ELAC celebrates animation, honors legendary animator

Guests were treated to Oscar-award winning Canadian animated short films.

By Gustavo Buenrostro

East Los Angeles College, Cinema Without Borders and the National Film Board presented the National Film Board of Canada Animation Day at ELAC Saturday with a tribute to Phil Roman.

Banjin Tehari, the editor-in-chief of Cinema Without Borders was the organizer of the event, along with Mike Libonati, who is the head of animation at ELAC.

“Every year we focus on a different section of the world. Last year we focused on Poland animated films, this year is Canadian animated films. We want to show unexposed people films they normally wouldn’t see in the U.S.” Libonati said.

Roman received the Windsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sarah Baisley, who served as the editor-in-chief of Animation World Network, said a few things about Roman.

Roman is an animator, director and the founder of the animation studio, Film Roman. Film Roman is best-known for producing the animated shows, “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.” Roman also received a certificate of appreciation from Cinema Without Borders.

“My advice to those who want to make it in animation is follow your dreams. You have to believe in yourself, above all else. Think positive, smile. Dreams do come true, even for a little kid in Fresno,” Roman said.

The event showed Oscar-winning short films from the National Board of Canada.

“Neighbors,” created by Norman McLaren, was one of the only animated films that wasn’t animated in the traditional sense.

It was a humorous live-action stop motion story of two neighbors fighting.

The slapstick-style comedy and the simple art effects in the background made it a great film.

“The Sand Castle,” created by Co Hoedeman, was a stop motion claymation film. It was a story of a creature who emerged out of sand and began to create other creatures to build a sand castle.

Like most of the films, it had no dialogue and just showed the creatures working together. The film had a sober feel to it because of the music.

“Ryan,” created by Chris Landreth, is a story of an animator, Ryan Larkin, who is interviewed by Chris Landreth. The film was a three-dimensional animation that had beautiful colors that emerged from the characters’ bodies.

The colors represented the emotional state of the characters.

The film was impressive in that it looked real, but no motion capture was used for the film

“The Danish Poet,” created by Torill Kove, was a story of two people who meet and fall in love and all the crazy things that happen, leading up to their meeting.

It is all narrated and the story is very well told.

After the screenings of the short films, a panel of animators discussed the importance of animation.

Bill Recinos, who is an art director, producer and art instructor, spoke about the importance of story in animation.

“Don’t rely on technique, it’s about telling compelling stories. Don’t limit yourselves in just your drawing skills,” Recinos said.

“You can create something beautiful and abstract, but without a story, it is not memorable, just something that’s pretty to look at,” Cinzia Angelini said.

Angelini has worked on animation for eleven years and is currently working on a film called “Mila.”

Angelini showed some behind-the-scenes footage of the making of “Mila” at the event on Saturday and answered a few questions about the film.

At the event, an announcement was made of two future dates for the next Animation Days.

In 2017, Cinema Without Borders will show short films from Southeast Europe and in 2018, it will show short films from Latin America.

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