Dinner For Few is a ten minute CG-animated film depicting a sociopolitical allegory of our society. Directed by Emmy award-winning animation artist Nassos Vakalis, the animation is now available for online viewing on Vimeo. Following a narrative of a grand dinner hosted by gluttonous characters taking their fill of everything and anything in the surroundings, the film offers a nontraditional CG aesthetic using flat graphics and dark outlines as opposed to 3-dimensional realism, providing an appropriately harsh lens to the story of self-indulgence.
The short is inspired by the economic recession affecting numerous South European countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Nassos grew up in Greece, and bases his social observations on first-hand experiences of deep concern surrounding the economic and social development of these countries facing crippling economic recession.
Dinner for Few is an allegory for how “the system” appears to run like a well-oiled machine when actually, as Nassos tells us, this system “solely feeds the select few who eventually and foolishly consume all the resources while the rest survive on scraps from the table,” he says. This is seen through the greedy, constant consumption of food that is recycled from furniture, devoured by hybrid-pigs while mangey cats beg for scraps at their feet. “Inevitably, when the supply is depleted, the struggle for what remains leads to catastrophic change”, explains Nassos. “Sadly, the offspring of this profound transition turn out not to be a sign of hope, but the spitting image of their parents”, reflecting the cyclical nature of human affairs throughout history.
That flat two-dimensional, graphic aesthetic fits the bleak themes of the story and is reminiscent of the old, hand-drawn animation styles contrasted with today’s photo-realistic renderings. The character animation is uniquely intriguing, morphing elements of various beings to create an original visual language of the dystopian landscape that’s a little too close for comfort. With original music composed by Kostas Christides and performed by the Bratislava Symphonic Orchestra, the short brings together various atmospheric elements to convey the director’s feelings of crisis.
Director Nassos possesses an impressive array of character animation credits from Kung Fu Panda to Thumbelina, however Dinner For Few is only his second personal project under his entire creative autonomy acting as director, producer, writer, cinematographer and so on. Entirely funded by Nassos and his wife Katerina, Dinner for Few is a stylish piece of contemporary animation characterising the repeated downfalls of our civilisations due to greed and selfishness.
About the Author
Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.