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Wednesday, 11 April 2007

The Blue Plum Festival (and Mr Money)

The 2007 Blue Plum Animation Festival is a lovely name for a family orientated animation event. It is organized by the East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. There are three categories for entries: Student Animators, Independent Animators and Professional Animators. Entries have to be in by May 1st. In their archive section the organisers feature three of their past award winners. For what it is worth I enjoyed them. The student animation award for children went to Daesup Chang. His Painting Day is good fun with rousing country music, bright colours and rounded 3D figures. I once broke my wrist when my pooch pulled me off the pavement so I sympathise with the dog-owning cowboy whose attempts to paint his mechanical bull are disrupted when a bird lands on the control console. Dogs chase birds. Fred’s Birthday Surprise by Jim Watkins involves Fred anxious to tell his fellow Residential Home residents just how old he is. This won the Independent animator’s award for all ages – well it would wouldn’t it, Fred being the great age he is. But truthfully I was most impressed with Mr Money by Jamie Clennett. It has a suitably plum-mouthed narrator telling a surreal story of a character landing in a new land. Its style is reminiscent in a way of Terry Gilliam. The movie ends with the guy growing a banjo from his torso so you might get an idea of the style. There is a theme to the animation though. Australia was colonised and Jamie has some points to make about colonialisation. I was impressed enough to discover more about the creator. Jamie graduated in 2003 from the University Of Tasmania, School of Art. He’s very talented and I do feel a movie of the week moment coming on. Maybe even a request for an interview because I predict our students will like his work. Before that you might have a look at the festival site: http://digm.etsu.edu/bpaf/index.html.

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