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KHEM ANIMATION FILM FESTIVAL SELECTIONS powered by  ICON Media Group  Cartoon Film Block

September 18, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 3:05 pm UTC-5

1:00 PM – 3:05 PM


2nd Level (near Sears)

Cartoon Film Block


Rated: PG

Experience and celebrate the outstanding creative talent we have within the Animation, VFX and gaming industries.


Thanks Again! – (4:59) 

Each character symbolises a tone and appears in front of the vending machines common in the Showa era, forming a melody from memory. As the music ends and people leave, the lone owner says “thanks again” once more. (Japan)

Yifan Jiang (Director)

Wander –  (6:07) Nominated for Best 2D (Short)

After wandering away from his mother at a Filipino wet market, Chris, an imaginative young boy, must find his way back to safety while evading a monstrous figure that stalks the alleyways. (USA) 

LeAnn Schmitt (Director)


Simon & Sadie: Episode 3 – (6:36)  Nominated for Best Design, Best Story, Best 2D (Short)

First, the Nakamuras know about Simon’s crush. Next, Simon tries to give Jenny a hat as a gift in an attempt to win her love. Also, Sadie attempts to speak Spanish and German to Simon. Then, Jenny asks Rei to give her the cheat code for unlimited continues in the game. Finally, Jenny asks Sadie for help with her situation. (USA)

Christopher Torres (Director)


Simon & Sadie: Episode 2 – (5:44) 

First, Simon & Sadie argue about what to do on a Saturday morning. Next, Jenny & Katie drink some strange coffee. Then, Rei was going to bring some pocky to school, but there wasn’t any. Rei also tries to find out who ate all of the pocky. And finally, Simon reveals to Destiny & Jamal who his love interest is.(USA)

Christopher Torres (Director)

Simon & Sadie: Episode 1 – (7:26) 

Simon & Sadie is a slice of life, romantic/surreal comedy. It follows the everyday lives of a group of kids in the city of Grape Hill, California. It centers on the extremely sensitive Simon and the hyper energetic Sadie along with an ensemble cast of characters. They try to live ordinary lives, but it turns out that their lives are not so ordinary as they go through mundane situations in very exaggerated ways.

In Episode 1, Sadie thinks that she is running late for school. Next, Simon happens to have a crush on someone. Then, Sadie rants about her “favorite” show. Lastly, Simon stubs his toe. (USA)

Christopher Torres (Director)

On / Off – (7:00)  Nominated for Best Design 

Endless distractions threaten to destroy creativity. (Argentina)

Nicolas P. Villarreal (Director)


The Violin Upstairs – (3:06) 

The Violin Upstairs is a short animated documentary that recounts the history of the filmmaker’s violin.(USA)

Asali Echols (Director)


Mechanical Heart – (1:59) 

The half-human, half-robot girl’s mechanical heart is rusty. She can’t find a way to repair her heart. As she is in despair, a butterfly brings her hope…..

The film was produced during the quarantine. My purpose is to tell everyone that adversities are temporary. Don’t let it stop you from finding the beauty around you. As long as you yearn for hope, the problem will always be solved. (USA)

Mengqi Xu (Director)

Mammoth: Primal Thirst – (3:42) 

“Mammoth: Primal Thirst” is a 3D animated surreal fantasy that follows Mammoth the Sunflower lost deep in the desert and searching for any way to quench his thirst.

My name is Matt Check, and I’ve been an artist and a musician the majority of my life. “Mammoth” first manifested in my imagination during the Summer of 2017 a few months after my Dad died. I was faced with the crossroads of whether or not to tend to the garden he would always grow each year. Looking for hope, I decided to rise to the task. By the time late July came, many of the Mammoth Sunflowers I planted looked so tall and strong; it looked as if they were going to pull themselves out of the ground and run off! Thus Mammoth was born into my life.

This project has allowed me to create a synergy between my music and my animation, a dream I’ve been following for a while now. This story explores depression and happiness. Mammoth is deprived of what he needs to maintain a healthy life, and progressively gets weaker and more desperate to survive. It is only when we have access to what we need to survive that we flourish and live happier, healthier lives. To me Mammoth represents Hope. My hope is that all that watch this animated short will root for him!

This animated short was made for my Senior Capstone Animation class at Bloomfield College in NJ from May 2019 – May 2020. (USA) 

Matt Check (Director)

Ballad of a Fish – (2:05) 

A fish vocalizes her internal struggle with herself about a predetermined, meaningless, and repetitive life. (Film is an original score)

Aijian Olivia Chen (Director)


The Boy and The Mountain – (11:23) Nominated for Best 3D (Short)

Hernán is a child who likes to daydream, but in his studies he is not doing well at all. His father constantly urges him to improve, advising him that he must reach very high to succeed in life. Hernán dispenses with his dream, gradually forgetting it to devote himself to his studies. Over time, and already becoming a successful entrepreneur, Hernán achieves the dream that his father instilled in him, to reach high, until one day he will realize that he has not really achieved something he always longed for. Then he will make the crucial decision to fulfill his dream, but fate will play tricks on him. Hernán will have to face a new challenge that will change the meaning of his life. (Chile) 

Santiago Aguilera (Director)


Tobi and the Turbobus – (7:30) Nominated for Best 3D (Short)

You fly with no seat! That’s the rule in the Turbobus. To get one is a hard day job for a young wolf on his turbo-journey to find real friendship.(Germany) 

Verena Fels (Director)


MY TAGALONG – (6:40) Nominated for Best Student Film (College) 

A story about two Gemini brothers’ journey on the earth. The Older brother wants to enjoy the trip himself, but his younger brother always follows him and causes a lot of trouble. (Canada) 

Jerry Wang (Director)


Save The Digis – (2:17) Nominated for Best Animation (Short) 

It’s a satirical digital pets rescue commercial. (USA) 

Zi Wang (Director)

Helping – (4:52) 

Helping” is a 2D and 3D animated fiction student film that follows a girl named Vida and her battle to regain control over herself and her eating.

Emely Cintron (Director)

Shifting Gears – (5:00) 

Shifting Gears is a symbolic drive through life and focuses on the obstacles you face and how choosing to persevere through these hardships gives you the strength and courage to face anything else life throws your way.

LeAnn Cintron (Director)


Tbone and Gurt – (13:46)

TBone and Gurt are best friends who just want to sell some tart berry juice, but when a rival competitor by the name of Benson outsells them, they challenge him to a good ol’ fashion tart berry off (USA)

Darren Rubin (Director)

Infernal Escapades – (5:23) 

Four friends are in search of a treasure, but what they’ll find is just so much frustration. (USA)

Laura C Green (Director)

Reven og Nissen – (8:34) 

A hungry fox hunts for food on a cold winter night. On the edge of the forest he discovers a small farm. He sneaks closer to steal a snack, unaware of the Tomten who guards the farm, and is caught red-handed in the hen-coop. When the Tomten sees how hungry the fox is, he decides to share his Christmas porridge with him, as long as the fox promises to leave the animals alone.

But can an outcast fox trust anyone other than himself? (Norway)

Yaprak Morali (Director)

Player Two – (5:45) Nominated for Best 3D (Short)

Two brothers who establish a bond through video games experience the hardships of growing up as one moves away for the first time; this leads them each to question the future of their brotherly relationship. (USA) 

Jonathan Lau (Director)


Beanstalk – (5:06) Nominated for Best Music & Sound

A musical take on the classic story of “Jack and the Beanstalk.”

Tom Cassese (Director)


Total Runtime: 2:05:00


September 18, 2021
1:00 pm - 3:05 pm UTC-5
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