Joining us at February’s Nicer Tuesdays was Swedish animator, Anna Malin Mantzaris. Based between London and Stockholm and represented by Passion Animation Studios, Anna works mainly in stop-motion animation. One recent project in this medium that massively caught our attention is a short titled Enough, which sees her characters do all the things we wish we could do in our daily lives – from slapping the phone out the hand of someone talking too loudly on the bus, to screaming and running out of the office workplace we’re sick of.
As she showed the crowd this award-winning film, Anna discussed her production process, the development of her ideas and the execution. “I wanted to explore the feeling of having had enough and this notion of someone revolting against their normal life, quitting their oppressive job in a dramatic way and doing all the things we want to do but can’t,” she says. "I was also inspired by moving to London and all the passive aggressiveness that you feel boiling while you’re on public transport at rush hour.”
Equally inspired by Swedish directors Roy Anderson and Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s focus on humanity, humour and existentialism, Anna explained how she refined her ideas down to tangible melancholic moments to convey the sense of frustration her characters were experiencing, and the funny methods they chose for catharsis.
Tasked with building her sets and characters within a period of five to six months and working mainly alone – aside from enlisting the help of her boyfriend – Anna told the Nicer Tuesdays crowd how she would constantly reuse buildings and puppets. “When I finished a shot, I would cut off their hair, glue on new hair, switch their clothes and then use them for another scene.”
The hard work eventually paid off as Enough won over 30 international awards including Vimeo’s Best of the Year. But the highlight for Anna was when people started contacting her to express their joy at seeing the film. “People have written to me saying ‘I’m so happy to see this, I’ve always wanted to slap someone on the bus’.”