Quickdraw's Holiday Closure: December 18 2022 - January 14 2023!

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A collection of mind-expanding films, inspiring artists, and insights into the animation process to fuel your creative practice.

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Monday Shorts

Make your Mondays a little more pleasant with a newly curated short film each week, plus our insights into why we love them.

A mysterious creature stands with outstretched arms under a glowing light

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preview image for Alan Holly's Coda (2014). A dark green grassy background, with a nude character lying down, surrounded by black bugs. The title "CODA" is next to him, and the rest of the image is taken up by the various awards that "Coda" has won

Its post-life coda can't come close to capturing everything beautiful about life, but that failure is its own argument for life's beauty.

headshot of Mide Kadiri. Mide has black skin, short black hair, and dark brown eyes. He has an earring in his left ear and is wearing glasses. He's wearing a navy-blue turtleneck with a zipper in the front

Various elements of my art include curls and curves contrasting with straight lines, cartoon-like figures, and vibrant colours. I like to manipulate my use of colours in a polychromatic style. Sometimes I try to replicate realism. Other times I take realism and twist it in a chaotic way, so it also produces something beautiful

screenshot from Prologue (2015) by Richard Williams. A sketchy aesthetic of a man's angry face with blowing dandelion seeds in the foreground

Prologue is meant to be the beginning of an adaptation of Lysistrata, the Greek play where women withhold sex from their spouses to stop a war. It would be interesting to see where Williams aimed to take the production; how faithful he would be to its story, how much humour and horror he planned to bring to the piece.

A gloomy image of a street. A red moon in the background has a raven fly across it. 
There are two citizens looking frightened towards the camera. They are wearing old-time clothes (Bowler hat, suit, large sun hat and high-collared dress) and their heads are gourds

Before it was fleshed out into a 10-film miniseries (which constitutes one of the best American animated features of the 21st century, for what it's worth), Patrick McHale's Over the Garden Wall started its life as a more humble short film, Tome of the Unknown.

illustration of a large monster with fin ears, large fangs, and covered in fur with its mouth open. In the mouth there are 6 skeletons writhing in pain, engulfed in Flames

Robbie Ward's video for "Annihilation" by Dedsa is a stunner, a one-of-a-kind creation that's equally suited to a serious watching or the epic backdrop to your Halloween party.

Black and white image of a close up shot of a person holding an egg in front of their face. The egg's shadow makes the mouth and nose of the person cloaked in black.

Everything in an animated world can grow, shrink or transform in the blink of an eye, and the simple cube in which Egg's narrator resides does all that, constantly—and so does the character.

It’s been a busy time at Quickdraw over the last few months, and we wanted to give an update for what to expect for our summer hours: we are hoping to open our doors and return to Saturday Free Swim! Read on for details --

black and white image of a boy with glasses looking at a figure wearing a dog mask. The masked figure is holding up their finger as if to Shush the main character. Everything is slightly blurred.

Filmed with a multiplane camera setup with five layers, the film only gives viewers glimpses of the whole, with constant motion on the other, blurred-out layers adding to the film's inner anxiety.

drawn in neon lights of a rooster and a unicorn looking towards the audience through a window

an animated short as part of the National Film Board's Five @ 50 Series: An Intimate Look at Contemporary LGBTQ2+ Lives and Iden­ti­ties. A neon-coloured tribute (conflicted as it may be) to a long-shuttered Edmonton gay bar, it is every bit as thoughtful, personal and provocative as you'd expect, and a worthy addition to Vivek's ever-growing artistic catalogue.

A crowd of stick-people each lost in their own private worlds.

Despite being overshadowed by the two very different masterpieces he released on either side of it, Don Hertzfeldt's The Meaning of Life is still the kind of film most animators go their whole career hoping to create—funny, thoughtful, cynical and gorgeous in its own odd way.

A young girl stands on the surface of the sun, staring at a tall castle.

If you're in need of a wholesome escape, Jacob Kafka's student short is a great place to get it. Silly, calm, and life-affirming, it's six well-spent minutes for the terminally overwhelmed.

