazine covers and seeing impressive posters used to sell movies. Eventually Star Wars, etc. material may become as dated looking as Flash Gordon p! rops.


Tues. July 29, Noon, EDEN RESTS by Ofer Kapota from Israel plays with the feature Natan at the Castro Theatre. Also at the California Theatre in Berkeley on Friday August 1 at 1:30PM, have a lovely day at a seaside town with a delightful klezmer soundtrack, 6 enjoyable min.

Fri. Aug 1, 5:20PM, HOLLOW LAND by Michelle & Uri Kranot from Israel, plays with the feature Father and Son at the California Theatre in Berkeley. It is an exceptional award winning film from the National Film Board of Canada. It was on the short list for an Oscar nomination this year and we showed it last Sept. in our NFB program. It is a surreal tale of a couple immigrating to a strange land where they must wear toilet plungers on their heads when going outdoors. 14 min.

Sun. Aug. 3, 2:40 PM, SOME VACATIONS by Anne Lewis with the feature Havana Curveball plays at The Castro. On Thurs. July 31 at 12:30 PM at the Cinearts in Palo Alto and on Sun. August 10 at 12:15 PM at the Grandlake Theatre in Oakland. The film is about a Jewish traveling salesman who sells habits to nuns living in monasteries. Mostly still photographs with limited motion using cutout figures. Fun, amusing memories told to us by his daughter. 5 min.

Tuesday, July 22, FAITH AND JOHN HUBLEY'S FILMS with Emily Hubley hosting the evening She will talk about her parents’ career and also screen one of her own hand-drawn films And/Or (2012). See John and Faith’s Adventures Of An* (1956), Tender Game (1958), Moonbird (1959), The Hat (1964), Windy Day (1968), Urbanissimo (1967), Of Men And Demons (1968) and Eggs (1970). (new 35mm prints)

Tuesday July 29: WENDY TILBY AND AMANDA FORBIS FROM CANADA IN PERSON. They received Oscar nominations for When the Day Breaks (1999) and Wild Life (2012) and Wendy received one for Strings (1991). The shorts were produced by the National Film Board of Canada. They have also worked with Acme in LA to create major TV commercials (United Airlines, etc.)

Thurs, Aug. 7: SALLY CRUIKSHANK IN PERSON (new 35mm prints) Sally has been making animated films since 1971 and her Quasi at the Quackadero was added to the National Film Registry in 2009. Quasi was made while she lived in San Francisco. In addition to a selection of her personal films, she will present musical shorts made for Ses! ame Street. Program: Ducky (1971), Fun On Mars (1971), Chow Fun (1972), Island Of Emotion (1991), Ooh What A Fabulous Party (1992), Quasi At The Quackadero (1! 976), From Your Head (1996), Your Feets Too Big (1994), Make Me Psychic (1978), Quasi’s Cabaret (1980), and Face Like A Frog (1987).

THE PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE IS PRESENTING FOUR SUNDAY AFTERNOON SHOWS OF NOTED ANIMATED FILMS ADAPTED FROM PICTURE BOOKS FOR KIDS On Sat. June 28, 3:30 PM, the films directed by Gene Deitch include The Emperor’s New Clothes and Moon Man, plus a 1971 adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, and others. FREE ADMISSION! Tickets will be available at the box office beginning at 2:30. On July 17, 3:30, Mowgli’s Brothers directed by Chuck Jones, 1976, Where the Wild Things Are, directed by Gene Deitch, 1973 and other delights. On Sun, July 20 see Doctor De Soto directed by Michael Sporn, 1984, an early 1950s Lotte Reiniger short, a 1972 version of The Lorax and more. ! On Sun. Aug. 10 is The Foolish Frog narrated by Pete Segar and directed by Gene Deitch and other shorts.

Thurs. July 17, CARTOON ART MUSEUM GENE HAMM’S “HELL TOUPEE” reading and signing of his new graphic novel, 5:00-8:00pm, free, open to the public.

