Curator’s show pushes animation to prominence, Oscars

, Beacon Correspondent/strong

Artist and animation enthusiast Ron Diamond travels the world over to show animated short films to industry professionals as well as aspiring up-and-comers. He has been everywhere from China to Pixar Animation Studios in California. And now, Diamond will be making a pit-stop at Emerson College for the second year in a row.

Tonight, the visual and media arts department sponsors “Animation Show of Shows with Curator Ron Diamond” at 6:30 p.m. in room 202 of the Walker Building.

Diamond first created the “Animation Show of Shows” in 1998 after noticing a lack of animated short films within the mainstream film festival circuit. After attending major animation festivals throughout the country, Diamond selects certain movies to bring on tour with him. Six of the films that he plucked from obscurity have gone on to win Academy Awards for best animated short film, including last year’s 15-minute Australian short, emThe Lost Thing/em.

Diamond’s thirteenth annual trip will span 37 stops. He will present at Emerson tonight after speaking with Northeastern University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and Massachusetts College of Art and Design students at the Museum of Fine Arts this afternoon, according to the “Show of Shows’” Facebook page. He says he hopes the tour brings exposure to films and artists from around the globe.

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“I realized I was in a league of my own and I should find a way to share them,” he said.

Additionally, Diamond is the founder and executive producer of Acme Filmworks Inc., an animation production company. Diamond, who also produced the Academy Award-nominated short film emNibbles/em in 2003, says he doesn’t do the tour for the profit, but rather, the passion. He hopes aspiring animation students at Emerson take away a certain message after tonight’s show, which features what Diamond considers the best of the best in animation.

“I hope they are inspired and that they realize the bar is exceptionally high for animated films.”

Junior visual and media arts major Dylan Winter, who has a concentration in animation and motion media, is co-president of Emerson’s Sweet Tooth Animation Club. He, along with many other Emerson students, caught last year’s show and said he looks forward to tonight’s showcase as a chance to rendezvous with other cartoon-obsessed Emerson kids.

“It’s a great way of connecting with other people who are into animation,” said Winter.

Winter praised Diamond’s enthusiasm for animation and his willingness to engage with students.

“Ron Diamond is the man,” said Winter. “He’s just a really supportive guy and really open to hearing all students out.”

Ten films will be screening at the show tonight, including a Pixar short entitled emLa Luna/em that will play before the new Pixar movie, emBrave/em, in 2012. Computer generated, stop-motion, and hand-drawn animation will all be on display.

The short films come from a diverse group of countries including Switzerland, Poland, and Argentina. Diamond said that the art form unites people across borders.

“Animated films create a common language we can all share.”

strong“The Animation Show of Shows” will screen tonight in room 202 of the Walker Building.  The event is free to the Emerson community and runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m./strong

emMadanjian can be reached at jason_madanjian@emerson.edu. /em

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