• 5 May 2022


The importance of the story and the power of animation: Peter Lord talks about his career at the Short

The shorts of the International Competition between pain and the choice of being human: the sense of guilt in The Red Frock and pregnancy in First…

And more: from the Mexican tutorial to the documentary in the Venetian lagoon

Yesterday, right before the start of the second day of the Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival, the highly anticipated interview with director and animator Peter Lord took place. A special program was dedicated to him, titled Peter Lord’s World. Davide Giurlando, an expert on animated film and Masters professor in Fine Arts of Filmmaking at Ca’ Foscari has interviewed the famous animator and co-founder of Aardman Studio. Peter Lord has looked back on his career starting from his origins, through the screening of his works, starting from the 2D animation Aardman (1972), the title of which later became the name of the multi-award winning animation studio.  From 2D traditional animation, Peter Lord then adopted a new style and made his animation in modeling clay, maintaining the same nearly unsettling taste for comedy that suddenly overcomes the viewer: “In a film, the storyline is everything” said the director, and added: “in the storyline, the surprise is one of the most powerful elements”. From fun animations for kids and adults, such as the series The amazing adventures of Morph (1980-1981) and Adam (1991), to tougher and more explicit political animations, like Babylon, Lord’s creations also include music video for My baby just cares for me (1987) and two full-length animation films “Chicken Run” (2000) and “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (2012). To end the masterclass, Peter Lord commented on an exclusive behind the scenes of his latest film with pride: “our studio has accomplished a really extraordinary journey!”.

Today, instead, the second day of Ca’ Foscari Short Film Festival at the Auditorium Santa Margherita started with the special program On tutorial, Stereotypes and Body Visions, presented on stage by curator and video artist Corinne Mazzoli who introduced the works of students from Universidad Iberoamericana en Puebla realized during a workshop she held in Mexico with Alma Elena Cardoso. The workshop mixed practice and theory to critically analyze the tutorial’s format, one of the symbols of digital word, highlighting its homologating and imitative nature. During the morning the program dedicated to the VideoContest “Francesco Pasinetti” now in its nineteenth edition took place. This entirely venetian project, for almost twenty years has been promoting innovative and experimental cinematographic works, centered around emerging young people and professionals from the field. Directed by Michela Nardin and Daniela Mazzoli, who focused on the documentary language of Pasinetti: focal point of the course is in fact the city of Venice, so dear to the author. During the program collaborative works with venetians schools such as Sinopia of the G.Valle Istitute of Padova and Atmosfere Sonore of the Guggenheim High School of Venice were presented. Later the students of Ca’ Foscari in Master in Fine Arts in Filmmaking became the protagonists, coordinated by Maria Roberta Novielli that in the special program Young Film Maker at the Ca’ Foscari presented the shorts shot in seventy two hours and today projected in front of the public, as well as the directors of the shorts film in competition, with whom they had a fruitful confrontation.

During the early afternoon, the screenings of the short films of the International Competition resumed. The first short movie was the animation movie The headless mule, a Brazilian-Estonian production by the director Tamires Muniz, which talks about the illicit relationship between a priest and a woman who, punished by God, is turned into a gruesome being with mythological features and assumes the shape of a headless mule. The Bengali director Ashiqur Rahman Anik, with his The Red Frock, has shown the story of a fisherman burdened by guilt for having gifted to his daughter a dress which he stole from the body of a girl, whom he found near a river, that had been raped. The third short film presented was Same night different blue of the Turkish director Nuri Cihan Ozdogan: the movie with a dynamic and captivating plot shows the moves of two professional robbers, trying to steal a stamp, and the owner, a sly antiques dealer. Meanwhile, from France, we have One last night by Paul Vinet, which tells the story of Theo, a vice squad’s policeman who tries to protect Eva at all costs, a prostitute who got in big trouble and that he fell in love with. The protagonists are involved in a story of violent passion and pain. With First… by Adam Hartwiński from Poland, the theme of a tragic pregnancy is brought to light: it is the decision of a young couple, which finds out the unborn child has no hopes of surviving. Before the abortion, however, the mother would have the chance to save her niece’s life by donating a kidney of the unborn baby. The sixth and last short movie on the schedule was Living All the Life by Marlén Ríos-Farjat from Mexico, which shows, through the eyes of a woman, the story of a divorce and a deep and formative friendship with a neighbor, which makes us reflect on the true meaning of an existence that is never without hardships. Before the evening screenings, the programs dedicated to Barry Purves and his relationship with theater and animation, and Yukiko Mishima, an internationally acclaimed Japanese director, were presented.

The second day of the festival ended with the screening of six more short films of the Competition.  The program began with the animation The Seine’s tears that – thanks to the work of eight French directors – tells a story of manifestation of Algerian workers for a curfew imposed by the Police in the Sixties. Following, The Verdict, a Serbian short film by Dora Jung, which staged the story of a trial and the thirst for truth that insinuates itself into the fiduciary relationship between the lawyer and the client. From Ukraine and China, The Smell of the Field by director Andriana Yarmonova and Unen by Wang Haonan were respectively screened, and they brought to the stage the theme of family drama: one seen from the eyes of a dreamy child, the other resulting from the death of a father who breaks into the happiness of a family living on a prairie.  Competing from Slovenia is the short film Janko Zonta which, following the passion for the genre of its director Aleksander Kogoj Jr., presents a surreal situation of investigations invented to satisfy the continuous self-denunciations of the protagonist. The day ended with the screening of Kristian Grupač’s Slovak short film I’m opening the door and I don’t know what’s wrong, whose theme was immortality, a suffering from which the protagonists try to free themselves.  The short films demonstrated, once again, the strength of a short format that reflects on the most varied themes with acute intensity.