Chris' MIAF Wrap Up: Day Five

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Friday was the best day yet at this year's MIAF. Program 3 was really brilliant, every film was great and had something interesting to offer. Unfortunately I don't have time to write about all of them, so I've had to narrow it down to a few favourites (but this list could have been a lot longer).


Sparrows Are Children Of Pigeons
Nina Bisyarina (Russia, 2008, 5'00)

A simple, gorgeous film, exploring childhood and imagination. Really beautiful, the cutest film I've seen since last year's "The Tiny Fish".


The Conservatory
Matilda Tristram (UK, 2008, 2'00)

Simple, and really funny. A really great sense of (somewhat absurd) humour.


Labyrinth
Patrick Jenkins (Canada, 2008, 8'00)

The starkness of this film is really beautiful, and it works very well with a really great "noir" style soundtrack. The storyline is filled with unexplained happenings, but instead of being annoying this mystery really just adds to the experience. Unlike many detective stories where the audience is trying to guess whodunit along with the detective, this film takes you on a strange and fantastical ride and I was quite content to go along with it. For me, the combination of noir genre elements and these more strange ones worked really well and was a lot of fun.


Another great screening yesterday was the Studio Watch of UK company The Mill. You will definitely have seen some of this company's ads on TV. Possibly their most well known one was the Sony Bravia bouncing balls ad.

There work is of an incredibly high standard, so many great looking TVCs that were actually interesting and enjoyable to watch. They also had a couple of really cool shorts in the program as well. As this company shows, TVCs don't have to be shit.


Yesterday, I also caught the "Works in Progress" 101 Session. Three animators gave us an insight into the project they're currently working on and what stage they're up to.

Sue Stamp is working on a very promising film about Gorillas at the Melbourne Zoo. Her initial sketches are just gorgeous and her ideas for the film are really fantastic. I can't wait to see this one come into fruition.

Hung Lin, who's previous film screened at last year's MIAF, is working on a new film called ‘The Impersonator’. He's done a lot of concept work and storyboarding for this film already and I have to say, it's looking magnificent. He restricted his first two films to black and white due to time constraints, but for this one he has gone all out with glorious colours. The boldness of his style looked fantastic in the stills and I'm sure it will only look better once it's animated.

Finally, Jonathan Nix showed us some clips of a 30" animated film he's been working on for more than four years now. He's working with two other animators (one cell animator, and one 3D CG) and the footage we got to see looked really wonderful. The main character has a gramaphone for its head so you just know this film is going to be a good one!


I think that's enough updating for today. I'll be living it large this weekend for the final two days of the festival so my next and final MIAF update will probably be coming on Monday or Tuesday.

If you haven't already, get down to the festival and check out some screenings! The quality of these films is really fantastic, and there's so much variety to appreciate.

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.