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Animaze - Montreal International Animation Film Festival


ANIMAZE MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL ONLINE 2020 EDITION  

Extended by popular demand till November 29.

Animaze is an international film festival and conference dedicated to exploring the world of animation in all its diversity. Filmmakers from over 65 countries working in a wide range of genres and styles converge on Montreal in the summer. We engage audiences and develop new opportunities in a unique and fast growing art form.

ANIMAZE presents le MIAFF! a Montreal based international animation film festival and industry conference providing a showcase for animators and animation producers to showcase and market their works including technology and anything animated in the digital landscape as a digital art or even for research purposes in the field of science.

ANIMAZE is registered non-profit organization with feature animation film as its prime focus. ANIMAZE is an animation industry conference, workshops for animators, producers network, cocktail networking and ANIMAZE DAZE international co-production incentive. For independent filmmakers festival strategy workshops.

 
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Le Festival International du cinéma d'Animation présente des longs métrages d'animation, des courts ainsi que des films expérimentaux. Des conférences de l'industrie, des panels d'intervenants ainsi que des coproductions internationales seront au rendez vous. Des Ateliers sur l'état de l'art. Une Sélection internationale de films pour le public, des panels d'intervenants et une plate-forme éducative pour enfants.  
 
Nous sommes heureux d'annoncer cette nouvelle édition virtuelle de notre festival, la première. De nouveaux films excitants, une programmation originale et un cycle de conférences de l'industrie sont prévus.

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Archive 2015 : Click to Download the Poster I  Download The full Program I  Les dailies en français I in english


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Producer's vision animates Le MIAFF: Montreal's International Animation Film Festival

Producer's vision animates Le MIAFF: Montreal's International Animation Film Festival

“Montreal is the perfect city for an animation festival,” says Laurie Gordon. “Of course, we have the tradition of the NFB. But there are so many other strong animation studios in town. I’m astounded at how many beautiful shorts are being made here."

 Montreal Gazette“Montreal is the perfect city for an animation festival,” says Laurie Gordon. “Of course, we have the tradition of the NFB. But there are so many other strong animation studios in town. I’m astounded at how many beautiful shorts are being made here." / Photo:Allen McInnis 

 

 


 
 

Never a dull moment in the life of Laurie Gordon. Her already crammed Coloniale Ave. flat in the Plateau, which she shares with her two dogs and four cats, has become the base of operations for her latest project Le MIAFF: Montreal International Animation Film Festival, an ambitious four-day event which kicks off Thursday at Concordia University with film screenings, conferences, master classes and lectures from heralded filmmakers and high-tech players.

No doubt that creator/director Gordon can pull off the inaugural edition of this fest. She is a dynamo, and she loves a challenge, even if that means too many sleepless nights.

In a previous life, she was an accomplished indie musician/producer. But a chance encounter with Ryan Larkin, the late/legendary NFB animator who had slid into homelessness, led to her helping him complete his final film, Spare Change, an animated account of his life on the street.

Gordon followed that by developing and producing Ryan’s Renaissance, a heart-wrenching yet upbeat documentary look at Larkin’s final years. Gordon, a cancer survivor, had also become Larkin’s caretaker, bringing him off the street to live in her home prior to his death.

Now she’s making a foray into film festivals. No small task in a city that just might boast more film fests per capita than any metropolis on the planet.

Gordon is, naturally, undaunted. “It’s serendipity again,” she says, flashing an ear-to-ear grin. “Ryan Larkin was serendipity, and from there the dippity-do didn’t stop.

“I didn’t come into the festival thinking I was going to reinvent the wheel. As a producer, I became familiar with festivals and was reporting for filmfestivals.comwith my video blog. I became fascinated by the concept and the importance of festivals for both filmmakers and the public.”

After running into a cartoonist at a festival in Portugal, she had the idea to launch Le MIAFF, which she felt would stand out from the other festivals in Montreal. For starters, the focus is on both animation and high tech. In addition to screening nearly 100 shorts and features, there will be a dozen workshops, interactive performances, panel discussions and master classes with the likes of Oscar-winning animator Co Hoedeman, renowned director Gerald Potterton and musician/filmmaker Christopher Nutter, among others.

