The Sydney Film Festival (SFF) is back! From 10-25 June the SFF will showcase over 170 films from 39 countries, including the best of the latest features, documentaries and shorts.

Direct from London, onedotzero – the world’s premier digital film festival – comes to Sydney with its annual digital dose of “Wow + Flutter”, a pioneering project for new creative expression exploring motion graphics, animations, enhanced digital and short experimental works. onedotzero set out nine years ago as an ideas lab to commission and showcase a new style of filmmaking made possible by digital technology. Non-traditional filmmakers from backgrounds like illustration, graphic design and animation had begun creating new forms of moving image, and the world of film was open to anyone with an idea and a laptop.

On the evening of June 16th, “Wow + Flutter” visual treats first screened at The Studio, the newest, smallest and most intimate venue of Sydney Opera House.

One of the highlights must be “Park Foot Ball”, a simple yet hugely evocative animation by Studio aka regular animator Grant Orchard. Orchard has gained a reputation for his truly idiosyncratic character design. This short was originally an exercise in After Effects, and then turned into a mini film celebrating the joys of a good kick around in the park. It uses minimal pixel animation while gives great character to a box-shaped dot, telling the story in a simple graphic way, keeping the audiences laughing along with its match emotions.

Other highlights within this segment include “Empire” by Edouard Salier, which pictures a seemingly idyllic American middle-class life with the frequent image invasion of military weapons, equipment such as submarines, tanks and helicopters. In this case, the final visual outcome is fragmental; a supposed solid, comfortable and guaranteed Pax Americana turns to be so fragile ever.

“Into Pieces” is a quirky short Guilherme Marcondes produced at Lobo, a purely fun animation which explores the notion of the guy who tells you the answer to the puzzle even when you didn’t intend to ask. The most successful detail is the subtle changes of facial expression in the main character, as well as its excellent pacing and sound effect which were done by Paulo Beto. I really love the insertion of audience claps, unexpected but, at the same time, true to the meaning of the story.

Directed by Joji Koyama, “Watermelon Love” is inspired by a true story that cube-shaped watermelons were grown in Asia. “Flawed but worth watching” is how Koyama describes this perfect-looking animation. Like a bizarre ritual, it guides viewers through the eating of bright red watermelons and the growing of plants.

The Sydney Film Festival (SFF)
Date: June 10 – 25, 2005
Venue: The State Theatre, Dendy Opera Quays, The Studio

Text and Photos: River Yin from Boqinana

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Masahiro Suzuki