Our film, “Christmas Day” played in Jacksonville at the Citrus Cel Animation Festival last week.
Kelsey Stark flew down for the weekend. This is her report.
The Florida Theater where they held the screening was a really awesome, old theater in the center of downtown that played hip indie music loud enough to hear a couple blocks away. (I’m sure there are better pictures of it online if you want to see.) The last day with the Laika presentation and final screening were the best attended events.
Highlights for me were the experimental screening which was a good mix of films with experimental technique and experimental structure. The lemonade screening was probably my favorite.
All the films were handmade, including a good deal of stop motion, and some somber European hand painted films which were long and depressing but quite beautiful. Half the films in this screening (and probably all the screenings for that matter) had obnoxious world-music type accordion and piano soundtracks. The kind that have been overused since the early 2000s when Amelie came out. In fact I think some of them might have actually used the same exact songs.
There was a nice exhibition set up of concept art for some of the films that were screened on the 2nd floor of the theater. This detail, that I’m sure only half the people in attendance saw, was one of my favorite parts of the experience.
Seems like the biggest draw for people were the presentations. I only made it to the Business of Animation and Laika because of the way they had screenings and presentations staggered. Laika’s presentation about puppet fabrication was incredible, with a wealth of pictures and detailed explanation of their processes. They brought along some Paranorman characters with their faces taken apart, but the table was swamped and the only photo I got turned out blurry.
Ultimately it was a pretty good festival for only being in its 4th year. I was impressed by the large amount of international films they featured, and how smoothly they ran the screenings. There were definitely some gems, but as with most festivals, for every good film there were about 3 bad ones. Either way, its a shame more people didn’t show up considering there are a number of larger cities and art schools within a few hours drive.