Rhode Island Independent Animators Shorts

Rhode Island Independent Animators Shorts 

Thursday, February 6th 7:00pm
Tickets $10 at the door and online

Total running time: around 45 minutes
Brief Q+A with select animators after screening


RIIA (Rhode Island Independent Animators) shorts 2020, is a collection of 6 independent animators who live and work in Rhode Island. Each filmmaker/artist has contributed one short film that has been put into one condensed movie for screenings.  This event was curated by Brian C O’Malley, who is one of the contributing animators. The first screening will be at the Jamestown Arts Center on February 6. The films range in time from 1 minute and 17 seconds to 10 minutes and 31 seconds. Each film has a unique presence that can only be experienced by immersing yourself into a dark room with a very large screen and powerful speakers. The common theme amongst the films this year would be, transcendence, and given the state of affairs worldwide it seems appropriate. This is the inaugural year for RIIA shorts with offerings from Daniel Sousa, Mara Trachtenberg, Emily London, Steven Subotnick, Riley Thompson, and Brian C O’Malley.

About the Animators:

Daniel Sousa is an Academy Award-nominated animation director who uses the themes embedded in myths and legends to examine archetypes of human nature.  Born in Cape Verde, he approaches filmmaking from a painter’s perspective, focusing on the fragility of fleeting moments, memories and perceptions. Daniel lives and works in Providence. Pendulum, 2017, 1:17— This micro short explores a moment in time through the eyes of a child. Sound Design: Dan Golden. This is the first public screening of this film.

Mara Trachtenberg is an animator and photographer who teaches at the Community College of Rhode Island and the University of Rhode Island. Mara is the 2016 and 2020 recipient of a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Photography. Mara makes her home and studio in Wakefield. The Floating Hope of the Winged Elephantine, 2019,10:15— This film features winged elephants from Trachtenberg’s photographs of an imaginary world and is based on the Myth of Sisyphus. The animation contemplates the frustration and beauty of the creative process. Coupled with the haunting and ethereal sounds of Peter Scartbello’s Loxodonta, the piece becomes a visual and auditory litany of continuous perseverance. This is the first public screening of this film.

Steven Subotnick is an internationally acclaimed experimental filmmaker. His films have screened in festivals, galleries, museums, and curated shows around the world. Steven was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017. Steven’s work uses varied imagery; from cartoon to pure textural abstraction, unusual editing techniques, and carefully structured sound design to convey a deeply aesthetic experience to viewers. Steven lives and works in Providence. Strange Fish, 2017, 3:41—  The blindness of evolution.

Emily London is an emerging animator who is a recent graduate of the Film/Animation/Video Department at RISD. Her film, Whole, is her debut work as a producer and director. Her work is experimental in nature and inspired by her love of fabrication of tiny set pieces. Emily lives and works in Providence. Whole, 2019, 5:37 — This is an experimental stop-motion exploration into the rings of memory that live beneath the surface of a home. The illusion of movement is created using zoetropes which are comprised of small sculptures resting around the edge of a record.

Riley Thompson is an animator and director based in Providence, Rhode Island. Riley has an interest in biology and transcendentalism which inspires her to collaborate with artists from different backgrounds and mediums in order to navigate new worlds.  Riley collaborated with Joel Orloff on the animation for this film. When Planets Mate, 2019, 10:31— Explore the origins of life and humanity’s quest for transcendental knowledge while voyaging through a psychonautic world melded from biology and Hindu myth. Written by Riley Thompson and Chakram. Produced by Viraj Gandhi.

Brian C O’Malley has shown his short animated films nationally and internationally. Brian teaches at the Community College of Rhode Island and Roxbury Community College in Boston. Brian was the recipient of a 2016 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Film and Video. His work has a stream of consciousness style that is Kafkaesque and anecdotal in nature. La vuelta de la polilla/ the return of the moth, 2019, 5:46— A young shaman in search of the eternal light discovers a moth who holds the secret of transcendence. The shaman goes on a quest to join the moth and its flock, discovering ultimate reality. Written by Daniel Penengo and co-directed with Daniel Penengo.



Jamestown Arts Center | Location: 18 Valley Street, Jamestown, Rhode Island 02835 | Mailing Address: PO Box 97, Jamestown,
Rhode Island 02835 | for more Information call: (401) 560-0979 or email


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