WHY DON’T WE SEE A LOT OF FOREIGN ANIMATION IN US CINEMAS? by KC An intelligent animated film I’ve been looking forward to seeing for many months will finally be released in the US. GKIDS, an independent distributor that has rights to Secret of Kells, Ernest and Celestine and other fine imports, will be releasing the acclaimed Spanish animated film Wrinkles on July 4 in New York and then on July 15 it becomes available on DVD and as a digital download. It has gotten festival awards and excellent press, it is based on an award-winning graphic novel and it has a noted English language voice cast that includes Martin Sheen, Matthew Modine and George Coe, but it appears that GKIDS is finding it difficult to book it into theatres outside of NYC.
An article in Animation Magazine says, “Wrinkles centers on Emilio, a former bank manager dispatched to a retirement home by his family, and his cheerful swindler of a new roommate, Miguel. The hand-drawn animation beautifully and tenderly introduces adult audiences to the shut-away world of the retirement home and the ! eccentric characters that live there in a sort of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest tale set in an old folks home.”
So why is the theatrical market for intelligent animation that can appeal to adults in the US almost non-existent? Any comments? I find the subject too depressing to contemplate. While GKIDS struggles against enormous odds to get their line of films seen, Disney’s last princess film grossed over $400,000,000 in the US and it is still number 1 in Japan. It gross! ed $1,259,705,000 worldwide on June 22.


A RECENT “VARIETY” HEADLINE WAS “DISNEY’S FOOD-FOCUSED ‘FEAST’ SHORT GETS STOMPING OVATION AT ANNECY” In June the audience at Annecy got to preview Feast, a short from Disney that the paper says equals or even tops Pete Docter’s montage in Up (the dialogue free opening sequence of Carl’s courtship and marriage, greatly admired sequence). The reporter said, “To call ! Feast a hit with that crowd would be an understatement: Erupting with laughter early on, then moved to the brink of tears in almost record time, the audience erupted into applause when the credits rolled, and then, realizing that clapping wasn’t enough to convey their enthusiasm, began stomping loudly on the bleacher seating while director Patrick Osborne stood stunned and speechless, overwhelmed by the response.”
“As in Up, the short relies on montage to compress a wide span of time, 12 years into just under six minutes. Osborne imposed further restrictions on himself, too, setting out to tell a human romance from the p.o.v. of the couple’s pet dog, a Boston Terrier named Winston. But the challenges didn’t stop there: Inspired by an app that he’d used to record 1-second video clips of his various meals, Osborne decided to confine the story to whatever Winston happened to be eating at key points in his own relationship with these two owners. The dog wins over audiences with his decidedly canine qualities including his insatiable desire to gobble anything put in front of him, except Brussels sprouts and other icky dishes presented after his junk-food-eating master begins to date a health-conscious young lady. His favorite foods include steak, spaghetti and ice cream.”
The film concept was pitched to John Lasseter and his “Idea Trust.” Osborne and his crew were allowed to leave the projects they were working on to create this short. It will be shown theatrically before Big Hero 6 when Disney releases it this coming fall. The film was produced at Disney.

SERIOUS FILM CRITICS ARE DELIGHTED WITH “DRAGON 2” While there have been raves about the film on the Internet calling it “simply wonderful” and “DreamWorks best ever film,” The New York Times' Stephen Holden wrote a far more articulate critique. He said that "because [Deblois] makes more of his films' allegoric! al implications than most creators of toons, the movie nudges you to consider its subtext" about war and peace. The sequel is "more self-aware… In places, Dragon 2 is almost too fast to keep up with, and, in other places, it's a little too dark, at least in 3-D. The spectacle quotient has been increased exponentially, and you are keenly aware of the divisions between its adagio and allegro passages. Its thundering air-war sequences, with hordes of dragon-riding fighters swarming into battle, have the swooping, gliding kineticism of vintage newsreels of World War II dogfights."
Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey summarizes that “the animation is crisper than ever... The dragons come in more colors, shapes and sizes than people. Most of the best effects capture the beasties in flight. It's a rip-roaring ride."
The Washington Post's Stephanie Merry notes that the film is truly "a riveting, moving and beautifully animated film (that) shows sequel-makers how to do it right… brimming with action while remaining mercifully straightforward. The undoing of many ! a sequel lies in its insistence on introducing multiple enemies to up the ante. There's none of that here. Meanwhile, the movie manages to tackle themes of growing up and finding independence; coming to terms with one's heritage; forgiveness; and how to properly care for a pet."
The Boston Globe's Tom Russo says, “Nothing in this likable sequel flies quite so high as those aerial shots… these magical 3D visuals feel like a Bl! ue Angels routine customized for the Tolkien crowd."

SONY PICTURES ANIMATION AND SONY IMAGEWORKS IS MOVING THEIR HQ FROM LA TO VANCOUVER Why? “Generous incentives!” Ken Ralston who has won 4 Oscar s for the company will remain in LA.

