Presenting the selection list for Cartoons Underground 2019!
This year, 19 works are selected from 1,416 entries submitted from 80 different countries. Out of these 19 films, 6 student films coming from LASALLE College of the Arts and Nanyang Technological University, will compete for the ‘Best Singapore Student Animation’. Standing out from these selections are The Light by Hae Min Park and For Lorn by Hoo Yan Han and Im Eun Sue. These two student works take on difficult stories on longing and display huge potential for long form projects with mature themes.
Many of the selected short films this year are 2D hand-drawn animation with a leaning towards simple abstraction. They are all able to create believable worlds with engaging narrative stories. As the overall standard of entries increases, we look for more than humorous entertainment in our selection and seek out unique directorial voices who have visions and potential.
We want to point out Knife Hanging From A Tree by JiHee Nam from South Korea. This director has a charming piece of work that uses space and colour, and the absence of it, very well in this quirky yet subtle fight between her characters. Her work joins the international selection of 13 films in competition for the Best Animation, Audience Choice and Special Mention awards.
We also dedicate the second part of our International Competition to focus on Women in Animation, with excellent films that shine light on representing the female perspective in animation.
Come enjoy this special screening on 26 October (Sat) and meet the directors!
International Competition 1: LOOK AT US
SELFIES (Switzerland, 2018)
Directed by Claudius Gentinetta
Synopsis: SELFIES is a fireworks display of grinning people who lose themselves in the abysses of human existence.
Biography: 1968 born in Lucerne. Studies in graphic design and animation in Lucerne, Liverpool and Kassel. 1995 scholarship year in Cracow. Working as freelance graphic artist and animator in Zurich.
Indoor Days (Japan, 2019)
Directed by Asaki Nishino
Synopsis: On a day I do not want to go outside, I enjoy watching TV and watching videos on smartphone at home. In reality, while staying in the house, consciousness goes through the door many times through the screen, my place, my body becomes ambiguous.
Biography: Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1994. Graduated from Tama Art University in 2018. As of 2019, studying at the Department of Animation at Tokyo University of the Arts Graduate School of Film and New Media.
Brain Cleaner (South Korea, 2019)
Directed by JInkyu Jeon
Synopsis: Stupid crow washed his dirty brain.
Biography: Born in South Korea in 1987. Jeon JInkyu studied animation at Korea National University of Arts in 2008. He completed his graduation film Material Girl (2015) which received favorable reviews at Animafest Zagreb, as well as environmental film festivals around the world. He is currently enrolled at Tokyo University of the Arts.
Erebeta (France, 2018)
Directed by Francois Vogel
Synopsis: Erebeta drives us on a vertical jump above modern Japan accompanied by Kuroda Bushi music. We rebound on the pavement, twirl around buildings and pass through streets.
Biography: Francois Vogel began his scientific studies while practicing drawing, painting and animation. After art studies, he moved to Paris where he divided his time between photography and video. In 2011, he published A New Treatise on the Pinhole Camera, a work around his research and photographic experiments.
Knife Hanging From A Tree (South Korea, 2019)
Directed by JiHee Nam
Synopsis: Sour grapes.
Biography: JiHee Nam is an animator/motion graphics designer currently based in Los Angeles. Revisiting the same environment multiple times is one of the key things about her films. JiHee finds dark humor very intriguing, and finds humor from daily life. She does this through timing and rhythm in her work. She believes that audiences could sympathize through her presentation of ‘subtle but constructive art’.
In Passing (Canada, 2019)
Directed by Esther Cheung
Synopsis: A portrait of Hong Kong in the seventies as my parents remember it.
Biography: Esther Cheung is an artist based in Toronto and a recent Sheridan Animation grad with a great appreciation for art and cinema. Animation being the perfect marriage of the two, she hopes to create animated films that explore her cultural identity and heritage.
KIDS (Switzerland, 2019)
Directed by Michael Frei
Synopsis: An animated short exploring group dynamics. How do we define ourselves when we are all equal?
Biography: Born in Switzerland in 1987, Michael Frei is a filmmaker and artist based in Zürich. He studied animation at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts and at the Estonian Academy of Art in Tallinn. His Films Not About Us and Plug & Play received numerous awards all over the world. He recently co-founded Playables, a production company for peculiar projects based in Zürich.
International Competition 2: FOCUS ON WOMEN IN ANIMATION
Hot and Tasty (United Kingdom, 2019)
Directed by Laura Jayne Hodkin
Synopsis: Two drunk friends accidentally walk into a crime scene.
Biography: Laura Jayne Hodkin is a 2D animator and illustrator with a love for creating funny, female characters and placing them in a world where they can be unapologetically themselves. She likes making work that pokes fun at and celebrates female friendships, whether this be through animation, short comics or single illustrative pieces. Her most recent film Hot and Tasty combines her interests of true crime, cartoons, girls and chicken shops.
Ode to Childhood (Portugal, 2019)
Directed by Luís Vital, João Monteiro
Synopsis: A shy girl, visiting the park with her protective father, meets another energetic girl. Together they have a whole new adventure discovering things that will leave her forever changed.
Biography: Luís Vital is an animation director born in Portugal in 1997. João Monteiro was born in Almada in 1994. Both graduated from the School of Technology and Management in Portalegre, majoring in Multimedia Design and Animation. Both have experience in animation projects, such as The Voyage, which has been selected for 18 festivals and won 3 awards for distinction.
Kinky Kitchen (Germany, 2018)
Directed by Bea Höller
Synopsis: Chosen kitchen utensils and groceries are leading a life of their own. In an intimate moment filled with lust they interact in an untypical way. The viewer experiences the pleasure of their sensuality through sounds that at first set them on the wrong track.
