Strange Creatures: Contemporary independent animation from Seattle
Seattle’s vibrant alternative animation scene is on display in Strange Creatures, a screening on August 3rd of local independent animated shorts that explore our relationship with the natural world. This is a great opportunity to see films on the big screen that have previously shown at Sundance and SIFF, by award-winning filmmakers of the Seattle Experimental Animation Team, almost all of whom have been fortunate to receive support from 4Culture.
The films exemplify a unique Seattle or Pacific Northwest attitude, and our area even becomes a character in some of the films. Britta Johnson’s Crashing Waves was filmed on the beach of Port Townsend; Clyde Petersen’s Harsh Tokes and Bong Jokes tells the story of growing up queer in the city in the 1990s, and ends on a beach with Bigfoot; Drew Christie’s Hi! I’m a Nutria explains the presence of the rodent in Lake Washington; Bruce Bickford’s Dream of a Beatnik Poet includes a reference to Cafe Racer; Tess Martin’s They Look Right Through You uses interviews with neighbors to discuss human-pet relationships, and her film The Whale Story was animated in Cal Anderson Park.
These intrepid artists work largely alone in basements, attics or artist studios, and create films one frame at a time, carrying on the spirit of creativity and individualism that the medium was originally known for.
Despite the industry’s definition of animation as computer generated films for kids, independent shorts and features are still being made by fearless artists world-wide who recognize the unique advantages and possibilities that animation offers over any other medium. And the Seattle independent animation scene has grown to be one of the largest and most cohesive on the West coast, largely thanks to SEAT, a collective founded by animator Stefan Gruber in 2002.
This program is a great celebration of their voices, and it is only fitting that it should be seen far and wide. Curator Tess Martin plans to do just that, taking the program on a European tour starting in September 2013. Don’t miss this one night only Seattle screening before the rest of the world has a peek.
Please join us on Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 at 4:00PM at the NW Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. Price is $10/general public, $6/Film Forum members, $7/Seniors, Children under 12 and Students with valid photo ID.
Each guest will receive a zine program designed by Seattle cartoonist Marc Palm, featuring portraits of the filmmakers by comic artist Kelly Froh. This zine will be distributed at every future screening of the program, and will serve to showcase the local comics community as well as the animation scene.