Northwest Animation Festival (5th Year!)

nw-animation-fest-20150501-1280x919MondaySunday, May 4-10  |  Hollywood Theatre  |  4122 NE Sandy Blvd
It’s the return of the Northwest’s biggest animation event! NW Animation Fest presents a full week of events at the Hollywood Theatre: feature films, international short film marathons, an Oregon Animation Industry Showcase, and special topic screenings. Features include Oscar-nominated Song of the Sea, which follows the magical journey of an Irish seal-girl and her brother—and Until Sbornia Do Us Part, a vivacious, tango-driven, comic-fantasy about a romantic musician and a volcanic island that’s floating away from the mainland. The industry showcase offers a glimpse into Oregon’s powerhouse commercial studios, with TV clips, commercials, special effects, and music videos (think Portlandia Grimm). Dig deeper into the world of indie animators with eight special topics: family friendly, strange/sexy, computer animation, abstract/psychedelic, films by women, Canadian Oscar winners, NW animators, and Oregon animation history. NW Animation Fest climaxes with a weekend-long marathon through the world’s best new short films, selected from 1400 international submissions. The festival includes after-parties, lobby installations, meeting the filmmakers, more. If you’re an animation-lover, this is the can’t-miss event for 2015.
Hollywood Theatre May 4-10, tickets $8-15, festival passes $70. 


Friday, May 8 | 11:15pm
After the Hollywood’s projector shuts down on Friday night, decompress with ASIFA Portland at one of our fabled Drink & Draw events! Sharpies. Index cards. Adult beverages. We’ll make a collaborative, chaotic, hand-drawn short on the fly, all while no doubt jabbering about the amazing films we’ve seen thus far. Join us for a drink and some drawing!
VENUE: Mazza’s | 3728 NE Sandy Blvd | FREE EVENT!

Follow-Up from the Animation Freelancers Panel

For those who missed the Animation Freelancers Panel on April 25, we’d like to offer a brief recap! It’s no substitute for the informative discussion that actually took place, but if you couldn’t make it, this will have to do.

The short of it is that it was a useful and entertaining couple of hours. The discussion included panelists A.J. DeFlaminis, Teresa Drilling, Ben Luce, Sam Neimann, and Temris Ridge, plus moderators Rob Bekuhrs and Madison Russell. Among the focus points brought up as being vital to success in freelancing:

  • Be accessible
  • Be consistently prompt
  • Set expectations
  • Use diplomacy / customer service
  • Focus on positive points
  • Track your hours
  • Consider engaging a lawyer for a contract review (income over $2500.00 was suggested to make it worth the expense)

Things to practice to keep yourself in the game:

  • Teach (you’ll stay in touch with technique and newest software)
  • Create personal projects for continuing self-ed – make the work you want to get paid for
  • Structure your lifestyle (life and work, they can co-exist without colliding)
  • Love what you do!
  • Freelancing is about flexibility, not necessarily freedom
  • Form an LLC (Limited Liability Corp, serves to protect you legally, about $100/year)

One suggested read – “Burn Your Portfolio” by Michael Janda, a pretty hefty collection of anecdotes and suggestions about agencies, clients, bidding and other relevant topics,

Aaand the difference between an agent and a manager was discussed. The panel had varying experiences with both. Neither is required for a successful freelance career, certainly not as essential as it would be for an actor, but they’re certainly worth considering. Here’s a brief article that gives a decent description of the two.

Finally, some links mentioned by the panel as being helpful in terms of making connections, finding resources, and/or sharpening skills:

ASIFAPortland (your local chapter of the international organization promoting the art of animation)
Cascade ACM Siggraph (your local chapter of the international organization serving the computer graphics community )
Shake (contract downloads and legal tips)
LinkedIn (online professional networking – recommended)
Facebook (ubiquitous black-hole-of-freetime social networking site, but with a practical side)
Wooshii (UK site for folks needing animation/video production to post jobs)
Craigslist (online want-ad site – some successes were found here, along with some dubious claims)
AEPDX (After Effects users group – events, networking, jobs)
3DPDX (3D networking, knowledge sharing, referrals and resource sharing)
VFX/PDX (promoting and informing CG/VFX community)
Pigsquad (Portland Indie Game squad – events, networking)
Vitamin T (hiring agency, global with PDX reps)
People Per Hour (online freelance job sourcing)
ARCS (Animation Resource Community Service – skill roster on facebook)

Animation Freelancer Panel & Portfolio Review

ASIFA - Freelancer Panel

Looking to make a living as a freelance animator? On Saturday, April 25th, join us at the Art Institute of Portland for a panel discussion about freelancing in the animation industry, followed by portfolio reviews from local animation professionals. The panel will tackle questions about finding work, keeping your artistic balance, handling contracts, and otherwise making it as a professional freelancer. Confirmed speakers include such industry stalwarts as:

  • Teresa Drilling
  • Ben Luce
  • Sam Neimann
  • Chris Purdin
  • Temris Ridge

So bring your questions, and bring your demo reel/portfolio too! If you’d like to have your work reviewed after the panel discussion, just sign up at the door. It’s a great event for those working to gain or maintain a foothold in the animation industry.

