Review: Cardiff Animation Nights – Late Night Work Club Special @ Chapter

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Cardiff Animation Nights – Late Night Work Club Special
Chapter Arts Centre
Saturday 22nd July 2017

After the spectacular Lotte Reiniger Special a few weeks prior, we can’t seem to get enough of Cardiff Animation Nights. Whilst all this is a build up to the animation festival next year at Chapter, in the mean time we were to stay up with the Late Night Work Club.

Starting off with Bring Your Own Animation, there was some mixed fare here. Work by Jesse Jenkins and Roger Cook stood out as highlights. Is was super to see several artist who had brought in filmwork. In fact there was so much, is clashed slightly with the first screening of Ghost Stories.

I’ve taken my time digesting all these animations. There is a mountain of talent here and I been keen to sum up each work in both LNWC screenings.

So here goes…

Ghost Stories:

I Will Miss You by Dave Prosser: a curious multi-coloured piece, with much to say about our phones and the lives we inhabit around them.

The Jump by Charles Huettner: a Japanese styled animation where life and death seems to linger together. Is death the end?

The American Dream by Sean Buckelew: very insightful, monochrome, apparently hand drawn film. Does life go on after your 30s?

Mountain Ash by Jake Jake Armstrong & Erin Kilkenny: a wonderful piece, telling the story of a woodsman who passes away. Left at his log cabin, the wildlife around him also dies, due to his absence. His wife then arrives and they all sit around the fireplace. A fantastic animation.

Rat Trap by Caleb Wood: a visceral, trippy work, depicting the pain of rats and even cats go through. Very intense.

Loose Ends by Louise Bagnall: pleasant short, which demonstrates our actions having consequences, symbolised in little spirits which linger around us all day.

Phantom Limb by Alex Grigg: marvellous film, where a lady who has an arm missing, finds her boyfriend is coming to terms with it more than her. Is the arm a phantom or his way of not dealing with it’s absence?

A**hole by Conor Finnegan: hilarious cartoon about a creature that lives up a man bottom. Need I say more?

Ombilda by Ciaran Duffy: a dark and moody piece, with an odd fairytale atheistic. Basically, a farmer who gets turned into a tree. Is this a nightmare or someone’s fetish?

Post Personal by Eamonn O’Neill: very truthful depiction of our lives on the internet and how time spent on our phones drain us more than their battery. Perhaps the best out of all of Ghost Stories.

Last Lives by Scott Benson: vivid and intense, this final animation demonstrates a future world of death, technology and the occult. Multiple viewing of this is mandatory.

What I really needed on the day was the list of all animations and their creators, which would have saved me time online looking around for all the name etc. Something to keep in mind for the festival next year!

Next we broke the ice with…


Born in a Void by Alex Grigg: cosmic journey of shapes and figures. Visually striking and an awesome way to begin the set. Don’t stare into the void for too long…

‘Al Hurriya – Freedom by Loup Blaster: moving short about the refugee crisis. The border between England and France is wider than you think.

Anonmation by Caleb Wood: Nice idea, if somewhat long. I’m assuming this is recorded footage from a collaborative animation website. The sharing is pleasant, if a dizzy sensation.

Lovestreams by Sean Buckelew: an unbridled success. This stunning piece, focuses on the assumed feelings we feel for other online. The make belief scenarios we conjure in our head with people we don’t even know are masterfully composed here. A personal favourite of mine.

Departures by Jeanette Bonds: infuriating and purposely slow animated piece. These two people join the mile high club and we are vacant from their feelings, like a hook up itself.

Wednesday with Goddard by Nicolas Ménard: awesome Irish fare, witty and thoughtful. Filled with blocks of colours, this merry little creation should be seen by lots of people. God was never found.

Hi Stranger by Kirsten Lepore: a viral sensation. Whilst this works better on a more intimate level (headphones and your phone perhaps), this is a telling work by Lepore. At first a tad creepy, it swiftly becomes an instantly relatable and is just what you want to hear after a really bad day. This should also be seen by many, but you’ve properly already seen it on FaceBook or YouTube. thanks for the support, little guy!

After screenings was a drink and draw event. We sipped on Portuguese beer and got to take part in a collaborative piece for the festival trailer. Each of us were given at least one still and we could draw as we wished on it. I chose to be super abstract and cut the ends of the paper to create frills, the other still was an elaborate doodle I was quite proud of. Networking was key and I was good to see EU funding opportunities for animators and film makers. We do worry when the draw bridge will close on that though.

An evening with LNWC and friends ended the day. Some of the artists have ventured to Cardiff to talk and they were very welcome. Whilst some of them are more engaging speakers than others, they should be mostly judged on their animated bravado. A Skype call to Kirsten Lepore from L.A. was a welcome addition to ceremonies and we gathered just how hard it was to make a living out of the craft. You must also be very patient in the process.

More taster events before the festival!

Spectacular & invigorating!

Bring Your Own Animation Rating: ★★★★
Ghost Stories Rating: ★★★★
Strangers Rating: ★★★★★
Drink & Draw Rating: ★★★★
An Evening with Late Night Work Club & Friends Rating: ★★★

Watch both Ghost Stories and Strangers on Late Night Work Club’s website.

The Cardiff Animation Festival shall commence on 20th April 2018 at Chapter Arts Centre.

Photo Credit: Still from Last Lives


Cardiff Animation Festival To Launch In 2018

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Review: Cardiff Animation Nights – Lotte Reiniger Special @ Chapter

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