Tuesday, 10 March 2009

I have just come back from the Tricky Women festival in Vienna. It runs annually, celebrating the best of women's animation internationally.

My film The Beloved Ones got in - hooray! - so I got to attend thanks to the British Council (who fund the travel) and the festival itself (which provides accommodation). I got to meet lots of amazing film makers from all over the world, including Katrin Rothe (pictured here - she's on the right), a documentary maker and animator, amongst many others.

It was a great atmosphere, very welcoming and warm, and Vienna is a beautiful city despite the rainy spring weather we had for most of our trip. The festival had a 50 film competition alongside other programmes including a Vera Neubauer retrospective, which was excellent.

The highlight for me though was the screening of the work of Mary Ellen Bute, American abstract film maker, who made several ground breaking animated films under the banner of "Seeing Sound". I've only seen a few blurry clips of her work before on YouTube, so to see these beautiful 35 mm prints projected was a huge treat. The colours were just incredible.

Academic Sandra Naumann from the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute in Linz presented the work and her huge enthusiasm for the subject was infectious. She has been on a one woman crusade to reinstate Bute's reputation as a pioneer of animation - travelling to the States to interview Bute's friends and relatives, getting new prints struck and publicising Bute's work world wide.
I came back home all enthused and keen to get on with my own seeing sound project..!

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