THE NEW YORK SOCIETY OF ILLUSTRATORS IS PRESENTING ICONS OF ANIMATION Bill Plympton was invited to help them curate an exhibition of the greatest artists in the animation world. "Icons of Animation" is a three-month exhibition of the art of Peter De Seve (Ice Age), William Joyce (Rise of the Guardians), Carlos Nine and Bill Plympton Cheatin’). It opened in June at the group’s building at 128 East 63rd St. and they held a panel discussion with Peter De Seve, William Joyce, and Bill Plympton at the Academy Theater that was moderated by J.J. Sedelmaier.

BILL PLYMPTON’S “CHEATIN’” WON THE JURY AWARD AT ANNECY Variety called Bill’s 7th feature “an adult skewed, hand painted feature about a newly wed wife who becomes the mistress of her cheating husband. Hollywood Reporter said it is about “lust, love and loss.”
The grand prize went to The Boy and the World, a beautiful film from Brazil about a boy who leaves his village to find his father. Nancy’s long Annecy article will be in our September issue.
Despite the good press and a major advertising campaign the film’s box office has not been impressive after two weeks. On June 26 it has grossed $186 million worldwide and the film’s production budget was about $145 million.

TWO INTERNATIONAL ONLINE ANIMATION MAGAZINES WORTH CHECKING OUT The UK’s is www.skwigly.co.uk and www.homofelixjournal.com

THE STUDENT ACADEMY AWARDS The animation prizes went to works from the University of Southern California, Brigham Young University in Utah and from Loyola Marymount University in California. The! winners spent a week in LA where they were treated to lots of industry activities before the awards ceremony. The awards suggest that these schools continue to have strong animation programs.

DISCOVER THE HAND DRAWN ANIMATION OF JOHN HAUGSE He got a Guggenheim in 1976. 8 works https://www.youtube.com/user/checkeriver122337/videos

49TH KARLOVY VARY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WILL PRESENT THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “ROCKS IN MY POCKETS” (MEL GIBSON WILL ALSO BE THERE GETTING AN AWARD) Signe Baumane's animated feature film Rocks in my Pockets will have its world premiere at the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic on July 7 i! n their 1,146 seat Grand Hall. It is the first time an animated feature has been shown in their official competition.
Rocks in my Pockets, “a fantastical tale based on true events, is about five women of Signe Baumane's family, including herself, and their battles with depression and madness… (It covers) deeply personal stories of family secrets, art, romance, marriage, nature and Eastern European upheaval, all in the quest for sanity. The festival’s press release says, “This funny film about depression describes, with remarkable courage and humor, the mental illness that afflicted her family fo! r decades. The film also offers a captivating look at the history of Latvia during the first half of the 20th Century.”
Signe says, "In some ways Rocks in my Pockets is an old-fashioned detective story. Me digging into family history, searching for clues, figuring things out - why some of us have obsessive suicidal thoughts, why we break down, what makes us who we are, and in the end what saves us. Hopefully people find the film entertaining. And perhaps some important conversations will come out of it, ! as well."
Signe employs unique, beautifully textured combinations of papier-mâché, stop-motion and classic hand-drawn animation producing a poignant and often hilarious tale of mystery, mental health, redemption and survival. She is a Latvian born New York based independent animator. Her fifteen animated shorts have been screened in over 200 film festivals around the world including Sundance and Berlinale. Rocks in my Pockets is her first feature film.
Rocks in my Pockets was produced by Signe along with co-producer Sturgis Warner. Women Make Movies was the project's fiscal facilitator and 800 backers supported the film in a successful Kickstarter campaign. It will be distributed in the U.S. and Canada by Zeitgeist Films. Locomotive Productions is co-producing a Latvian version and New Europe Film Sales is the sales agent for the rest of the world.

