For Animation Filmmakers:


  • Have an animation short to premiere/feature online, and need a comprehensive presentation (in the form of interview/review)? Zippy Frames is a trusted independent animation news website, which has featured a vast array of short animation films, from the more narrative to the outright experimental ones. Send us your film for consideration

⇒ Here's more info how to submit  


  • We address the story aspects of your animation film; we examine its theme, plot structure, characters, context, in accordance with your already stated idea and director's own intentions. We come up with solutions to story problems you face, and provide examples of fine practices for your project.

⇒ Here's more info


  • Animation festival submission seems both a laborious and a mindless process for independent animation filmmakers. We can make the process seem more structured, less laborious and more promising for your festival career of your film - handled by the same people who manage Zippy Frames (via Scheriaa Productions)

⇒ Here's more info

For Animation and Film Festivals & Events Professionals


  • Zippy Frames hosts an extended database of call for entries from animation festivals. A large part of its news roundup covers animation festivals and film festival news. However, not everything can be covered with the same depth and extent as it could (and should) have been. If you're interested in getting in talks and an offer for a festival promotion agreement, contact our Head Editor (vassilis AT zippyframes DOT com)


  • For festivals, conferences, film promotions, companies and products related to the animation industry, we offer reviews, interviews or video reports that promote your services or products in a creative and friendly way. For more info, email: info AT zippyframes DOT com



A 3D computer animated film like no other. Watch Ugly by Nikita Diakur.

The Russian-born filmmaker Nikita Diakur  (now based in Mainz, Germany) was educated in the experimentally-oriented Royal College of Art. His student film Fly on the Window went on to screen at international film festivals such as Zagreb, Annecy and Edinburgh Film Festival;  Ugly did similarly, with at least 16 awards and many festival participations.

Ugly first got its inspiration from an Internet anonymous story about Redbear, a native American Chief and an Ugly Cat,  a resident cat who dreams about the wonders of the universe and struggles. They both  try to find peace in an evil and destructive neighborhood. The project first got funded by a Kickstarter campaign to

The animation in Ugly is somewhat different than what you'd normally expect from a Computer Generated film. It is a combination of puppeteering and dynamic simulations and is both hyper-realistic and imperfect which we thought goes well with the main theme in Ugly - Nikita Diakur

Whatever is suspended, it can certainly fall apart - but can be re-generated as well. Nikita Diakur's 'simulated puppets' (in 3D) are  more than a mark of a society binding individuals to roles and functions; they become an instance of a whole Heraliclitean flux process, in which everything is to change, apart from the main characters themselves.

The one-eyed tomcat and the Native American Chief (as grand and majestic as 'Chief' in Milos Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) have a code of understanding that makes them connect at first sight (and a suggestive music that tells the story for themselves). But even they cannot properly survive in a world where sunsets and sunrises, constant camera movements and pieces of junk continuously fight for visual attention -and distraction. In a world going to pieces,  another world appears, as wire-framed and as archaic as your ordinary forest. Matisse's Dance end tribute seems to bring all pieces together, in a long-awaited circle design. 

Ugly is more than an empathy film between outcasts; it investigates the question of happiness which we agonizingly seek (and get chased for that), and tells us that the perfection aim is so worthless a life target as firemen pouring water to eventually feed a lake full of dirt. We need to move on.

Making of:

Direction: Nikita Diakur & Redbear Easterman
Music: Enrica Sciandrone, Cédric Dekowski, Felix Reifenberg
Recording, Mix, Sound Design: Nicolas Martigne, David Kamp / studiokamp
Mastering: Bernd Thurig
Animation Assistance: Gerhard Funk, Phil Maron, Nicolas Trotignon
End Titles: Bastian J. Schiffer
Assets & FX: Ozan Korkut, Chris Lühning, Mitch Martinez from, Julia Merkschien, Hannes Raff
Associate Producer: Amid Amidi (CartoonBrew)
Production Funding Liaison: Karsten Matern

Want to read more free articles like this?

Keep this professional animation journalism effort relevant and updated. Become our patron


Support Zippy Frames

Keep this professional animation journalism effort relevant and updated. Become a Zippy Frames patron