Bill Plympton in Aspen Shortsfest spotlight |

Bill Plympton in Aspen Shortsfest spotlight

Stewart Oksenhorn
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
"Hot Dog," a short film by Bill Plympton, will be featured at Aspen Shortsfest 2008, in April. Plympton will appear in the Director Spotlight segment of Shortsfest. (Courtesy Bill Plympton)

ASPEN ” Bill Plympton’s distinctive animated short films have been a regular presence at Aspen Shortsfest. Now, Shortsfest will have Plympton appear in the flesh.

Shortsfest, Aspen Film’s annual festival of short films, will feature Plympton in its Director Spotlight. The two-time Academy Award nominee will conduct an animation master class, and present a new short, “Hot Dog,” the latest in his “Dog” series. There will also be a screening program devoted to Plympton’s finest films.

Past honorees in the Director Spotlight include Jason Reitman, director of the current hit “Juno”; Todd Field, director of “Little Children” and “In the Bedroom”; and Australian animator Adam Elliot.

Aspen Shortsfest 2008 is set for April 2-6. The festival includes the International Short Film and Video Competition, discussions with filmmakers, filmmaking workshops, and a screening program featuring shorts by local filmmakers. The complete Shortsfest program will be available March 15 at, and tickets go on sale March 21 at the Wheeler Opera House box office.

Plympton, a 61-year-old native of Portland, Ore., began his career as an illustrator and cartoonist, and contributed his work to Vanity Fair, National Lampoon and Rolling Stone. In 1975, he created the political comic strip “Plympton,” which eventually ran in more than 20 newspapers.

Plympton moved into filmmaking with 1983’s “Boomtown,” based on the song by cartoonist Jules Feiffer. He earned his first Oscar nomination for 1987’s “Your Face,” and earned a second for 2004’s “Guard Dog,” which was presented at Aspen Shortsfest.

“The Tune,” Plympton’s first feature film, was released in 1992 and featured some 30,000 cartoon cells, all drawn by Plympton. It was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival. He is nearing completion of his latest feature, “Idiots and Angels.”

For further information on Aspen Film programs, go to

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