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

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

January 2016


KARL'S COMMENTS ABOUT THE ACADEMY'S BEST FEATURE COMPETITION including why Anomalisa could be competition for the animation Oscar and lots of news

THREE DAYS ON THE “ISLAND IN THE SKY,” La Citta Incantata Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy, July 10 - 12, 2015 by Nancy Denney-Phelps


THE ACADEMY AWARDS HAS 16 FEATURES BEING CONSIDERED FOR THE FIVE NOMINATIONS FOR THE BEST ANIMATED FEATURE They are: Anomalisa, The Boy and the Beast, Boy and the World, The Good Dinosaur, Home, Hotel Transylvania 2, Inside Out, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, The Laws of the Universe - Part 0, Minions, Moomins on the Riviera, The Peanuts Movie, Regular Show: The Movie, Shaun the Sheep Movie, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water and When Marnie Was There. The 88th Academy Awards nominations will be announced Thursday, January 14, 2016.

ASIFA-HOLLYWOOD'S ANNIE AWARDS NOMINATED NINE FILMS FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE For the first time they will give two top prizes. Five features are nominated for Best Animated Feature and four for Best Animated feature - Independent Production. The five films are Anomalisa, Paramount Pictures; Inside Out, Pixar Animation Studios; Shaun the Sheep the Movie, Aardman Animations; The Good Dinosaur, Pixar Animation Studios, and The Peanuts Movie, Blue Sky Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Animation. The Best Animated Feature - Independent nominees are Boy and the World, Filme de Papel; Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, Ventanarosa; The Boy and the Beast, Studio Chizu, and When Marnie Was There, Studio Ghibli.

THE DISTRIBUTOR GKIDS SWEEPS THE NEW ANNIE AWARDS INDEPENDENT FEATURE CATEGORY The indie animation distributor has! a total of 11 nominations for Boy and the World, Extraordinary Tales, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet and When Marnie Was There. The features they distribute swept the inaugural year of the Annie's Best Animated Feature – Independent category, taking three out of four nomination spots for Boy and the World, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, and When Marnie Was There.

GKIDS distributes award-winning animated features for both adult and family audiences. Since 2009, the company has scored six Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations, second only to Disney, with The Secret of Kells in 2010, A Cat in Paris and Chico & Rita in 2012, Ernest & Celestine in 2014, and The Tale of The Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea in 2015.

Boy and the World has qualified for an Academy Award and has Annie nominations for Best Animated Feature – Independent, Outstanding Achievement in Music for an Animated Feature Production, and Outstanding Achievement in Production Design for an Animated Feature. It is by Brazilian artist Ale^ Abreu and it is described as a “multiple award-winning masterpiece, a riotous explosion of music and color, a breathtakingly original and vibrant cinematic experience that depicts the wonders and struggles of the modern world as seen through the eyes of a young boy.

Cuca's cozy rural life is shattered when his father leaves for the city, prompting him to embark on a quest to reunite his family. The young boy's journey unfolds like a tapestry, the animation taking on greater complexity as his small world expands. Entering civilization, industrial landscapes are inhabited by animal-machines, with barrios of decoupage streets and shop windows, and flashing neon advertisements that illuminate the night. The story depicts a clash between village and city, hand crafted and mechanized, rich and poor – and throughout the tumult, the heart and soul of the people beats on as a s outside the invisible magic circle to which most people belong. She shuts herself off from everyone around her, wearing her ‘ordinary face.’ Anna never expected to meet a friend like Marnie, who does not judge Anna for being just what she is. When Anna learned the loveliness of friendship she begins to wonder about her newfound friend

Based on the novel by Joan G. Robinson, When Marnie Was There is the newest film from Studio Ghibli, and the second feature film by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the director of The Secret World of Arrietty.

Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet has qualified for the Academy Awards and has been nominated by the Annie Awards for Best Animated Feature – Independent, Outstanding Achievement for Directing an Animated Feature, and Outstanding Achievement for Best Editorial in an Animated Feature.

The Prophet, by celebrated Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, is among the most popular volumes of poetry ever written, selling over 100 million copies in forty languages since it was first published in 1923. Gibran's timeless verses have been expressed in enchanting new forms of animation by a series of animators, each visualizing a different poem in their personal style. The segments are painterly cinematic adventures about freedom and the power of human expression.

This breathtaking animated feature, produced and spearheaded by Salma Hayek, was an official selection at Cannes and made its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. Written and directed by Roger Allers (The Lion King), the film intersperses Gibran's elegant poetry within animated sequence! s by filmmakers Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Bill Plympton (Guide Dog), and several other award-winning animation directors. It features music by Damien Rice, Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan and Yo-Yo Ma.

