Friday, July 22, 2011

All I have to say is thank you to the good people down at Visual Communications for not just putting this on (because that's the real thing) but for also telling a poor slob like about such things (because this week especially I've been living under a rock).

Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts organization, will launch “POW! WHIZ! BAM!,” its first Animation Mini-Film Festival August 6 in the Tateuchi Democracy Forum at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles. “POW! WHIZ! BAM!” features short films by local animators, the Los Angeles premiere of ICE, and a special screening of Trigun: Badlands Rumble.

The massively popular multi-day conventions of the likes of Comic Con and Anime Expo may seem “completely overwhelming and insane for some casual fans,” Festival Programmer Alexis Kim said. “POW! WHIZ! BAM! is very simple. We just wanted to focus on the love of toons, support and showcase our local talent, show some subversive discussion-starting films, and just have some summer fun!”

The Local Animators Spotlight, “The Art of Movement,” will feature a selection of short films exhibiting a diversity of styles including sand animation, kinestatic (stop-motion) animation, computer-generated animation, as well as cut-out and 2D computer animation. In-person artists and additional guests will participate in an interactive conversation about their work, including clips, storyboards, models and other materials, generating increased excitement for their craft.

“Animation is a stimulating and accessible means of creating a cross-cultural dialogue,” Director of Visual Communications Exhibition Programs Abraham Ferrer said. “It’s no secret that Asians are extremely underrepresented in the mainstream film industry, however animation is one of those special outliers in which Asians have had a profound global influence. It’s a genre that has truly become a well-traversed bridge between cultures.”

The program lineup for “POW! WHIZ! BAM!” includes:


OUT ON A LIMB by Daisy Lin
A young bird is isolated from other birds that do not share its interest in searching for dandelions. [multi-media animation]

A chance occurrence between a father and a sister leads to a unique case of workplace temptation. [cut-out & 2D computer animation]

THE CAP (Topi) by Arjun Rihan
Inspired by a true historical event in Pakistan, a violent communal riot at the train station separates a young boy, Bir, from his mother. Bir must find his mother before it's too late. [computer-generated animation]

FROG IN THE WELL (Ino Nakano Kawazu) by Ken Ochiai
Under his mother's wishes, Jo, a reclusive young tailor from Tokyo, journeys across Japan, discovering a country full of beauty and culture. Transforming like a frog climbing from a well Jo, opens himself up to a new world. [kinestatic (stop-motion) animation]

This kid-friendly workout is a playful visualization of “Hide and Seek” using African pictorial design and tribal music. [sand animation]

AMAZONIA by Sam Chen
In the eat-or-be-eaten world of the Amazon Rainforest, a little tree frog named Bounce is befriended by a blue-bellied tree toad named Biggy. With Biggy’s help, Bounce must learn to survive the perils of the jungle. [computer-generated animation]


ICE by Makoto Kobayashi
An environmental crisis causes every male on earth to die by 2012, dividing the 20,000 surviving women into two groups: the hedonistic fatalists and those who believe science can save them. The two fight an intense battle over 'ICE,' an object said to be the last hope for humans. [cell & computer-generated animation]

TRIGUN: BADLANDS RUMBLE by Satoshi Nishimura
Vash the Stampede, a professional killer with a mysterious past, saves the life of the infamous robber named Gasback, setting off a chain of results with disastrous consequences. Flash forward 20 years, Vash has to deal with the repercussions. [cell & computer-generated animation]

The “POW! WHIZ! BANG!” Animation Mini-Film Festival is presented in association with the Japanese American National Museum. Films will be screened at the Tateuchi Democracy Forum in Little Tokyo at 111 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles. Parking for all programs in Little Tokyo is available at City Lot #7 (entrance adjacent to David Henry Hwang Theatre; enter at Judge John Aiso St.). All program selections are unrated; parental guidance suggested.

Single Screening Tickets starting July 16: $10 general admission, $8 students, senior, Visual Communications and JANM members. Early Bird Special Festival Pass starting July 11-15: $20 general admission, $15 students, senior, Visual Communications and JANM members. Festival Pass starting July 16: $25 general admission, $20 students, senior, Visual Communications and JANM members. Tickets are available online at vconline.tix.com or at the door. All proceeds will benefit the year-round education initiatives of Visual Communications.

Established in 1970, Visual Communications is the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts organization and is dedicated to the honest and accurate portrayals of Asian Pacific American peoples, communities and heritage through the media arts. Visual Communication promotes intercultural understanding through the creation, presentation, preservation and support of media works by and about Asian Pacific Americans. Every spring, it presents the prestigious Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.

Visual Communications is funded in part by the Aratani Foundation, California Community Foundation, Getty Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Japan Foundation, Japanese American community Services (JACS), Sony, Takahashi Foundation, National Film Preservation Fund APCF, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts, Academy Foundation, Union Bank, National Endowment for the Arts Recovery Act Grant, VC Stakeholders and corporate and community supporters.

For more information contact Visual Communications (info@vconline.org or (213) 680-4462) or visit www.vconline.org. You may also visit “POW! WHIZ! BAM!” Facebook Event Page by searching for “POW! WHIZ! BAM! VC’s First Animation Mini-Film Fest” or follow Visual Communications on Twitter at www.twitter.com/vconline.