THE 16TH TEL AVIV INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FILM FESTIVAL (Information is from Tsvika Oren who heads ASIFA in Israel.) In the international competition two animated shorts won prizes. New Species by Katerina Karhankova from the Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts, Prague, Czech Republic! won the Best Animation award. It is a seven minute drawn animation about a journey of three kids in search of a creature whose bone they have found.
Requiem for a Robot by Christoph Rainer of Columbia University, NYC won the experimental prize. It is a six minute mix of live action and animation. It is a low or no budget film with funny creative solutions to telling the story of a malfunctioning worn out robot that drowns his sorrows in alcohol. An interview with Rainer includes photos of an actor wearing a cardboard costume painted with aluminum paint.! http://filmschoolshorts.tumblr.com/post/79381468116/interview-with-requiem-for-a-robot-director-christoph
There were 250 shorts and features screened at the festival. They came from over 40 countries. The Israeli Film Critics Forum awarded a special mention to Tal Hadar's plasticine short Lady No. 4. Tal’s film was made at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem. vimeo.com/72808161!
The 2014 festival's president was Steve Tisch, the only person to ever win both an Oscar and a Super Bowl ring (He was a producer of Forrest Gump, 1994 and Chairman and has been the Executive Vice President of the NFL New York Giants since 2005). The Jury members included Zbig Rybczynski who won an Oscar for his short Tango. Zbig also presented a program of his films and gave a master class titled "Symbiosis: when technology meets the arts.”
The Tel Aviv International Students Film Festival was established by three Tel Aviv University students in 1986. It has grown into a major international event that features screenings, conferences, stimulating master classes and lots of parties. Around 150 guests from all over the world were hosted by local students this year. The competition only accepts entries from schools that are members of CILECT (International association of film and TV schools). http://www.cilect.org/)

THE SECRETS OF WALT’S MOVIE MAGIC IS A TREASURE TROVE OF INFORMATION John Canemaker working with the Walt Disney Family Museum has turned one of their exhibits, the notebook of a Disney special effects artist, still photographer, optical printer technician and multiplane cameraman, into an impressive beautifully illustrated oversized art book.
In The Lost Notebook: Herman Schulthsis and The Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic his notes are reproduced along with more than you ever expected you would know about the efforts Disney’s technicians went through to make animated special effects. The actual notebook, on display at the museum, has been called “the Rosetta Stone of early special effect animation.” Now you can own a reproduction of Herman Schultheis’ notes, learn a good deal from John Canemaker’s text and study hundreds of full color images of Disney artwork and lots of old historic photos.
The book is divided into two sections, an interesting biography of the man (he was last seen in 1955 going into the jungle of Guatemala) and his notes and John’s comments about the shots in the films he worked on (Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi, Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon). There are also several pages of endnotes and an index.
Each shot Herman worked on is examined with detailed information and with numerous color illustrations. If ceramic models or interesting physical techniques were used the notes discuss how they were used. The notebook also has lots of photographs of animals and people (from his publicity photos used by the studio to reference footage of dancers, etc. used by the animators).
If you or somebody you know is fascinated by the technology of the past, before animated films that were made without film, you will probably learn a great deal from this volume and will love it. It is a serious addition to our knowledge of what went on behind the scenes at Disney. You can see copies at the museum’s bookstore (there is no admission fee for that area of the museum).

STRANGE DISNEY TRIVIA June 8, 1984- Donald Duck officially became a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG). Does he still or did he ever pay dues?