The film is set in a Mediterranean sea-side village where Kamila cleans house for exiled artist and poet Mustafa, but the more difficult job is keeping her free-spirited young daughter, Almitra out of trouble. The three embark on a journey meant to end with Mustafa's return home, but first they must evade the authorities who fear that the truth in his words will incite rebellion.

Extraordinary Tales has been nominated for Annie Awards for Outstanding Achievement for Directing in an Animated Feature Production and Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in an Animated Feature. The film is based on five of Edgar Allan Poe's best-known stories and it is described as visually stunning. It is said to be a “heart-pounding animated anthology featuring Sir Christopher Lee, Bela Lugosi, Julian Sands, Roger Corman and Guillermo del Toro. Murderous madmen, sinister villains and cloaked ghouls stalk the darkened corridors of Poe's imagination, as his haunting tales are given a terrifying new twist by some of the most beloved figures in horror film history.

"PEANUTS", “THE PROPHET” AND PIXAR'S “INSIDE OUT” AND “THE GOOD DINOSAUR” RECEIVED THE MOST NOMINATIONS FOR THE 43RD ANNUAL ANNIE AWARDS ASIFA-Hollywood's 43rd Annual Annie Awards recognize the year's best in the field of animation. The awards cover 36 categories and include Best Animated Feature, Best Animated Feature-Independent (new this year), Special Productions, Commercials, Short Subjects, Student Films and Outstanding Individual Achievements. The winners will be announced at a black tie ceremony on Saturday, February 6, 2016 at UCLA's Royce Hall. The Annie event also presents several honorary awards.

This year's Best Animated Feature nominations go to Anomalisa (Paramount Pictures), Inside Out (Pixar Animation Studios), Shaun the Sheep the Movie (Aardman Animations), The Good Dinosaur (Pixar Animation Studios)! , and The Peanuts Movie (Blue Sky Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Animation).

This year the organization introduced a new category – Best Feature - Independent which recognizes independent animators, international studios, anime and special productions that might not otherwise get the attention they deserve. The inaugural Best Animated Feature-Independent nominations go to Boy and The World by Alê Abreu from Brazil, The Boy and the Beast by Mamoru Hosoda from Japan, Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet by Roger Allers, an international co-production, and When Marnie Was There by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Studio Ghibli, Japan.

The lifetime achievement awards honoring exceptional contributions to animation have already been announced. Three recipients of the Winsor McCay Award selected by the ASIFA-Hollywood Board of Directors are Joe Ranft, Phil Roman and Isao Takahata for their career contributions to the art of animation. The annual June Foray Award recipient this year is Don Hahn for his significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation.

The awards this year will be presented to 10 productions and to 26 individuals or teams. Here are the nominees in the production categories not already mentioned:

The Best Animated Special Production nominees are Elf: Buddy's Musical Christmas from Warner Bros. Animation, He Named Me Malala from Parkes-MacDonald/Little Door, I Am a Witness from Moonbot Studios, Kite from Epic Games, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck from End of Movie, LLC; Niko and the Sword of Light from Titmouse, Inc. and Amazon Studios.

The Best Animated Short nominees are Carface from The National Film Board of Canada, Dissonance from Framebox, If I was God from The National Film Board of Canada, On Ice from Google/Evil Eye Pictures, Sanjay's Super Team from Pixar Animation Studios and World of Tomorrow by Don Hertzfeldt.

The Best Animated Television/Broadcast Commercial nominees are Chex Party Mix: Holiday Magic from Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Man and Dog from Psyop, Michelin Total Performance: All the Performances In Every Tire from Moonbot Studios and We Are All Farmers from Acme Filmworks.

The Best Animated Television/Broadcast Production for Preschool Children nominees are Bubble Guppies: Super Guppies! from Nickelodeon Nelvana, PAW Patrol: Pups Save A MerPup from Spin Master Nickelodeon, Peter Rabbit: The Kitten and Pig Adventure from Nickelodeon Productions and Silvergate Media, Sheriff Callie's Wild West: The Good, the Bad & the Yo-Yo from Wild Canary Animation and Disney Junior, Transformers Rescue Bots: I Have Heard The Robots Singing from Hasbro Studios and Tumble Leaf: Mirror from Amazon Studios and Bix Pix Entertainment.

