Author Archives: John Akre

MinnAnimate 9 Animator Interviews

Here are the interviews with animators from the virtual MinnAnimate 9:

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MinnAnimate 9 Lineup

Animation made by youth

From FilmNorth July 2020 Stop Motion Animation Camp

Food Fight, by Kaitlin

Crumbs Vs. Mouth, by Charlie

Attack of the Cheeseburger, by Nolan

From FilmNorth August 2020 Stop Motion Animation Camp

Dragon in the Woods, by Netta

Promo for the Empire, by Gabriel

Relentless, by Bennett

Student Animation



Daveed Her

An adventurer goes on a journey in search for diamonds in a cave.


The Red Jewel Thief

Alex Kern

Lego Stop Motion: Someone steals a red jewel and tries to get away but is apprehended soon after!



Wong Xiong

The main character and second character are fighting in a deserted landscape. When the main character loses, he wakes up.



Andrea Lindler

A young boy finds a unique way to get back at some neighborhood bullies.


The Grand Story

Kate Toriseva

This short film is a summary of my grandparents’ story together, based off of pictures/videos/stories I’ve been seen or been told about growing up.


Spike and Melody

Amabelle Johnson

In this world, Paleco is a product that allows children to have customized dinosaurs as pets. Our main character, Melody, wants one for her birthday but her mom can’t afford it. However, Mom ends up finding a bootleg version, DinoGo, instead. But something doesn’t seem quite right when the egg finally hatches…

BabyFood_HiRes_1 (1)

Baby Food

Kai Dranchak

Baby Food is an animated short film about a feisty baby who’s sick of eating baby food; he wants adult food.



Jordan Schulz

A robot’s quest takes him up the face of a precarious mountain and pits him against an even stronger foe.

Independent Animation

Hit the Road Jack

Hit the Road Jack

Scott Ferril

A lip sync team gets burned, original is stereo 3D



Joseph Dutra

What happens when you mix Mickey Mouse and Deadpool together? You get DeadMouse!!

My Northeast and Yours FINAL

My Northeast and Yours

John Akre

A collaboratively-created stop motion animation project about the sense of place, created during shelter in place and animated over several livestreams.

Ink Ode still

Ink Ode

Colin Stanhill

Slapstick psychedelia meets analog glitch film in a love poem to the blotty, bleedy, supersaturated splendor of ink on paper. Ever-morphing imagery crackles with artifacts and oddments that recall the unique textures of film reels, video tapes, and digital files. Created entirely with brushed ink on 35mm paper.


Us – Chapter 1

Garden Greene

“Us” is planned as a four part coming of age story aimed to navigate the themes of gender, sexuality, and queer identity.

How Not to Be Sceen still 2 300 dpi

How Not to Be Seen

Beth Peloff

A woman takes extreme measures to avoid small talk at a wedding.


The Perfect Dress

Marla Goodman

A woman dreams of a perfect dress and works to create it. The result of her efforts takes her on a journey which ends in a photo taken in her front yard. This project was the outcome of a July 2020 FilmNorth online workshop.



Wayne Nelsen

Japanese artist, Yuya Negishi, takes us on a tour of his home in the era of COVID-19.



Joel Erkkinen

Enjoy my short film about the selflessness of the children we raise. All of us parents are stuck at home with our delightful offspring. They will be good citizens… eventually. Stay safe! Room Layout by Mike Owens Room Background by Ching Thao

Lessons During Covid-19

Lessons During COVID-19

Scott Ferril

Simple lessons to remember during lockdown.

Quarantine Horror Routine Poster Image

Quarantine Horror Routine

Robert Jersak

Walks with my daughter by day, binging vintage horror films by night – it’s all part of a COVID-19 quarantine horror routine. Frames of gothic cinema and cycles of personal fears all bleed together in this short film about living day-to-day during a pandemic.

MinnAnimate Late


The Coolest Wife

Sam Selvaggio

An incredibly tolerant wife hears about another gnarly card game from her husband.


Aliens & Milk

Wayne Nelsen

A distant planet, fueled by milk, runs out. Story and art by Hamil Griffin-Cassidy.


Twurkey 2 Point OH!

Joel Erkkinen

The sequel to “The World’s First Twurkey” is FINALLY here!!!

