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An interview at Animac, Spain

Here is an interview for the Animac festival in Lleida, Spain. Yes, now You know:

A: Which will be your future projects for this 2013?

U: My future projects are a small surrealist film that I hope I will be able to finish until the end of the year, and hopefully an ambitious 25 minutes film that I already wrote the script. It’s made with a technique never seen before in the history of animation… What I could say? Imagine if you were animating your tears… A film from my heart and soul, which will be my last animated film

My Swan Song in animation, let’s say.

Nightingales as Vimeo Staff pick!

Nightingales in December from Theodore Ushev on Vimeo.

Demoni is back at Leipzig

6 screenings of Demoni at Leipzig Cinémathéque as part of Bioskop Balkanale, before every feature film! 29.03.-04.04, Leipzig
Demoni played last Year at DOK Leipzig opening night.

Um auch während Bioskop Balkanale (Ost) an die klassische Vorführtradition anzuschließen, zeigen wir als Vorfilm die Animation DEMONI. Einem alten bulgarischen Brauch zufolge trieb man früher mit einem Feuer die Winterdämonen aus. Dieses Fest fand stets vier Wochen vor Ostern am Hunde-Sonntag statt, an dem auch DEMONI spielt. Der Animationsfilm ist in bester Joan Miró-Art mit Ölfarben, Acryllacken und Gelrollern auf 50 Vinylplatten gezeichnet. Dank der am Schwarzen Merr aufgenommenen Samples von »Kottarashky & the Rain Dogs«, einer der aktuell gefragtesten Live-Bands Bulgariens, ist DEMONI, welcher der Eröffnungsvorfilm bei DOK Leipzig 2012 war, auch beim wiederholten Sehen äußerst kurzweilig.

Demoni from Theodore Ushev on Vimeo.

Life is a dream…

In the last 3 months I was doing extensive and exhausting traveling around the world, showing my films, participating in Juries, and giving Masterclasses and workshops. Slowly, while traveling, a topic just forged out from everything that I lived and saw – Life is a Dream, and everything is a game.  Suddenly I realized that the first part is actually the name of a classical theater play, that  i saw, while being it Theater Decoration School, from the Spanish middle age writer Calderon de la Barca. The second part,  I guess, just comes out from any postmodern artist actions…

Against the Bulgarian Mafia, rip off the bastards!

Here, I should post information about my retrospective, and workshops in Spain. But recent events in Bulgaria, just made my cry, and I just want to post this painting, from my Lipsett 2010 exhibition. Today I dedicate it to the memory of 36-year-old Plamen Goranov who self-immolated in the city of Varna, protesting against the Bulgarian Mafia in February and who died on Sunday. The fight continues, my friends. Rip them off!

Joda, nominated for Jutra awards

The humanitarian, non-budget, film JODA ( Apart) initiated by Marcel Jean, as a animation project for the liberation of imprisoned iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, was nominated for Jutra, the most important national awards. This is really an important recompensation for me, because for me the important art is the art that matters…Art that fights.

L’affiche et la Ministre Aurélie Filippetti

La Ministre de la culture de France, Mme Aurélie Filippetti :

Demoni

The little, no budget film “Demoni”, co-production Canada, Germany and Bulgaria, has been nominated for inaugurational Canadian Screen Awards (formerly known as Genie, or Canadian academy of cinema and television awards). The Gala will be aired directly on CBC, 8 pm. I don’t have a chance in the company of 3 amazing NFB films, but the nomination itself is a reawarding mention for the indipendent animation in Canada. Cheers!

In Krakow, Etuda&Anima

Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Theodore Ushev – Segmento Completo from CutOut Fest on Vimeo.

Forum des Images

Nightingales in December finally will play in December: In Apocalypse program at Forum des Images, Paris, before Lopouchanski classic “Pisma Mertvogo cheloveka” ( Dead Man letters), 15th of December. Also, here is an interview for the Bulgarian newspaper “Kultura” ( in bulgarian ). And the festival season is over for me. Now, some rest. Next Year will be a Rock&Roll. Again.

In Kiev

An interview for the Ukrainian TV chanel BIKHA. In russian.

Masterclass Theodore Ushev a Lille, en Mars 2012

Un masterclass qui j’ai donné au festival d’animation de Lille, en Mars 2012, animé par Olivier Catherine. En Francais.

