Flip animation festival ran again this year, continuing to defy the odds against a small regional festival celebrating a squeezed and marginalised art form managing to continue in such an unwelcoming economic climate. The festival has undergone a change of management and a decrease in funding but was is still full of life, debate, engagement and above all enthusiasm for animation as a robust form. Not that there weren't some dreadful films screened, but that's all part of it, isn't it? I think that the really rotten ones give us all hope.
Amongst the amazingly good films were The Skeleton Woman, directed in France by Sarah Van Den Boom, a beautifully lyrical and moving film which I just drank in. Also great were Flea and Fly - a wonderfully bittersweet homage to 1920s animation with a fresh take on content, directed by Brazilian Fernando Miller - and Plugs, directed by UK based Tom King, which was a funny exercise in good timing and design.
There was a really helpful session on showreels, with Barry Purves, Michael Nagasaka from Frontier games, Mike Foley and Glenn Holberton from Loose Moose. There was tons of useful advice on putting a reel together, including four brave souls who screened their showreels to be critiqued by the panel. Pleasingly the panel all screened their own reels too and critiqued that too - it was one of the most helpful sessions of that sort that I've been to.
Another highlight was a session on how to be a good student by Daniel Waterman & Gary Carse. They were brilliant, very concise and articulate, their message boiled down to "work like a demon and stop complaining" which is what we tell students every week ... Unfortunately it clashed with the Bill Plympton master class which all of my students went to so I made lots of notes to feedback to them afterwards.
Overall I really enjoyed my Flip day - best of all it continued the next day too.