Cartoons Underground 2016

Cartoons Underground celebrates its 5th year with about 500 film submissions and a final list of 20 films! This year we had twice the amount of films and two programs which means twice the amount of awesomeness to watch!

International Competition 1

Time Loop


A Brief History of Time

Davier Yoon and Joshua Tan (Singapore)

Synopsis: A modern take on Zbigniew Rybczyński’s “Tango”.

Biography: Davier Yoon is a multi-disciplinary artist and animator, whose expertise covers a wide gamut of animation techniques. He co-directed “Le Phénomène Atmosphérique” and “Elysian Fields”. He is the director and co-founder of CraveFX. Joshua Tan is the creative director and co-founder of CraveFX and oversees 3D related projects of the company. In 2010, Joshua directed “Emma” which won the Grand Prix Award at the Very Short International Film Festival in Singapore. Joshua was bestowed the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal by President S.R. Nathan for emerging top in his cohort at NTU.


In Other Words

Tal Kantor (Israel)

Synopsis: A man recalls a moment of a lost opportunity to communicate with his daughter. Their brief meeting after so many years undermines his world and renders his words meaningless.

Biography: Tal Kantor, born 1988 in Jerusalem, is an animation and visual artist. She graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in 2015. In 2013, she attended an exchange program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was also an art teacher and a prop and model maker for the TV and Film industry in Israel. She currently works in the production of a 2D animated feature film in Israel.


The HUnt

Nguyen Hong Ngoc Mai (Vietnam)

Synopsis: A boy discovers ancient paintings in a cave. He touches the painting out of curiosity and the painting stirs to life.

Biography: Mai Nguyen is a Vietnamese animator and illustrator. Her goal is to learn and explore the many hidden corners of animation arts. She loves drawing, animating, playing video games and studying wei qi/baduk in her free time.


Radio Wave

Ryotaro Miyajima (Japan)

Synopsis: Numbers stations were prominently used during the Cold War. A boy was tuning the radio in the snow mountain and happened to tune the shortwave of codes.

Biography: Ryotaro Miyajima, born in Tokyo in 1989, grew up in Bali, Indonesia. He graduated from Tokyo University of the Arts, Faculty of Fine Arts, Department of Intermedia Art in 2015. He enrolled in Tokyo University of the Arts, Graduate School of Film and New Media, Department of Animation in 2015.


Go To The City ELE

Wenyu Li (China)

Synopsis: A little pig from rural ‘P town’ goes off to live in the Metropolis, but he finds that a small town pig isn’t always welcome among the elephants who live in ‘City ELE’.

Biography: Wenyu Li is an independent animation filmmaker born in China in 1982. He graduated from the Peking University in 2008. “Go To City ELE” is his first independent film.


Slow Wave

Andy Kennedy (USA)

Synopsis: Sleep disturbances from outside and within.

Biography: Andy Kennedy is an award winning filmmaker, animator and musician based in Brooklyn, New York.



Ara Jo (Germany)

Synopsis: Palpal, a little girl, drinks her tea and thinks about something. Suddenly “Federmann” appears and swims. The teacup is not a cup anymore, but part of Gugu’s head. After death and pain, Palpal and Gugu face each other.

Biography: Ara Jo was born in 1990 in Daegu, South Korea. She is currently studying animation at the Film Academy Baden-Wuerttemberg in Germany. She studied Animation at the Kaywon School of Art & Design in South Korea.


The Greed That Went Wrong

Geraldine Toh (Singapore)

Synopsis: Aura, a vain forest spirit, lights the forest at night. When she faces competition from The Tree of Light, Aura consumes the other light sources in the forest.

Biography: Geraldine Toh is a Singaporean student currently studying at Lasalle College of the Arts. She is a freelance conceptual development artist, and practises character and environment illustration in her own time. In 2015, she was the concept artist as part of a gaming internship “GameLabs”. In 2014, her animation “Tissue Hussle” was shortlisted for the 16th DigiCon6.


Symphony of Two Minds

Valere Amirault (France)

Synopsis: An outstanding opera, a gorgeous banquet, and two strange characters having a go at it. But it seems the universe doesn’t want to take them seriously, and heir true nature is catching up.

Biography: Valere Amirault is a director born in 1986. He studied CG at Supinfocom in France, where his final project “8BITS” was selected by multiple festivals in 2010 and has won several awards, notably at the Sundance International Festival and at the Brooklyn Short Festival. After working in London and New York, he now lives and works in Paris.


Ruben Leaves

Frederic Siegel (Switzerland)

Synopsis: On his way to work, Ruben is haunted by obsessive-compulsive thoughts; is the front door locked? Is the stove really turned off? As Ruben’s creative mind is invaded by increasingly absurd scenarios, reality and imagination begin to merge…

Biography: Frederic Siegel, born in 1991 in Switzerland, studied Animation at the Lucerne School of Art & Design and graduated in 2015. He works as an animator and independent filmmaker. His artistic forms of expression vary from animation, comics and illustration, to sound design and electronic music.

