International Animation Day 2009 in Atlanta

On October 28, 1892, Émile Reynaud opened his Théâtre Optique at the Musée Grévin in Paris, using a version of his Projection Praxinoscope; in addition, to being the first theatrical presentation of a motion picture (though it did not use film), it also represented the public presentation of the first animated movies. Though cinema historians usually see Reynaud accomplishment as an interesting sidebar in film history, many in the animation community see it as the beginnings of animation; as such, ASIFA chapters around the world celebrate it as International Animation Day. And ASIFA-Atlanta is celebrating it this year with a screening of films selected from ASIFA chapters around the world at the Woodruff Arts Center‘s Rich Auditorium and presented in association with the High Museum of Art. Admission is free, though it is suggested that you reserve a free ticket at the ASIFA-Atlanta website.

Atlanta/L.A. Screenings: Bizarro Sat Morning & Christine Panushka/Alberto Araiza

Bizarro-2This Tuesday, October 20th, at 7:30 pm,  in conjunction with ASIFA-Atlanta, C. Martin Croker returns to the Plaza Theatre, in Atlanta with the second of his Bizarro Sat Morn! shows this season, featuring a program of cartoons on 16mm, which has been described as “An oddball mash-up of nostalgia and bits of o’ weird-o coolness,” featuring films from the 20s through the 90s. This Halloween show will feature films by Ub Iwerks, Paul Julian, Bill Justice, Max Fleischer, Hal Seeger , Jack Davis and others.

While you’re at it, check the theater’s website on how to make a tax-free donation to help restore “Atlanta’s oldest continuously operating cinema,” which dates from 1939.

Christine Panuska and Alberto Araiza, "Mosca and the Meaning of Life"


Meanwhile, if you’re the Los Angeles area, on Monday, October 26th, the CalArts Downtown Center for Innovative, Performing and Media Arts, at 8:30 pm, will present the world premiere of Christine Panushka and Beto Araiza, Mosca and the Meaning of Life. 

It is described as


a groundbreaking multimedia piece in which animated characters leap off the screen and join up with a live performance crafted by award-winning filmmaker and animator Christine Panushka and theater and spoken word artist Beto Araiza.

Mosca and the Meaning of Life questions our belief systems, customs, and social values, the truths and lies with which we live out our lives, motivated as much by misinformation and desperation as by hope. The program also includes The Sum of Them, Singing Sticks and other films by Panushka, as well as an excerpt of Biting the Pillow, a performance by Araiza.

Christine Panushka is a valued colleague, whose is not only a leading independent animator and educator, but an unsung pioneer of Internet animation with her groundbreaking (and much missed) Absolut Panushka website.

Animation Evolution: The 22nd Annual Society for Animation Studies Conference

“Animation Evolution,” the next SAS conference will be held at Scotland’s Edinburgh College of Art, July 9-11, 2010.  The conference blog is up and running, and is where you can find its Call for Papers. The conference is  being organized by Nichola Dobson, who is also editor of Animation Studies, the Society’s online journal.

Keynote speakers will be Clare Kitson,and Paul Wells. Kitson, whose work as the pioneering commissioner of animation for Britain’s Channel 4 created a mini-Golden Age of British animation is recounted in her latest book, British Animation: The Channel 4 Factor;  she is also the author of Yuri Norstein and Tale of Tales: an Animator’s Journey. Wells is the author of numerous books on animation, including such standard texts as Understanding Animation and Animation and America; his most recent books include Drawing for Animation, written with Joanna Quinn and Les Mills.

The Call for Papers notes:

Deadline for panel submissions: 8 January 2010. …

Membership in the Society for Animation Studies is required if your proposal is accepted for presentation at the conference. (For more information on the Society, go to its webpage at

Financial aid for travel will be available on a limited basis; details will be forthcoming.

For further information, please contact Nichola Dobson at . You can also follow the conference at on Twitter @anievolution.