‘Lava’ Director James Ford Murphy to Present & Educate at the San Francisco International Film Festival

Lava San Francisco Film Festival

Today marks the beginning of the 58th Annual San Francisco International Film Festival which has been held each spring since being founded in 1957. Interestingly, this makes the festival the longest-running film festival in the Americas. The wonderful Bay Area event showcases hundreds of films with live events and numerous filmmakers in attendance to create an experience for the attendees.

On April 26 at 10:00 AM PST, the festival will kick off its Shorts 5: Family Films program and will include eleven films put together by some extremely talented teams. James Ford Murphy (Director) will be on-hand to present Pixar’s newest musical short film, Lava, and we certainly hope Murphy will bring along his ukulele to serenade the audience with a portion of the song from the film. After the screening, Murphy will greet and sign autographs for fans in attendance.

You may also notice a former Pixar employee’s name jump out at you as well when reviewing list of films being screened at the event. Saschka Unseld, director of The Blue Umbrella, will also be screening his latest creation, Home. The full list of short films are listed below.

  • Aria for a Cow – A musical plea from the often neglected and underappreciated barnyard inhabitants is brought to life by a never-heard before song by Howard Ashman & Alan Menken. (Dan Lund, USA 2015, 7 min).
  • Cows (Moosic Video) – Not enough dancing cows you say? Well, we’ve got another bovine musical showstopper guaranteed to udderly satisfy even the most lactose intolerant of audience members. (Sandra Boynton, USA 2014, 3 min).
  • Duet – This lovely tale is a celebration of life through the hand-drawn line. Animated and directed by the creator of Ariel, Pocahantas, Tarzan and Rapunzel. (Glen Keane, USA 2014, 4 min).
  • Home – It’s hard to leave your childhood home and the memories you’ve created there. Some things we are forced to leave behind and then there is the rest we’ll always keep close to our hearts. (Saschka Unseld, USA 2014, 5 min).
  • Lava – Inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes, this musical love story takes place over millions of years. (James Ford Murphy, USA 2014, 8 min)  
  • Lila – Armed with a boundless imagination and talent for drawing, Lila creatively fills in the missing pieces of her life and the world around her. (Carlos Lascano, Argentina/Spain 2014, 9 min) 
  • My Big Brother – Sure, we’ve all fought with our siblings, and sometimes it’s even hard to see eye to eye with them. We’ve got it easy compared to these vertically challenged brothers. (Jason Rayner, USA 2014, 3 min) 
  • One, Two, Tree – This is the story of a tree like any other. One day it jumps into a pair of boots and goes for a walk. (Yulia Aronova, France/Switzerland 2015, 7 min) 
  • Simorgh – A stunningly designed piece that incorporates Persian music, calligraphic art and ornamental designs to tell the traditional Persian story of life that deals with the fragility of self-worth. (Meghdad Asadi Lari, USA 2014, 5 min) 
  • The Story of Percival Pilts – A whimsical story about living an impractical life based on a childhood promise, where the phrase “reaching for the stars” takes on a whole new vertigo-inducing meaning. (Janette Goodey, John Lewis, Australia/New Zealand 2015, 9 min) 
  • Super Sounds – A shy and lonely young boy lets down his guard long enough to welcome in a potential new friendship. (Stephen de Villiers, Australia 2014, 12 min)
James Ford Murphy Pixar Lava

A few days after the screening of Lava, on April 26, James Ford Murphy and Greg Dykstra will also be presenting a Masterclass on sculpting at the Walt Disney Family Museum. There is no question why this event is already sold out, as Murphy’s passion for artwork is contagious – and we know, we were lucky enough to have had a one-on-one interview with him during the Inside Out press event we attended earlier this month at Pixar Animation Studio’s. the official event description is listed below.

Join Pixar Animation Studios director James Ford Murphy for a screening and discussion about his new animated short Lava. Murphy and Pixar sculptor Greg Dykstra will show how their creative collaboration helped develop the volcanic characters in the film. Using basic sculpting techniques, Murphy and Dykstra will then teach participants how to bring their own characters to life. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the Walt Disney Family Museum’s galleries to find artwork from the collection to inspire their projects.

Also of note, for the seventh consecutive year the festival is holding their Schools at the Festival Student Essay Contest where children have a chance to win cash prizes or the grand prize of a special screening of Inside Out at Pixar Animation Studios – that’s quite an amazing prize if we do say so ourselves. If you’re in the area, be sure to head to the San Francisco International Film Festival for this thrilling event.

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