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ADAM ELLIOT. ANIMATION MASTER

What are clayographies? A sub-genre of independent animation created by the animator, scriptwriter and independent director Adam Elliot (Berwick, Australia, 1972), who describes his stop motion films as: animated biographies with clay based on the bittersweet lives of his family, friends... and his own life.

Brought up on a shrimp farm owned by his ex-acrobat father, he grew up as a queer artist in a Melbourne bustling with creativity and trained at the Victorian College of the Arts. His highly singular biography full of challenges – like a hereditary tremor that he has integrated into his style – explains his work, which includes a constellation of six pieces full of thematic echoes. He debuted with a first trilogy of family exploration: while Uncle (1996) is a compendium of oddities of an uncle as a false dysfunctional father and Cousin (1999) is a tender, transparent and inclusive portrait of disability, in Brother (2000) Elliot projects himself onto the figure of his brother and draws a secret self-portrait of what it means to be a layabout.

Elliot made a technical somersault with the hilarious fake biopic Harvie Krumpet (2003), an Oscar winner and possibly the most vibrant piece in his filmography, about a Polish immigrant and his life full of physical, mental and existential adversities. This overwhelming success prompted Elliot to embark on writing and directing his first stop motion feature film: Mary and Max (2009), a moving and dark story of mental health and penfriendship, the inaugural Sundance film, winner of the Crystal d’Annecy and brought to the theatre due of its dramatic force. Elliot returned to black and white with the short film Ernie Biscuit (2015), a new tragicomic biography starring a Parisian taxidermist in search of lost time who gets waylaid in Australia by mistake.

Animac wants to recognise the masterful skill of a complete, unique and transversally inspiring creator like Adam Elliot, who has spent years preparing his new feature film with absolute dedication and patience: qualities of free creation.

 

 

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