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MinnAnimate 9 Bios

John Akre is an animator who live in Minneapolis, MN. He tries to figure out collaborative ways to use stop motion animation, teaches animation at Hamline University and FilmNorth, and also organizes MinnAnimate.

Hello, I’m Kai Dranchak! I’m a recent grad at Ringling College of Art and Design. My main passion lays in storyboarding, but I also love visual development. I love getting a reaction out of and leaving a positive impact on an audience.

Joseph Dutra graduated at Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2019, majoring in Filmmaking. But he also loves the art of animation and hopes to make a career of it, along with film.

Joel Erkkinen is a self-taught animator and film maker. His work is meant to both elicit laughter and also make you ponder said laughter. He is best known for his award winning viral film “The World’s First Twurkey.” His professional career spans 16 years. He currently work as a Creative Director at motion504 in Minneapolis.

Scott Ferril spent the last 50 years deciding what to do for a living. He’s chosen animation.

Garden Greene is an independent writer/animator from St Paul interested in pursuing deeply personal stories with universal themes.

Marla Goodman is an artist and amateur Thereminist in Bozeman, Montana whose paintings frequently touch on nostalgia, despair and humor. This, her first stop motion animation, reflects her interests in printed ephemera, perfectionism and longing.

Robert Jersak is an independent mixed-media animator living in Minnesota and teaching at Century College.

Amabelle Johnson is a recent graduate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a BFA in 2D Animation and minor as a Teaching Artist. Although she came from an extensive illustration background, she loves working with character animation, visual development, and world building.

Alex Kern. Born in 1999 in Blaine Minnesota. One animation course taken at Hamline University. First stop motion animation video.

Andrea Lindner is an undergraduate student at Hamline University majoring in Professional Writing & Rhetoric and Digital Media Arts, and is from Oakdale, Minnesota. She takes inspiration from traditional hand-drawn animation and the cartoons she watched growing up.

Wayne Nelsen has currently made 110 animations.

Beth Peloff is a video maker and teacher who works in both animation and documentary. Her films have played at film festivals throughout the U.S. She is a 2017 recipient of the Jerome Foundation Film and Video Grant.

Sam Selvaggio and Kyle Christopherson were both semi-working actors in their youth. They have since settled into a comfortable domestic lives, but manage to keep their artistic sides alive by writing, producing, and animating short films…mostly with a fart theme.

Jordan Schulz is a 3D Character Animator/Generalist, graduating from UW-Stout in March 2020 with a B.F.A. in Entertainment Design: Animation. He also loves doing environmental concept art.

Colin Stanhill is a self-taught animator working in Minneapolis. They draw all their films by hand on paper. According to Malcolm Turner, of the Melbourne International Animation Festival, they are “quite a lucid sort of fellow.”

Kate Toriseva is a digital artist and painter located in Minnesota, but generally not an animator. She decided to take a class at her university to try and broaden her skills and The Grand Story was the result. She is hoping to use animation in her artwork much more, and hopefully find herself back at MinnAnimate sometime soon!

Wong Xiong is 18 years old and in college at Hamline University. He is Hmong and lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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MinnAnim8 photos

Thank you to everybody who made MinnAnim8 to great!


Here are photos of the Youth/Student animators talking about their work:





Here are photos from the Independent Animator discussion.









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MinnAnim 8 Biographies

Emory Allen, Alicia Allen

Foreign Fauna is the independent animation studio of directors Alicia Allen and Emory Allen. Foreign Fauna is our outlet to express ideas that move us through a medium that we love.

Trevor Adams

Trevor expresses his regret over not being able to attend this awesome experience– he’s always inspired by the sweat, blood, and labors of love which make up contributions and sequencing of this festival.

John Akre

John Akre is an animator and videomaker and teaching artist who takes stop motion animation to various places with his Sloppy Films Animation Station. He creates animation and documentary video with his wife Beth Peloff as Green Jeans Media. He teaches animation at Hamline University and Film North and organizes MinnAnimate.

Lukas Anderson

Lukas Anderson is an animator from Saint Paul MN, currently residing in Los Angeles CA.

Hallie Bahn

Hallie Bahn is an animator, interdisciplinary artist and educator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Bahn received her MFA in interdisciplinary practices from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and her work has screened internationally.

