ANIMATRIX was an eye-popping program of recent works by eight of the leading women producing independent animation in the United States at the time. ANIMATRIX was curated by Nancy Bless and Ann Graham for Women & Their Work for inclusion in the 1996 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival.
There was one screening of ANIMATRIX at the Dobie Theater during the opening weekend of the SXSW Film Festival. This was an opportunity to see 75 minutes of internationally acclaimed, award-winning and highly innovative animation!
The animators whose work were featured in ANIMATRIX included Suzan Pitt (NYC), Maureen Selwood (CA), Joanna Priestly (WA), Jane Aaron (NYC), Karen Aqua (MA), Julie Zammarchi (MA), Janet Perlman (MA) and Debra Callabresi (CA).
ANIMATRIX highlights included the Texas premiere of Suzan Pitt’s 24 minute “Joy Street,” direct from runs at the 1995 New York and 1996 Sundance Film Festivals. Suzan Pitt’s cult classic “Asparagus” ran for two years at the Waverly Theater in New York as a double feature with David Lynch’s “Eraserhead.” Other notable works by Pitt were animations for Peter Gabriel’s video “Big Time,” and the Hamburg State Opera’s animated version of “The Damnation of Faust.” “Joy Street” featured an original music score with vocals by Debbie Harry.
Other featured works included Maureen Selwood’s “Flying Circus: An Imagined Memoir” (11 min. 1994) and “Pearls” (2 min. 1990); Karen Aqua’s “Kakania” (4 min. 1989); Joanna Priestly’s “Hand Held” (7 min., 1995) and “Grown Up” (7 min. 1993); Jane Aaron’s “This Time Around” (5 min.,1989); Julie Zammarchi’s “Ape” (5.5 min. 1992); Janet Perlman’s “My Favorite Things That I Love” (4 min. 1994) and newcomer Debra Callabresi’s exquisite “Quilted By Hand” (10 min. 1994).
Accolades for these women filmmakers included award-winning presentations at national and international film festivals, screenings at such art venues as the Whitney Biennial, the Museum of Modern Art’s film program and the Venice Biennale, and receipt of numerous grants and fellowships including Guggenheim, NEA and the American Film Institute, and productions for Lifetime Television, MTV, Sesame Street, NOVA, and Mystery!