What: Animation Weekend

When: July 24th-26th

Where: BAM Rose Cinemas, Lawn @ Automotive High School

Why:
Starting tonight, BAMcinématek’s annual Animation Weekend film festival will have animation buffs of all ages bounding over to Brooklyn. For the past six years, their partnership with New York’s premier film festival Animation Block Party (ABP) allows them to premiere the best in animation from acclaimed festivals like Sundance, Cannes, and The Ottawa Film Festival. This year also includes a collaboration with underground non-profit Rooftop Films, and together, these local cinema enthusiasts will present over 80 films in the next 72 hours, screened indoors and on lawns, with a slate choc-full of the best in hand drawn, stop motion, and CG films.

“We cover all the proverbial bases from comfy stadium seating with air conditioning to cartoons under the Brooklyn skyline,” said Casey Safron, ABP’s festival curator. To kick off your experience into this year’s toon fest choose from two programs in and out of doors. At BAMcinématek, the Ottawa International Animation Festival returns with their Best of Ottawa program, featuring award winning films from Canada, France and Australia. Their slate of short films all with a running time of less than 30 minutes include interesting titles like I slept with Cookie Monster by Kara Nasda Jones, and The Comic That Frenches Your Mind by Bruce Bickford. “This collaboration with ABP has been very successful. We add the best of Ottawa to the mix,” said Molly Gross, senior publicity director for BAM Rose Cinemas.

To explore the official ABP line of films, spend opening night out of doors with Rooftop Films lawn screening at the Automotive High School. Today’s heat will have dried the grass for tonight, where you can enjoy a screening of over 20 short films like Mother’s Day by local director David Lobser, new film Puffer Girl by Academy Award winner Joan C. Gratz and Mutt by Australia’s Glen Hunwick. Following the Rooftop screening on July 24th, all in attendance will have the opportunity to meet the filmmakers and festival organizers at the after party at Bar Matchless, beer courtesy of Radeberger.

ABP’s festival curator, Casey Safron along with his go-to guys at Rooftop and BAMcinématek put the shorts into two sequential programs that would respectively fit each venue. With over 600 initial submissions, the process of selecting films becomes easier as they win awards at other acclaimed festivals like Sundance, Cannes, and South by Southwest. “The cream always rises; it’s just a matter of who gets to premiere it,” said Safron.

On Saturday and Sunday, ABP will premiere four scheduling blocks of new and award-winning films in the afternoon and throughout the evening. Some standouts include Robyn Yannoukos’ 2009 Student Academy Award winning film Alice’s Attic and South by Southwest winners, Shaman by Luc Perez and Sweet Dreams by Kristin Lepore.

“The rarest thing about the ABP experience is that you would need to travel to Canada or France to see most of these animated films…mainstream U.S. festivals need to focus on Hollywood indies to make their bottom line. At ABP you’ll get to see every best student film from every major art school in America and beyond,” said Safron.

Cost:
$9, $11 depending on location

How to get there: BAMcinématek Screenings: Take the 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Avenue or the D,M,N,R to Pacific Street. Williamsburg Screening: To the Automotive High School, take the V from Manhattan to 23rd Street-Ely Avenue/44 Drive. Transfer to the G heading to Brooklyn. Exit at Nassau near Nassau and Manhattan Avenue. Head north on Manhattan towards Bedford to 50 Bedford Ave. For a full list of Animation Weekend film screenings events visit www.animationblock.com/summerfest09.