Biography: Born and raised in Graz/Austria, Höller studied Information Design at the FH Joanneum. She later attended the Animation-School-Hamburg for one year. Still living in Germany, she studies Animation at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Portrait of a Lady (Canada, 2019)
Directed by Kenny Leoncito
Synopsis: The son of a famous painter explores the world of his father’s paintings searching for traces of his late mother’s ghost.
Biography: Kenny Leoncito is a Filipino Canadian designer and art-maker based in Toronto, Canada recently graduated from Sheridan college. He is an optimistic guy who makes background art for the animation industry and has a passion for representative media and Asian Canadian visibility. He now resides in Portland Oregon.
Entropia (Hungary, 2019)
Directed by Flóra Anna Buda
Synopsis: Entropia is a container of three parallel universes where three girls are living in different circumstances.
Biography: Flóra Anna Buda (born in Budapest in 1991) is graduated as an animation director. One of her main goal is to keep searching for new ways of creating universes and telling stories. She is deeply interested in dreams and science but she likes to twist her stories with personal content. She endeavours to find a way to create an artistic project out of her recent interest with an open mind.
Singapore Student Competition: ADVENTURE TIME!
BurgerBurg (Singapore, 2019)
Directed by Jennifer Chua
Synopsis: Burgerburg is a company that sells burgers and pills made of dreams, or at least that’s what the advertisement says. As an office rabbit finds out, nothing is as it seems.
Biography: Jennifer Chua is a graduate of the BA(Hons) Animation Art programme at LASALLE College of the Arts. She is an enthusiastic, forward-thinking animator and illustrator who has a strong work ethic. She works well both independently and in groups. Her work The Road Taken won silver at the Crowbar Awards in 2018. Alongside another work of hers Beasts, both animations were nominated for multiple festival screenings.
The Light (Singapore, 2019)
Directed by Hae Min Park
Synopsis: Hank sees a light from afar and is fixated by it. He decides to follow the light into the forest with Andy, his younger brother. They find themselves lost in the forest, causing Hank to realise that his fixation with the light makes him lose sight of what is right in front of him.
Biography: Hae Min is a 2D animator and illustrator who specialises in character design and visual concept development. She aims to tell her stories through various visual media.
Health Hazard (Singapore, 2019)
Directed by Ansh Sirohi
Synopsis: Health Hazard glimpses into the life of a young adult grasping at straws to remain physically and emotionally healthy in an increasingly stressful life.
Biography: Ansh Sirohi is a filmmaker who specialises in 2D animation, illustration and storyboarding. Born and brought up in India and partially South Africa, she is a graduate of LASALLE College of the Arts. She strives to create resonant stories, and is passionate about bringing ideas to life. Her first year film Kalli won ‘Best Writing in an Animated Film’ at National Youth Film Awards 2018. Her favourite thing in the world is binging on books and Netflix, and occasionally succumbing to peer-pressure to do something with her life.
For Lorn (Singapore, 2018)
Directed by Yan Han Hoo, Im Eun Sue
Synopsis: Stationed on a satellite orbiting the moon, Naut tries to reach Earth to no avail. As her circumstances become dire, her reality merges with her memories.
Biography: Yan Han is an animator, illustrator and motiongrapher. She believes that good stories should be accompanied by good visuals and that life is always a Work in Progress. web: yanhanwho.com social media: @yanhanwho.
Im Eun Sue (b. 1995) enjoys art and narrative-based media. Typically working in 2D, she creates stories which focus on the happenings of life. She graduated with a BFA in Digital Animation from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
To Be Apart (Singapore, 2019)
Directed by Jamie Goh, Jeraldine Ong, Zhen Ying Jie
Synopsis: Immediately shunned in a new town, Fluzzard resorts to changing his appearance to fit in much to his friend’s displeasure.
Biography: To Be Apart is the combined efforts of Jamie Goh, Jeraldine Ong and Zhen Ying Jie. This film consists of the distinctive animation styles of each member and carries a theme they can all relate to. The team shares the passion of creating stories that people can relate to and continues to push the boundaries.
A Love Letter (Out of Competition, 2019)
Directed by Jessica Goh
Synopsis: A Love Letter is an abstract animated short about the embracing comfort of home, based off memories of a childhood in Singapore.
Biography: Born and raised in Singapore, Jessica Goh is an artist and animator currently studying her BFA in Experimental Animation at California Institute of the Arts. Telling self-reflexive stories relayed in intimate vignettes of nostalgia, she aims to create films as a place of solace and reflection.
The Growth (Singapore, 2019)
Directed by Sarah Cheok
Synopsis: An ambitious young boy is eager to grow up so he can experience the world outside of his kelong in the middle of the ocean. Eventually, he musters up the courage to persuade the old man but was faced with disapproval. Being young and ambitious, the boy decides to go anyway.
Biography: Sarah Cheok is a graduate of the BA (Hons) Animation Art programme at LASALLE College of the Arts. Her short films have been showcased at various local and international festivals. Her first animated short film, Tiger Baby (2017) was selected at the Singapore Chinese Film Festival 2018 and ANIMAGE 2018 in Brazil, among others. Her second film, Merlion’s Rojak (2018) was nominated for the National Youth Film Awards Singapore 2018 for ‘Best Art Direction’ and ‘Best Writing’. In addition, it was shortlisted to screen at the Melbourne International Animation Festival in 2019. She is an aspiring independent illustrator and animator looking for more opportunities to learn and experiment with the art form.