2015 guide to GIRAF animation festival

Thursday 19th, November 2015 / 04:05
By Team BeatRoute



Fantastic Worlds Four-Pack

Thursday, Nov. 26, 7 p.m., Globe Cinema

Featuring the debut of Chad VanGaalen’s “fully fucking nerded out” space epic Tarboz, plus mind-melting works from Don Hertzfeldt, Joseph Bennett and Cerise Lopez & Agnes Patron, the four short films in our opening gala do what animation does best — create fantastic worlds and bizarre characters whose only limits are their makers’ imaginations. Where else will you find worlds populated by time travellers, trickster spirits, vengeful Vikings and intergalactic trash collectors?

Afterparty: Video Games and Chill

There’s only one way to unwind after taking in the spectacle of our opening gala, and that’s with a fine assortment of vintage video games. Join us in Quickdraw’s studios for some gems from the NES, SNES and Sega Genesis catalogues, and beyond.


Lyle Pisio

Friday, Nov. 27, 7 p.m., 
Globe Cinema

For the last three years, local artist, musician and animator Lyle Pisio has been working with Calgary’s finest audio artists (including Chad VanGaalen, Peter Moller, Chantal Vitalis and many more) to create a series
 of 10 stop-motion Haikus: short animated films that are poetic, haunting and, above all, beautiful. GIRAF is proud to show the full series for the first time anywhere — plus a live musical performance featuring some of Pisio’s collaborators, past and present.

Quay Brothers on 35mm

(Curated by Christopher Nolan)

Photo: Courtesy of Film Forum via Photofest.

Quay Brothers
Photo: Courtesy of Film Forum via Photofest.

Friday, Nov. 27, 9 p.m., Globe Cinema

Christopher Nolan can pick any project he wants these days. It turns out, what he wants is for you to watch the Quay Brothers. The Quays have been perfecting their brand of surrealist stop-motion since the 1970s, earning accolades, commissions and retrospectives around
the world. That’s not enough for Nolan, who has packaged his three favourite Quay films with his own short documentary on the brothers in this new touring program.

Indie Animation Mixtape

Side A: Friday, Nov. 27, 11 p.m., Globe Cinema

Side B: Saturday, Nov. 28, 9 p.m., Globe Cinema

It was a daunting task, but GIRAF’s programmers went through nearly 1,000 short film submissions from over 60 countries and narrowed them down to the 30-or-so films in the Indie Animation Mixtape. Whether they’re hand-drawn or computer-generated, narrative or abstract, light-hearted or heart-wrenching, they all have one thing in common: these are the films that are keeping animation a vital, creative art.

Great Women Animators


Poster: Courtesy of GIRAF

Saturday, Nov. 28, 5 p.m., Globe Cinema

Last summer at the Quickdraw Animation Society, Heather Kai Smith hosted a series of screenings and created a set of zines spotlighting the often-unsung contributions of female animators throughout the last century. Since then, the series has spun off into an ever-growing online database that has been shared by everyone from Animation World News to the British Film Institute. GIRAF is excited to have Smith present a new instalment (and new zine) in this amazing series.

Ghost in the Shell 20th Anniversary


Ghost in the Shell

Saturday, Nov. 28, 11 p.m., Globe Cinema

It’s been 20 years since Ghost in the Shell helped introduce anime to Western audiences, and with it, the idea that animation could be more than kids’ stuff. A stylish sci-fi thriller that’s unafraid to get philosophical, Ghost in the Shell has had an undeniable impact, from The Matrix’s blatant borrowing of its style to a new live-action remake starring Scarlett Johansson — and thanks to a new remaster from the original print, Mamoru Oshii’s masterwork has never looked so good.

King Deluxe Video Brunch

Sunday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Broken City

Fuel yourself up for the last day of the festival while treating yourself to a selection of stellar animated music videos from Calgary- and Vancouver-based record label King Deluxe. It’ll be good eats and great tunes at Broken City, the official unofficial after party venue of this year’s GIRAF.


Caleb Wood

Sunday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m., Quickdraw Animation Society

If there’s one thing that gets GIRAF excited, it’s animators who push the limits of the medium. Right now, no one is doing that better than Caleb Wood. The Minnesota-based animator can’t be confined to any one technique, and his creative restlessness has expressed itself through everything from intricate drawings to animated roadkill. If you’re even slightly interested in the potential of animation as an art form, Wood’s workshop and artist talk are absolutely essential.


Heartwarmers and Bittersweets

We Can't Live Without Cosmos

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

Sunday, Nov. 29, Quickdraw Animation Society

This year, we’re ending the fest with a warm embrace of a shorts pack- age, featuring a collection of beauties both local and international. From Oscar-nominated Dutch short A Single Life to Russia’s stunning We Can’t Live Without Cosmos, these are the films that’ll leave you smiling (maybe with a single tear in your eye) as GIRAF wraps up for another year.

GIRAF takes place at the Globe Cinema and Quickdraw Animation Society studios. For screening info and tickets, please visit http://giraffest.ca

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