The nominees for Best Animated Television Broadcast Production For Children are Clarence: Turtle Hats from Cartoon Network, Gravity Falls: Not What He Seems from Disney Television Animation, Harvey Beaks: A Day of No To-Do from Nickelodeon, Sanjay & Craig: Street Dogg from Nickelodeon, Star vs the Forces of Evil: Blood Moon Ball - Disney Television Animation, Steven Universe: Jail Break from Cartoon Network Studios and Wander Over Yonder: The Breakfast from Disney Television Animation.

The nominations for Best General Audience Animated Television/Broadcast Production are Bob's Burgers: Can't Buy Me Math from Twentieth Century Fox Television and Bento Box Entertainment, BoJack Horseman: Brand New Couch from The Tornante Company, Moonbeam City: Quest for Aquatica from Titmouse, Inc. for Comedy Central, The Simpsons: Halloween of Horror from Gracie Films in Association with 20th Century Fox Television.

The nominees for Best Student Film are Can I Stay? from Ringling College, Dodoba by YonHuiLee, Ed from Taha Neyestani, ! Life Smartphone by Xie Chenglin, Mother by Stephanie Chiew, Nice To Meeteor You by YizhouLi, Shift by Maria Cecilia Puglesi and The Casebook of Nips & Porkington from Melody Wang.

The nominees for Best Animated Effects in an Animated Production are Home from DreamWorks Animation, Hotel Transylvania 2 from Sony Pictures Animation, Inside Out from Pixar Animation Studios, Minions from Illumination Entertainment, The Good Dinosaur from Pixar Animation Studios, and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water from Paramount Animation

ASIFA-Hollywood, founded in 1972, is the largest chapter of the international organization ASIFA. They support a range of animation activities and preservation efforts through its membership. Current initiatives include the Animation Archive, Animation Aid Foundation, animated film preservation, special events, classes and screenings. For a complete list of nominations, please visit www.annieawards.org.

HE NAMED ME MALALA” IS ON THE ACADEMY'S FEATURE DOCUMENTARY SHORTLIST AND IS NOMINATED FOR AN ANNIE AWARD Malala Yousafzai is the now famous Pakistani teenager who was 15 when the Taliban shot her in the head (2012) for speaking out on behalf of education for girls. The film mixes live action with animated sequences that evoke the history and landscape of Malala's Swat Valley homeland. The animation was created by 12 alumni from CalArts Experimental Animation Program along with 2 students. The animation was supervised by Jason Carpenter and produced by Irene Kotlarz for director Jason Carpenter.

According to Jennifer Wolfe, writing for Animation World News (awn.com), “Carpenter designed the animated sequences with the goal of ‘developing a visual style that conveyed the emotion and atmosphere of Malala's story -- while remaining compatible with live-action.’ He created a unique visual universe -- painterly, evocative, open to viewers’ interpretation, and inspired by a wealth of influences ranging from the paintings of Henri Matisse and David Hockney to South Asian textiles.

CURIOUS ABOUT “MOOMINS ON THE RIVERA?” IT IS ON THE ACADEMY'S LIST FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURES A review of Moomins on the Riviera said it should leave younger kids charmed. It is based on characters created by Finnish cartoonist Tove Jansson and it is being considered for an Oscar nomination. It stars a family of hippo-like characters who visit to the Cote d'Azur and being naïve they check into a fancy hotel and because the hotel considers them "guests" they think they won't have to pay. Somehow pirates get involved in the plot. The 2D animation is described by one writer as “a pleasant, gentle throwback to the days before frenetic 3D/CGI animation took hold… Casually paced and meandering, Moomins on the Riviera is unlikely to appeal to older kids. But very young children will probably find the characters enchanting, and adults will appreciate the subtle doses of sly, satirical humor. There's a reason that the Moomins have enjoyed international popularity for some 70 years, and this film, based on a comic strip series originally published in 1954, wisely does little to change or update its modest charms.

KARL'S COMMENTS ABOUT THE ACADEMY'S BEST FEATURE COMPETITION Last year was a fine year for animation with several films getting considerable critical acclaim. Although the competition was strong, there are four features that stand out as the most likely films to get Oscar nominations. They are The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie and Shaun the Sheep Movie.

The fifth nomination could go to The Prophet as it received several Annie Award nominations, or it could go to Anomalisa, an impressive psychological drama that has won several awards at major film festivals and it was voted the Best Animated Feature by the L.A. Film Critics Association. It is a new use for the medium so I'm not sure people in the animation division of the Academy, who select the nominated features, will vote for it. It probably conflicts with their concept of what animation should be, has an unfinished look to the puppets and they may find this study of a bi-sexual anti-hero whose personal life is a mess boring. (Most of the film moves slowly to make us feel the dullness/numbness of his life.)

