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Watch the ACMi video 'Demi's Panic at the Regent':
In the early days of the pandemic in 2020, all of us dealt with struggles in one form or another.
Some struggles changed our lives forever. For two Arlington parents one problem in particular
caused them to get creative and tell stories through animation. As we discovered, they probably
wouldn’t have considered it if it wasn’t for the pandemic.
Screening and presentation by the king of indie animation, including his Oscar-nominated shorts, and featuring the award-winning "Demi's Panic."
Shown Sunday, May 22, at 7 p.m.
Arlington writer provides animated background
In a Q-&-A, Arlington resident Danny Leonard, a 1987 graduate of Arlington High School who is involved with the show and is partnering with the Arlington International Film Festival, explains:
What is "Demi's Panic" about?
In an anxiety-inducing sequence of events, the 10-minute animation follows the story of Demi, a young Latina professional living in New York City during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Demi's prophetic dreams become all too real when an invisible danger causes catastrophic loss. She turns to her boyfriend Omar for support, but a safe harbor is hard to find when the world is being buffeted by an unprecedented storm.
Who is Plympton?
Considered the King of Indie Animation, he is the first person to hand-draw an entire animated feature film. In 1987, he was nominated for an Oscar for his animated short “Your Face.” In 2005, he received another Oscar nomination, for his short “Guard Dog” (for more, see below).
Who are you, and what is your role?
I am a writer, filmmaker, storyteller and cofounder of Rock Farm Productions. https://www.demispanicfilm.com/ Leonard wrote and produced the “Demi's Panic” in collaboration with Plympton. The film is an official selection at festivals worldwide and premiered at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood at the Oscar-qualifying HollyShorts Film Festival.
In 2019, Danny appeared on the World Channel’s “Stories from the Stage” in a storytelling event. He is working on a collection of short stories and poems, a script for a live-action short and a spoken-word story.
His partner, Lorena, a native of Colombia, is a storyteller, writer, filmmaker and cofounder of Rock Farm Productions. As a storyteller, she has appeared on World Channel’s “Stories from the Stage” and has performed on “Suitcase Stories,” a traveling storytelling event created by the International Institute of New England.
What do you hope the public will take away from "Demi's Panic"?
Writer/producer Leonard explains he wrote the animation's script after my own family's struggles during the early days of the pandemic, including our youngest daughter getting sick and the terror of not knowing if it was Covid or not because they wouldn't test her. It was then that I wondered what it would be like to be an omniscient observer, being able to see the virus as it circulated around us. Once I had the idea, I felt urged to nurture the story, in part as a way to process everything happening, and because of the encouragement I received from friends in the arts and entertainment industry. Thanks to a friend's introduction, I was put in touch with Bill Plympton, who felt compelled enough by the script that he said, ‘Let’s make it!’ And, as newcomers to filmmaking, this was the best decision we could have made.”
What more should the public know about Plympton?
In 1991, “Push Comes to Shove” won the Cannes Palme d'Or; and in 2001, “Eat” won the grand prize for short films in Cannes Critics' Week.
After producing many shorts that appeared on MTV and Spike and Mike's, he turned his talent to feature films. Since 1991, he's made 11 feature films. Eight are animated: “The Tune,” “Mondo Plympton,” “I Married A Strange Person,” “Mutant Aliens,” “Hair High,” “Idiots and Angels,” “Cheatin'” and “Revengeance.”
Plympton has also collaborated with Madonna, Kanye West and Weird Al Yankovic in a number of music videos and book projects. In 2006, he received the Winsor McCay Lifetime Achievement Award from the Annie Awards. He also animated six opening "couch gags" for Fox-TV's "The Simpsons" and six "Trump Bites" shorts using real audio from Donald Trump, which won a 2019 Webby Award.
Every show electrifies audiences of all ages with the hit songs, “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance,” “Fernando” and many more. "Dancing Dream: A Tribute Show to ABBA" transports nostalgic audiences filled with women, men and their families back to the happy and groovy times of the 1970s.
Leland Stein, Regent co-owner, announced Oct. 25, 2021: "After listening to your concerns, and having reviewed the industry studies and surveys pertaining to theater-goers, we have updated our Covid-19 safety requirements. Proof of vaccination required as Nov. 1, 2021:
"Effective Nov. 1, proof of full vaccination (card or photograph thereof) or a negative Covid-19 test result issued within 72 hours will be required for entry. Patrons under 18 years of age are exempt from these entry requirements when accompanied by a vaccinated parent or adult guardian.
"For all events, please arrive with proof of vaccination or proof of negative Covid-19 test and a valid I.D. ready to be presented at the door.
"Please note that we continue to abide by the Town of Arlington's mask mandate for indoor public venues or private indoor venues welcoming the public; masks may be removed only when actively eating or drinking.
This news announcement was updated June 8, 2022.
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