KLIK! TOURS AMERICA by KC The Netherlands is not known as a country with a major animation industry, but it has two distinctly different and equally impressive animation festivals. KLIK! was founded in 2007 in Amsterdam by a group of animation lovers that wanted an alternative to the Holland Animation Festival in Utrecht (established in 1987) that focused on experimental animation. In late May I learned a lot about KLIK! when I helped host a visiting delegation from this fest! ival in San Francisco. I finally understood why friends in Europe love to attend it each year.
Tunde Vollenbroek, the program director who organized and accompanied the US tour said the founders of KLIK! wanted an animation celebration that focused on both experimental and popular culture created by students, commercial studios and independent artists. They didn’t want their festival confined to preconceived ideas of what it should be. Dario van Vree, who had been involved with the student run KLIT! Festival in Gent (2004 and 2005) while he was studying at the Royal Academy of Art there helped the Dutch founders of KLIK! get or! ganized. The first festival was held in 2007 and in 2012 it moved into a new home, the impressive modern looking Eye Film Institute in Amsterdam. Today it has a reputation as being a wacky fun celebration that shows world class animation programs.
A wacky festival? You bet! While they show outstanding films in competition like other major festivals along with interesting retrospectives and theme shows, they also do a few things differently. One unusual thing is they pass out metal toy frog “clickers” so audience members can show their appreciation of the films they’ve just seen by making loud clicking noises instead of wearing out their hands clapping. Also, walking around the lobby are people wearing the official mascot costumes including a rather unusual looking robot, a giant box of popcorn and a gian! t blob of cotton candy. The latter spend each day handing out free treats, cotton candy of course.
Adding to the fun the audience includes people wearing silly costumes and others that have sock puppets on their hands. To encourage this kind of behavior one night they hold a sock puppet party, but unlike anime conventions, they do not hold a cosplay contest to attract this crowd.
Tunde tells us the craziness may suggest the crowd is just there for laughs, but they do appreciate serious works of animation. The winner of the 2013 audience award was Junkyard, by Hisko Hulsing (Netherlands), a powerful, disturbing 18 minute long film about teens living in abject poverty where daily life can include exposure to drugs, alcohol, guns and criminal activities. Our audience in San Francisco was quite imp! ressed with it as an exceptional film. It has won several grand prizes (Ottawa, the Holland Film Festival and others) plus it has won audience prizes and other festival honors. It has been posted on the Internet as are all of the films mentioned in this article.
In 2013 one theme the festival focused on was modern looking animation from the 1950s. Amid Amidi, author of the excellent book Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation was a guest curator of this retrospective. He presented five programs of shorts and introduced one feature. Amid is also the editor-in-chief of the important website Cartoon Brew. To make Amid’s series a bit more fun KLIK! held a fifties dance party featuring lots of tunes from the days when Elvis! , Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee Lewis were young hip musicians.
The annual six day festival in 2013 also included dozens of other programs. There were two shows honoring Richard Williams, a screening of new Mickey Mouse shorts, programs of historically important European animation, a show about Russian Internet cartoons, a competition program of shorts in stereoscopic 3D, a program on political cartoons, several events for kids and a great deal of other work not seen on TV or at your local movie house.

KLIK! On Tour
With the support of the Netherland Film Fund, Eye International and other organizations KLIK! has been able to promote the festival and Dutch animation abroad. The 2014 West Coast Tour included stops in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland. Tunde Vollenbroek was accompanied by animator Joost Lieuwma who has created a series of extremely funny shorts over the years and animator Mathijs Stegink presented two programs titled Midnight Madness.
The tour spent six days in San Francisco where they saw the sights and presented presentations at several places including a lunch hour program for people working at Disney’s Industrial Light and Magic, a splendid evening at the Exploratorium for ASIFA-San Francisco and the public and two evening screenings of Midnight Madness at non-traditional screening venues.
The main event celebrating Dutch animation was the presentation at the new Exploratorium. This was the first time ASIFA-SF had used the The Kanbar Forum for an event. The hall has state of the art sound and projection equipment, a built in reception lounge and a world-class view of the Bay Bridge all lit up at night. Thousands of LED lights have been placed on the suspension cables and they create bold striking moving patterns at night that are controlled by computers.
After Tunde handed out extremely sweet cookies from Holland the program of Dutch Treats began with a humorous work by Joost Lieuwma. His Leaving Home is a series of fast paced imaginative gags about a kid being sent off by his parents to find a new life elsewhere, but thanks to a series of humorous reasons he is almost back home before his father can shut the door. (It is just as original and faster paced than Cordell Barker’s The Cat Came Back, Canada, 1988, Oscar nomination.)
Joost’s Things You Better Not Mix Up ended the Dutch portion of the program. It is a series of fast paced visual gags like a concert violinist grabbing a saw instead of a bow and destroying his instrument by mistake.
There were other humorous works in the program. Canal by Joost de Jong and his partners is a delightful comedy of stupidity and errors that involves two furniture movers, a spaced out woman who is moving to a new apartment and a thief. In Fata Morgana by Frodo Kiupers a vendor in the middle of a sun drenched desert is torn between selling his last bottle of lemonade to a traveler who seems about ready to die of thirst or should he consume it himself? In Snapshot by Arthur van Merwijk, the bumbling couple goes off into the woods to photograph wild animals, but they constantly are looking in the wrong direction when the animals appear.
Dutch Treats included three different kinds of serious studies about the human condition. Little Freak is a conversation between a father and his deformed son about making a living as a carnival sideshow act. Junkyard by Hisko Hulsing is an impressive study about poverty and delinquent teens. It is set in the northern part of Amsterdam and the story is based on the lives of people the animator grew up with.
The third serious film is the beautifully executed Blik by Bastiaan Schravendeel. It is a sensitive story that involves a young boy who moves into a new apartment building, a teenage girl who befriends him and the young man she develops a crush on.
Turning to experimental work End Trip directed by Koen de Mol and his partners take us on a handsome psychedelic journey into the mind of a person. Tunde also included two experimental works that were not made by people from Holland. My…My… by Ray Lei from China features a man who is looking for his pants in a world full of i! nterestingly designed abstract forms. In Rabbit and Deer by Peter Vaccz from Hungary two 2D computer generated animals live a quiet life together until the deer suddenly finds he has been transformed into a 3D creature while his friend remains 2D. There were several other nice films shown, but this gives you enough information to give you an idea of the variety and quality of works presented.
During the Q and A session after the show Tunde said there is no one style or technique that is typical of Dutch animation. Instead there is a great deal of experimentation and variety. Joost, like many experienced animators said he began his career doing hand drawn animation, but now his works are created using TV Paint. As for funding many independent animators support their personal projects by doing commercial work. State funding does exist, but is limited to just a few live action and animated productions each year. There is funding to make Ultra Shorts that are shown each summer outdoors in town squares and there is also an annual traveling program of shorts.

