, Salem, MA


February 14, 2013

Animated shorts star in arts festival screening

MARBLEHEAD — Animated films aren’t just for children, as visitors can see at this year’s Winter Film Festival of the Marblehead Festival of Arts.

The festival, set for Wednesday at the Marblehead Little Theatre, will feature several types of animation, none of which remotely resembles a Disney feature or Saturday morning cartoon.

“The Fine Art of Poisoning,” for example, is an exercise in the macabre that might appeal to fans of Edward Gorey or Tim Burton, but has a style all its own. Shot in black, white and several shades of gray by Bill Domonkos of San Francisco, the film mixes found photos and footage in an eerie montage that evolves inside a frame.

“It’s like a music video, but it has a gothic tone, a humorous gothic tone,” said Mike Evers of Beverly, who teaches English at Salem State and organizes the festival. “It was very artfully done.”

The February film festival helps kick off the arts festival for the year. Admission is free, and so is the popcorn and other refreshments that are served.

The films are all short, with the longest lasting a little over 17 minutes; the festival as a whole runs about an hour and a half.

Evers convened the first Winter Film Festival in 2006 by selecting striking films from previous arts festival submissions. He has organized a screening of new films during the summer arts festival every year since 1998.

“I wanted to do animations this time,” Evers said. “We did have a lot of good ones, and have had a number of good ones over the years.”

These will include “Mysterieuse,” which was created by Samantha Olschan in 2007 and originally appeared at the summer festival in 2008. Olschan, a creative designer who lives in Connecticut, used computer programs to create her story from “scanned squares/scraps of paper.”

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