Two days of inspiration and ideas await local animators at this year?s animation festival

Frederic Cone

Frederic ConeNews Editor

World-renowned animator Bill Plympton to come to this years SoDak Animation Festival.

The annual SoDak Animation Festival will be at various locations around Brookings, Oct. 14 through 16. The SDSU Animation Club, in association with Art Professor Cable Hardin, is hosting the second-annual animation festival.

“The festival is an important way for us to bring animation to the Midwest,” said Trish Naig, a senior graphic design major and president of the animation club. “It’s an opportunity for those of us here at SDSU to view animation that isn’t represented in this area.”

The main event kicking off this year’s festival will be Oscar-nominated animator Bill Plympton. He is presenting an animation master class to discuss his work. The class will also look at Plympton’s personal creative ideals.

This event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Volstorff Ballroom and is open to the public. Immediately following the presentation at 8:00 p.m., there will be a screening of Plympton’s latest animated feature Idiots and Angels with a question and answer session with Plympton.

Plympton is an Oscar-nominated animator from New York who began his career in 1983 when he was brought in by Valeria Wasilewski to direct and animate a film she was producing, which was a rendition of Jules Feiffer’s song Boomtown. Over the next three decades, Plympton produced 34 animated shorts and features, along with two live action films.

Plympton’s animated feature The Tune, which he financed completely himself, won the prestigious Housten Worldfest Gold Jury Special award as well as a Spirit Award nomination for best film score.

He received an Oscar-nomination for his animated short Guard Dog, which he produced in January 2005.

“I think it’s huge that Bill Plympton is coming here for the festival,” said Devashnu Narang, a senior majoring in visual arts with a specialization in animation and also a member of the animation club. “He will help all of us animators here at SDSU become better at our craft.”

At 5:30 p.m., Brookings and Sioux Falls animators and artists from Keyframe of Daktronics will showcase their work for large-screen led venues.

On Fri. Oct.15, 2:30 p.m. and Sat. Oct.16, 11:30 a.m., a showing of the animated feature, The Secret of Kells will be at Brookings Cinema 5. A $5 fee at the door, or the showing is free with your student ID.

The Secret of Kells is a new feature from the producers of Kirikou and the Sorceress and The Triplets of Belleville. The story is about the power of imagination and faith to carry humanity through dark times.

The short animated film screenings and awards ceremony begins at 5:00 p.m., Fri. Oct. 15 in the Performing Arts Center. It is free and open to the public. Some material to be shown may not be suitable for children. Although most of the films are from U.S. animators, three international films from Japan, Brazil and South Korea will be shown as well.

To complete the festival, a screening of family appropriate animation will show, beginning at 10:00 a.m., at the South Dakota Children’s Museum. Animation stations are to be set up for children and adults to learn how to create their own animations. Local South Dakota artist Bob H. Miller will lead the hands-on animation workshop for kids. Both events are free to the public.

“We had a good following last year and we are hoping to have even greater numbers at this years festival,” Naig said. “I am excited for the festival to get under way and to view the various films.”