ASIFA-Atlanta 2008 Report of Activities

ASIFA-Atlanta had a fantastic 2008, featuring animators from our local chapter and throughout the world, including those who participated in ASIFA's International Animation Day.

We started the year in February with our first-ever screening on film (16mm), "To Hell With Hitler", a selection of WWII-era American propaganda cartoons, curated by C. Martin Croker. The screening took place at Atlanta's historical Plaza cinema.

In April, ASIFA-Atlanta helped to promote Atlanta Film Festival's "Animation Extravaganza" night, and ASIFA-Atlanta President Brett W. Thompson did an introduction and Q&A.

In May, we held our annual "Roll Yer Own" event, which showcases locally-produced independent animation. This year featured a wide range of techniques--for instance Moviekiss: The Lite Brite Video, animated with a Lite Brite toy; Knight vs Knight, animated on a TI-86 graphing calculator; and Bee Bog, animated traditionally and composited with AfterEffects. The event was very well attended and successful; the filmmakers were invited on stage afterwards for a Q&A.

In July, for our annual event "Blowin' Smoke," Atlanta animation studios showcased their best commercial work and generously took time to talk to eager animators seeking advice and employment. Participating studios included Primal Screen, Radical Axis, Turner Studios, and 70/30.

"Animation Attack!", part of the Atlanta Underground Film Festival, was perhaps our biggest event and occurred in August. We showed an animated feature, John's Arm: Armageddon, and two blocks of world-class animated shorts at Atlanta's historic Plaza Theatre. Films included Aaron Augenblick's Golden Age, Mathieu Labaye's Orgesticulanismus, Max Margulies and Naoko Masuda's God of Tears, and Tim Rauch's film Germans in the Woods.

ASIFA-Atlanta was very proud to celebrate International Animation Day on October 28th at the High Museum of Art's Hill Auditorium. It is one of our favorite events and makes us grateful to be a part of the worldwide animation community- we were happy to be able to exchange films with ten countries. About 400 people came to the two showings, and the positive feedback we received from the audience was overwhelming and wonderful. Thanks to Juliette Crochu for coordinating IAD this year.

In November, ASIFA-Atlanta brought Don Hertzfeldt to Atlanta as part of his tour for his latest film, I am so proud of you. Our screening coordinator Karl Sigler introduced the program and did a great Q&A with Don.

Finally, to finish 2008, in December ASIFA-Atlanta put together an art show, the theme of which was the Golden Age of Comics/Cartoons. Thirty-seven artists created sixty-five pieces of art which were on display in the Eyedrum's gallery space for over a month. The opening night for the art show was very well attended (Eyedrum's parking lot filled up) and featured music from local bands Omelet, The Falcon Lords, The Back Pockets, and Floating Coats.

For 2009, ASIFA-Atlanta is proud to have partnered with Atlanta's Center for Puppetry Arts to help their new film series, curated by Alan Louis. The series will include an evening of stop motion films as well as a screening of "Monster Road", the documentary about Bruce Bickford.

ASIFA-Atlanta will continue to have exciting events in 2009, as well as continue our recurring events, which include a weekly figure drawing class (run by Joe Peery) and the monthly Animators' Workshop, run by our screening coordinator Karl Sigler.

-Brett W. Thompson, President of ASIFA-Atlanta