17 Jan 2020
Our ‘delegation’ has just returned from the city of Annecy and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, one of the biggest and most esteemed animation festivals in the world. It consists of a week full of screenings of animated films from all over the world, workshops, talks and pitches of new ideas. Our people came back with French chocolat and a bag full of inspiration.
It reminded us why we love narrative animation and has fuelled the team with a bigger desire and motivation to march on into the development of our future narrative projects, and the completion of our upcoming animated shorts.
What is a short film really?
By definition, it is 'an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less'.
But a short film isn’t merely a smaller movie, it’s the feat of telling a powerful story in a short period of time.
Often, a short film is like a shot of your favorite spirit, a shock compared to a long drink or cocktail; it is strong, potent and surprising. It opens up your mind, it is a microscope on the intricacies of what would otherwise seem to be mundane everyday moments, or it is a shocking peek into someone's timeline. You have limited information about the before and after, but you are taken on a ride in the moment. It is an art piece that might be short in duration but not small in scope or value. Short films and short stories have more creative freedom than they have limitations even though they are harder to master. They can often take strange forms, immerse you in other-worldly atmospheres, or imitate dreams, narratives not necessarily bound to reason.
A well-known short film that has been capturing hearts and minds since its creation in 1956 and is always used as an example of what a short film can be, is Albert Lamorisse's ‘The Red Balloon’, a story about a boy walking around war-torn Paris with his bright red balloon, which seems to have a life of its own. The boy and his strange balloon color-in the ashen landscape and bring life back to the streets of the City of Light.
As an animation studio, we are especially fond of animated shorts. Animation gives you even more narrative power and opens up creative opportunities. It also talks to the child within us all and manages to touch our soft and often well-hidden emotional core. It speaks to our humanity.
You can see this in oscar-winning animated shorts like Disney/Pixar’s sweet and simple romance Paperman, the beautifully animated and heart-breaking 'Borrowed Time', or the quirky, also oscar-winning 'Bao'.
A notable trove of beautiful animated short films is the Story Corps archive, a wonderful non-profit initiative which started from a mobile recording studio. Story Corps travels around America with a mission to record, preserve and share real, human stories, which are often remarkable and surprising. Some of these stories are then turned into incredible animations, which will move you to tears and fill you up with positivity and love for humanity. They are a great antidote to those 21st Century Blues...
As a studio, we have embarked on our own little quest to explore and create narrative animation. Our first original short is a fictional story inspired by a real remarkable woman. 'The Parrot Lady' explores the theme of loneliness and how each human being, despite appearances, carries with them the baggage of their own unimaginable history. We have also signed on as co-producers on ‘Dragon Recipes’, created and directed by Maria Pavlou, a co-production with Pixel Giants and the Cyprus Ministry of Education and Culture.
Head over to our new page Animated Shorts to discover more about our upcoming projects and stay tuned for developments and updates on their progress.
Meanwhile, give shorts a chance!
You can head over to pages like, Short of the Week, to explore award-winning live action or animated short films, or other well-curated online collections such as Vimeo Staff Picks. Also if you ever find yourself near a short film festival, give it a go. Shorts will surprise you!