Cartoons Underground – Singapore’s Underground Animation Festival is Back!

Cartoons Underground is back for its fourth installment of Singapore’s first and largest independent underground animation festival to be held at the Kult Kafe on Mt Emily on 17 October 2015 (Saturday) from 6PM.

Cartoons Underground 2015 will feature award-winning animated films by eight directors, including four homegrown talents. These talented Singaporeans, Amanda Wong, Kong Yee Rou, Nicholas Chia, and Ronald Fong, from Nanyang Technological University’s School of Art, Design and Media and LASALLE College of the Arts, will also take part in an up close and personal Q&A with the public after the show.

Amanda Wong’s film is drawn in an evocative style that resembles texture of crayons, and tells the nostalgic story of ‘The Octopus Lady’, a foreigner living in an industrial landscape who longs for home. It is a beautiful story we are sure will resonate with a Singaporean audience.

In contrast, Kong Yee Rou, mixes the old and the new through the use of classic black and white Charlie-Chaplin-style humour and 3D animation to tell the story of a teenage zombie whose disobedient arm develops a will of its own in ‘Need a Hand?!’.

Here’s a quick look at Cartoons Underground 2014:

“Singaporean animators are creating world-class and groundbreaking films, (and) yet there are few outlets for their work to be seen by the local public,” said Chris Shaw, Head of Animation at LASALLE College of the Arts. “It’s important for us to recognise and support young and talented local directors. Cartoons Underground is a perfect platform for that.”

Other directors that will be featured in this festival include Gabriel Möhring, Jessica Poon, Jossie Malis, Chen Xi and An Xu.

This community-driven festival was founded by Patrick Smith, Director of MTV Daria, and Vicky Chen in 2012, and has grown through crowd-funding and artists’ contributions. The festival has expanded to a community of 1000 members, not limited to the arts and animation community in Singapore.

This year, it has received close to a hundred submissions, a 25% increase from last year’s submissions, and was curated by award-winning local director of ‘Pifuskin’, Tan Wei Keong, whose film won the Best Experimental award at the recent Singapore Short Film Awards 2015 and gone on to many other international festivals including Annecy International Animation Film Festival and Zagreb Animafest.

“After reviewing over a hundred submissions received from around the world, 8 are selected for the official program. Not only do these directors have strong voices, they also crafted powerful stories that incite strong emotions – be it humour that’ll knock you off your seat or nostalgia that pulls you into fantastical subconscious,” said Wei Keong, Program Director of Cartoons Underground.

Besides animation, Cartoons Underground also promotes artists from different mediums through other fringe events, most recently with ‘Comic Book Art and Animation Exhibition’ at the Singapore Night Festival 2015 in partnership with SG Comic Creators and Hotel Rendezvous Singapore.

This year, Cartoons Underground, in partnership with Sideshow who is known for its alternative events like ‘Sunday at the Training Shed’ and ‘Off the Rails’, will also feature underground New York artist, Sean-Paul Adams, and the artist of Cartoons Underground 2015 official poster.

With two screenings at 7:30PM and 9PM, admission to the festival goes by donations and the public are invited to take the opportunity to meet the artists, animators and the various creative individuals who are helping to make Singapore a vibrant centre in the global animation scene.

Further information on the program and artists can be viewed on their Facebook event page and website.

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