Wade

Monday ShortsMay 02, 2022

Set in a version of Kolkata that has been made uninhabitable by rising water levels in a post-global warming future, Ghost studio's 2020 short is a tense 10 minutes of climate horror

an artistic rendering of deep space as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope, with swirling clusters of purple, blue and white stars on a black background

The daughter of one of the engineers who worked on the creation and launch of the Hubble Space Telescope, Tracy K. Smith's poem is a touching tribute to her father's work—but it's the analog artwork by Brazilian animation director Daniel Bruson that truly elevates this short film

A tape labeled 'Indie Animation Mix-Tape!!!' pops out of a stack of tapes.

Two vastly different music videos, one using machine learning to create hyper-detailed close-ups of currency, the other painted in broad, blocky and vibrant strokes; plus two films from artists we've spotlighted in our Monday Shorts series, returning with even more impressive iterations of styles we already loved.

A person stands in a nearly bare room, with a single window and chair beside them. They're holding a multicoloured sweater, getting ready to put it on.

A clever spin on abstract animation, Sweater gives its director an excuse to indulge in the medium's affinity for swirling patterns, vivid colours, and kaleidoscopic arrangements, with some relateable slapstick added as a framing device

On old man in a white shirt, green vest and red tie speaks to an ornate, single-eyed robot. Behind them there is a wall of bookshelves densely packed with beautiful hard-backed books.

Steeped in art deco elegance and ornate designs, Avarya is a visually rich addition to one of science fiction's longest ongoing converstions—one that has only gotten more urgent since it began nearly a century ago.

A pencil drawing on lined yellow paper depicting an octopus with bright red boxing gloves at the end of each tentacle

With its unique visual metaphors, subtle comic timing, and the sandpaper grit of cognitive dissonance, Lepage's darkly funny short captures a contemporary version of an age-old feeling.

A hand holds a pencil over a newspaper classified ad

Jobs at cSPACE, SAAG and the NMC, screening opportunities with the Calgary Black Film Festival, a Downtown Activation Grant, and national and municipal funding opportunities

A line drawing of a child looking worried, staring straight forward, as other children look up. Other images are overlaid in red pencil, of fish hooks, a fish, a cut of meat, and what look like dead grassses.

An encounter with a street vendor prompts a young boy to confront his own mortality in this multilayered memento mori from the Tokyo University of the Arts

An isometric view of colourful rectangular prisms arranged in abstract patterns.

Buoyed by a joyful score and Mirai Mizue's intricate draftsmanship, Dreamland is a narrative film in abstract clothing, a memorable blurring of the boundaries between animated genres.

Close-up of a person wearing a traditional round Japanese hat, tied with rope; wind blows their hear over their face

GLAS and Annecy announce 2022 selections, Kate Beaton gets an AppleTV+ series, Animation Magazine chronicles Cartoon Movie, and AWN dives into the history of one of Canadian animation's most prominent studios

Close-up of a person wearing a traditional round Japanese hat, tied with rope; wind blows their hear over their face

GLAS and Annecy announce 2022 selections, Kate Beaton gets an AppleTV+ series, Animation Magazine chronicles Cartoon Movie, and AWN dives into the history of one of Canadian animation's most prominent studios

A hand holds a pencil over a newspaper classified ad

Calls for artworks and residencies, job postings, and educational workshops are all part of this week's roundup of professional opportunities for Calgary animators

A hand holds a pencil over a newspaper classified ad

The return of CUFF's 48-hour filmmaking challenge, opportunities for queer and Indigenous creators, and a job posting from our neighbours at EMMEDIA round out this week's offerings

A purple character in a dress rockets through the stars, orange flames shooting from their hands and legs.

A sci-fi fable in the vein of Italo Calvini's Cosmicomics, Matisse Gonzalez' film is a brief, breezy story built around an immediately intuitive metaphor

A man wearing only underpants sits on a chair, resting his chin on his hand. Most of his body is blue, as if he is filled with water. A cloud pokes through the window beside him. The rest of the room is brown and tan; a nearly leafless plant is on the opposite side of the room, and a mirror reflects a cluttered bookshelf.

