Animation Block Party 2017 Recap

By RubberOnion 5 months ago
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We were invited to do a Live Podcast / Interview Panel at Animation Block Party this year (2017) and had a great time attending the festival as a whole… here’s some pictures from the experience.

If you want to hear us talk about this in podcast form check out episode 205



Rob has been to this festival before but it was my first time. It kicked off with a screening in partnership with Rooftop Films at Industry City in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY. There was a great turnout and the after party was sponsored by Corona, Tanqueray, Freixenet and Fever-Tree Tonic so there was free drinks which… free drinks!

Opening night outdoor screening at Industry City



For the first full day of the festival we opted to go the the Late Night Work Club screening of their “Strangers” anthology and the Bojack Horseman spotlight that night. LNWC was fantastic. Here’s the list of films that were shown:

  • Six God Alphabet – Peter Millard
  • Ship of Fools – Josh Shaffner
  • Tough – Jennifer Zheng
  • The Future – Greg Sharp
  • jji – Sonnye Lim
  • Scavengers – Joseph Bennett & Charles Huettner
  • Born in a Void – Alex Grigg
  • Freedom – Liberté – Loup Blaster
  • Anonmation – Caleb Wood
  • Lovestreams – Sean Buckelew
  • Departures – Jeanette Bonds
  • Wednesday with Goddard – Nicolas Menard
  • Hi Stranger – Kirsten Lepore

LNWC Q&A with Sean Buckelew and Joe Bennett


There was a Q&A with two of the filmmakers afterward, Sean Buckelew (“Lovestreams”) and Joe Bennett (“Scavengers”) and I’m posting both of their films below. We’ve talked about “Scavengers” on the podcast before and “Lovestreams” was a big hit with the audience during that screening, I highly recommend both.



Directly after that screening was the “Bojack Horseman” screening where they showed 3 episodes and there was a Q&A afterward as well with Lisa Hanawalt and Mike Hollingsworth. They told some great stories (like Mike trying to get the Bojack Pop-Vinyls at a store and Lisa being “basically a Furry”) and were very funny and natural in front of the crowd.

Bojack Q&A with Lisa Hanawalt and Mike Hollingsworth

All screenings were at BAM


That night was the After Party at DSK where they were showing past Animation Block Party collections on a screen and we just got to hang out and chat with filmmakers and attendees, it was a great time. I got a beer… and Rob got a Gummy Bier. If you want the story of that, listen to episode 205 of the podcast.

Friday After Party

Rob and his Gummy Bier


The two events we attended on Saturday were the Animation for Kids and the special showing of “Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure” in 35mm

The Animation for Kids event was fun because if there’s one audience that you don’t have to guys how their reacting to a film… it’s a room full of kids! I’m posting the list of films shown below:

  • Wishing Box (Wenli Zhang / Academy of Art University San Francisco / 5:27 min)
  • How Krishna Stole The Moon (Urvashi Lele / UCLA / 3:02 min)
  • CORKY (Ty Primosch / NYC / 5:44 min)
  • New Toy (Rogerio Boechat / Brazil / 6:26 min)
  • Playing House (Cenk Köksal & Özgül Gürbüz / Turkey / 3:21 min)
  • Potatoes for Pado (Noelle Melody & Joy Buran / New York / 4:10 min)
  • Flight of the Bumblebee (Eti Rozen & Michael Mack / New York / 1:55 min)
  • The 12 Doctors of Christmas (Alisa Stern / NYC / 2:06 min)
  • Celebrate Lunar New Year (Lizzi Akana / Sesame Studios / 1:06 min)
  • Socks (Tristan Weis / Germany / 3:23 min)
  • When Comes the Rain (Brian Giovanni / Los Angeles / 1:47 min)
  • DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver (Kjell Boersma / Toronto / 12:09 min)
  • Fred (left channel / Columbus, Ohio / 1:14 min)
  • It Happened During Recess (Cherry Zong / Canada / 5:38 min)
  • Streetlight (Jing Huang / USC / 2:09 min)
  • Journey to the Moon (Tom Rasky & Chris Monson / Canada / 2:18 min)
  • Squatch (Eric Farrar / UT Dallas / 5:44 min)
  • Out Of The Box (Marcel Saleta / RIT / 6:15 min)

“Playing House” had some domestic abuse overtones and “Socks” had murder. Straight. Up. Murder! It was funny to hear the adult react and wince as they awaited a lot of questions from their kids and then the kids themselves reacting like it was just any other cartoon. Further proof that those 80s movies that pushed the boundaries of what we think is acceptable for kids to see now is the right way.

This was the screening which had the animated shorts from Noelle Melody & Joe Buran (“Potatoes for Pado”) and Lizzi Akana (“Celebrate Lunar New Year”) who we interviewed the next day and Alisa Stern (“The 12 Doctors of Christmas”). I’m putting their films here below.


We all went out for some brunch after between the screenings and just chatted about the business and our own independent animation pursuits

Animator’s Brunch


The “Raggedy Ann & Andy” screening might’ve been the most interesting event that day because of the Q&A afterward. You can hear that discussion on episode 205 of the podcast with clips from the Q&A with Dan Haskett, Doug Crane and Steve Stanchfield moderated by Jerry Beck.

Because the fact that there will never be an official release of the film you can find it on YouTube in its entirety which is what I’m posting below

The Q&A afterward was full of great stories and Rob and I got a picture with Doug Crane who animated on He-Man, Heavy Metal, Beavis & Butthead, and basically everything from our childhoods!

Raggedy Ann and Andy Q&A with Jerry Beck, Dan Haskett, Doug Crane and Steve Stanchfield

Us with animator Doug Crane



We started the last day in the morning at the conference center at the Holiday Inn with a Live Podcast / Interview (episode 206) with Noelle Melody, Joe Buran and Lizzi Akana which went great. We talked about their films, processes, what’s next, and played Friends trivia!


That’s all fine and good but the most important thing is that they had lots of coffee and donuts there and we made out like bandits after the talks

Stephen getting the rest of the coffee

Rob and Stephen making off with coffee and donuts from the interview


It was a great first experience for me at Animation Block Party and the fact that it’s in Brooklyn is so perfect! Both Rob and I came out of that weekend feeling inspired being around all the excellent artists and excited to work on our own stuff. I’ll be submitting something to ABP next year with the hope of getting in… fingers crossed!



I’ll leave with the official winners list from the website. Great work to everyone who participated – fantastic films and a very smooth and fun festival


Best In Show My Man : Octopus / Stephanie Cadoret / France
Original Design Running Lights / Gediminas Siaulys / Lithuania
Experimental Film NSFWhale / Nathan Campbell and Alec Cummings / San Francisco
Narrative Short Outside Hearing In / Dylan Reitz and Savannah Winchester / NYC
Student Film Nueva Vida / Jonathan Seligson / CalArts
Minute Movie disillusionment of 10 point font / Greg Condon / NYC
Animation For Kids DAM! The Story of Kit the Beaver / Kjell Boersma / Toronto
Audience Award Bluehilda / James Sugrue / Titmouse



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Owner of RubberOnion Animation, a virtual cooperative studio. Author of "Tradigital Animate CC: 12 Principles of Animation in Adobe Animate." Host of the "RubberOnion Animation Podcast."