The Animation Hotline is Here!

Annapolis Film Festival Blog

This summer as part of the programming team, I am having a super fun time helping the Annapolis Film Festival in it’s collaborate with animator Dustin Grella. We are presenting a completely unique, creative grass-roots distribution project for his short film series, ANIMATION HOTLINE.  I got to know Dusty when we selected ANIMATION HOTLINE 2015 to appear in our 2016 festival shorts programs, And Thanks for All The Fish. Dusty calls ANIMATION HOTLINE a series of micro-animations – really short films, most around a minute in length – that use crowd-sourced voicemail messages for content.  People call his hotline number and he animates their messages.

In Dusty’s own words he attempts through his work “to glean glimpses of colorful insight into the seemingly mundane”.  I find that the animation in these very short stories unfolds so naturally it allows for a voyeur’s view into a moment in someone else’s life.  

My dog ate my lipstick.

I went on a blind date and she went home with someone else.

It’s spring and I just signed up for bike-share!

I’m a cop and I had to arrest a double amputee for panhandling. I feel terrible.

These super shorts stories and not only delightful and fun. They leave you feeling empathy for a person or story you may never have imaged you would relate to. And this is the power and beauty of film.

Dusty’s goal is to animate a film a day this summer. If you call, there is a good chance you will see your story turned into a micro-animation and posted soon!  Every story is interesting. We hope you will join in and help us make this project a big grass-roots success!

Dusty will grace us with a new ANIMATION HOTLINE film on our website and Facebook every Monday and Thursday through the rest of the summer.

See the films go to the AFF website at:

A Little More About Dusty…

DustyHis film “Prayers for Peace,” about the death of his brother Devin in Iraq, screened at almost two hundred festivals worldwide and won over forty awards.  Dusty’s work has screened at the Cannes Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and won the Walt Disney Award at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. He has written and mailed himself a letter every day for the past eleven years and has over 4250 sealed letters neatly filed and categorized.

To learn more about Dusty and ANIMATION HOTLINE read this great interview by Dan Sarto:

We look forward to seeing your story soon!!

Juliet Burch, Programming Consultant & 2015-2016 AFF Programming Director