Monstra 2009
Tuesday November 25th 2008, 9:25 am
Filed under: Festivals
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Monstra 2009
Monstra 2009

MONSTRA ANIMATION FESTIVAL in Lisbon, Portugal is an event that Nik and I always look forward to.  This year the festival has moved dates from mid-May to the 9th through 15th of March.

The 2009 competition is open to feature films completed after January 1,2007 and student works made after January 1, 2008.

The festival treats work with the utmost respect and screening at the lovely, modern theatre are of the highest quality.  Nik and I have been invited to be guests at the festival again this year and I can whole heartedly encourage all feature film makers and those with student works fitting the qualifications to enter their film.

You can contact the festival for complete regulations and an application at:
The deadline for submission is January 15, 2009. They accept DVD, VHS or mini-DV for selection purposes.

35mm, Beta SP PAL, DVD and DV are needed for screenings.
Feature Film Competition – Works completed after January 1, 2007 will be accepted.

The Categories in Competition are:

International Student Animation Short Film

Best Portuguese Student Animation Short Film

Best International Animation Feature Film

Friendly Fire
Wednesday November 12th 2008, 7:29 am
Filed under: Films, Events, Performances
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I am back from Xiamen, China and am still trying to process the amazing experience.  I will be writing about my trip soon but in the meantime this weekend Nik and I will travel to Berlin for the premier of the new animated film Friendly Fire.  Nik composed and performed the music for the film and we are very honored and proud to be part of this project.  I hope that you will visit the website listed at the bottom of the article to learn more about the production and that you will have the opportunity to view the film at a festival soon.

14th October 2008

Filmmaker Andy Kaiser at work
Filmmaker Andy Kaiser at work

Brand new studio The End of the Pier Films will be premiering their first production on Sunday November 16th at a private screening for crew at the Babylon Kino in Berlin.

Friendly Fire is a 7 and a half minute stopmotion film written and directed by Andy Kaiser.  It tells the story of one soldier’s temporary release from the horror and destruction of the First World War.

The film was written in 2001 while Andy was directing ‘Celebrity Deathmatch’ for MTV, but shooting didn’t start for another 4 years because the independent project repeatedly had to be shelved in favour of paying commissions.  Principle animation on Friendly Fire finally began in Berlin in March 2008, and it was a unique and challenging shooting experience for everyone involved.

Andy’s goal with Friendly Fire was to create a film without once resorting to a digital process, to make a film using technology pioneered by Ray Harryhausen and Fritz Lehmann and to see how far it can be pushed.  Every effect in Friendly Fire was achieved in-camera, without the option of touching up or rig-removal in post.  This created a myriad of challenges, not least because the age of the techniques used meant that there was a very limited resource of information and advice available.  Every shot had to be invented from scratch, using techniques such as front projection, high-speed (a floor-shattering 2000fps), multi-layered rostrum work, live action and matting.

Friendly Fire action shot
Friendly Fire action shot

The shoot ended in June 2008 and post production started immediately, running until October 2008.  Because of the in-camera effects, there was very little visual post production to complete besides optical grading, however the audio post became a dance between several European cities - the music was written in Gent, the foley recorded in Munich, the sound design produced in Dusseldorf and Cologne and the Dolby Digital mixing finally brought the production through London and back to Berlin.

Friendly Fire is a contemporary example of a film with its roots in the golden age of cinema, and it was made partly in homage to the early pioneers of special effects, but also as an experiment to see if a film made with technology from a bygone age can stand amongst the digital productions of today.

For more Information please write to or


16th International Trickfilm Festival - Stuttgart 2009
Wednesday November 12th 2008, 4:53 am
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In 2008 Nik and I were guests at the 15th International Trickfilm Festival in Stuttgart.  We were invited to give a presentation of music for animation and Nik played on the big outdoor stage before SITA SINGS THE BLUES was screened as well as in the festival cafe.
I would encourage everyone to enter their film in this festival.  Your work will be treated with respect and if you are lucky enough to be able to attend you will be treated to lovely hospitality by a friendly, hard working staff.  You can also refer back to my article posted earlier this year for more details of our visit and some festival photos.

Just as an aside, the Stuttgart Festival staff throw one of the best parties at the Annecy Animation Festival which you can read about in my article about that festival.

Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film
Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film
Dear filmmakers, producers and distributors,
dear friends of the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film,

for the last few weeks we have been receiving numerous parcels from around the world and we would like thank all those, who already submitted their films for the preselection of the 16th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film.
We would like to remind everyone else that the entry deadline is approaching with rapid strides. Films can be entered until December 01, 2008 for the following categories:

- International Competition for animated short films
- International student film competition Young Animation
- International children?s film competition Tricks for Kids
- International competition for TV series Animated Series
- International feature film competition AniMovie

The commissioned filmwork competition Under Commission and the German Animation Screenplay Award are open for submissions until January 15, 2009.

The 16th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film will take place from May 05 to May 10, 2009. The entry forms and regulations as well as further information regarding the festival can be found on If you have questions regarding entries please direct your inquiries to Andrea Bauer:

We are looking forward to your films!

Ulrich Wegenast
Managing Director, programme

Dittmar Lumpp
Managing Director, organisation, finances