The Northwest Animation Festival Memorial Omnibus
May 28, 2019 10:32 PM   Subscribe

Last Friday, Portland's lovely Northwest Animation Festival screened its last-ever Best of the Fest, pulling together 14 final selections from previous years' Best Of collections; a cross-section of strange, fun, bewildering, heartfelt, and amazing traditional, CG, stop-motion, and experimental work from the last decade of independent animation all over the globe. In loving memory of this remarkable event, you'll find below the fold an exhaustive list of every Best of the Fest selection from every NWAF since 2015, with links to watch (almost) all of them online. [Some NSFW]

Best of the Fest 2018
The Theory of Sunset by Roman Sokolov | Russia | 8:48
The sun walks upon colossal legs to the end of the world, passing both birth and death on its way to meet a young bicyclist for tea.

Hi Stranger by Kirsten Lepore | United States | 2:43
I made this film especially for you. I needed to check in with you. I needed to tell you how I feel.

Voyagers (trailer) by Gauthier Ammeux, et al. | France | 7:33
A jungle tiger gets loose aboard an orbiting space station, causing hilarious trouble for the resident astronaut and his goldfish.

Yin by Nicolas Fong | Belgium | 10:31
A jealous god creates a new universe for an androgynous creature, which he then promptly splits in two. But despite all magical intervention, the rebel lovers yearn to reunite.

Negative Space (Trailer) by Ru Kuwahata, Max Porter | France | 5:30
My dad taught me how to pack…

The Northeast Kingdom by Alan Jennings | United States | 7:50
In a tight-knit New England community, the arrival of a jovial barber provides a mystical woodland creature with the opportunity to unseat the town’s mean-spirited minister.

Nevada by Emily Ann Hoffman | United States | 12:08
Two lovers on a romantic weekend getaway have a birth control mishap and must decide what happens next.

WoodSwimmer by Brett Foxwell | United States | 1:40 [Previously]
Journey through a strange universe composed of swirling medullary rays, twisting growth rings, encroaching spalted rot patterns, and termite tunnels.

Grandpa Walrus (Trailer) by Lucrèce Andreae | France | 14:54
On the windy and cloudy beach, Granny is praying, Mum is shouting, the sisters don’t care, Lucas is alone. Grandpa was a weird guy, now he’s dead.

Enough by Anna Mantzaris | United Kingdom | 2:20 [Previously]
Amid the onslaught of daily irritations, pent-up impatience wins out: folks have had enough, they throw up their hands and just stop. 2018 NW Animation Fest – BEST STUDENT FILM.

Double King by Felix Colgrave | Australia | 9:43 [Previously]
In a strange land where every plant and animal kingdom has its own monarch, one mad king sets out to steal ALL the crowns. 2018 NW Animation Fest – AUDIENCE CHOICE.

The Burden (Trailer) by Niki Lindroth von Bahr | Sweden | 14:15
Humanoid sardines, mice, and monkeys perform an utterly surreal mini-opera about working in low-status jobs — leaving the audience with an almost painfully beautiful feeling of existential hope. 2018 NW Animation Fest – BEST OF FEST.

Best of the Fest 2017
Stems by Ainslie Henderson | United Kingdom | 2:25 [Previously]
“What I love about stop-motion puppets is that they have this inherent sadness about them. They’re like little actors that only ever get to play one role. Everything they do is their swan song.”

The Alan Dimension (Trailer) by Jac Clinch | United Kingdom | 8:47
Alan Brown uses divine powers of precognition to foresee the fate of humankind… And breakfast. Meanwhile, Wendy has had enough of being married to “the next step in cognitive evolution.”

Spring Jam by Ned Wenlock | New Zealand | 5:35
A young stag, lacking impressive antlers, knows he needs to improvise sweet music if he’s to have any chance during the mating season.

Life Inside ‘Islamic State’ by Scott Coello | United Kingdom | 16:47
A former activist shares his diary entries, which recount a firsthand experience of the IS take over in Raqqa, Syria. 2017 NW Animation Fest – BEST OF FEST.

Our Wonderful Nature: The Common Chameleon by Tomer Eshed | Germany | 3:33 [Previously]
The common chameleon’s design is a marvel of evolution. Yet, it retains one fatal weakness: an untamed sense of appetite.

