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By Zara Hussain, Alison Smith and Ayesha Farooqui on

Reviews: Panoramas at BAF 2011

Bradford College animation students Zara, Alison and Ayesha review the animated shorts shown in three Panorama segments at BAF 2011.

Panorama 3 reviewed by Zara Hussain

I have to say, this year the Bradford Animation Festival team have really outdone themselves with the animations chosen for the Panorama screenings; full of exciting, heartwarming, hilarious films which refuse to let your mind wander.

Panorama 3 went beyond my expectations. If allowed, I would have hugged that cinema screen!

My favourites from the screening would have to be The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling, On the Rails and Out on a Limb—traditional and beautifully animated—quite inspiring. Their stories are unique and manage to muddle your mind with so many feelings, you don’t know where to start.

The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling: I found this short clip incredibly humorous, but at the same time I felt somewhat sympathetic toward the old man and his fear of heights.

Out on a Limb: By far the most original animation style. Leaving faint outlines everywhere the birds fly, creating a trail. Beautifully animated, also very funny.

On the Rails: Very heartwarming, watching the life of an old man as he travels on a train. Seeing his memories gives you a sense of his upsetting past.

Watch these films for yourself if you can.

Panorama 2 reviewed by Alison Smith

First of all, hello! It’s great to be writing for the msueum blog, so today I had an overall feeling of excitement, especially surrounded by people who have an interest in animation like me.

As I took my seat in the Cubby Broccoli Cinema, I was eager to set my eyes on the animations that were to be shown. As the lights went off and each of the short films finished, I thought to myself ‘Wow! I can’t wait to go away and draw something’. I was so inspired by what I’d watched on screen.

Out of the animations that screened, two were my favourites:

Princesse, a stop motion animation directed by Frederick Tremblay. There was a genuinely unsettling feeling while watching the film. The camera angles used to capture the stop motion were the cherry on the top for me; such grim storytelling.

The wooden puppets seemed alive with emotion, even though their facial expressions stayed the same—the body language of the puppets was so strong. The especially scary part of the animation was when the wolf suddenly popped up, constantly banging and snarling outside the window trying to get inside to the woman. It just made me feel uneasy, so the animation was a success.

The other film that stuck with me was Las Palmas, an interesting mix of styles including stop motion, directed by Johannes Nyholm.

The setting was a hotel on a tropical island, where a real baby was dressed up as a middle aged woman on holiday with puppets, and it had the whole cinema roaring with laughter! I was even in tears; the baby’s face, and how she stumbled around the bar set drinking (supposedly) alcohol and making a gigantic mess after partying too hard, was hilarious.

Once it finished, people couldn’t stop giggling in the audience. I’d say that one was a success, to produce such a strong reaction.

Panorama 1 reviewed by Ayesha Farooqui

The cinema was filled with a healthy number of people—I had the right idea when I sat on the front row! Panorama 1 was an amazing collection of animations, all with various emotions and drawing techniques. It was enough to persuade me to watch the other Panoramas, the films were that inspiring.

A few of them really stood out for me…

The Saga of Biôrn is a 3D animation that is not only funny, but full of talent. A Viking is determined to get into the heaven of the Viking gods by heroic death. His attempts fail several times, for his enemies always end up killing themselves before he even touches them. My favourite technique in this animation is that it blends 3D animated characters with 2D backgrounds.

Another delightful animation is Ishihara, a simple animation made from coloured circles, telling the story of a boy who is colourblind, and later completely blind. David Lockard is the narrator, and his voice makes sense of the animation, even though it’s a bunch of dots moving about. It really captured my attention and it was definitely an eye-opening and intelligent animation.

The Lighthouse opens with a pretty lighthouse illustration and the film’s title in a beautiful typeface. This animation is made of flat browns, creams and cherry blossoms. The story is of parents supporting their children and making their children’s dreams a reality.

A father and son live in a lighthouse and spend time together playing the piano. As the son grows up he spends less and less time with his father, and more time pursuing his dream. His father evidently gets older but is still happy his son has reached his goal.

When the father dies, the son with his wife and child continue the cycle, with the son supporting his family. This was an extremely emotional animation for me to watch, and I had tears in my eyes.

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