Cartoons Underground 2017


The Winners


Best Film


Giulia Martinelli and Marta Gennari



Best Director


Iring Freytag, Viktor Stickel, Linus Stetter


Poles Apart

Audience Choice

Poles Apart

Paloma Baeza

United Kingdom

The selection for Cartoons Underground 2017!

Filmmakers from more than 50 countries vied to be included in this year’s Cartoons Underground programme, submitting close to 400 films!  After months of waiting, Cartoons Underground is proud to announce the two exciting programs and thirteen films that were chosen. These films will also compete at Cartoons Underground’s first ever awards: The Golden Durian Awards!

International Competition 1




Marco Jemolo (Italy)

Synopsis: In an anonymous police station, F.K. asks the Law for help in the attempt to report the abuses he has been through: his birth, his formation, his forced work.

Biography: Marco Jemolo (1985) graduated in History of Cinema at Università La Sapienza. His final essay focuses on parallel worlds in animated movies and he attended a three-month filmmaking workshop at the New York Film Academy in 2007. Since 2006, he has been working in film, theatre and TV as Director and Assistant Director. In 2013 Marco moved to London, where he lives and runs his video production company. His documentary “Le città di Roma” has been awarded Jury Prize at the ArtDoc Festival 2014 and has been screened at the MAXXI (Museo delle Arti del XXI secolo).

Poles Apart

Poles Apart

Paloma Baeza (United Kingdom)

Synopsis: In a harsh Arctic landscape, a hungry and solitary polar bear has to decide if a naïve Canadian grizzly bear is her food or her friend.

Biography: Paloma Baeza’s filmmaking experience began on the other side of the camera, playing leading roles in various British TV dramas and independent films. She moved into directing with the comedy short film “Watchmen” which she wrote with Cillian Murphy, who also starred in the film. It was shortlisted for the TCM Prize by the NFT, selected by BFI Shorts, Sky Shorts and Channel4. Festival selections included Edinburgh International Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadgh, Foyle Film Festival, LA Shorts, San Francisco Film Festival, Cork Film Festival and Encounters Film Festival. Her full-length screenplay “Passports” was developed by Focus Film’s million dollar movie scheme and selected for The Brit List.



Giulia Martinelli and Marta Gennari (Italy)

Synopsis: In a blue fairy-tale forest, a grumpy granny loses a bottle of wine.

Biography: Giulia Martinelli and Marta Gennari graduated in 2016 from CSC – National Film School in Turin with their graduation film “MERLOT”. Marta had an internship at Cartoon Network in London and is now attending La Poudrière in Valence. Giulia works as a freelancer artist and took part at Animation sans Frontière 2016-2017, the 8th European Animation Development Lab.



Dana Sink (USA)

Synopsis: An animated film intersecting machinery, life, and media. Power.

Biography: Dana Sink lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with his wife, daughter, three cats, and a dog. His paintings, films, and animations have been seen in galleries and museums internationally. His achievements include several group and independent exhibitions and being featured in various articles and publications. His films have received recognition in several film and animation festivals and his work has been seen on MTV, MSNBC, and at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.



Iring Freytag, Viktor Stickel, Linus Stetter (Germany)

Synopsis: A child has to leave its cozy hut to collect wood for the fire that went out.

Biography: Iring Freytag (1981) is a Director and 3D Animator. He studied at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg where he supported different projects as an animator and realized his own stories in the short films “Radio Active”, “Mr. K and the E” and the official ITFS-Trailer 2014 “Plot-O-Mat”. He graduated in 2016 with “CHILD” and is working as a freelance 3D Generalist and Animator. Viktor Stickel (1982) is a Director and Animator. After his studies in Media Design at DHBW in Ravensburg, he focused on moving pictures and graduated in Animation Studies at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2015.

Wrong End of the Stick

The Wrong End of the Stick

Terri Matthews (United Kingdom)

Synopsis: Malcolm Fetcher is a neurotic, middle-aged teacher lost in a dull marriage with his wife of twenty years, Beverly. As he faces an all-consuming identity crisis, their marriage disintegrates and he is forced to express a deep, hidden desire…

Biography: Terri Matthews is a traditional 2D Animator and Director from Middlesbrough, UK. Since graduating from the University for the Creative Arts, her graduation film “The Crimson Wave” has won the Audience Choice Award at Sydney Underground Film Festival. Terri was supported by the BBC at the National Film and Television School, and has worked on six animated graduation films: most notably as Lead 2D Animator on the multi award-winning film “Edmond” and puppeteer on BIFA and BAFTA-nominated “MANOMAN”. “The Wrong End of the Stick” has been nominated for Best Student Film at the 44th Annie Awards, Best British Short at the British Independent Film Awards, and has been selected for over 40 festivals worldwide so far.