Fired on Mars by Nick Vokey, Nate Sherman | United States | 6:43
After taking a one-way trip to Mars, Jeff suddenly finds himself unemployed.

Summer Camp Island by Julia Pott | United States | 8:43
Oscar and his best friend Hedgehog just got dropped off at Summer Camp. Once all the parents leave the island, all of the strangeness lurking beneath the surface starts to come out. Aliens exist, horses become unicorns, and there are monsters under the bed.

I Am Billy by Moshe Gilboa | Israel | 4:01
Billy, a joyful and optimistic nomad, makes his way to a mysterious orchard. There, he discovers the forbidden fruit and loses his sanity.

Résistance (Trailer) by Alex Chauvet, et al. | France | 7:14
Dominated by a totalitarian regime of giant insects, the staff of an elegant restaurant enact a plot to topple their oppressors.

The Bald Future by Paul Cabon | France | 5:37 [Previously]
Being a bald man sucks. Knowing you’ll become one is worse.

Birdlime (Trailer) by Evan DeRushie | Canada | 10:52
“Birdlime” is the name for a sticky substance, usually made from holly bark or mistletoe, which is spread on branches to trap wild birds intended for export or trade. 2017 NW Animation Fest – AUDIENCE CHOICE.

Pussy by Renata Gasiorowska | Poland | 8:23
A girl spends the evening alone at home. She decides to indulge in a sweet solo-pleasure session. But it seems her body has a mind of its own. 2017 NW Animation Fest – BEST STUDENT FILM.

Glove by Bernardo Britto, Alexa Lim Haas | United States | 5:46
The true story of an astronaut’s glove that has been floating in space since 1965.

Best of the Fest 2016
Aubade (Trailer) by Mauro Carraro | Switzerland | 5:27
A black sun rises on Leman Lake. In a surrealist backlit scene, swimmers and birds witness the spectacle of dawn, hypnotized by the music of a cellist.

If I Was God by Cordell Barker | Canada | 8:34
During his biology class frog dissection, a young boy fantasizes about having godlike powers and using them to deal with future life.

Panic! by Joost Lieuwma & Daan Velsink | Netherlands | 5:39
An anxious vacationer wonders if she left the stove on, and imagines a series of increasingly hilarious catastrophes transpiring back home.

An Object at Rest by Seth Boyden | USA | 5:44
Follow the life cycle of a giant stone across the millenia as it faces nature’s greatest obstacle: human civilization. 2016 NW Animation Fest – AUDIENCE CHOICE

Sunday Lunch (Trailer) by Celine Devaux | France | 13:58
A young gay man joins his boozy family for their weekly Sunday lunch. With wry wit he observes his aunts’ ridiculous questions, his mother’s sexual nostalgia, and the bittersweet love hidden beneath awkward silences. 2016 NW Animation Fest – BEST OF FEST

Johnny Express by Kyungmin Woo | South Korea | 5:27 [Previously]
A rocket ship package delivery service makes first contact with a microscopic civilization of one-eyed, purple aliens.

Stripy (IMDB) by Babak & Behnoud Nekooei | Iran | 3:36
The factory workers are supposed to paint straight black stripes on boxes… but one of them has other ideas.

Tsunami by The Animation Workshop | Denmark | 7:18
A tsunami survivor returns a monstrous and magical fish god to the ocean.

Afternoon Class by Seoro Oh | South Korea | 3:50
Drowsiness washes over a student during his afternoon class, and he desperately tries to stay awake.

DDWIWDD: Dan Deacon When I Was Done Dying by Dave Hughes, et al. | USA | 5:46 [CW: Strobing]
Nine luminaries of contemporary abstract/psychedlic animation take viewers on a mind-bending journey into the afterlife.

Snowfall (Trailer) by Conor Whelan | Canada | 4:48
A nervous young man attends a house party and makes a new acquaintance. A delicate, wordless story about fleeting love and mixed emotions.

The Orchestra by Mikey Hill | Australia | 15:00
In a world where everyone’s life is accompanied by a tiny orchestra, one resident of the Loving Arms retirement home always seems to strike the wrong note.