Saturday, April 25, 2:00-4:00 pm
Art Institute of Portland
1122 NW Davis Street
Second Floor Open Space
Sponsored by ASIFA Portland and Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH
FREE and open to the public!

Animation to Games: How we did it and how you can, too!

Are you an animator with an interest in learning how to make indie video games?

Join ASIFA Portland, Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH, and the Portland Indie Game Squad in an evening of learning how community members have transitioned their passions and careers in animation to working on videogames! Hear experiences, see tools, and ask questions of local professionals, hobbyists, and students to give you a variety of ways in which you can approach collaborations and careers in interactive mediums.

After presentations, we’ll be using the theater’s screen to play games that revisit some of the different techniques and styles that we’ve recently witnessed from presenters. This event will also be jointly advertised between the ASIFA, SIGGRAPH, and PIGSquad communities, so attendees are encouraged to interact with presenters and network at this time. Let’s talk about making some games together!

7:00pm @ 5th Ave Cinema
510 SW Hall St.
Portland, OR 97201

$5 General Admission
FREE for LAIKA employees & PNCA animation majors (show badge or school ID)
Advance tickets available here, or pay cash at the door.

PSU Parking Structure 1 is recommended
1872 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon 97201
enter on either Broadway or Sixth Avenue
FREE after 5pm on Saturdays


Polish Animation! A Kafka-esque city where beetle people struggle to coexist with normals. A famous surrealist painting brought to life with stunning, stylized CG animation. A Polish-flavored version of The Matrix, where domestic routines are all part of the malevolent computer’s master plan… This special screening of “O!PLA Across The Borders” includes winners from this year’s O!PLA Festival of Polish Animation. An exceptional sampling of contemporary films from the land of fields, this new collection includes independent work, student films, music videos, and animated epigrams. Presented by ASIFA Portland and Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH.

7:00pm @ 5th Ave Cinema
510 SW Hall St.
Portland, OR 97201

$5 General Admission
FREE for LAIKA employees & PNCA animation majors (show badge or school ID)

PSU Parking Structure 1 is recommended
1872 SW Broadway, Portland, Oregon 97201
enter on either Broadway or Sixth Avenue
FREE after 5pm on Saturdays

Not recommended for children: some sexuality and intense images. Email ni.dafish[AT] for additional info.

Animation Meet & Greet – Spring 2015

Join us at the Lucky Lab Beer Hall (in Northwest) to grab a pint, share some stories, catch up on things and maybe meet some new faces. Portland’s ASIFA and SIGGRAPH chapters are teaming up to host this event — and everyone is welcome!

Exchange business cards or just gossip about upcoming animated films… Let’s hang out and all talk about animation.

Saturday February 7
4:00-10:00pm, minors allowed until 9pm
Lucky Labrador Beer Hall
1945 NW Quimby St, Portland, OR 97209

Co-hosted by ASIFA Portland and Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH

ANIMAZIONI! – Animated Shorts from Italy

Saturday January 31
7:00pm @ 5th Ave Cinema
510 SW Hall St.
Portland, OR 97201

ANIMAZIONI! reveals Italy’s contemporary animation scene through 17 short films. The devil, a beautiful woman, the staring eyes of a disembodied head… There is often a dream-like quality in these films, fleeting glimpses of mysterious spaces inhabited by nameless beings suspended in time. A painterly tradition shines through — but also a powerful impulse to break the chains of convention. Perhaps you’ve seen one of BLU’s colossal graffiti animations, where mutating giants scramble across the sides of actual buildings? (If not, you must!) You’ll see this along with a host of artists that won’t be experienced anywhere else. Giovanni Munari, an Italian animator traveling abroad, brought these films along with him in his suitcase, hoping to find an audience in the USA. Acting as Portland’s animation embassy, ASIFA is proud to help share this rare, international gift.

Presented by ASIFA Portland and Cascade ACM SIGGRAPH.

Tickets: $5 General Admission
FREE for LAIKA employees & PNCA animation majors (show badge or school ID)

Moments of explicit sexuality, not recommended for children.


Portland in Motion



Saturday, December 13th 2-4pm
Empirical Theater at OMSI
All ages
Cost: $5, free for ASIFA members!
ASIFA members and family and friends attending with them (who must still pay the $5 entry) get free access to the museum after the show from 4-5:30, or may receive a voucher for future museum entry! LAIKA employees flash your badge, PNCA animation majors show school ID to prove ASIFA membership. Renew your membership online if yours has expired.

Join OMSI in celebrating local independent artists and their recent works. Short, whimsical films and game projects will be shown, and the artists responsible will discuss their inspiration, process and joys in bringing these gems to life. Working cartoony and abstract, stop-motion, hand-drawn and digital, these independents give a great representation of what it’s like to work in a true animation town like Portland.

Moderator – Rob Bekuhrs, animation director at SuperGenius Studio
Temris Ridge – professional animator
Mike A. Smith – independent animator
Joanna Priestley – director, Priestley Motion Pictures
Naomi Fish – professional computer/stop-motion animator
Alex Yao – animation director and game developer

Event details and tickets purchased here