International Competition 2

Not Here



Spela Cadez (Slovenia)

Synopsis: A badger lies motionless on a local road. A police patrol approaches the body in the dark. They soon realize that the animal is not dead; the badger is dead drunk! When the police attempt to drag the creature off the road, he wakes up and things take a strange turn.

Biography: Spela Cadez was born in Slovenia 1977. After graduating in Graphic Design in 2002, she continued her studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. During her studies she made two puppet animations that gained international recognition: “Mate to Measure” (2004) and “Lovesick” (2007). Since 2008 Spela Cadez has been working as an independent animation director and producer. Her previous film “Boles” has been screened worldwide, receiving 50 awards, distinctions and nominations.



Hua (Singapore)

Synopsis: Continuously driven by the subconscious, Man’s psyche restlessly transforms every moment as creative thoughts bubble from our intelligent minds.

Biography: Hua is an Art Elective student in Hwa Chong Institution (College) who works primarily with film and animation. Hua first picked up digital animation in 2015 through online tutorials. Hua is a finalist in the non-media student category for SCAPE’s National Youth Film Awards 2017.

Love Streams

Love STreams

Sean Buckelew ( USA)

Synopsis: Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never seen or met? A confessionary tale of two strangers in an online chat room one lonely night in 2002; a love story from the early days of the Internet.

Biography: Sean Buckelew is an award-winning animator who received an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in Experimental Animation and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His professional work includes directing a sequence for the Zac Efron film “We Are Your Friends” and working as a storyboard artist and animator on the Davis Guggenheim documentary “He Named Me Malala”. He is also a member of the online collective Late Night Work Club, and has worked with clients including MTV, Arctic Monkeys, VH1, Adult Swim, Toonami and on Chris Sullivan’s award-winning feature “Consuming Spirits”, in addition to screening his own work at the Slamdance Film Festival, Ottawa International Animation Festival, and others. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Third Script

The Third Scipt

Javad Khajavi (Iran)

Synopsis: An experimental animation that celebrates a Proto-animated quality of the art of Persian calligraphy.

Biography: Javad is an independent animator, new media artist and scholar with a background in animation, engineering and new media art. He has recently completed his PhD at the School of Art, Design and Media of Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore). Before “The Third Script”, he was the director of several independent animations including “The Boarding House” and “Symphony No. 40”. His animations and new media artworks have been screened and exhibited internationally. He is also an active scholar researching and writing on animation and new media arts.

My World

My World

Miyako Makio (Japan)

Synopsis: There was once a world filled with gears and life. Over many years, it started to deteriorate and rust, causing everyone to stop functioning completely. One day, a little light bulb girl woke up and started working again.

Biography: Miyako Makio is a Japanese illustrator, comic artist, storyboard artist, and 2D animator. She has a strong passion in storytelling since young, which led her to Singapore to study animation at LASALLE College of the Arts. She is always seeking opportunities to meet people from different cultures to get different ways to see things. She is also interested in studying tribal myths, folktales, traditions, cultures to know more about communication through storytelling. She was involved in the short animation film “The Hunt” as a visual development artist and animator, which was nominated for 6 awards including Across Asia Youth Film Festival Awards 2017.

Goodnight Everybuds

Goodnight Everybuds!

Benedikt Hummel (Germany)

Synopsis: As the world’s dozing off, two boiling hearts engage on a sexual journey along the moonlit shores. A wild choreography of squeezings and pleasings unfolds to eventually have all of the hearts spark embracing and everlasting coziness.

Biography: Benedikt studied Interactive Media and Animation at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, where he specialized in both classical 2D animation and game design. He previously created animated films and went on ventures creating video games by turning a piano into a game console, and visiting indie game designers to create small games with them and eventually ended in a documentary series. Recently, he joined forces with fellow students Anselm Pyta, Stefan Michel and Simon Thummet to start Studio Seufz, a studio dedicated to create video games and animated films. “Good Night, Everybuds!” is the first step for further exploration of the #everybuds world both stylistically and regarding the topics the film already touches.

My Father's Room

My Father’s Room

Nari Jang (Korea)

Synopsis: She was abused by her father during childhood. Since he left, the pain and anger had begun to fade. One day, unexpectedly, she was struck by a revelation about her father’s life that cast her feelings about him into confusion.

Biography: Born in 1985, Nari Jang graduated with a BA in animation at the Korea National University Of Arts (K’Arts) in 2012. In 2016, she graduated from the K’Arts with a MA.

Rating Advisory

International Competition 1: Look at Us | 30 mins | Rating: M18 – Some Sexual Scenes and Nudity
Singapore Student Animation: Adventure Time! | 31 mins | Rating: PG
International Competition 2: Focus on Women in Animation | 31 mins | Rating M18 – Mature Content