Baltimore does too have an avant garde scene. Here's your chance to check it out--for one evening only.
The Ides of March Animation Invitational will be held Fri., Mar 12 at 8pm at Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave.
One of film's oldest traditions, animation is still the cutting edge, with inspiration from comics to genre films in both computer-generated and traditional animation. Among them:
Tatsuo Sato, a lawyer turned animation director. His "Cat Soup" (2000) won Best Short Film at Montreal's FanTasia Film Festival 2001, and the Excellence Prize at the 5th Media Arts Festival, held by Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2001.
The plot: When little kitten Nyaako's soul is stolen by Death, she and her brother Nyatta embark on a bizarre journey to get it back. In the surreal dreamscape of the Other Side, they encounter many fantastic characters and remarkable, often disturbing adventures. Cat Soup is a unique anime, based on a serial manga called Nekojiru Udon in GARO in the early 1990's.
Alan Price, Associate Director of the Imaging Research Center at UMBC, directs research in the areas of visualization and immersive environment technologies and directs production of professional projects working with students in the Visual Arts Imaging and Digital Arts programs. Grants and awards he's received include Best Maryland Filmmaker Award, Washington DC Rosebud recipient, Maryland Area Media Artists Fellowship, and others. His "Overpass" (2003) depicts super highways multiplying and crumbling, only to regeneraten. "It will leave you feeling a little loney," we are promised. It features a car inspired by Buckminster Fuller's dymaxion car.
Sam Boyd, a Senior Visual Arts Major at Baltimore School for the Arts, has produced her first animated short, "'Lil Thoughts," which tells the story of teenage social and sexual ambivalence, but in a funny way. Created frame by frame in Photoshop, it combines live action backgrounds with animated characters inspired by anime.
Bryan "Grasshopper" Robinson teamed up with Better Hollywood productions (Nick Miller and Mike Bennett) to create his first-ever solo animation. Bryan is involved with Screen Arts Animation (Highlandtown's own animation studio). His "(F.K.G.T.T.D.) Fat Kids Goin' To The Dentist" is a wacky animated satirical music video.
Jill Johnston Price a native Canadian who now lives in Baltimore and teaches animation at UMBC, explores the relationships of ecological systems of self-sustainment and the often bizarre interactions found in nature and proposed in literature and theory--such as carnivorous plants, folklore, and vampires. Her "Bludren" (2003), based on plant mythology, involves a female who attempts to transform a plant into a companion, unaware of the transformation that will occur to herself.
Mark Stansberry runs Creative Alliance's neighbor, Screen Arts Animation, which claims to be the only 2-d animation studio in town. His "Puddin: Shaft-Ed" relates the misadventures of a 10-year-old African-American girl, "Puddin," living in the ghetto in the early '70s who tries to sneak into a movie theater to see an R-rated movie with her
friends. This is one of a series of shorts about "Puddin" and her friends and their adventures in the old school ghetto.
John Bintz's "Virus" is his first animation, and his voice is used for all characters.
Webster Colcord, a professional animator since 1987, has worked for various studios including Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Many of his short films have toured with the Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation. His "Mad Doctors of Bordeo" features strange episodes in a chaotic lab filled with interesting creatures and madcap experiments. "Delightfully twisted and incredibly entertaining!," we are told by the event's organizers.