If Anomalisa gets nominated it could win the Oscar as most of the voters will be people who work on live action films. They may love a strong film about a male who isn't comfortable with his private life. Voters may be impressed by a film that uses animation to distance us from a man going through personal difficulties. We might be too uncomfortable watching it if it were live action.

If Anomalisa isn't nominated Inside Out is the likely winner. The Good Dinosaur is a remarkable looking work and it is a traditional well-crafted story so it may draw some votes away from the more experimental Inside Out. The Peanuts Movie is actually quite an interesting experiment as it took a retro
approach that pays homage to the look, structure and content of the original comic strip. It is certainly a breath of fresh air after years of features trying to outpace each other, but while Charlie Brown is lovable, he is never a likely winner.

REGIONAL FILM CRITICS PICK THEIR FAVORITE ANIMATED FEATURE The Chicago and Washington, DC Area Film Critics Associations picked Inside Out as the Best Animated Feature: The other nominees in both Chicago and Washington were The Good Dinosaur, The Peanuts Movie, Shaun the Sheep Movie and Anomalisa. The St. Louis critics chose Spotlight as Best Film of 2015 and Inside Out as the runner up!

SONG OF THE SEA” WINS BEST EUROPEAN ANIMATED FEATURE The three nominated films for Best Animated Feature at the European Film Awards were Adama, Shaun the Sheep and Song of the Sea. In Tomm Moore's acceptance speech he said of Song of the Sea, “a film like this could only be made in Europe." I think you will agree with that statement if you consider for a moment the diffe! rences between American and European aesthetic sensibilities. KC

THE GOLDEN GLOBES NOMINATIONS FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM ARE: Anomalisa, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie and Shaun the Sheep Movie.


Sunday, January 10, 6 PM, at Odd Ball Films, ASIFA-SF PARTY AND OPEN SCREENING Featuring

DOMOIC ACID ATTACK, a project directed by Steve Segal at CCA for the Marin Mammal Center.

REMAIN TO BE SILENT by Guillermo Gomezs (aka “The G Man”) His part-animated, award winning film includes an important message. It was recently shown at the Castro Theatre. The prize that went with the award was funding for his next film!

Plus films by Ben Ridgway, Mark West, Barbara Bayne, John Tupper, Eliza Gillman, and other animators from the Bay Area and other surprises from around the world. See flyer for more details.

Show you new animated work or work in progress. Just bring it. If you cannot be present send us your DVD to Karl Cohen, 478 Frederick, SF, CA 94117. - Please limit the length to less than 10 min. -

Coming Wed., February 17th, 7 PM


Some of the Artists will be Present!

Members only, you can bring 1 guest, RSVP after Feb. 1. Event will be at Dolby, 100 Portrero Ave.


LITTLE FLUFFY CLOUDS HAS COMPLETED a short film for the River Otter Ecology Project. The premiere is being planned before we can see it online.

LANEY COLLEGE IN OAKLAND IS OFFERING GRAPHICS IN MOTION This new course for the Spring 2016 semester starts this month and the teacher is Robert "Tony" Claar. There will be two separate classes (each offers 3 units of college credit). They meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, starting Jan. 26, 8 to 10 AM and on Saturdays starting January 30, 9 AM to 1 PM. You can register on Laney's passport website: passport2.peralta.edu

Tony writes, “You can be an animator! Why don't you try? Improve your drawing skills. Watch great films. You can learn all the fundamentals of classic, hand drawn animation for sure. It will be fun & worth it.

This is a traditional drawn animation class for beginners. The exercises do not require advanced drawing abilities. Instead, they will be simple and you can be at a beginning level. The class starts at the beginning, with animating straight & curved lines, then the 3 basic forms: the sphere, cube and cylinder. We will animate objects, simple characters, animals, birds, fish, and visual effects such as fire, water and smoke. Students will learn Disney's 12 principles of animation, laws of physics like gravity and principles of movie making. Students will also learn stop-motion and will make their own short animated movies.

The animation software is Digicel Flipbook, used by the top animation studios and most colleges. I have used it professionally for 22 years. Go to digicelinc.com to check it out. We have it installed on the computers at Laney.

