LIAF: Don Hertzfeldt + More

Doors 7:30

Tickets £10

LIAF is very proud to present the British premiere of festival favourite Don Hertzfeldt's debut feature film It's Such a Beautiful Day on Friday 14th December at the Horse Hospital. Doors open at 7-30, the screening starts at 7-45pm with a special support programme of short films by 5 maverick American animators and 1 Canadian scratch master and It's Such a Beautiful Day will be on at 9-15pm.

Cult animator and Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt has combined his three short films about a troubled man named Bill - Everything will be OK (2006), I Am So Proud of You (2008) and It's Such a Beautiful Day (2011) - into one seamless, beautiful, darkly comedic new feature film.

Upon its original release Everything will be OK won the Sundance Film Festival's Jury Award for Short Filmmaking and was named by many critics as one of the "best films of 2007."

I Am So Proud of You, received 27 awards and was described by the San Francisco International Film Festival as "[his] best yet... even the Hertzfeldt faithful may be too stunned to laugh."

Nearly two years in the making, the newly released It's Such a Beautiful Day is Don's longest and most ambitious short film to date: blending traditional animation, experimental optical effects, trick photography, and new digital hybrids printed out one frame at a time.

All three films were captured entirely in-camera on an antique 35mm animation stand. Built in the 1940s, it is one of the last surviving cameras of its kind still operating in America, and was indispensable in the creation of the story's unique visual effects and experimental images.

Don Hertzfeldt is an American independent filmmaker whose animated short films have screened around the world. Since 1995 his films have collectively received over 200 awards. Some notable honours include a Short Film Palm D'or nomination at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival (Billy's Balloon), a 2001 Oscar nomination for Best Animated Short (Rejected), the Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative Film (Everything will be OK), and Best Picture and Best Screenplay from the Fargo Film Festival (I Am So Proud of You).

In 2010 Don received the San Francisco International Film Festival's "Persistence of Vision" Lifetime Achievement Award at the age of 33.

What the critics have said about It's Such a Beautiful Day:

"Imagine The Tree of Life's dawn-of-creation sequence recreated with electrical tape and Popsicle sticks to equally dazzling effect, and you'll have some idea of the magic that animator Don Hertzfeldt can work with stick figures and paper. A one-man operation in a medium overwhelmingly dominated by the industrial model, Hertzfeldt has built a dedicated following over the past two decades." - Sam Adams, the Onion AV Club

"There is a moment in each installment of Don Hertzfeldt's masterful trilogy of animated shorts where you feel something in your chest. It's an unmistakably cardiac event, the kind that great art can elicit when something profound and undeniably true is conveyed about the human condition. That's when you say to yourself: are stick figures supposed to make me feel this way? In the hands of a master, yes. And Hertzfeldt is to stick figures what Franz Liszt was to planks of ebony and ivory and what Ted Williams was to a stick of white ash: someone so transcendentally expert that to describe what they do in literal terms is borderline demeaning." - Steven Pate, the Chicagoist

"Because he has worked primarily in the realm of simple line-drawing animation for darkly comic short films, Don Hertzfeldt hasn't gotten nearly the recognition he deserves as one of the most genuinely brilliant filmmakers alive... [It's Such a Beautiful Day] turns into an astonishing epic of the human experience with mortality and the frailty of the flesh, rendered in the combination of Hertzfeldt's primitive stick figures, flashes of real-world pictures and a jaw-dropping sound design. Conventionally "uplifting" disease-of-the-week dramas should bow at the feet of what Hertzfeldt does with one man discovering the sad, fragile splendor of being alive." - Scott Renshaw, SLC Weekly

Shorts support programme – 5 American mavericks and 1 Canadian scratch master.

The Curse of the Voodoo Child – Steven Woloshen, Canada, 2005, 3’30 A scratch animation mash-up between a 1957 Hammer horror flick with Peter Cushing and a seminal scorcher from Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Electric Ladyland’.

Son of Satan – JJ Villard, USA, 2005. 12’50 Music by Iggy Pop and Beethoven, story by Charles Bukowski – a raw, urgent punk scream against the pain of abuse, bullying and the cyclical nature of violence.

The Yellow Bird – Tom Schroeder, USA, 2009, 11’15 A young rancher accidentally shoots himself while his fellow workers attend to the fences. Leaking blood and moving between memory and fantasy, key moments are brought vividly to life – childhood accidents, boyhood sport, hunting for bounties, young love, elopement and intending fatherhood.

Malice in Wonderland – Vince Collins, USA, 1982, 4’30 A jet-propelled white rabbit flies through the vulva of a supine woman into a wonderland where people and objects turn inside out, changing shapes and identities at warp speed. One of the all-time psychedelic cult classics – a mutoid masterpiece that distills the Lewis Carroll narrative into 4 and a half twisted minutes.

In the Woods – Paul Vester, USA, 2008, 7’00 Overlapping time capsules - American language in the Bush years.

Chestnuts Icelolly – JJ Villard, USA, 2004, 6’00 An evil man has made an invention that will make him filthy rich. All he needs is someone to try it out on. An ugly and bullied little boy named Rye, with an unwholesome attachment to ice lollies, is targeted.

Superjail (pilot episode) – Aaron Augenblick, USA, 2007, 12’00 Welcome to Superjail, an ultra-violent prison complex run by a mad Willy Wonka-esque warden channelling some kind of warped combo of Fred Astaire on speed and a wild-eyed Year 4 school teacher.