Man on the Chair is a film focused on doubts, with a sense of uncertainty that goes beyond asking why we are here to whether we are here at all. Director Jeong Dahee doesn't seem especially interested in finding answers—it's the feeling of sitting within questions that seems to interest her.

A hand holds a pencil over a newspaper classified ad

This week's opportunities include a call for submisisons for an Earth Day zine, sessional work at AUArts, and info on CADA's upcoming project grants

Two pedestrians balanced on their heads in identical poses, facing opposite directions on a street corner.

Nata Metlukh pokes fun at social cues misfiring with a fun house-mirror reflection of our social incompetence

A DJ surrounded by various gear—turntables, tape decks, drum machines and speakers.

Looking back at Glucose four years later, it's easy to see why folks were so excited. For lack of a better word, and at the risk of sounding absurdly unhip, it just looks and sounds cool.

A hand holds a pencil over a newspaper classified ad

An incubator program for Black filmmakers, a remote ani-jam in Halifax, and a series of creative economy strategic workshops round out this week's Calgary (and remote) arts opportunities

Two green hands and two line-drawing mouths on a background of slightly rumpled white paper, with pinkish splotches.

An animation that focuses on the subtle movements and rhythms that unconsciously happen at an owambe, a Nigerian street party. As people come together in joy, their hearts begin to beat to the same rhythm, as if united in happiness.

A hand holds a pencil over a newspaper classified ad

A shorter collection this week, but still some interesting opportunities, including permanent roles at CADA, summer internships, and more festival deadlines

Close-up of two robots' heads staring each other down, the one on the left with afro-like coils of hair and a headband, the one on the right in a police riot helmet.

Kibwe Tavares' sci-fi short is far from your typical architecture school project, but his eye for the intersection of class, race, and the built environment is all over this film.

A spaceship lands on the cratered surface of an alien world. Large purple tendrils swirl through the air around it.

A restoration of a bizarro Romanian sci-fi gem, fusing mo-cap and animation pipelines in Unreal, GIRAF selections winning awards, and other news from the world of animation

A hand holds a pencil over a newspaper classified ad

An odd assortment of job postings and calls for submissions this week, including zombie Jesus, arts mentorships, festival calls and potential murals

A strange, long-legged creature walks across a vast, barren landscape as the sun sits just below the horizon.

Even before seeing a frame of Erika Grace Strada's student short, the title brings some very specific imagery to mind. It suggests alien landscapes, strange creatures, and a healthy dose of cosmic horror—and it delivers most of that. The jaunty soundtrack dispels any sense of dread, but with a different score, the film's opening could easily set the stage for some true cosmic horror.

A group of fuzzy-haired Muppets smile and wave, while in the background, small, hard-hatted Dozers work away.

Seeing so many talented local artists get the chance to be part of something so joyful, and that'll be seen on such a large scale, is a real treat

A flock of chimney swifts flies in the sky

A short documentary based on the writing of a real sweeper master, The Chimney Swift is whole lot bleaker than Mary Poppins' "Chim Chim Cheree" would lead you to believe

Two characters in fighting poses stand in front of a cherry blossom tree and harborfront

The Calgary-shot Fraggle Rock reboot is out! Plus trailers for Inu-Oh, Shenmue the Animation, and The Cuphead Show, animated GLAAD Media Award nominees, and other news from the world of animation

A hand holds a pencil over a newspaper classified ad

Plenty of interesting opportunities this week, including calls for Calgary festivals, mentorship and scholarships for Alberta media artists, an international residency at Hiroshima, and a chance to help steer the Alberta animation and VFX industry

A mouse with in a sweater stares straight ahead with wide-open eyes

Trailers for Netflix's The House and Cuphead's latest DLC, plus Slovenian stop-motion, awards announcements, Makato Shinkai's new feature, and Bugs Bunny vs. The Walrus

The number 2021 written with sparklers

A look back on a year full of preparation and anticipation—with more than its share of bright spots along the way

A man stands in the pouring rain, his face nearly expressionless.