Mr. Madila by Rory Waudby-Tolley | United Kingdom | 8:37
Filmmaker & Best of the Fest alumnus Rory Waudby-Tolley shares his conversations with Mr. Madila, Spiritual Healer… Exploring the inner mind, the fabric of the universe, and the nature of reality itself, through the sacred art of animation. 2016 NW Animation Fest – BEST STUDENT FILM

Best of the Fest 2015
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos (Trailer) by Konstantin Bronzit | Russia | 15:19
Two lifelong friends train to be cosmonauts, working together against great odds toward a shared dream. 2015 NW Animation Fest – AUDIENCE CHOICE

Wildebeest by Ant Blades | United Kingdom | 1:00
A pair of wildebeest discuss whether or not to cross the African river.

The Elephant and the Bicycle (Trailer) by Olesya Shchukina | France | 9:05
An enormous elephant desperately wants to buy a bicycle, and works hard to raise the money.

Anatole’s Little Saucepan (Trailer) by Eric Montchaud | France | 5:47
Anatole drags a little red saucepan behind him wherever he goes. It constantly causes trouble, so he decides to disappear — until he meets a special friend.

A Single Life by Job, Joris & Marieke | Netherlands | 2:18
By playing a mysterious vinyl record, a young woman is suddenly able to travel between distant moments in her own life.

Bear Story (Trailer) by Gabriel Osorio | Chile | 10:19
An old toymaker builds a wind-up theater of mechanical puppets, which tells the story of a circus bear who longs to escape and return to his family.

Lesley the Pony Has an A+ Day! by Christian Larrave | USA | 4:09 [CW: Strobing]
Lesley the Pony goes on a fun-filled adventure through the town of Merryville while making lasting memories with his friend, The Duke. 2015 NW Animation Fest – BEST STUDENT FILM

Tusk by Rory Waudby-Tolley | United Kingdom | 5:16
A 5000-year-old mammoth is defrosted into an unrecognizable future.

Submarine Sandwich by PES | USA | 1:56 [Previously]
A butcher meticulously assembles a unique submarine sandwich out of everyday objects.

Beach Flags (Trailer) by Sarah Saidan | France | 13:40
A young Iranian lifeguard is determined to go to a competition in Australia. But when a long-legged teammate threatens her ambition, becoming a lifeguard gains a new and deeper meaning.

Lucy & the Limbs by Edlyn Capulong | USA | 2:51
A girl at summer camp befriends the re-animated limbs of a dead body.

Mythopolis by Alexandra Hetmerová | Czech Republic | 11:37
Legendary characters from Greek mythology live their lives and solve their problems in today’s world.

A Tale of Momentum & Inertia by HouseSpecial | USA | 1:12
A rock giant literally holds in his hands the fate of a small coastal village. Can he forgive and forget?

The Dam Keeper (Trailer) by Dice Tsutsumi & Robert Kondo | USA | 18:05
Despite school bullies and an indifferent public, Pig maintains the dam protecting his town from poisonous clouds. When a new student joins his class, conflicting feelings of hope and despair lead to a dramatic crisis that could change everything. 2015 NW Animation Fest – BEST OF FEST

Programs from earlier years:
[2014 Best of the Fest]
[2013 Best of the Fest]
[2012 Best of the Fest]
[2011 Best of the Fest (Block 1)]
[2011 Best of the Fest (Block 2)]
CW/Strobing: I tried to mark videos that had strobing effects but I cannot guarantee I caught every one.
posted by churl (8 comments total) 43 users marked this as a favorite

This is the greatest post in years
posted by growabrain at 11:14 PM on May 28, 2019 [2 favorites]

I haven't been to an animation festival since about 1989, apparently.

Primiti Too Taa
posted by pracowity at 2:42 AM on May 29, 2019

Thanks for this! I have always been a fan of animation, even more so since I saw "Outrageous Animation" way back in the (mid to late?) '80s.
posted by coppertop at 4:58 AM on May 29, 2019

Are there DVD's or BluRay's that are compilations of the annual winners?
posted by King Sky Prawn at 8:40 AM on May 29, 2019

I would love compilations like that. There are not, unfortunately.
A lot of the "Trailer" links for individual works will also let you rent or purchase the whole short à la carte though.
posted by churl at 9:18 AM on May 29, 2019

Oh wow. Fabulous post! Thank you!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:52 AM on May 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

When I saw the word "Memorial" in the post title, I feared that this would be collection of the works of deceased animators... so many of which I have seen before (some while they were still alive).
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:04 AM on May 29, 2019

Hi Stranger is one of my favorite things, ever.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 10:47 AM on May 29, 2019

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