Monday, April 25, 2022

Thoughts on Ukraine and April/May events

 I can't believe April's half over already, and my schedule is really starting to fill up. I've been mostly isolated indoors for the past two years, just like everyone else, but now the travel restrictions and the mask mandates are getting lifted, and events are starting to happen again!  Last year I only went to New York Comic-Con and on one festival trip, to the Malaga Festival in Spain - and so far in 2022, I've only appeared at that sneak peek screening of "Slide" at SVA with co-presenter Signe Baumane.  (By the way, it looks like her film, "My Love Affair with Marriage", is going to screen in June at both the Annecy Animation Festival in France AND the Tribeca Festival here in New York.  That's incredible!  My congratulations go out to Signe and Sturgis and their team.  

Before I get to other events, I want to talk about the tragic war in Ukraine.  I must say, I've been to Ukraine and had a delightful time - and I was very impressed with the city of Kiev - or Kyiv, as they're now calling it - such a beautiful and warm city!  In any case, I have a wonderful solution for the current war situation.  If everyone in America who owns a few guns could just ship them over to the Ukraine and the heroic fighters there, the war could be over in just a matter of a few days.  Also, this would help cut down on the number of shootings in the U.S.  And yes, I'm available to go to Sweden to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.  

OK, now on to the April and May events.  First, I'm off to Brazil to make a new compilation of shorts featuring my "Guard Dog" character, who is really popular in Brazil for some reason.  The shorts will show him visiting Carnival celebrations around the country - they got delayed this year because of a COVID outbreak down there, but my sponsors say I should be able to attend some of the rescheduled Carnival events myself, which I'm really excited about.  So I'm leaving tomorrow, and I should be back in about two weeks.  

As soon as I get back in town, I'll be conducting an online talk with Signe Baumane for the Stuttgart International Festival of Animation, which runs from May 3 to May 8 as a hybrid event.  Our talk will be live-streamed on May 7, it's going to be a little like the show Signe and I did at SVA last month, where we'll each show clips from our upcoming animated features and also talk about film production, fundraising and life as independent animators trying to complete features during difficult times.  In addition, the Stuttgart Animation Festival will be screening/streaming one of my features, "Idiots and Angels", so please check that one out if you haven't seen it before!

Then, I'm flying to the Czech Republic, to attend a festival called Anifilm, where I will serve on the jury to award the prize for Best Animated Feature.  While I'm there, I'll also be presenting a Master Class drawing demonstration, and the festival will be showing one program of my classic short films, from "Your Face" and "25 Ways to Quit Smoking", "Guard Dog" and its four sequel films, up through "The Fan and the Flower" and "The Cow Who Wanted to Be a Hamburger".  Also, the Anifilm Festival will be screening TWO of my features, "I Married a Strange Person" and "Cheatin'"!  Wow, I may be too busy screening features on the jury to attend these screenings, but you can!  Check out the whole program at:

And the weekend after that, I'll be riding up to the Boston area for a special show in Arlington, MA where we're going to screen "Demi's Panic" for some of the Kickstarter backers who helped make the film happen - this will take place at the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford St. in Arlington - and after the backers get their tickets, then the remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public.  But you won't just get to see ONE Bill Plympton short, I'm putting a whole program of shorts together, in addition to "Demi's Panic", you'll get to see "Your Face", "Guard Dog", a couch gag from "The Simpsons", and a whole lot more!  Plus I'll introduce the films along with writer Danny Leonard and producer Lorena Hernandez Leonard from Rock Farm Productions, who made the whole thing happen!  This special screening will happen on May 22 at 7 pm - again, at the Regent Theatre in Arlington MA. 

You can buy tickets for the Arlington event at the Regent Theatre here:

You'll also have time in May to catch "Demi's Panic" at a few other festivals around the world, like the Stuttgart International Festival of Animation, May 3 to May 8, where it's going to play in a special program called "Pandemic Animation" featuring films that were about or produced during the pandemic, the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, May 29 to June 4, and the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles, June 1 to June 2. 

And then I'll be appearing at the Mendocino Film Festival in California, June 2-5.  I'll also be doing two shows there, one program of my short films and also a Master Class, which will include short films like "Eat", "Santa the Fascist Years" and "Demi's Panic".

I've posted a new "Making of" video for my upcoming feature, "Slide".  It's a clip of me coloring the backgrounds for the new film.  We are also coloring the film digitally, but I'm coloring keyframes for each scene so my new interns will know what color everything should be.  It's a lot of fun for me, and I want to do more "behind the scenes" videos that show examples of my animation method.  

I hope you can come out and see one of my shows in May or June!  

I've also included a new gag cartoon below - enjoy!

--Bill P.