The opening image of Panta Rhei is a long shot of a beach. On the left, a humpback whale lies on the sand belly up. In the centre, the film's protagonist, a marine biologist named Stefaan, stands motionless. The camera is far back, the two figures dwarfed by the barren beach and the drab grey sky.

A small town at night with snow covering the houses, and a horse-drawn sleigh passing by

We'll have limited availability from Dec. 19 through January 17—thanks for your patience, and happy holidays!

A figure in heavy winter clothing straddles a gap in the ice, as similar figures stand in the background obscured by falling snow.

Freeze Frame is a stop-motion film made from ice, and there is an inherent tension between that technique and that material. Stop motion is a slow, tedious practice that creates the appearance of motion from static materials. But ice is never really static. As soon as it's out of the freezer, it is already in the process of disappearing.

GIRAF 17 festival poster: a frog eats a fly, its tongue twists to spell out the word GIRAF

The numbers have been crunched, and we can say with mathematical certainty that these were your favourite films

GIRAF 17 festival poster: a frog eats a fly, its tongue twists to spell out the word GIRAF

After hours of viewing and careful deliberation, it's time to announce the winners of this year’s jury prizes at GIRAF17

A glowing white figure stands on a hill as a comet blazes in the background

A Spirit made of pure white light roams the earth at a time-scale we can barely comprehend. What would humanity look like to a being that moves in geological time?

A girl with a distorted face holds up a pillbug as an offering

This officially makes it a tradition: We're once again writing about the signal film for our GIRAF animation festival. But can we help it when the films are this good?

A frog with its tongue spelling "GIRAF." Full text: Quickdraw Animation Society: GIRAF 17 Festival of Independent Animation, streaming online Canada-wide, Nov. 19-28, giraffest.ca

We’ve been focusing so much on the films and artists in this year’s festival that we might’ve missed mentioning a few details, so here are five things you might not know about GIRAF17

A grainy photograph of a cloud with a tangle of lines vaguely outlining the cloud.

The simplicity of Salise Hughes' How to Draw Clouds makes it a really difficult film to write about. As the synopsis says, it's a "meditation on the desire to hold on to the ephemeral," and at only two minutes long, it makes its point concisely and poetically. Honestly, what else is there to say?

A ballpoint pen drawing of a group of businessmen in a tightly-packed elevator

Cage Match is essentially a stress dream, drawn from the same subconscious source that brought you the test you forgot study for and the job you forgot you still had—just ramped up to 11. What starts off looking like just a moment of claustrophobia quickly becomes a battle royale between beefy super-wrestlers.

Glowing purple skulls are placed awkwardly in a 2D video-game-like landscape

In honour of International Animation Day and the Halloween weekend, enjoy 13 spooky selections from Quickdraw's ongoing Vimeo channel.

A park ranger walks carefully in the woods in a still from the short animation 100,000 Acres of Pine

From its opening shot—a car interior bathed in red light, the protagonist small and blurry outside the windshield, hints of tree branches and utter darkness behind her—100,000 Acres of Pine sets a sinister mood that it never lets fade.

Black-and-white photo of Pocholo Cabarroguis in half-tone style.

Cholo is an independent Calgary-based artist, working primarily in digital illustration. Born in the Philippines and raised in Canada, they are a self-taught visual artist who’s worked in various mediums including digital illustration, graphic design, painting, printmaking, and very recently, animation.

Still from abstract animated film Sonolumin

Diana Reichenbach's short is about "the relationship of light, sound, and space" — the feeling you get from how those elements interact, and the blurring between the senses when the synchronized sound and image hit just right.

A stop-motion puppet in mid-fall from a staircase, held in pace by an armature.

OSSA

Monday ShortsOct 04, 2021

Animation and dance share an obsession with understanding movement, breaking down complex acts into their component parts, and understanding the expressive potential of even the subtlest gestures.