Hili Noy and Shimi Asresay “Strange Fruit”

If you’re familiar with the song “Strange Fruit,” made indelible by Billie Holiday in 1939, you already know the theme of this tense and emotional animated short created by Shimi Asresay and Hili Noy as their graduation film from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem.

“The story discusses the question of the personal conscience of each of us, versus the education we receive from our families and environment. Can we really insist on our personal belief system, when what we must believe in, is dictated to us? The film presents how easily we acquire fear and hatred of foreigners, as well as how easily we might become the ‘strangers’ and ‘others’ ourselves.” [Read more]

Take The Poo To The Loo

According to UNICEF, every day in India, “620 million Indians are defecating in the open. That’s half the population dumping over 65 million kilos of poo out there every day. If this poo continues to be let loose on us, there will be no escaping the stench of life threatening infections, diseases and epidemics.”

In response, UNICEF launched the www.poo2loo.com campaign with this insanely over-the-top, potty-mouthed animated music video by Studio Eeksaurus in Mumbai as the center piece. The absurdly catchy music was composed by Shrikanth Sriram (Shri) who composed the theme for “Life of Pi”. No word on animation credits yet. [Read more]

Yves Geleyn on the “Monster in the Closet”

Hornet_States United | STASH MAGAZINE

Hornet director Yves Geleyn reveals to Stash readers his design and narrative goals behind the powerful new 90-second PSA for States United to Prevent Gun Violence:

“Most commercials would cut on the gunshot, but we felt strongly that we should show it. If it were live-action, broadcasting regulations would have stopped it. Animation allowed us to show the whole scene. People expect the climax even less because of the medium.

“Once we settled on using animation, the key to heightening the emotional impact is in the simplicity of the piece. Less is more. Your brain fills the gaps. You understand that you are in a kid’s room, but it is not filled with too many objects. It is about the mood. This gives more room for the characters to inhabit each scene.

“The character designs themselves are graphic. They have human proportions but in an illustrated way. It is about striking a balance between lovable characters while keeping them realistic so people can project themselves. The family also does not have any sort of key defining characteristics, which helps make them relatable to a wider range of people.

“Speaking in terms of lighting, it is designed in such a way that it points to areas we want you to focus on (something Renaissance painters used frequently). The lighting is sharp. There are no gradients. There are no shadows, just highlights. The lighting helps to build the scene.”

Facts about kids and guns in the US:

• 1.5 million American children live in homes with unlocked and loaded firearms.
• Every day at least 6 children age 0 to 18 are injured in an unintentional shooting.
• 75% of gun shot injuries to children under ten that are serious enough to require hospitalization are due to unintentional shootings. [Read more]

Ustwo: Monument Valley Game Trailer and Behind the Scenes

Ustwo Monument-Valley | STASH MAGAZINE

Inspired by the work of M.C. Escher, Japanese woodblock prints and a love of architecture, Monument Valley from ustwo took the iOS gaming world by storm on it’s release last week with a combination of minimal character design, gorgeous pallets and immersive, unhurried gameplay (the total absence of in-app [Read more]

Talia Randall’s “Common Room”

Talia Randall_Common Room Animation | STASH MAGAZINE

UK artist and spoken-word performer Talia Randall’s seven-minute performance of her poem “Common Room” takes on an unpredictable new life as 13 recent graduates from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem each add their own disparate and arresting animated sequences all assembled into one melancholy and affecting whole. [Read more]

Jean-Michel Tixier Draws the Line for Agefiph

Lorde of the Barbes_Tixier | STASH MAGAZINE

Paris illustrator/director Jean-Michel Tixier’s light touch and clean draughtsmanship ease the delivery of a serious message in this spot for Agefiph, a French organization helping the handicapped to find work. Produced through international talent agency and production company Lord of Barbès. [Read more]