March 19th, 2015

One of our favorite things about SXSW is the opportunity to screen films from all over the globe by so many talented artists. The Animated Shorts program featured during the SXSW Film Festival was a highlight of the SXSW week, featuring a mix of traditional animation, CG and stop motion, along with some mind-blowing, creative stories.

World of Tomorrow

Director: Don Hertzfeldt
A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of her distant future.

After a week filled with virtual reality and AI talks at SXSW, the film particularly resonated with The Mill team for its brilliant and hilarious approach to technologies of the future, as seen through the eyes of a little girl. The animation style was a perfect pairing to the story, elevating a childlike style to create a bold, colorful world you want to explore further.

It's no surprise this film won the SXSW Short Film Jury Award. If you didn't have a chance to see this film at a festival near you, Hertzfeldt will make the film "available on all planets" on March 31 at



Director: William Reynish
MIRA has a heartache and feels empty inside. Her friend attempts to fill out Mira’s emptiness with vodka and parties, but as Mira meets the 500 year old shaman ULRIK, a more holistic solution arises: Mira must find her power animal to regain her inner strength. But after being put into a drum induced trance, Mira meets something entirely unexpected.

William Reynish's bachelor film from The National Film School of Denmark stood out for it's beautiful, cinematic 3D style and creative manipulation of perspective. Viewers are transported from a dark European city through a psychedelic wormhole that opens into a serene, alien-like dimension, creating a stunning visual metaphor of an ayahuasca experience, a psychedelic brew from Central America said to bring enlightenment and spiritual revelations to those that that choose to jump into the journey.



Directors: Daniel Gray, Tom Brown

Things of worth are often neglected in favour of that which is more immediately gratifying.  Unfortunately, things that are neglected are often lost forever. The life of a misguided and intensely focused man, chronicled through his oral obsessions.

The Special Jury Recognition Award winner uses an elegant, classic animation style to tell a poignant story about how life's follies will often bite back in the end.


Butter Ya'Self

Director: Julian Petschek
A banana and a hot dog bun are famous.

Petschek's claymation-enhanced hip-hop video features the sweet rhymes of ButterKrust, Nana Splits’ & Sweet Cream. Inspired by the music video artistry and rap game of Drake and Lil’ Wayne, the parody video was a definite crowd favourite.



Director: Xaver Xylophon
Julius can't sleep. To get his head empty he decides to go on a roadtrip, but somehow he can't manage to leave. A hand drawn film about failure, insomnia, a red motorbike, pretty bargirls, the desolateness of Berlin (even in summer) and waterproof socks.

Like stepping into a Van Gogh painting, the beautiful film flows with rich, bold colours and a watercolour-like aesthetic. The director balanced the heaviness of the character's despair with funny and sarcastic secondary characters, making this a wonderful film all-around.


Bottom Feeders

Director: Matt Reynolds
Divided by a barrier of fog, two disparate species fight to adapt and survive in a deliciously unsympathetic world. A glimpse into an imagined ecosystem generated from subconscious doodlings.

You may not be sure what's happening, but you can't tear your eyes away. This film is another example of the unique perspectives and creativity found in the series.



Director: Steven Subotnick
The pig is everything.

See a full list of the Animated Shorts featured at SXSW here.