Midnight Madness
While the screenings at ILM and the Exploratorium were excellent introductions to contemporary Dutch animation, something was missing from those programs, the interactive audience experience. To experience that aspect of KLIK! Midnight Madness programs were presented at unusual screening spaces in San Francisco and Oakland.
Oddball Films in SF is a 49 seat screening space in an old wooden warehouse that houses an enormous film library. Oddball provides filmmakers stock footage for their productions and holds unusual screenings. Surrounded by old film equipment and twelve foot high storage racks of films Mathijs Stegink welcomed his guests and presented some of the strangest of works submitted to KLIK! over the years. Mathijs explained that every year they receive over 1500 animated entries for the competition. While some make it into the competition Mathijs picks out films that make you think, “What the flying fu¢k were these people thinking, sniffing, smoking?”
The announcement for the Oddball screening on their website said, “To share this wonderful feeling of alienation, bewilderment, and delight, KLIK! and Oddball Films presents the very weirdest the animation world has produced over last few years. For people brave enough to venture into a program that presents the damned, the strange, and the damned strangest from the world of animation. You’ll never look at the medium in the same way ever again... Just keep repeating: It’s only a movie! It’s only a movie! It’s only... a movie?”
Animator Tony Claar saw the program in Oakland the next night and says, “I went to the New Parkway last night and saw the animated films. My, oh my, did we have fun. The Dutch guys were out of their brains with light, silly, relaxed, fun-fun-fun attitudes. They played the films forwards, backwards, in slow-mo and fast forward. They asked the audience to MEOW MEOW when we wanted them to speed up the films and to BARK BARK when we wanted slow-mo. If you loved a film, throw paper airplanes at the screen.&nbs! p; The films are among the weirdest I have ever seen; only a few were disgusting, as in red & green body fluids. Some were just insane, but very funny. Some were very bad, as in very poorly made in every aspect. Most were interestingly odd, at the least.”
“Joost, the guy who directed/animated the Things You Better Not Mix Up short was there, too. A very cheerful, relaxed young man, as was Mathijs. We saw that film and it is hilarious, as you said. Wow, that evening was a blast. We sat on couches, had gigantic fresh popcorn bowls with real butter, drank fresh beer on tap, hooted and hollered, laughed and giggled, meowed and barked. Need I say more?”
Dot Janson, who is on our ASIFA-SF board, saw both late night programs. She said, “It was so much fun with people booing, throwing paper airplanes at the screen if you liked it, etc. The audience loved the whacky films that Mathijs showed. ‘Midnight Madness’ was kind of like a B movie festival with some really weird ones, some really sick ones, some really gross ones, but when viewed in that context with other folks we laughed a lot. Som! e ASIFA members made it along with lots of the local regulars. Post show was at the Beer Garden. I had a great time and ‘Midnight Madness’ was a huge success! I’m so glad I went, but I must admit I'm a bit tired.”
Mathis’ programs are a more entertaining interactive way to present the kinds of films Spike and Mike have shown in their Sick and Twisted programs. Mathijs has figured out both the right elements to make a screening interactive fun while keeping it under control.
This kind of interactive film experience can be traced back to the outrageous midnight showings of The Rocky Picture Horror Show that began in 1975. People threw rice during the wedding scene, used water pistols to squirt people sitting near them during the rain storm sequence, lit matches when the song ‘There’s A Light’ was sung, etc. In some theatres people even dressed like the performers on the screen and would mimic their acting while the film was being shown. It was a delightful interactive experience, but theatre managers often hated it as they worried abou! t accidents, cleaning up the mess, fire and other things. These midnight shows still continue in a few theaters. For example the Bridge Theatre in San Francisco shows the feature once a month.
Thank you KLIK! for reminding me that going to the movies can be more fun than a passive theatre experience. The next KLIK! Festival in Amsterdam will be held November 4 – 9, 2014 in Amsterdam.

