Fall is appropriately film festival season in Montreal and elsewhere in Canada, but, true to form, Montreal adds its own twist to the usual film fest fare: the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival, October 19-21, welcomes kids and adults alike to revel in the meticulous art of stop-motion animation…
Four years ago, the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival became the first film festival in the world to focus only on stop-motion films: films that involve moving physical objects by hand and taking individual shots of each incremental change. Now the festival is a showcase not only for new and rare films – the fest will screen over 70 films from 20 countries – but features talks by filmmakers and animation professionals, two free (yes, free!) family-oriented film screenings, and a chance for anyone to take a crack at using Stop Motion Pro software.
CoInciding with the final weekend of the Festival du Nouveau Cinema, the Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival offers films that are a little different in their creative and production processes. The fest begins by looking at that difference on Friday night with a talk by Mark Shapiro of animation studio Laika, creators of the film Coraline. Shapiro takes us behind the scenes of the handcrafted feature film ParaNorman and is even joined “live” by the animated characters of Norman and Coraline.
Saturday and Sunday mornings begin at 11 a.m. with family-friendly free screenings of short, funny and captivating films selected from the festival’s official competition line-up. Screenings are followed by hands-on sessions with Stop Motion Pro software, where animators will be providing pro tips on how the software can make the intensive process of stop-motion animation a little easier. The afternoons and evenings are filled with competition screenings of juried films from professional, academic and independent filmmakers from around the world – winners will be announced on Sunday evening.
A few star experts of the stop-motion animation world will also be on hand during the weekend. With his puppets literally in hand, Wallace & Gromit Creative Director Merlin Crossingham will talk on Saturday evening about his career, his animation process, creating good stop-motion characters, and working with Aardman Animations studio. On Sunday afternoon, independent animator and teacher Chris Walsh leads a seminar the delves into the history and how-to of stop-motion, from Ray Harryhausen to Jan Svankmajer, and beyond.
Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival, October 19-21, 2012