Grace Bauer

Grace Bauer is a Digital Media Arts Student at Hamline University and is from Hastings, Minnesota. She enjoys creating things and the sense of accomplishment after finishing a big project, but even more than that, she loves the artistic process it takes to get there. #SaveTheEarth

Sishir Bommakanti

Sishir Bommakanti is an illustrator and animator who works in the genre of the absurd, surreal and fantasy. His work is inspired by the dark corners of human psyche and threads into the fringe.

Dana Conroy

Dana Conroy studied filmmaking at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She’s directed and produced several popular film festival selections such as Fire & Light (2017), Adventure Unknown (2016), and Xenos (2015). She’s won 7 Emmy awards and a Golden Bell Award (Campana del Oro) for Movistar’s commercial Lost in Montevideo (2016). Choosing to reside in rural Minnesota, Dana enjoys making cultural documentaries for underserved regions at a PBS station.

Thao Doan

Minneapolis local who loves to animate!

Robert Jersak

Robert Jersak is an educator and independent animation and documentary artist.

Tyler Leininger

Tyler Leininger is a Senior at Hamline University studying Digital Media arts and studio art. He enjoys a variety of different mediums, including digital painting, photography, film, and most recently, animation.

Wayne Nelsen

Wayne Nelsen has made over 100 animated videos.

Peter Bonde Becker Nelson

Peter Bonde Becker Nelson teaches New Media Art at St. Olaf College. Examining themes of gender, aging, class, and identity, Nelson records and interprets the personal narratives of his friends, family, and self. His work delves into the nuances of human connection — love, friendship, intimacy, frustration and loss.

Mike Owens, Wendie Owens

Born in the Appalachian mountains, schooled in Chicago, trained in the ancient arts of pencil and paper animation, Emmy winning animator MIKE OWENS has manifested a Hollywood career while maintaining a Midwest lifestyle.

Beth Peloff

Beth Peloff is a video maker and teacher who works in both animation and documentary. Her films have played at film festivals regionally and nationally. She is a 2017 recipient of the Jerome Foundation Film and Video Grant.

Maret Polzine

Maret Polzine is a filmmaker and arts organizer living and working in the Twin Cities. They are the founder of Video Variant, the host of Cinema Lounge, and a teaching artist with COMPAS.

Carolyn Schmit

I have been animating for 4 years, and a huge fan of cartoons and animated films. A lot of projects I do are animation collaborations on Youtube. I am attending Century College Fall of 2019 for their 3D Animation program. Watch more animations by me here:

Colin Stanhill

Colin Stanhill is a self-taught animator working in Minneapolis. He draws all his films by hand on paper. According to Malcolm Turner, of the Melbourne International Animation Festival, he is “quite a lucid sort of fellow.”

Molly Parker Stuart

Molly Parker Stuart is a visual artist living and working in Minneapolis. Her work has been covered by The Creators Project and Animal New York and has been exhibited widely. Molly’s work uses social and digital structures to create a felt experience.

Rowan Thompson

I am a young filmmaker from Saint Paul Minnesota, my first film I made was in 2014, it was a 2 minute Lego stop motion video titled “The Legend of Jeff” I was 11 at the time.

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MinnAnim8 Youth/Student Showcase

Here are the films in the MinnAnim8 Youth/Student Showcase, at 6:45 pm on September 12 at the Film Society of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

midnight caller

The Midnight Caller

by Tyler Leininger

Audio taken from the Coen brother’s film “The Midnight Caller” talks about the motivation behind our consumption of media.

rowan reel

Animation Reel (2017 – 2019)

by Rowan Thompson

This is my submission for the minnanimate 2019. It is a collection of my best stop motion films from 2017 – 2019. The oldest one being the candy one at the beginning most recent one being Swedish Fish.

From Film North 2019 Stop Motion Animation Camp


The Boring Mission to Earth by Isaiah and James

Diamond Dilemma by Ava and Syan

From Film North 2019 After Effects Camp


Hello by Tess

Abstract Waves by Willa

Riptide by Astrid

From Film North 2019 Creative Cloud Animation Camp

angry dog

The Great Escape by Ella

Pets and Pandemonium by Carson

Grumpy Dog by Nina


Goblins Do Not Like Puppies

by Carolyn Schmit

A sleeping goblin is woken up from his nap by an unpleasant surprise.


