Featured Image courtesy of SDAFF.

Every year the San Diego Asian Film Festival showcases short animated features in its program “Animation: Jumping the Line”. This year, organizers let past Best Animated Short winner Janice Chun, creator of “Crushed in Space” curate the selection. The following are those from and/or relating to Japan and South Korea.

The program showed both “Shattered” and “The Wheel Turns” which were also part of San Diego International Film Festival. Check out our article regarding those reviews.

Kyungwon Song shares her family tradition in her film “Jesa”. A jesa is a special service where a table is set for family ancestors with plenty of food for them to enjoy on their death anniversary. While it it all live-action, several portions use stop motion to have the food being prepared without human hands. Song also incorporates interviews from her parents explaining the specifics of the layout.

Filmmaker Song participated in the post-screening discussion with program curator Chun. She mentioned how her dad lectured her about the practice for 30 minutes. While she said she liked “animating objects”, she had difficulties since there was little help available for the food prep.
To see more of Song’s works and behind the scene photos of “Jesa”, visit her website.

Jeong Dahee’s “Movement” explores time and space of a scene as a five part narrative. It features different characters including a dog running on its hind legs, an old walking tree, a woman heading towards a house and a man moving in reverse. The short film uses a style that is like a simple contemporary type to dissect the scene into several portions. Each dive into a different story element, giving the audience a unique view of the scene.
Check out Jeong’s website for more information including a trailer of “Movement”.

“A Dog’s Day”
Director Jill D’Agnenica collaborates with visual artist Margaret Adachi to tell the history of a certain dog. The live-action short has the dog go through an old picture slide show of events that went through its life, specifically about it got a new “job”.
Both D’Agnenica and Adachi explained how the dog was part of a collection of other characters Adachi have made but this was a first time of giving a background for others to see. D’Agnenica spoke how the project didn’t take a long time to make, only needed one night to film. Check out more of Adachi’s art in her website. To see a trailer of “A Dog’s Story”, head to Jill D’Agnenica’s website.

“The Dawn of the Ape”
“The Dawn of the Ape” called itself the first animation watched by chimpanzees. It was an abstract piece that had patterns of color reach to music. Depending on the rhythmic, the visuals would have different textures from smooth bold colors to more of a painterly form. The most surprising part was the last part of the short where it showed the video of the animals watching the film. It was interesting to see them react as they kept their eyes on the screen.
To see more of Mizue’s work, check out his website.

“The Three Talismans”
Using a combination of traditional art and animation, “The Three Talismans” tells the misadventure of a boy that gets lost in a forest. His master gives him three special paper charms for protection as lets his young ward explore. The boy’s carelessness causes him to stay out past sunset and he luckily finds an old woman who lets him stay in her home. While he slumbers, he doesn’t realize how close he is to danger.
Director Matsusaki Kimiko’s film uses paper cut-outs to form the characters and moving objects while using the classic ink painting style to create the environments. Those with keen eyes may notice how they make each of the character’s expressions and it shows the painstaking work put into to make this playful and eerie tale.

For more of our SDAFF shorts review, check out Part One and Part Three.