Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki hard at work on first ever CG short

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RocketNews 24:

Hayao Miyazaki, the world-famous (supposedly retired) director and face of Studio Ghibli, is currently working on his first ever fully computer-generated movie, it has been revealed.

Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki announced earlier today that retired director Hayao Miyazaki is hard at work on a brand new short animation for the studio. What may come as a surprise to many of the veteran director’s fans, however, is that this time round the production will be entirely computer generated.

The short film, which is to be screened only at the Studio Ghibli Museum located in Tokyo’s Mitaka City, is expected to have a run-time of just 10 minutes, but in true Miyazaki style will take approximately three years to create.

It is apparently based on an idea for a feature-length film which Miyazaki had back in 1997, prior to the release of Princess Mononoke.

Little else is known about the production at this time, but Suzuki mentioned during his announcement of the project that, far from being intimidated by the new digital medium, Mr Miyazaki was positively “fired up for the challenge”.

Pixar’s Indian American short film ‘Sanjay’s Super Team’ 

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Audrey Magazine: (Ethel Navales) 

Pixar has released exciting news about their newest short film, “Sanjay’s Super Team.”

The short’s director, Sanjay Patel, admits that much of his own life and experiences shaped the story. Specifically, his childhood battle between his American upbringing and his Indian roots. Sanjay felt conflicted between the side of him that watched cartoons and read comics versus the side of him that performed pujaa daily Hindu meditation and prayer ritual.

My parents’ whole world revolved around their gods, the Hindu deities,” Patel told the Los Angeles Times. “Our worlds were diametrically apart. I just wanted my name to be Travis, not Sanjay.”

This also seems to be the case with young Sanjay, the animated protagonist in the 7-minute Pixar short. When Sanjay is pulled away from watching cartoons to meditate and pray, he is both bored and reluctant. As such, he begins to daydream and imagines the Hindu deities as a team of superheroes. Needless to say, he becomes entranced in his daydream. With a newfound interest in the Hindu deities, he becomes one step closer to understanding his religious immigrant parents.

If I could, I would go back to the 1980s and give my younger self this short,” Patel said the Los Angeles Times. “I want to normalize and bring a young brown boy’s story to the pop culture zeitgeist. To have a broad audience like Pixar’s see this … it is a big deal. I’m so excited about that.

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Intrigued? You should be. Director Sanjay Patel has quite an impressive amount of achievements under his belt an animator on A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 3, Monsters Inc. and The Incredibles. This short will be released with the upcoming Pixar film The Good Dinosaur on November 25th. But if that’s just too far away, you can catch “Sanjay’s Super Team” early at June’s Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France.

Sweat The Style founder Adrianne Ho featured in Hennessy’s “Time Barrel” film short

Standard Films and Hennessy team up to present a new short titled “Time Barrel” featuring model and Sweat The Style founder Adrianne Ho, artist André and Hollywood producer and actor Josef Cannon. Adding to its trademark slogan “Crafting the Future,” Hennessy urges artists, creatives, and individuals to plan and look forward to the future similar to how Hennessy has continued to evolve its products in over 250 years in business.

The short clip above directed by Louis De Caunes provides glimpses into the everyday lives of New York City citizens as the visual experience complements the inspirational mood and backdrop.

Enjoy the short clip, “Time Barrel” by Hennessy above.

Jia Zhangke’s SMOG JOURNEYS

Screen Shot from Smog Journeys
Beyond Chinatown:

Jia Zhangke’s (贾樟柯 /  賈樟柯) latest lamentation on contemporary China is Smog Journeys, a short film made for environmental activist group Greenpeace East Asia about the country’s notorious air pollution problem.   Delving past the alarming Air Quality Index numbers and infamous and often unbelievable photos, the director of I Wish I Knew (海上传奇 / 海上傳奇) and A Touch of Sin (天注定 / 天註定) says in an interview with Greenpeace, “I wanted to make a film that enlightens people, not frightens them.”

Following the fictional lives of a mining family in Hebei Province, home of 9 of China’s 10 most-polluted cities, and an upper-middle class family in neighboring Beijing, the understated film pushes two messages.

First, air pollution is everybody’s problem.  “No one gets to be different when it comes to smog no matter what jobs we do,” Jia declares, reinforcing the message that the environment should be everybody’s concern.  However, not discussed in the interview but evident from the film is that there is a difference — one based on class — how they are affected.  In Hebei, the babies suffer from respiratory problems.  Meanwhile, in Beijing, the kid takes soccer lessons.

The second message speaks to the stoicism of the Chinese people (Zhao Tao’s silent, fragile gaze plays particularly well here).  Jia was quite moved that people living the airpocalypse continue to live their lives as Chinese have done through many difficult times throughout history:

One thing that fascinated and shocked me the most was the fact that even on smoggy days, people still lived their lives as usual.  For example, when the Air Quality Index hit 200 or 300 and the air turned opaque or gray, I still saw people dancing their square dances, young people still hanging out.  Everyone was doing what they would normally be doing.

On the other hand, it was also a pretty sentimental situation.  In such bad air pollution where [everybody] should be wearing masks outdoors, there was still a woman eating youtiao (Chinese deep-fried dough strips) out there another old lady dancing around, and a little kid playing football [and doing somersaults] and there you felt [a vitality], no matter what the circumstances and situations could be.  I was quite touched by that.”

Colorful and cute animal-themed face masks stand-out in the gray dinge.  Children sing about an idyllic day while a classmate writes the PM 2.5 count.  A man removes an air-filtering scarf before a kiss.  These scenes are surreal, but they’re part of everyday life.

Greenpeace hopes that the video will generate buzz on Chinese social media and lead to public awareness and action: “Greenpeace has been working on air pollution for three years, and we’ve produced a lot of data, scientific reports, investigations and all of this.” said Li Yan, head of the Climate and Energy Campaign Greenpeace East Asia.

But we started to realize that normal people’s lives were already profoundly changed by air pollution, and we wanted to see if an artist could play a role in contributing to the air pollution fight.”

Ken Jeong’s “30 for 30″ short for ESPN tells the story of Reggie Ho- Notre Dame’s legendary 5’5” walk-on kicker.


Angry Asian Man: 
This is the incredible story of the most unlikely person to ever play college football. A guy who, if you just looked at him, had no business playing the game for Notre Dame. But he became a football folk hero.

No, it’s not Rudy.

ESPN‘s latest “30 for 30documentary short Student/Athlete, directed by Ken Jeong, tells the story of Reggie Ho, a pre-med student from Hawaii who walked on to Notre Dame’s football team as a placekicker because he wanted to be “a more well-rounded person.

At 5-foot-5 and 135 pounds, he was one of the smallest players in college football, but ended up playing a crucial role in the Fighting Irish‘s undefeated 1988 season.

I have nothing against Rudy. He’s a fellow Notre Dame guy,” says former Notre Dame quarterback Tony Rice. “But Reggie Ho deserves better than that. Reggie’s a better story.”
I love it. Reggie kicks four field goals to singlefootedly defeat the University of Michigan. What does he do celebrate after the game? He heads to the library to hit the books. Reggie’s gotta study. True student athlete.

Is anyone working on the Hollywood movie version of the Reggie Ho story?

Video

Artist Profile: Simon Buisson presents “TOKYO REVERSE”

From Parisian videographer Simon Buisson comes this entertaining short that takes us on a stroll through the streets of Tokyo, Japan — in reverse. While the concept is simple and “straight forward,” the video is nothing shy of a fun watch that has the video’s main man walking across the famous Shibuya crossing, quieter residential streets and city areas, while bumping into fan girls, street posts and even a walking buddy.