THE SECRETS OF WALT’S MOVIE MAGIC IS A TREASURE TROVE OF INFORMATION John Canemaker working with the Walt Disney Family Museum has turned one of their exhibits, the notebook of a Disney special effects artist, still photographer, optical printer technician and multiplane cameraman, into an impressive beautifully illustrated oversized art book. In The Lost Notebook: Herman Schulthsis and The Secrets of Walt Disney’s Movie Magic his notes are reproduced along with more than you ever expected you would know about the efforts Disney’s technicians went through! to make animated special effects. The actual notebook, on display at the museum, has been called “the Rosetta Stone of early special effect animation.” Now you can own a reproduction of Herman Schultheis’ notes, learn a good deal from John Canemaker’s text and study hundreds of full color images of Disney artwork and lots of old historic photos.
The book is divided into two sections, an interesting biography of the man (he was last seen in 1955 going into the jungle of Guatemala) and his notes and John’s comments about the shots in the films he worked on (Fantasia, Pinocchio, Bambi, Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon). There are also several pages of endnotes and an index.
Each shot Herman worked on is examined with detailed information and with numerous color illustrations. If ceramic models or interesting physical techniques were used the notes discuss how they were used. The notebook also has lots of photographs of animals and people (from his publicity photos used by the studio to reference footage of dancers, etc. used by the animators).
If you or somebody you know is fascinated by the technology of the past, before animated films that were made without film, you will probably learn a great deal from this volume and will love it. It is a serious addition to our knowledge of what went on behind the scenes at Disney. You can see copies at the museum’s bookstore (there is no admission fee for that area of the museum).


ART INSTITUTE OF CALIFORNIA SETTLES OUT OF COURT, TO PAY $4.4 MILLION TO RESOLVE ONE SUIT BUT THE PARENT COMPANY, EDUCATION MANAGEMENT CORP IS STILL BEING SUED FOR $11 BILLION BY UNCLE SAM EMC has agreed to pay $4.4 million to resolve litigation over the Art Institute of California-San Francisco and other Art Institute schools located in the state, according to a regulatory filing. The Pittsburgh for-profit education company did not admit wrongdoing. $1.9 million will go toward the city’s legal fees, $1.6 million will go to students who withdrew from the schools after 2009 without getting a degree but now want to get their degree, and $850! ,000 will go toward scholarships for new students. The school had been under investigation for fraudulent business practices.

FOR-PROFIT SCHOOLS HAVE FRIENDS IN WASHINGTON In the article For-Profit Education Fraud Tied to Political Elite, about the $11 billion lawsuit against EMC (April 20, 2012 TruthOut.org), they name a bipartisan group of the nation's political leaders that have close ties to for-profit colleges. This newsletter had previously reported Sen. Olympia! Snowe (R-Maine) and her husband, the former governor of Maine John McKernan, were involved with EMC. He is or was chairman of their board and a former CEO of EMC. Snowe has owned over a million dollars in EMC stock. (She has resigned from the US Senate.).
TruthOut.org claimed in 2012 in a very shrill voice, “There is a vast network of former and current government officials who actively participate in the for-profit college swindle. Some of the conspirators are well known, and include Mitt Romney, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina), John Kline (R-Minnesota), Alcee Hastings(D-Florida), Trent Lo! tt (R-Mississippi), Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee), Steve Gunderson (R-Wisconsin), Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Brian Moran, Snowe, Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi (D-California), and John Boehner (R-Ohio). The group also includes Obama administration officials and supporters…”
“The so-called ruling class of government officials and elected politicians, to which Feinstein and Snowe clearly belong, is little more than a gaggle of white-collar criminals which facilitates and benefits from the diversion of taxpayer money into private coffers. It all takes on the appearance of legitimacy. Unfortunately, this is not a victimless crime. .Like Washington, thousands of students who attend these subprime institutions are left with tens of thousands of dollars of non-dischargeable debt which ends up ruining their lives. “
There are several articles on the Internet that link Senators Snowe, Dianne Feinstein and other members of the House and Senate to owning interests in for-profit colleges. They point out that by their voting for increases in government loans to students the value of their stocks has gone up. Is that a serious conflict of interest? In any case some members of Congress ! who own stocks in for-profit colleges have remained silent on the student loan crisis..

