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Our selection of animations for Mercury's retrograde.

Things are very different now. But it might not be you going mad. It could just be a different way of seeing things. Here's a creative outlet for all those imaginations.

In her boots, Kathrin Steinbacher


Hedi continually rediscovers herself in the mountains as a young woman bursting with energy, climbing the highest peaks with ease, her boots ever serving as a loyal companion. But when the neighbour points out the wear and tear of her boots a sudden unease takes over, as values of social standing replace. .

Steinbacher "It’s my grandmother’s story. Or at least the film was inspired by my grandmother. I grew up in a very little village in Austria and it always bothered me that people care so much what others think about them. My grandmother had these old hiking boots she was very attached to. They were almost falling apart and one day the neighbour called and asked my aunt to replace the boots, but my grandmother refused.
The neighbour was probably just caring but the fact that my family seemed worried that people might think that they are not looking after my nan properly somewhat bothered me and sounded absurd. So in the film, the old hiking boots represent something fundamental about the main character Hedi. She seems a bit silly and confused but she is pretty self-confident and a strong woman and the hiking shoes represent something fundamental about her: Her strengths, her independence and her ability to maintain her autonomy despite her old age."

0000E8, Yana Pan


“0000E8” follows the appearance of a mysterious object over the course of five years. Alien in identity and intangible in form, the object creates more questions than answers, subtly altering the world around it and rendering people incapable of seeing things the way they had before.

Pan "I don't want to reveal how I think about this film too much, because I do want the audience to have their own interpretation, no matter what it is. I think that's why I choose this more abstract and almost symbolism style."

Mercury's Retrograde, Zohar Dvir



An inner dialogue about seeking answers, presented in a comic and lighthearted way.

Dvir "We are lost, detached, and we have replaced our intuition and inner truth with external sources that give us sense and order. Tarot readings, psychics, acupuncture, rituals – there are so many places we can go to when we seek answers. We got to the point that we can’t make any decisions, and we don’t trust ourselves anymore”.

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Modern Queer Heroes, 14 queer animators


During lockdown animator Kate Jessop produced an animation where 14 queer animators around the world came together to celebrate unsung contemporary queer heroes. Each animator nominated a hero, they were then shuffled up and passed back out for each animator to create a 10 second representation of that icon.

Dann Parry  - Christine and The Queens

Lily Ash Sakula  - Lady Phill

Kate Jessop  - Alison Bechdel

Robert Duncan - Frank Ocean

Rosa Wan - Travis Alabanza

Sam Gurry - Judith Butler

Daniel Murtha  - Fox Fisher

Leo Crane - Denise Ho

Laura Jayne Hodkin- Janelle Monáe

Terry Wragg/Leeds Animation Workshop - Gregg Araki

Gemma Green Hope - Chardine Taylor Stone

Ada Güvenir – George Micheal

David Dalalfeunte - Munroe Bergdorf

Cheng-Hsu Chung - Natalie Wynn

The film is based on the ‘Exquisite Corpses’ structure pioneered by old surrealist drawing games whereby each animator animated a 10 second section passing on their last frame to the next animator in order to form the first frame of the next animators section, creating an animation chain.

Kate Jessop “The first Queer Heroes film did so well, it was nominated for the McLaren Animation Award at Edinburgh Film Festival and was part of BFI Flare amongst many top festivals. Everyone has been asking me for the last 4 years when I’m doing another one, with lots of people saying they wanted to take part. I thought lock down was the perfect time seeing as though we were all stuck at home anyway. To me it just strengthened both how international the animation community is but also how proud the queer community is too, it was wonderful seeing all the sections come in.”

Coxswain's Chicken Kitchen, Marcie LaCerte


Coxswain's Chicken Kitchen is an animated fast-food commercial parody that follows the Coxswain, the owner of a fried chicken restaurant, through the promotion of new products.  

Lacerte "Sometime in March, around when Cuomo put New York City under lockdown, I learned about a situation at KFC—they were slammed for promoting a "finger lickin' good" advertising campaign during the initial spread of Coronavirus in America. I thought this gaffe was pretty funny, but I wasn't inspired to make a film until I started seeing quarantine commercials on TV. These are, of course, the cloying, stock photo-filled ads that try very hard to promote products during a pandemic, but in a sincere way. My film is meant to be two versions of the same commercial: one made pre-pandemic, and the other published during the pandemic. Two of the characters, Clarabelle and her grandma, represent my ambivalence towards these types of commercials and what they represent about American culture. The aesthetic is inspired by Spongebob and Moby Dick, and a lot of lines were actually taken directly from old fast food commercials."

Zoltan Fecso - Rainbow Noise, Yujie Xu


Yujie "This is an animated music video I made for Australian musician Zoltan Fesco. The song is selected from Zoltan's album 'Entering and Emerging’, I got the inspiration from the concept of his album - continuing to explore simplicity and limitation. So I chose the frame by frame morphing animation process, which is the simplest and purest.

To use the dream machine, you will have to “view” it by closing your eyes, follow the light stimulations and gather the illusion. Inspired by this concept of the dream machine, I wanted to make the whole film have an atmosphere about the journey of various colour and spaces. I made the animation during the toughest time this year - the Spring. When everything just shuts down and we all get stuck in an uncertain situation. The only thing that keeps moving on outside my window is the nature, the colour of leaves, the colour of flowers, etc. So I’m trying to make this animation as a mood diary of my quarantine also to express some positive energy."

Lockdown, Laurie Corewyn


'Lockdown' is a short illustrated documentary exploring the experiences of people in lockdown. Through voiceovers and illustrations, we learn their answers to a series of questions from new hobbies they have taken up, to how they would fend for themselves in an apocalypse situation.

Corewyn " Lockdown, known affectionately to myself as the Lockdowndocumockumentary, is an insight into how my friends and family coped during lockdown.  In saying this, I think that at its core the film was really an effort to lift their spirits, and mine. I had my friends record their answers to a series of questions from what new hobbies they have taken up, to how they would fend for themselves in an apocalypse situation. It was such a treat to work with them collaboratively in this way while we couldn't continue making films together physically. I directed, edited and animated the film independently from my house. I was determined not to waste all of the time I had been given stuck inside and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to work on a short illustrated documentary which was something I had wanted to experiment with for a while in some way or another. "