A still from Christiane Cegavske’s Blood Tea and Red String
Blood Tea and Red String | Still: Courtesy of Quickdraw Animation Society

GIRAF Animation Festival

Quickdraw Animation Society goes online and on demand

Amy Jo Espetveidt

  • Location From Anywhere in Alberta 
  • Price $10 - $55
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Each and every year, the Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF) celebrates the spirit of independent, underground, and experimental animation.

GIRAF is an annual celebration of independent animation, showcasing of the best of what’s being made here in Canada and around the world. With a full lineup of shorts, features, and featured artists, Quickdraw Animation Society’s 16th annual festival is being held online and on demand for audiences from across Alberta.

The festival always shares films that push the boundaries of what animation is capable of as a medium and this year’s lineup is no exception! And although everything is online this year, you can check out the a special Discord channel and suggested viewing schedule created for a festival experience. It even lets fans know when the Quickdraw team will be watching each of the films, shorts packs, and artist talks.

Each year, the festival also highlights an artist in its poster and signal film. 2020 sees Calgary illustrator, artist, and aspiring animator Sheena Agnew share a surreal creation that’s full of whimsy.

“For the GIRAF16 trailer, I wanted to create a story that was light hearted but also very strange,” she explains in a statement. “The main character represents the audience’s curiosity. The water cube represents the festival—ever shifting, moody waters, containing peculiar but brilliantly coloured creatures.”

Featuring 80+ shorts and features, events include a talk and two-day workshop with looping GIF maestro and expanded cinema artist Anna Firth, a 15th anniversary retrospective screening of Christiane Cegavske’s Blood Tea and Red String, and the feature selection Feels Good Man, a film that looks at underground cartoonist Matt Furie and his comic creation Pepe the Frog. This Sundance award-winning documentary is a Frankenstein-meets-Alice in Wonderland journey of an artist battling to regain control of his vandalized creation.

GIRAF Animation Festival runs November 19 to 29, 2020 and the full schedule can be found at giraffest.ca.