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


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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a point-of-view shot of someone's feet sticking out of the water. The colour palette is very muted. The text below it reads 

The pervasive sense of melancholy, the dream-like story structure, the dark, dry humour; all of them create a mood that's hard to describe and equally hard to forget. 

Image of a cute blue character wear ing a chef hat lifting a large yellow oven spatula into a pizza over in a small cabin.

In his words, it's "a lamentable tragedy mixed full of pleasant mirth," but the mirth is mostly in the contrast between Cross' golden age animation style and his willingness to follow through on a premise to its bitterest conclusion.

Pencil drawing o fa woman holding her face in her hands, her eyes are closed and she has long hair

Sijia Ke's film Pear is based on a true story. Maybe. It's based on a story, in any case — one that Ke was listening to on the radio, despite not speaking the language it was broadcast in.

Illustration of a bird-man wearing a blue-green suit holding a gun of some sort that looks like it's spewing radio waves (colours red, white and blue) into the sky. From One Year, One Film, One Second a Day by the Brothers McLeod

For an entire year, the McLeod's drew one second of animation each day, basing it on something they had seen, heard or read over the course of the day, with a little creative license for good measure.

Three characters are looking off-screen to the right. The leftmost character is a character with an elephant face, and elephant faces for arms. The middle scaracter looks lik ea furry being wearin gan owl mask. The third character has antlers, and three faces stacked on top of each other like a Totem pole

Anne Breymann's 2017 film Nachtstück is, in a word, weird. Not in the hand-wavy, dismissive way that word is often used, as in "that was weird, I don't get it." Nachtstück is weird in a deeper, more unsettling way, the way that horror writer H.P. Lovecraft articulated almost a century ago in his essay Supernatural Horror in Literature

Screenshot of Victoria Vincent's Floatland (2018)
Image of a girl looking at a screen to the left of the frame. She has blue long hair in a ponytail and is holding a game controller. Behind her is a dirty room filled with clothing, bottles, posters, empty bowls, cigarettes and prescription bottles

The range of moods it runs through in just over two-and-a-half minutes is astounding. The fact she can do it in such an intuitively appealing way is why she's an artist you absolutely should be following.

Screenshot from Andy Kennedy's Slow Wave (2016). Image is of a warped bedroom, looking at the bed on a tilt, wiht a night stand next to it. There are two windows on the right wall and a light above the bed. There is a portal directly above the headboard of the bed radiating a bright neon pink that douses the room with its light.

The first half of the film shows the unease that accompanies those restless nights where sleep never seems to come. The second shows that falling asleep isn't always so great, either.

Image of  awoman in a white robe with tassels down her front stands by a birch tree and looking past the camera. The scene is in a forest

The story of a Nishnaabeg youth and elder rescuing a canoe from a museum's collection, it's a direct challenge to the western claim that other culture's artifacts are educational items or historical curiousities.

Heads up - QAS will be hiring! We’ll be looking for up to 4 folks to fill positions in April-August 2023. More details and an official call for applications will be coming soon!

black and white colour scheme. Depicts an establishing shot of an environment with large hills, but with two figures - one with a black body and a white dot on their middle, and one with a white body and a black dot on their middle - sitting on the floor looking at each other.

There's a reason it walked away from our 2017 GIRAF festival with the Audience Favourite award and some of the highest ratings we've ever seen for a short at the fest.

image of a man standing in a room with minimal furniture. A piano, some discarded picture frames. The room is framed as a circle, and we're looking in it from a god-like view above. All in black and white

Split into four parts, the film is somewhere between a visual poem and an expression of philosophy, cycling through acts of creation and destruction, evolution and remembrance. Volcanoes erupt, creatures evolve as sort of whimsical exquisite corpses, the pins that make up the animation dance around the screen in a strangely minimal ballet.

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.


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