There has been a lot of hype about animation at the Film Festival, with premieres of Toy Story 3, The Illusionist, and the insanely brilliant Jackboots On Whitehall. But I have read less about the international animation shorts, which is a shame because there were some gems available.
Particularly beautiful was Cages, a Mexican film where magical realism is made visual. Sinister and sad, it makes a statement about child exploitation in Mexico using visuals that would not be out of place in a Tim Burton film. Another very pretty film was the German Lebensader, in which a little girl discovers the world inside a leaf. You can watch a clip here.
Two emotionally gripping stories were the Swedish Tussilago, about the girlfriend of West German terrorist Norbert Kröcher who planned to kidnap the Swedish politician Anna-Great Leijon in 1977; and the American Prayers for Peace which is the honest and moving testimony of a man who lost his brother in Iraq.
There have been many more shorts shown at the festival, and hopefully some of them will be made into full-length features, which is how the Michael Powell Award nominated Skeletons came into being. There are the seeds of some great things in there.