Chris' MIAF Wrap Up: Days One and Two


Well it's that time of year again. I've thoroughly enjoyed the first two days of this year's Melbourne International Animation Festival, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the week. MIAF is one of the world's biggest animation festivals, and as the program proudly proclaims it includes 50 screenings, 400+ films, from 35+ countries. We're very lucky to have such a prominent festival right here in Melbourne, so if you get the chance I highly recommend you get down and check out some films! You can check out the program here.

Over the next few days I'll do my best to write about some of my festival favourites. Here's some films that stood out to me from day one and two:

According To Birds / Volgens De Vogels
Linde Faas (Holland, 2008, 5'30)

This film is absolutely stunning. The theatre was completely silent as this film played and you could really feel just how mesmerised the audience was. It was almost like we were all holding our breath. Beautifully animated, with a gorgeous look. A real stand out for me so far.

I Am So Proud Of You
Don Hertzfeldt (USA, 2008, 22'00)

I didn't actually realise how long this film was until I checked the program afterwards (which is a good thing). The D.I.Y crew have been fans of Don Hertzfeldt for a few years now so I was really looking forward to this one. It has Hertzfeldt's unique randomness and humour as you would expect. But I was surprised and delighted by the strong sense of humanity the film had. It looked great - combining Hertzfeldt's simple line drawings with photos and other elements very successfully. I'm not a fan of much mixed media animation, but the different elements worked very well together in this film. A great soundtrack too.

The Year I Cut My Hair
Ami Lindholm (Finland, 2008, 5'15)

Another film with an excellent soundtrack. The music contributes significantly to this film, really setting you on edge, and lending the visuals (that might otherwise have appeared cute or flippant) a real sense of eeriness. This film also contained a great mix of visual styles, often simple in appearance but quite disturbing and affecting.

Fantasie In Bubblewrap
Arthur Metcalf (USA, 2007, 3'45)

A very simple film, but it succeeds perfectly in what it sets out to achieve. This one reminds me a lot of "Global Warming" which played very well at last year's MIAF. This film had the whole cinema roarng with laughter. Definitely a crowd pleaser. A great idea, exectuted perfectly.

By no means were these the only films I enjoyed in the last few days. I thought International Program 1 showcased a great variety and it was really great to see so many wonderful sand animations in the Sand program.

More wrapping-up tomorrow kids!

Chris Pahlow

Chris Pahlow is an independent writer/director currently in post-production on his debut feature film PLAY IT SAFE. Chris has been fascinated with storytelling since he first earned his pen license and he’s spent the last ten years bringing stories to life through music videos, documentaries, and short films.