2020 MWFF Animation Film Showcase

17 short animation films from around the world have been selected for our 2020 MWFF Animation Short Film Showcase!*

All showcases for the #2020MWFF will be available for viewing from 9am (CST) Friday, September 18th through Sunday, September 20th at 7pm (CST). You can get your tickets online and in advance by clicking the link below.


Selected Films:

To Love a Ladybug (United States)

A dying cockroach in the alleyways of Paris reminisces of the time he fell in love with a ladybug and reflects on what that relationship means to him in his final moments.

Director: Mikael Trench

Director Statement

To Love a Ladybug has been an enormous learning curve in just about every sense of the word for me. I stepped out of my comfort zone, from telling a story that wasn’t linked to sci-fi or horror, to working in a larger team than I am accustomed to, to pushing my craft with digital techniques I had never attempted. On top of this, I was working on this film while working two jobs, running a club, doing other full-time classes and with far fewer resources than those given to other students working on 2D and 3D films, while also completing it during a worldwide pandemic. To say that I was pushed to my limits while making this film would be an understatement, but at the end of the day, we made it and I couldn’t be happier with the final project.

To Love a Ladybug represents the actual blood, sweat, and tears of a handful of special individuals who are dedicated to seeing this beautiful art form survive in an age where even the animation landscape on campus is pushing more towards a digital realm. Simply put, there was no other way to tell this story. Bringing bugs to life has been commonplace within stop motion since the birth of the medium from the early works of Ladislas Starevich to the dazzling modern age stop motion films such as “James and the Giant Peach.” I wanted to create a film that embraces and celebrates the texture, tangibility, and intricate human flaws of stop motion and, ultimately, I believe we achieved just that. It is unbelievable to see the work we were able to accomplish within the span of a year. To all who helped shape this film into what it is, I give my deepest and most meaningful thanks and gratitude. To those who have yet to see it, I hope that you can embrace the beating heart that went into every last frame.

Wake (United States)
*Award Finalist – Animation

Wake is a 3D animated short film that explores the impact and struggle of police brutality, discrimination, and racial injustice on a young African American woman. A young black woman tries to escape racial injustice in her world by falling into a dream. The dream she wakes in reflects the same realities of the world she tried to escape. She comes to the realization, once she wakes, that she must “Stay Woke” to the reality of the world where discrimination and discriminant policing are still occurring.

Director: Breeana Hinton

Breeana K. Hinton was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently holds a BFA Digital Arts degree from Bowling Green State University, and a MFA Animation degree from Ball State University; received in May 2020.

She is a 3D animator and 3D modeler who creates work about racial injustice, environmental issues, and comedic short films. She has worked on the animated short films “Elf It” (2018), “Rise of the Roaches” (2018), and “Descending Dreamscapes” (2019). These collaborative short films were created during the 3-year graduate program at Ball State University. Her most recent film, “Wake” (2020), was created in partial fulfillment of her MFA degree.

Redemption (United States)

Losing all reason to live, a man stands on the precipice of life and death.

A man who feels like he has lost all reason to live. As he stands on the precipice of life and death, he faces an unexpected situation that may just save his life.

Director: Seora Hong

Seora Hong is a 3D character animator and a director, originally from South Korea. She has participated in over five short animated films, two working as a director. Her latest work is Redemption, a collaborative project in studio X, Academy of Art University. Her work tells stories of sacrifice, love, hope amongst despair, and finding the light in the darkness.

The Train to Qinling (United States)
*Award Finalist – Student Animation

A Middle-Eastern traveler gets lost on a train in China with no one else but a Panda! She must learn to communicate with him in order to find the adventure she was looking for in an unexpected way.

Director: Shir Baron

Director Statement

The film “The Train to Qinling” takes the viewer through a magical and cute experience following a timid Middle-Eastern girl that gets lost in an unfamiliar place, on a train in China, with no one else but a panda. The film was based on a personal experience of mine backpacking in China where I learned that there are many ways to communicate, even when words are not an option. It was also inspired by my experience connecting with non-verbal children through art. The film discusses the importance of communicating with those who are different from you. Rather than fearing the different, we should embrace it and find more creative ways to understand one-another. Communicating with people from different backgrounds, cultures or even disabilities create the most amazing and enriching experiences.

The Boundaryless Night (Taiwan)

A hungry stray cat sneaked into a house, which, the owner just lost her son in an accident, seeking for food.

Director: Li-Wei Hsu

Born and raised in Tainan, Taiwan. Currently study animation in School of Visual Arts, New York. The Greatest pleasure is taking nap with my animals.

Division Series (Republic of Korea)

Prime Minister Abe goes into KFC(Kennedy Fried Chicken) stores to buy chicken, but chicken is already sold out. At the next table, presidents from various countries start playing cards to win the last chicken basket.

