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The Independent Critic

Emilie Charbonnier, Claudio Dos Santos, Jerome Fonlupt, Anny Vogel
Hugo Frassetto, Sophie Tavert Macian
13 Mins.

 Animated "Traces" Screens as Indy Shorts Finalist 

The second animated short to appear in the Finalist 1 block of films during the 2020 Indy Shorts International Film Festival going on from July 21-26 from Indianapolis, this Belgium/France collaboration is a unique, hypnotic film set 36,000 years ago in the Ardèche river gorge. During this time, when an animal was painted, it was hunted. When it is time to go painting and hunting, Karou the Painter and his apprentice Lani set off to paint the walls of the great cavern but they hadn't counted on meeting a cave lion.

The animation team of Hugo Frassetto, Hannah Letaif, Nicolas Liguori, Clementine Robach have done extraordinary work here in bringing life to a story that feels as if it's been handed down from generation to generation. Co-written and directed by Hugo Frassetto and Sophie Tavert Macian, Traces uses drawings on glass and sand to create imagery that is both fluid and immersive. The 13-minute short picked up the SACD Award for Best Frencophone Animation Film at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival and Best Narrative Film at Mexico's CutOut, Queretaro Animation Film Festival. While its festival journey has undeniably been impacted by the current global pandemic, Traces has been a festival favorite at over a couple dozen fests worldwide. With its screening at this week's Academy Award-qualifying Indy Shorts, the journey for Traces is far from over. 

*Editor's Note: Traces picked up the $5,000 Grand Prize for Best Animated Short Film at Indy Shorts. 

Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic