The ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS, a curated selection of the “best of the best” animated short films created by students and professionals around the world, returns to theaters across North America this fall. Featuring 10 films from seven countries, the 2020 edition of the program offers an array of highly imaginative, thought-provoking, and moving works that reflect the filmmakers’ unique perspectives and their relationship to the world.
“Animation is an incredibly versatile medium that allows artists to explore situations and ideas that you won’t see anywhere else,” says ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS founder and curator Ron Diamond. “From political and philosophical concerns, to the complexities of individual identity and personal relationships, animated short films are uniquely able to capture the many facets of human experience.”
Personal relationships are at the heart of several of the films in this year’s program, including Daria Kashcheeva’s International Student Academy Award-winning puppet animation “Daughter”, a deeply moving exploration of the ties between a father and daughter. Charting a very different, but related, course, “The Fox and the Bird” by Sam & Fred Guillaume, is a beautifully observed fable about an unlikely friendship between the two eponymous characters. Filmmaker Michael Frei and game designer Mario von Rickenbach provide a more clinical view of human behavior in their mesmerizing “KIDS,” which explores the nature of group dynamics.
The question of individual identity informs both “Hounds“ by Amit Cohen & Ido Shapira and (Self-Narrative) by Géraldine Charpentier. In the former, a highly domesticated dog undergoes a disturbing change when a pack of wild hounds gathers near his house, while the latter offers a clear-eyed and heartfelt look at a young girl’s journey to self-realization as a transgender person.
Animation has often been the medium of choice for artists seeking to explore abstract ideas or philosophical issues, and these themes are well represented in the program. Joanna Lurie’s mysterious and transcendent Flowing through Wonder chronicles an extraordinary ritual and celebrates the transformative mystery that underlies life and death. Natalia Mirzoyan’s “Five Minutes to Sea” in which a young girl waits impatiently to go back in the sea, takes a more lighthearted approach, while playing with conundrums of time and perspective.
The program is rounded out by Gil Alkabetz’s “Rubicon,” a frenetic and very funny hand-drawn animation based on the classic riddle about how to ferry a wolf, a sheep, and a cabbage across a river without something getting eaten. In addition to the slapstick, the film also serves as a parable about the convoluted nature of political negotiations, specifically those related to the Middle East.
The program also includes two mini-documentaries about the creative process featuring Alkabetz and Amit Cohen & Ido Shapira (Hounds).
THE 21ST ANNUAL ANIMATION SHOW OF SHOWS has a running time of 84 minutes and includes 10 films, one of which Daughter has been nominated for 92nd Academy Awards®. The complete lineup is:
Kids – Michael Frei, Mario von Rickenbach, Switzerland
Daughter – Academy Award® nominated – Daria Kashcheeva, Czech Republic
*Minors welcome! Must be 19+ w/ID for bar service.
**Sorry, Rio Theatre Groupons and passes n/a for this event.
PLEASE NOTE: All of the Rio Theatre’s screenings are operating at a sharply reduced capacity. We can’t guarantee availability of tickets at the door, so advance tickets for all screening events are strongly recommended. Our online box office can be found at www.riotheatretickets.ca. Online sales for every screening automatically end 1 hour before any given showtime.