UNCLE SAM’S AND CALIFORNIA’S STATE ATTORNEYS ARE CRACKING DOWN ON OTHER FOR-PROFIT SCHOOLS Corinthian, which runs Everest, Heald and Wyo-Tech, has been accused of lying about job placement rates to attract more students, changing grades upwards to keep students in school, etc. Corinthian says the chain of over 100 campuses is nearly bankrupt and is up for sale. They run Everest, Heald and Wyo-Tech.

PULSE EVOLUTION RECENTLY CREATED MICHAEL JACKSON FOR THE BILLBOARD AWARDS SHOW. A RIVAL COMPANY TRIED TO STOP THE SHOW CLAIMING THEY OWN THE RIGHTS. NOW A $10 MILLION SUIT OVER THE RIGHTS TO THE ANIMATION AND EFFECTS TECHNIQUES HAS BEEN FILED Remember the news about the Tupac Shakur “hologram” where the dead star appeared “live” at a rock concert in 2012? Recently Plus working with John Textor, the producer of the Tupac “hologram,” has created Michael. The technique is a 19th Century stage illusion and Pulse has set the record straight saying the technique is not a hologram. But who owns the patent on improvements to the old technique?

ANIMATED KIDDIE PORN IS STILL LEGAL IN JAPAN Japan just enacted a law banning possession of child pornography, but it will not apply to anime or manga comics, which will still be allowed to feature images of pedophilia. The law passed by Japan's parliament in June makes it the last country in the developed world to outlaw child pornography.
Depictions of violence, rape, incest and fetishes can be found in manga and anime. Many believe the fantastical nature of the medium means the themes are harmless, as Japan enjoys some of the lowest crime rates in the world.
Newsletter Editor: Karl Cohen
Contributors include Nancy Denney Phelps and other friends of ASIFA-SF
Cover illustration by Ricci Carrasquillo
Proofreader: Pete Davis
Mailing Crew: Dot Janson, Shirley Smith and Dan Steves
Webmaster Dan Steves
Special thanks to Nathan Robinson and the Randall Museum for hosting our June event, to Steve Segal for helping with our website, to T! he G Man who sends out our e-mail updates, to Nancy Denney-Phelps for representing our chapter on the international ASIFA board, to Dan Steves who keeps our mailing list and to our treasurer Karen Lithgow.
ASIFA-SF is a chapter of: Association Internationale du Film d’Animation with almost 40 chapters around the world. Local membership is $26 a year.
Our website and blog is: www.asifa-sf.org
Mail can be sent to: karlcohen@earthlink.net
or to PO Box 225263, SF CA 94122

You might enjoy seeing Duet by Glen Keene (ex Disney)

Come celebrate, network, eat, drink and laugh.



At Oddball Films
275 Capp, third floor
Free, bring friends and special treats to share with others
ASIFA-SF will provide some of the basics for this party

6:30 pm Socialize

8:00 pm The Presentation of the Awards and Screening of the Winners including Steve Segal’s “Outside the Box”

The audience will pick the winner of the Best in Show prize
The Best in Show prize be selected from the Spring Show’s top prize winners

Commissioned film - THE FOG OF COURAGE by John R. Dilworth’s for Cartoon Network
Independent Animation - BETTY’S BLUES by Belgium animator Remi Vandenitte
College Students - SILENT VOICES by Jeeyoon Na from Univ. of Southern Calif.
Performance Art – Outside the Box by Steve Segal

The program will also include Hatch by Corrie Francis Parks, Some Other Cat by Mark Kausler, Tarzan, a naughty music video by Signe Baumane, Ric Carrasquillo’s music video Parkas Indoors. Examples of Steve Segal’s earlier work and other shorts including some of the WINNERS OF THE 2013 ASIFA-EAST ANNUAL FESTIVAL as time permits

Oddball Films is located at 275 Capp St. between 17th and 18th Street. It is a giant 3rd floor warehouse loft full of rare 16mm films. Stephen Parr provides historic footage to filmmakers and runs a great film series in this space. Capp runs parallel to and between Mission and Van Ness. The warehouse is near Muni, the 16th St. Bart Statio! n and the Victoria Theatre.

Volunteers are needed to help clean up after the party