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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 17 January, 2020

This Irish short animation took big prize at SXSW

Coda, a hand-animated film with a wry look at death, took two years to make.

Image: Irish Film Board

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN if death caught up with you in a lonely city park – and showed you some astounding things?

A nine-minute hand-drawn animation of just that situation captured imaginations at the major South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. Coda, directed, written and edited by Alan Holly, and produced by Ciaran Deeney took the Best Animated Short Film prize.

Coda had already beaten over 4,000 applications to be shortlisted for SXSW and was drawn by a small team of animators in Dublin. It tells the story “of a lost soul who stumbles drunkenly through the city” before death finds him, according to the Irish Film Board, who funded the short. Sounds grim, yes, but the trailer gives a hint of how captivating it is:

via from maps and plans/Vimeo

It’s voiced by Brian Gleeson, brother of Domhnall and son of Brendan, and currently to be seen in Irish comedy The Stag. The voice of Orla Fitzgerald, best known for her role in The Wind That Shakes The Barley, also features.

Other Irish films at the festival included Patrick’s Day from Terry McMahon and the much-anticipated new Lenny Abrahamson film Frank.

Meanwhile, another short film – an Irish language short drama called Rúbaí – has been selected for the Tribeca film fest in New York next month. Rúbaí is a little girl who decides she’s an atheist – just before she celebrates her First Holy Communion. Uh oh.

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