Dustin Grella’s Animation Hotline

Somebody somewhere is dreaming a bizarre loop. In it, a miniature version of himself trickles out of a cheeseburger alongside a cheesy tear, crashes against an elastic street light which bounces him back into the burger, trickles out of a cheeseburger … and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. Somebody somewhere saw exactly this in a dream and called the animation artist Dustin Grella in New York, left a message on his legendary ›Animation Hotline‹ and shortly afterwards, this piece of head cinema became a beautiful little film in which the re-enactment was done with chalk and real life photography. You can watch it at animationhotline.dustystudio.com along with dozens of other yarns and stories which weren’t meant to end up in the cerebral outbox of eternal oblivion.

Who doesn’t know them? The small weird encounters, confusing miniscule events, disturbing night trips – and you never know what to do with it. Yet they are too beautiful, enchanting or odd to be simply forgotten. Too small for the news programme, yet too big to be filed under every day occurrences. Now we have a solution for the people in Hamburg, too! Four years after he won the audience award of the NoBudget competition with ›Animation Hotline, 2011‹, we invited Grella over. Finally, one person is going to fully appreciate even the most mundane of our experiences. And not just that: he will take these humble events and turn them into what they should have been all along: films! To make sure that our guests can see them, these films will be screened in our cinemas and at our festival area. This is where Grella, who to our delight will also provide this year’s festival trailer, will pitch his atelier for one week. Everybody who wants to leave a message with personal experiences can call +4940 7976 91 47, leave a message and look forward to his or her own personal film. The answer machine will provide the sound track while Grella’s unfailing ingenuity will provide the illustrations. The story, however, will spring forth from our own lives.

About the artist
Dustin Grella is an animator and documentary film maker. He holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Myers School of Art, Akron, OH, and an MFA in Computer Art from the School of Visual Arts New York. His work attempts to glean glimpses of colourful insight into the seemingly mundane. His film ›Prayers for Peace‹ screened at almost 200 festivals worldwide and won over 40 awards. He has written and mailed himself a letter every day for the past 13 years and has over 4840 sealed letters neatly filed and categorized.

Hummingbird’s Wings (2015), Love Ain’t Enough; Spinners (2014), Animation Hotline, 2013 (2013), Condoms as Evidence (2012), Animation Hotline, 2011 (2011), Letterbox_line+circle (2010), Prayers for Peace (2009), Consumption (2008), Glimpse (2007), Tests: zero-ten (2006)

Exhibitions (selection):
2014 ›Animation Hotline‹, Sundance House, Park City, UT
2012 ›Notes to Self‹, AC Institute, New York, NY (solo)
2012 Japan Media Arts Festival, National Arts Center, Tokyo
2012 ›Animation Hotline‹, Stadtbibliothek, Stuttgart (solo)
2011 ›Animation at Art Basel‹, Casa Wynwood, Miami, FL
2010 ›Shaw Video Box‹, Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH (solo)

Festivals (Auswahl selection):
Real Ideas Studio/Cannes Film Festival, Anima Mundi Rio de Janeiro, Annecy Animation Festival, DOK Leipzig, Hamburg International ShortFilmFestival

Preise (Auswahl) Awards (selection):
2012 LMCC Manhattan Cultural Art Fund Grant
2012 NoBudget Audience Award, Hamburg International ShortFilmFestival
2011 Franklin Furnace Fund Grant
2011 Next Great Filmmaker Award, Berkshire International Film Festival
2010 Walt Disney Award, Ottawa International Animation Festival