I have over 30 years of professional animation experience that I want to share with you. It includes work on TV products (Disney TV in LA, Fox TV, MTV's Liquid Television); on feature films (Cool World, directed by Ralph Bakshi; Ferngully and The Chipmunk Adventure, all in LA) plus Sesame Street in London, and Professor Balthazar and Satiemania in Zagreb Film Studios, Croatia. Bay area animation work: Colossal Pictures, SF Production Group, The Learning Co., Broderbund, and many commercials.”

I was fortunate to attend Richard Williams’ three day master class in Vancouver, Canada, 1995. My own films are on YouTube: Tony Claar. Welcome to the class, let's start animating!



DISNEY KNOWS HOW TO MARKET FILMS Star Wars beat Jurassic World's record with a global box office take on the opening weekend of $528 million and just after Christmas it had passed the billion dollar mark. There is also a new line of Toy Story toys available honoring the 20th birthday of that film. Inside Out has grossed $852 million worldwide (as of Dec. 28) and The Good Dinosaur has grossed $216 million worldwide so far. Another potential money maker, the company has just published an Oswald Rabbit comic book.

ADULT SWIM ANNOUNCES RETURN OF “SAMURAI JACK” Yes, Jack is coming back! Genndy Tartakovsky will continue the epic adventures of Samurai Jack this year in Adult Swim’s Toonami block. Once again you can follows Jack as he travels through time in his quest to return to where he came from and to defeat the demon Aku. Before the show ended in 2004 it had won four Primetime Emmy Awards and had developed a solid following and the fans. They have been clamoring for more so a new series is being produced at the Cartoon Network Studios in LA.

STUDIO GHIBLI'S "ONLY YESTERDAY" TO GETS ITS LONG-OVERDUE U.S. THEATRICAL RELEASE Considered a lost gem, Isao Takahata's Only Yesterday was recently included in Time Out's list of the “Best 100 Animated Movies Ever Made,” and Wes Anderson and Roger Ebert are among its admirers. Now, at long last, one of Studio Ghibli's most acclaimed masterpieces is getting a U.S. theatrical release. Gkids has set a New York release date of January 1st, 2016, to commemorate the film's 25th anniversary, and they will expand the distribution of the film to theaters nation-wide on February 26th.

Taeko is 27 years old, unmarried, and has lived her whole life in Tokyo. While traveling by train to visit family in the country she begins to question whether she had been true to childhood herself when she was a schoolgirl. “Elegantly switching between her adult present and school girl flashbacks, Takahata brilliantly explores the drama, humor and enchantment of everyday life, in a poignant and achingly beautiful masterpiece from one of the world's most revered animation studios.”

DISNEY'S BOB IGAR TOOK A CUT IN HIS SALARY In 2014 he was making $46.5 million and in 2015 it was only $44.9 million. His new COO Thomas Staggs was paid $20 million in 2015 while his CFO Christine McCarthy was paid $7.1 million. Christine replaced Jay Rasulo who was being paid $15.1 million.

FOUR FILMS FEATURING ANIMATION HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE 2015 NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY Each year, the Library of Congress adds 25 notable films to its permanent collection, ensuring that the titles will be preserved for generations to come. The 2015 list has several nice surprises on it that include a film from 1906 based on a Winsor McCay comic strip, a George Pal Puppettoon, an Oscar winning experimental Disney short and an educational Disney short that has been seen by millions of girls. “Select films for the National Film Registry recognizes their importance to cinema and to America’s cultural and artistic history,” said acting Librarian of Congress David Mao. “The registry is an invaluable way to advance public awareness of the richness, creativity and variety of our nation's film heritage.

Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906) Based on Winsor McCay’s popular comic strip that ran in the New York Evening Telegram from 1904 to 1914, this surreal comedy by film pioneer Edwin S. Porter employed groundbreaking trick photography, including cut out animation, stop-motion techniques, split screen and double exposure photography. It is a wonderful drunken hallucinatory dream.

In it an Edison actor named Jack Brawn over indulges himself on Welsh rarebit and ale. He returns home and dreams his world is spinning out of control. Porter, who joined Thomas Edison’s company in 1899 completed the seven-minute film in nine days at a cost of $350 (about $10,000 today).

Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975) Thom Andersen, a former UCLA film student, used persistence of vision to animate Muybridge’s sequential photographs in this documentary. The film also goes into his personal and professional struggles including his development of his zoopraxoscope, a predecessor of the film projector.

John Henry and the Inky-Poo (1946) by George Pal for Paramount. The African-American folk hero John Henry was probably based on an actual person who worked on the railroads around the 1870s. The legend appeared in the late 19th Century as a folk song and in the early 20th century in print.

Stop-motion animation pioneer George Pal created this short film after the NAACP and Ebony magazine criticized his Jasper series of cartoon as offensive stereotypes. The magazine later praised “John Henry” as the first Hollywood film to feature African-American folklore in a positive light and to treat its characters with “dignity, imagination, poetry, and love.” The film was highly popular and was nominated for an Academy Award.

The Old Mill (1937) This Disney Silly Symphony, directed by Wilfred Jackson, was used by the studio to test their new technology, the multiplane camera system. It added the illusion of three-dimensional depth and more complex lighting possibilities. Combined with realistic depictions of animals, it was used to heighten the illusion of realism in Snow White, Fantasia and Bambi. In Jerry Beck’s The 50 Greatest Cartoons Selected by 1,000 Animation Professionals, Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston recalled, “Our eyes popped when we saw all of The Old Mill's magnificent innovations, things we had not even dreamed of and did not understand.” The film won an Academy Award for best animated short in 1937, and the studio won an Oscar for its revolutionary camera.

he Story of Menstruation (1946) Sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, the makers of Kotex, the film was produced by the Walt Disney Company through its Educational and Industrial Film Division. Distributed free to schools and girls’ clubs with an accompanying pamphlet titled Very Personally Yours, the film used sweet, lovely Disney characters and a gentle narration to “encourage a healthy, normal attitude” toward menstruation.

Although a few educational films were available before World War II, this work was a far more ambitious form of educational film (it barely mentions the sponsor’s product. Educational? Yes, it replaced superstitions with “scientific facts” and dispelled “embarrassment.” The author Sean Griffin points out that Disney’s abstract representation of the body “‘bleaches’ the more ‘unsavory’ parts of the lesson, such as making the menstrual flow white instead of red.” According to Joan Jacobs Brumberg, author of “The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls,” approximately 9! 3 million American women, mostly teenagers, viewed this film between 1946 through the late 1960s.

THE GOOD DINOSAUR by Karen Folger Jacobs This Disney/Pixar film features many realistic landscapes in 3D including a pointed mountaintop resembling the Disney logo (but without the surrounding halo of gold stars). These images will carry some viewers through the film despite the telegraphed plot.

While watching the film my mind frequently recalled the first famous dinosaur movie, Gertie the Dinosaur, released in 1914 by Windsor McCay who drew its 10,000 six inch by eight inch drawings. His was a clear vision, one which perhaps cannot be sustained in a film orchestrated by teams or committees.

The Disney-Pixar movie is a coming of age film and a buddy film; Arlo the growing dinosaur, bonds with tiny Spot - not a dog but another young male, a mini-human. Near the end of the film Arlo and Spot are overjoyed by reuniting with atheir parents and siblings after being separated by natural disasters. This film serves as a hymn to the holy nuclear family - a man, a woman and children who unconditionally love each other.

During the screening some adults in the audience laughed loudly whenever a creature was crushed or had its head bitten off. Unlike them I did not crack a smile during the movie. I thought about how children, brought to a screening of this film, may be learning to fear nature - to fear the multitude of “critters” racing, flying or swimming across the screen. Especially terrifying was the raging river water which swept away Arlo's father.

This movie will lead some children to increase their nature deficit by hibernating in their own silos even more than they do so now - spending more time alone indoors, with their attention riveted to a small screen.
The attached opening short, Sanjay’s Super Team, about a boy and his father, by Pixar's Sanjay Patel was very good as were many of the 3D landscapes in The Good Dinosaur.

Editor's note: Karen later said, “I can imagine hundreds of children having nightmares (as I did after seeing Bambi at age 7) and refusing to go outdoors…”

A NOTE ABOUT “THE PEANUTS MOVIE” by KC An unusual thing about this film is the story structure. It is written like a comic strip with a series of short daily things happening instead of a series of things that build to impressive arcs. In the comic a premise is introduced in the first panel and some sort of minor conclusion is often reached in the last. In this film the story moves along at a pace like a daily comic. Nice little things or disappointments happen and the chapter endings are not big dramatic moments. Life just goes on.

La Citta Incantata Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy,
July 10 - 12, 2015 by Nancy Denney-Phelps

Leaving Padova, I rode the train south through fields of bright yellow sunflowers looking forward to the adventure awaiting me at La Citta Incantata (The Enchanted City). Lucca Raffaelli, one of Italy's top experts on comics and animation, conceived the idea of bringing together over fifty of Italy's most distinguished animators, designers, cartoonists, storyboard and visual artists to demonstrate and talk about their work.

Gathering together fifty distinguished artists is difficult enough, and getting them all to come to the historic Civita di Bagnoregio was a truly daunting endeavor. Civita di Bagnoregio was founded by Etruscans more than 2,500 years ago, perched on top of a plateau of fragile volcanic rock overlooking the Tiber River Valley. By the 19th century Civita di Bagnoregio was turning into an island as the pace of erosion increased. Today the town is completely cut off from the larger city of Bagnoregio and can only be reached by a steep uphill walk via a quarter mile long foot bridge.

Civita di Bagnoregio is a step back into the past, with stone houses and narrow passages leading to hidden gardens. Except for the numerous tourists, you feel that time has passed this town by. When Hayao Miyazki first saw Civita di Bagnoregio wreathed in clouds he was inspired to make Castle in the Sky (1986). Today Japanese tour groups flock across the bridge to relive Miyazaki's vision of his castle in the sky.

Photographs in the town's few businesses show the ancient narrow path that blindfolded donkeys once traversed to link Civita with Bagnoregio. Today all supplies are ferried in on small motorized carts. As buildings crumble over the edge of the plateau, the once populated city has shrunk to about 20 residents who live there year-round. In the summer the population soars to between 200 and 300 as residents from Rome occupy the summer houses.

The three day event afforded an opportunity for tourists and guests to meet the artists in informal settings. Each session was held in a private home, the Geological Museum, or various other available spaces in the small town. The participants presented their latest projects and shared secrets of their art in 30 or 60 minute sessions that were open to everyone free of charge.

It was a special honor to meet Manfredo Manfredi, one of the great geniuses of Italian animation, Manfredo, a talented painter and set designer, began animating in 1963 when he started working with fellow Italian Guido Goma. Their work primarily dealt with socio-political issues as exemplified by the 1966 film Ballata per un Pezzo da Novanta (Ballad for a Big Wig) about the Mafia and Son Ambene non est Abba (Blood is Thicker than Water) in 1969 which took Sardinian bandits as the theme.

In 1970 he and Goma went their separate ways. In 1976 Manfredo went on to create Dedalo (Labyrith) which won an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short Film. That same year Dedalo also won the OIAF Award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Manfredo has continued to animate, but more and more his interest has returned to painting and he has had several major exhibitions of his work. At La Citta Incantata he gave an hour long presentation where he talked about “My life between painting and animation. An exhibition of his paintings was also on display throughout the event.

I was delighted to meet Leonardo Carrano and was very impressed by the presentation of his scratch animation films. He also began his career as a painter, but in 1992 he started to experiment with animation combining different techniques ranging from traditional methods to digital film making and scratching on film.

Although he speaks very little English his son, Andrea, translated for us. He told me that his films have been broadcast on Italian television as well as appearing at many festivals. Leonardo also said that his 2014 film Jazz for a Massacre is a tribute to experimental artist Nato Frasca, who invented the “doodle method,” a form of free expression used to explore the unconscious. He used scratch animation techniques to create the images directly on film.

I wanted to see more of Carrano's work and after some searching I found Aeterna, his 12 minute 58 second interpretation of the 14 individual movements of Mozart's Requiem. The film was put together over a number of years using a wide variety of techniques including hand painted film, pencil drawings on paper, oil paint, silk screen printing, filmed images and experimental video animation.

Most of the sessions were conducted in Italian, but there were a few exceptions. Filmmaker Ram Devineni, based in New Delhi and New York City, is tackling India's rape problem with the help of a comic book heroine.

Devineni told his audience that the rape of a young woman in Delhi in December 2012 had a profound effect on him. The tragic incident led him to create the comic book Priya's Shakti, India's first interactive comic book, along with artist Dan Goldman. Priya's Shakti is aimed at pre-teens because, as Ram said, “by the time a young person gets to be 17 or 18 it is too late to change their behavior so the comic book is aimed at 7 to 10 year olds.” He stressed that the problem of sexual violence in India is not a legal issue; rather it is a cultural problem.

The young female super heroine of the comic book, Priya, tackles rape and sexual abuse by telling her readers to “speak without shame and stand with me to bring about the change we want to see. Ram wanted to create a new Indian “Super heroine,” Priya a rape survivor, because the essence of Hinduism is about conquering your fears. In the comic Priya confronts the tiger that has been stalking her and turns her fears, represented by the tiger, into her power.

To engage young readers, augmented reality is a major part of the comic book. By scanning the comic with the popular augmented reality Blipper the reader can view the animated real life stories of girls and women. Other interactive elements pop out of the pages as well. With the Blipper app readers can also take a photo and put themselves into the comic book. Your composite image shows you with Priya sitting on her tiger. You can then post the photo on a social media site or e-mail it to a frien! d. Four large pages from the comic were posted on a wall in the town square where visitors could try out the interactive options.

Ram Devineni is now focusing on getting the comic book into schools and translating it into different languages. He also hopes to bring Priya to the screen as the star of an animated feature. You can learn more about the project at: priyashakti.com

Former Aardman Studio model maker Francesca Ferrario demonstrated techniques of modeling with plasticine. Other workshops explored pixilation, cartoon drawing, and creating a scratch film. A number of them gave visitors an opportunity to try their hand at some of the techniques they had learned about in the presentations

Evening events were held in Bagnoregio, the town at the foot of the bridge. A large outdoor screen was erected in the Piazza Biondiri and on Friday evening films by La Citta Incantata guests were screened. The guests were then called to the stage for a short chat with Luca about their work. Saturday evening there was a concert in the lovely Piazza Auditorium. This was followed by a screening of Castle in the Sky, a most appropriate choice given where we were.

When you think of Italy you think of delicious food and good wine and the festival certainly treated us to wonderful meals. Sitting in the beautiful old city with a glass of wine after a delicious meal was the perfect time for us to have relaxed conversations.

Luca believes that artists can help save the world. He certainly undertook a monumental project to create this event as it filled the alleys, streets and homes of this unique “island in the sky” with over 50 top artists from the world of animation and cartoons. It seemed like a dream, but Luca proved that it could be done and it was a resounding success. I hope that Luca will plan to make this an annual gathering for Italian artists and that I will have the luck to be invited back again. Learn more at: www.lacittaincantata.it

Newsletter Editor: Karl Cohen
Contributing writers include Karen Folger Jacobs and Nancy Denney-Phelps
Cover illustration by Ricci Carrasquillo
Proofreader: Sarah Chin
Mailing Crew: Shirley Smith and Dan Steves
Webmaster Dan Steves
Special thanks go 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



275 Capp St. third floor (Capp runs between Mission and South Van Ness, on Capp near 18th St.) free, bring a friend

AT 6PM, A SOCIAL HOUR FOR NETWORKING, drink and enjoy a potluck.
ASIFA-SF will provide the basiclls, please bring a little something to share if you can.


CHICKEN LITTLE by AnimaCrackers (Mark West and Barbra Baynes)
DOMOIC ACID ATTACK, a project directed by Steve Segal at CCA for the Marin Mammal Center. Domoic acid that is created by algae blooms in the ocean is getting into the food chain. While crabs and other small sea creatures can consume domoic acid safely, it is toxic to seals and humans. That is why there is a ban on eating crabs.
REMAIN TO BE SILENT by Guillermo Gomez’s (aka “The G Man”) His part-animated, award winning film includes an important message. It was recently shown at the Castro Theatre where it won the top prize (the prize included funding for Guillermo’s next film!)
LAMP VS BALL by Eliza Gilliam from Canada College, a delightful twist on a celebrated short film. This unique work is not a typical student film.
DESERT RAT: DUSTER TS BREAKFAST by John Tupper, a teaser for a feature

Plus more surprises from the Bay Area along with

THE MASTER by Riho Unt from NukuFilm, Estotia. A remarkable, powerful, gripping, tension filled stop-motion drama that really is an extraordinary short!

BIG HANDS Lei Lei from China. A fascinating, strange semi-abstract design piece set to an original score that seems to makes no sense, but does it have hidden meaning? Or BOOKS ON BOOKS by Lei Lei from China with a soundtrack by Nik Phelps. It is a tribute to his father who was the first person to import foreign language books into China after the Cultural Revolution.

ANOMALISA, the first few minutes of this R rated controversial feature will be shown. Decide for yourself if it is engaging. It has an unfinished look (i.e. the replacement seams in the face were not digitally removed) and the film begins with a boring sequence broken by a tense filled encounter. The film flows like some people’s lives as the further you get into it the controversial encounter get more tense or complex. Animation isn't used for traditional reasons. Instead it makes the tension filled sequences watchable.

HAVE AN ANIMATED WORK TO SHOW? You can bring it unannounced and we will show it!

It can be a finished work or a work in progress. Please, limit the length to under 10 min. Work must be in a movie format on a DVD, not a data file. Work shown can also be submitted to our June festival. If you cannot be present you can send your DVD to us:

Karl Cohen, 478 Frederick, SF, CA 94117. karlcohen@earthlink.net