Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Animator Karl Staven Tours with Southern Circuit

The second half of the 2006-2007 Southern Circuit - Tour of Independent Filmmakers kicks off with animator Karl Staven from February 4th - 12th.

“As an undergraduate psychology major, I only took two animation courses,” confesses the animation veteran Karl Staven. His professional collection boasts over 20 films, acclaimed still photography, presentations and articles, as well as a full generation of teaching experience. Staven’s name is synonymous with creative and innovative animation. He takes inspiration from all over the world for his animation - even the smallest objects in a dollhouse. He says, “I first had the opportunity to play around with different animation techniques in graduate school, like 16mm cameras and an Oxberry Animation Stand, and I had some fun!”

Staven will screen selections from his body of work, including the short films Abandoned Dolls and Gabriel Goes for a Walk. Abandoned Dolls is a 6-minute puppet/object animation piece displaying two types of dolls vying for dominance in a post-apocalyptic city. “Despite open gestures and forgiving phone calls, it proves difficult to bridge the divide,” writes Staven. Abandoned Dolls screened at the 1999 International Surrealist Film Festival, 2000 Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2000 Ann Arbor Film Festival, and 2000 San Francisco Independent Film Festival.

Staven juxtaposes the dark humor of Abandoned Dolls with the pixilation and optical printing short Gabriel Goes for a Walk. The narrator begins the film, “Gabriel is a large dog who lives in a small loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Occasionally he gets to go for a walk. He is generally pretty excited by the proposition.” The audience follows Gabriel around the city on his walk seeing the harbor, meeting school children, and sniffing other dogs along the way. Gabriel Goes for a Walk received the Director’s Award at the 1997 Black Maria Film and Video Festival.