Director: HO KWON KIM

Director Statement

For World Peace & Better Life

*Award Finalist – Animation

When Gon, a playful orphaned fox, finds that young Hyoju has lost his mother, he tries to comfort him and make amends for his own earlier mischiefs by secretly bringing small gifts to the boy every day. But Hyojudoesn’t realize who is behind the anonymous gifts, and the two are headed for a heartbreaking climax.

Director: Takeshi Yashiro

Takeshi Yashiro joined Taiyo Kikaku Co., Ltd., a Japanese TV-CM production, after graduating from Tokyo University of the Arts in 1993. He has worked as a director mainly for commercial films and is one of the top “stop motion” animation specialists. He does not only direct but also create the art and sets by himself.

He especially likes creating hand-made, story-telling pieces.

Hurt (United States)

A girl is teased and bullied by her classmates, but finds a friend unexpectedly. Short animated student film.

Director: Sovay Livingstone

A HOLE (United States)

The world is about to be swallowed by a black hole. Meteorites fall from the sky, ocean waves take on enormous new heights, and chaos abounds in city streets as people confront their looming demise. The world turns to wealthy entrepreneur, Rob Bilford, whose “Escape Lottery” offers the only chance at continuing the human legacy. Wary of the entire structure surrounding this celebrated lottery, Rana Ralorina, a surfer, decides to ditch her lottery ticket for the chance to catch a cosmic wave. In and outside of a black hole’s gravitational pull, Rob and Rana discover time to take on a new meaning…

Director: Molly Murphy

Director Statement

There’s this idea that the modern playground we’ve come to know is born of the world wars. As cities processed the trauma of warfare, these public spaces provided a space for healing. For me, animation is that playground. It is the space where darkness sees light. A lot went into making this film but ultimately its creation gave me a chance to face the black hole in my own life: a recent bipolar diagnosis.

The Fox of the Palmgrove (India)

A random television visual triggers the memories of an old man in which we go through a sequence of random events that summarizes his entire life.

Director: Divakar SK

Anansi (Australia)
*Award Finalist – Student Animation

Potion master, Anansi, is a man of many faces. Which face will he show an innocent boy in search of a potion for his sick father?

Director: Elliot Gibson

I completed Anansi when I was 17 years old for my high school Visual Arts major work. It is my first animation production. I created it on Adobe Animate

Swimming to the Moon (Netherlands)

Swimming to the Moon tells the story of Sam, a dreamy teenager who struggles with the disapproval of his father while he is on his way to the mosque to perform the ‘Shahada’.

Director: Madeleine Homan

The Bear Hunter (Japan)
*Award Finalist – Student Animation

A hunter who lives in the mountain knows the bears well. She apologizes to each bear every time she kills one, but she has to, for it is how she makes her living. One evening, she comes across a bear and when she is about to kill it, the bear speaks to her.

Director: Sayaka Hara

Sayaka Hara is an animator from Nagano, Japan. After learning design at Tama Art University in Tokyo, she was inspired by European animation styles and went to Central Saint Martins to study animation.

KEYS (United States)

A young girl is given a keyboard from her father, a musician, who struggles to provide for his daughter. As her love for playing grows, he worries that she will struggle just as he does in the world of music.

Director: Oliver Fredericksen

Director Statement

This is the best art project I’ve ever made – I used every talent I have to make this. Read my motivations behind this movie and more on its production on the website! (https://367ydderfo.wixsite.com/keys)

Stuffed (United States)
*Award Finalist – Animation

A taxidermist chases a squirrel around his house with a shotgun.

Director: Brad Pattullo

Going Home (United Kingdom)

A mother leaves hospital with her newborn baby to discover the world is about to end. As chaos erupts around them she tries to make her way home to be with her child.

Director: Tom Denney

Tom Denney is a director, animator and writer working in the UK. Tom uses minimalist style and a mix of emotion and humour to tell character stories. With his latest film ‘Going Home’ he explores parental anxiety and the end of the world, and builds on themes of family, life and death and physical and emotional journeys, established in his previous short ‘Gone’. Tom is a graduate of BA Animation from London College of Communication (2019) and BA Media Writing from Solent University (2004).

Meow (United States)

This is a story about a dog, who thinks he is a cat, meets a real dog for the first time.

Director: Yu Shu Grace Wang

I am Grace Yu-Shu Wang, a 3D animator originally from Taiwan but living in San Diego, California.

The self-identification crisis has always been an important issue in my real life growing up. For a long time, I feel there is a different voice inside me as opposed to what my family taught me. However, as time goes by, I figure out that relationship is not about right or wrong — it’s about understanding each other.

I want to bring this kind of topic up to not only kids but also adults, hoping people will love and understand each other more.

* A note that due to the move online because of COVID – not all films selected for the 2020 MWFF will be available for screening online.


  1. MaryAnn Leffel says:

    How do we buy tickets?

  2. Jerry LaBuy says:


    You can find the ticket link on our attend page.


    Thank you!