International Competition 2

Life Warp



Cesar Diaz Melendez (Spain)

Synopsis: Time ago, in a winter morning, a little girl went out looking for firewood. She went far away from home and came across a blood trail… She followed it.

Biography: Cesar Diaz Melendez, born 1975 in Madrid, is an animator with 20 years of experience. His work includes animation techniques with sand, puppets, objects, humans and 2D traditional animation. He has worked on more than 40 cartoon series for television (Cartoon Network, Cosgrove Hall, Cromosoma, etc), commercials, music videos, and now he specialises in stop motion, animating on feature films like “Anomalisa”, “ParaNorman” and “Frankenweenie”.



Melis Balci and Ege Okal (Istanbul)

Synopsis: A young artist who works as a gallery assistant is taken to a luxury dinner with her boss after an international art fair. An art collector, a curator and an institution director join the table where she is introduced to the absurd and corrupt hierarchy of the art world.

Biography: Melis Balci and Ege Okal are independent animation filmmakers living and working in Istanbul. They studied Visual Arts and Communication Design. “Merkür” is their first animation film as a duo.



Dominica Harrison (Russia)

Synopsis: Two characters meet because of an accident, in which they lost themselves, each in their own limbo. To get out, they need to win a simple game with only one rule: the next level is just a step down.

Biography: Dominica was born in Moscow, Russia in 1994 where she lived until 2012. She received a traditional art education with the focus on drawing and oil painting and was involved in several art exhibitions in Moscow and Kaluga.


Charlie's Buck Teeth

Esther Lalanne, Xing Yao, Valentin Sabin, Camille Verninas and Chao-Hao Yang (France)

Synopsis: Charlie, a little boy with ridiculous big teeth, always hides behind his scarf to avoid the teasing from his classmates. But one day, his scarf flies away into the forest, forcing him to look for it… and also pushes him to start on a magical journey!

Biography: Esther Lalanne, Xing Yao, Valentin Sabin, Camille Verninas and Chao-Hao Yang have graduated from the Supinfocom Rubika school (Valenciennes, France) with a Master in digital direction.


Last Judgement

Junyi Xiao (China)

Synopsis: 50 years ago in China, a man is involved in a group violence.

Biography: Junyi Xiao is a Chinese filmmaker and animator. He is currently a 2nd year animation MFA student at the University of Southern California. His film has been selected and screened at many international animation festivals, and was nominated for an Annie Award in 2015.



Zige Zhang (China)

Synopsis: A woman in shadow tries to find her true reflection in a mysterious hall of mirrors.

Biography: Zige Zhang is an animator and a filmmaker who was born in China and currently living in Chicago. She loves dramatic stories and fables that can bring joy and meanings to children and young adults. Her career goal is to produce complex and interesting animation, of her own direction, or as part of a creative team.



Kai Yuan Tao (Singapore)

Synopsis: Brother and sister are hunting for their dinner and find themselves in unexpected trouble.

Biography: Having grown up in a world of cartoons, comics and videogames, Kai Yuan is an animation lover with a keen interest in telling stories. Although often described as a big person with a quiet disposition, his passion in his craft and childlike enthusiasm empowers him to improve and seek new heights in animation, comics and various other media.


The Little pastry Chef

Soh Fia, Mirza Ja’afar and Grace Ong (Singapore)

Synopsis: A pastry chef is determined to bake a perfect cake. She soon realises that everyone makes mistakes and fails and she is not immune to that.

Biography: Soh Fia is a visual development artist with a strong passion for great design and ideas. She is currently working on more productions and projects. Mirza Ja’afar has been animating since primary school on textbooks and library books. Nowadays he channels his artistic mischief through the films he makes and other projects. Grace Ong is an animator since 2013. She has a diploma in Animation and is continuing her degree in Animation at the Lasalle College of the Arts.


Awesome Beetle's Colours

Indra Sproge (Latvia)

Synopsis: Awesome Beetles Color Dirty Elephant. Five Gorgeous Hippopotamuses Inspire the Jaguar. Kangaroos Like Marmalade. Naughty Octopuses Photograph the Queen. The Royal Spider Teaches an Unhappy Vampire. Warriors X-ray a Yellow Zebra.

Biography: Indra Sproge writes, illustrates and directs her works like “Teach me, Rhinobear” and “Awesome Beetle’s Colors”.



Levi Stoops (Belgium)

Synopsis: A lonely astronaut is sexually attracted to his toothbrush.

Biography: Born in 1990, Levi Stoops lives and works in Brussels, Belgium.

Rating Advisory

International Competition 1: Time Loop | 30 mins | Rating: M18 – Some Sexual Scenes and Nudity

International Competition 2:Life Warp | 31 mins | Rating M18 – Mature Content