Hard to believe we’ve been going to these for seven years now.

You can see a list of all of this year’s films on the EMP SFFSFF page

Looking at the thumbnails on that page you might think like I did that there was less animated fare this year. This isn’t actually the case. What was different, though, was the number of films with mixed live action and cgi.

I went hunting to see how many of the entries I could find for viewing online. Here they are:

Carta A Julia got my vote for best of the fest. I love how much it does with so little.

Terminus was another fave, this one for its deft blending of cgi and live action (the 70s film look treatment undoubtedly helps cover any seams, but it looks great for itself too.) The director was present at the screening and it was a good thing because he walked away with two of the awards (third overall and the Trumbull award for visual effects)

I liked Matter Fisher for its textural monochromatic animation and mysterious/wistful storyline which reminded me of Gahan Wilson’s ink blot story from Again, Dangerous Visions

The Captivus was another winner in the less-is-more school with its gut-punching social message. The director of this one was at the screening all the way from Boston and gets bonus points for how much he seemed to be enjoying his visit to our fair city. (Granted, Seattle was pulling out all the stops with an early February warm spell.)

Birdboy had pretty animation with an uber-dark storyline.

The Hunter And The Swan Discuss Their Meeting picked up the jury’s Grand Prize continuing the record of jury selections that leave me scratching my head. The film is nicely produced and wittily scripted and acted, but it just felt slight to me for the top award. It’s also distinctive for having the only nudity in this year’s fest. You get the pixelated version on YouTube

Mahahula the Giant Rodent of Happiness is only a minute long and kind of harkens back to the early days of the festival where many of the entries seemed to be the output of people playing with their computer animation software for the first time. But it gets points for a charming voiceover and goofy as heck story.

I’m still not sure what the filmmakers get out of making a short, and what the logic is behind the decision whether or not to put the films online. Thanks to those filmmakers that did decide to share their films online so I could bring them to my reader’s (hi Mom) attention.