Furry fans of indie animation, the Animation Show of Shows deserves your attention.
by Patch O'Furr
Co written by Patch and Fred Patten.
Happy Pride month! Check out this short animation, Flamingo Pride. It screened in the 2012 annual Animation Show of Shows, an international touring festival. Read on about why the festival deserves your attention, and what this means to furries.
Ron Diamond, producer of The Animation Show of Shows, contacted Fred Patten:
Dear Fred, I want to thank you for the great write up on The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows. I was delighted about the kindness you extended to me and the filmmakers in covering an otherwise unorthodox medley of quirky international animated shorts. I’d be grateful if you can share this with your readers, to help build awareness of alternative animation that has a message that pleases and inspires. Warm regards, Ron
The 2016 Animation Show of Shows will be the 18th annual edition. Fred has previously reviewed it for various animation websites (here’s reviews from 2013 and 2015.) Diamond is president of Acme Filmworks, an animation studio in Los Angeles that produces animated TV commercials in a wide variety of styles. His curation of the Animation Show of Shows is well known. It consists of about a dozen short films, some from big studios like Disney and Pixar, but most by independent animators and students from colleges around the world. Most or all are prize winners at international festivals. Many have gone on to win next year’s Academy Award Oscar in the Short Film (Animated) category. They show Diamond’s stellar record for predicting success.
Up to now, Diamond has shown this festival at major animation studios and animation colleges mostly in North America, but also in some other countries with large studios or chapters of ASIFA (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation; the International Animator’s Association). Now Diamond is trying to raise enough funding through a Kickstarter campaign to get it into theaters where it can be seen by the public.
What does it have to do with furry fandom?
The Animation Show of Shows has had anthropomorphic animation in the past, such as Flamingo Pride. But none of it can be credited to furry fandom.
Furry is growing. Wikipedia’s “list of subcultures” includes over a hundred such as Furry and Brony fandoms. A common aspect of these subcultures is that they have grown enough to support their own independent movie making. (There is movie making for punk, hip hop and heavy metal music – sci fi, trekkie, and horror fandoms, among others.)
Furry fandom has made short films for some years now, but in 2016 (“The Year of Furry”) the influence of features has come closer and closer to a fertile mutual relationship. There was the high-profile embrace of Disney’s Zootopia (which had headlines for publicity outreach to the furry community), and the furry-made production of the Fursonas documentary. Perhaps a path is being blazed, with works like this fan music video that got over 10 million views:
The maker seems very furry-influenced but might not say so. However, it was widely furry-supported. It’s success led to her working on Dawgtown, a forthcoming indie 2D-animated feature. It’s under the radar now but I sense potential to break out for mainstream success – and if it does, it’s guaranteed to be embraced by furries. (The director did an interview for Dogpatch Press.)
Can the first furry animated film be far off? Bronies already have Children of the Night. Furry fandom has produced live-action films as EZ Wolf’s 2012 Merry XXXmas from Room 366 and his 2013 Bitter Lake, RusFURence 2012’s Psc/Fnk, and furry convention music videos like Anthrocon 2014’s Compass. When will furry fandom’s first animated film appear?
Hopefully the trend will continue. Supporting indie animation is a great path to more, and Ron Diamond’s Animation Show of Shows awaits.
More about how fans can help:
The Animation Show of Shows, Inc. is dedicated to the restoration, preservation and promotion of animated short films. It was founded by Ron Diamond in 1999, and in 2015 it was established as a nonprofit organization. In May, it received a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation.
Their Kickstarter campaign has a goal is to bring the best new international animated short films in a theatrical setting to people around the world:
“The 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows was an incredible milestone,” says founder Ron Diamond. “For the first time, the showcase of 11 shorts and four mini portrait documentaries was presented in 47 public theaters in 4 countries, which gave general audiences the chance to see great animated short films on the big screen. With this new campaign, we hope to reach an even wider audience by increasing the number of venues and expanding our publicity to make sure that everyone can share in the magic of the short films in The 18th Annual Animation Show of Shows to be released this September.”
Ordinarily, Dogpatch Press doesn’t share crowdfund appeals. Fred and Patch feel that this one is something special apart from others.