Best Canadian Animation Award for Nightingales

The amazing Ottawa Animation festival is over. And Nightingales in December won Canadian Film Institute award for best Canadian Animation. I’m extremely happy that I won with this small, personal, no-budget film, done as a Carte Blanche for the last 40th anniversary of the Festival of New Cinema in Montreal. This is my 4th film that wins this prestigious award in Ottawa – after The Man Who Waited 2006, Drux Flux 2008, Lipsett Diaries 2010, and now Nightingales… I guess I have to stop making films, cause otherwise Steven Harper may evoke my citizenship, or will ban me from visiting Ottawa…

And big thanks to the producers Nicolas-Gerard Deltruc, Adéle Enjolras, Olivier Calvert, who did the sound, Spencer Krug, who inspired the film, and was so good to give me the wonderful music.

Un entretien pour magazin BangBang

On parle de JODA.

http://bangbangblog.com/toronto-international-film-festival-entretien-avec-theodore-ushev/

The Press about Joda

Just a glimpse of Joda reactions. I don’t give a shit neither for the positive, neither for the negative ones…
And of course I will start with the most negative one, as I love negative critics:
“Ushev admitted right off the bat that he wasn’t sure if this was a film or a political statement. It’s a political statement. This animated short feels more like a political ad to run on television than a short film to run in this programme. Visually, it’s abstract, but conceptually, it’s a shotgun to the face. It’s brief and relatively to the point, the noisy soundscape of public unrest and murky brown visuals made out of Persian iconography are relieved by cuts to single, digestible words followed by a to-the-point call to action at the end. There isn’t anything to ponder here. It’s an angry artist who is contributing to a battle happening in his home country of Iran. You can appreciate that and his strong virtues, but it’s no film. C-”
Peter Strauss “Ate bit”

“Very clearly wearing its political motivations on its sleeves Theodore Ushev‘s plea for the release of imprisoned Iranian filmmakers is a stunning work of art. Joda [Apart] utilizes rotoscoping techniques with Farsi text used to compose its imagery. Whether the savage brutality of the Green Wave protests or the art of Jafar Panahi and his films, the chalk-like animation on its coarsely textured background is broken only by words like “Hope”, “Torn”, and “Anguish”.

Admittedly, I am not well versed in everything happening with Panahi or the other oppressed Iranian moviemakers. But this ignorance doesn’t mean the impact of such a personal call for liberation is lost. Through the poetic words of Maral Mohammadian, Ushev’s rough depiction of atrocities past, and the delicate hand crafting Panahi’s The White Balloon as a sign for hope, one understands the tone and appreciates the sentiments.

Shed of its meaning and looked upon as simply a piece of visual art, one can’t deny its figurative use of language or the beauty of its form. Juxtaposing the harsh silhouettes of violence with the soft detail of a nation’s will to survive for freedom, we see how the emotional worth of art will always be stronger than the physical pain of abuse. Iran wouldn’t be silencing their political detractors if they didn’t believe this to be true.”
Jared Mobarak “The Film Stage”

“Concept: Poetic and political, Theodore Ushev’s latest animated work cultivates his incredible talent to call for the liberation of imprisoned Iranian filmmakers and to focus attention on the plight of Jafar Panahi. Drawing inspiration from raw footage of the Green Wave uprising to compose densely layered rotoscoped images embedded with Farsi text, the result is a powerful piece of activism that is both personal and profound.

Our Thoughts: A very concise film that speaks directly to its audience and requests our action in not agreeing through apathy that wrongfully imprisoning filmmakers is acceptable. This short made me search out Jafar Panahi and get involved. Joda (Apart) combines raw footage that has been transformed into rotoscoped images is a love letter to those suffering behind bars and condemned to not speaking creatively freely. Well worth the viewing.”

Pres+1

Lost Action: Trace

A short 3D Dance film, that I executed the art direction, and the animation. Directed by Marlene Millar, Crystal Pite,
& Philip Szporer.
I really like this piece…Even it doesn’t appear, it had a heck of a hard work, to create the decors and the lightnings, following the minimalistic style of Crystal Pite choreography…. All the shoots were on green screen, and we created fully the universe digitally, using paintings, trees, soil, and whatever is out of reason…

JODA ( Apart ) premiering at TIFF

JODA ( Apart ) will have his world premiere at TIFF.  Produced by Marcel Jean and Galilé Marion-Gauvin at L’Unité Centrale as part of “Jafar Panahi project 2012″

At the Fantasia film fest

An indy-band called Fantasia…



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