The fest kicks off Thursday at 7 p.m. with a live musical rendering of Mozart’s Magic Flute, performed by Montreal sound artist Philippe Lambert. Opening night takes – no surprise – an eclectic segue with a 40th anniversary tribute screening of the X-rated toon classic Tarzoon: Shame of the Jungle, with pre-Saturday Night Live stars John Belushi and Bill Murray, along with Johnny Weissmuller Jr. (son of John Sr., the original star of Tarzan) providing the pipes.

Other highlights include a screening/homage to Potterton’s cult-fave feature Heavy Metal; Don Hertzfeldt’s Sundance-winning animated short World of Tomorrow; and the world première of A Bird in the Cage, a short doc on UK suffragette pioneer Margaret Mackworth.

And what will surely get a rise out of the techno types:

Le MIAFF will be holding a competition wherein the winner will be wired with SENSUM’s wearable technology, in order to establish the biometric measurement of their subconscious and emotional responses and engagement level to the fest’s films. Brave new world, indeed.

“Montreal is the perfect city for an animation festival,” says Gordon, who did some of the animation drawing in Spare Change. “Of course, we have the tradition of the NFB. But there are so many other strong animation studios in town. I’m astounded at how many beautiful shorts are being made here. The short film is being evolved into a place where they are often more powerful than features.

“But what sets this festival apart from the others of the genre here is that we are as focused on technology. We’re also delving into the world of gaming, which has become huge in Montreal. And gaming is, essentially, animation. We’re not scared about taking chances – even if some of what we’re doing this year we won’t want to do again.”

The festival is all-inclusive, featuring participants from all walks and from close to 40 countries. And it will also embrace the host city’s party mode with nightly soirées featuring everything from reggae to wine tasting at Rosalie’s on Mountain St.

“I have a vision for this festival, but what we really need to do is to build a market for it,” Gordon says. “The big difference, though, between directing a festival and a film is that there is a whole team around a festival and while it is, of course, personal, it’s not nearly as intensely personal as a film.”

Gordon is, in fact, working on a film that couldn’t be any more intensely personal. It’s an animated documentary about her dad, who passed away at 44 from cancer when she was 14 months old. The title, I Spy My Father, has particular relevance.

“I was too young to remember my father, but in piecing together his life, I was blown away. I discovered that he was a key witness in the Adolf Eichmann trial in Jerusalem,” says the Montreal-born Gordon, whose family is of Hungarian origin. “My father was in and out of concentration camps during the war. He was the only one in his family to survive the Holocaust. He did come face-to-face with Eichmann. And it was his character that was depicted in the film Hannah Arendt about the trial.”

The trial is but one facet of the film, which will trace his life from his beginnings in Budapest until his passing in the mid-1960s in Montreal.

“He lived through some of the 20th century’s most iconic moments, from the Spanish Civil War to the Second World War to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 – the latter which he reported on for the Toronto Star. Then there was his mysterious involvement in the Congo.

“His trajectory was crazy. It has a kind of Forrest Gump quality, but with guns and far more profound. He spoke five languages. He died young, but he was definitely a survivor. We thought he was a reporter, boxer or businessman. Turns out he may have been a spy for the Canadians or Americans – that’s why it’s called I Spy My Father,” adds Gordon, who is also producing Co Hoedeman’s latest, The Cardinal.

“I used to think my trajectory was crazy, but can’t compare doing films or festivals to his life. There’s crazy and there’s crazy.”

Le MIAFF: the first Montreal International Animation Film Festival runs Thursday to Sunday at Concordia University’s Hall and McConnell buildings on de Maisonneuve Blvd. W. For information about the schedule and ticket and festival pass prices, go to lemiaff.com or call 514-260-0848.

bbrownstein@montrealgazette.com

 

 

Twitter.com/billbrownstein

 
 

 

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About Animaze - Montreal International Animation Film Festival

Gordon Laurie
( Animaze MIAFF)

 


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