A Blacksmith’s Fire

by Var

A Blacksmith, Coal and Diamond make some great things together.

Madi the Crabby

Madi The Crabby: Madi and Mary go to the Beach

by Grace Bauer

Madi the crab and Mary the raccoon are roommates who want to find something fun to do. They go to the beach and it’s a mess, so the cleaning up commences. This piece comments on the “save the planet” movement from the perspective we don’t hear enough of: animals’.

The Couch

The Couch

by Thao Doan

When some thing lurks underneath your couch, be careful when you rage quite.


Puppy Dog, I Love You

by Lukas Anderson

A sad pig who doesn’t speak finds happiness from the help of his friends.

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MinnAnim8 Independent Animation Showcase

Here is the MinnAnim8 Independent Animation Showcase, which will be presented on Thursday, September 12 at 7:30 pm.



Mike Owens, Wendie Owens

Having your own point of view may not make you fit in, but it can make you king of planet potato.

regiment photo


Wayne Nelsen

A music video for the Barcelona-based band, Seward.


Maya Bdeg’a

Dana Conroy

A true family story of a heroic pelican takes shape on the banks of Lake Traverse as unwanted visitors approach.



Wayne Nelsen

Poet Gretchen Marquette remember her childhood.

Letters from Pickle Animated Short Film Still Image

Letters from Pickle

Robert Jersak

On July 26th, 2017, Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced that the president had made a friend. We imagine that their correspondence continued.



Hallie Bahn

“Habitual” is an animated vignette, which explores the doldrums of office labor.

A self-portrait, the animation was created by hand rotoscoping footage of the filmmaker performing. By refusing to generalize any movements, the piece illustrates the minutiae of administrative behaviors in frame by frame detail.


Her Mother’s Eyes

Emory Allen

For those of us without the gift of a green thumb, we can only standby, helpless as our beloved house plants fade away. If only there was an ER for little green buddies!


née Rabbit

Hailie Bahn

née Rabbit confronts the mind’s struggle to maintain a true identity even as our memory begins to fade. Can we continue to know ourselves when we have no recollection of our past actions and reactions? Do we adapt our identity to incorporate this loss into our life’s story? Or do we resign ourselves to wake up each day anew and if so, who are we?

You Are Here Animated Short Film Still Image

You Are Here

Robert Jersak

“You’re out here. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.” You Are Here is an animated experimental meditation – 112 seconds to break away from whatever you’ve gotten yourself tangled up in lately.

Underground still 2


Beth Peloff

A lonely person unexpectedly takes a journey to reconnect with life.


Object Permanence

Maret Polzine

Anxiety; intrusive thinking; running around in circles

Indirect Animation 2

Indirect Animation

Colin Stanhill

Made with only 12 pages of standard copy paper, this is Colin’s greenest work to date! Let this lo-fi imitation of 35mm film take you on a microscopic voyage through telescoping tunnel visions in Full Two-Tone Color!!


Stone Witch

Molly Stuart

I am stone: solid, heavy. Sometimes I sink in space, falling and filling and scraping through, curving and curling into it. Sometimes I fall into a space that provides refuge.

hole in the sky 3

The Hole in the Sky

John Akre

Somewhere, up there, is a hole in the sky. But we have not found it yet.

Hot crocoa

Hot! Cro-Croa

Sishir Bommakanti

Hot Cro-Croa! Jonnaman Gripthurst, a lonely boneless man recounts his adventures in the big city as he get a mysterious pop-up when surfing the dark web. A TV Spot for a popular drink called Cro-Croa, and its premier of its new flavor: Hot! Cro-Croa. Animated and directed by: Sishir Bommakanti, Additional animation by: Jacob Berrier, Music by: Slowya.roll and Post Everything Production, In collaboration with Post Everything Production and The Story Must Be Told


Dragon Boat Fest

Trevor Adams

My tribute to the Vietmom war


Intruder Man

Peter Nelson

As a young woman, Jessie faces the wrath of an authoritarian superintendent who blacklists her from teaching. As an elderly woman, Alzheimer’s disease makes her paranoid of an “intruder man” who haunts her apartment. Slipping between these parallel periods, Jessie remains persistent in the face of sexism, loss, and dementia.

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MinnAnimate 7 photos 2

Here are some photos from the Independent Animation screening panel from MinnAnimate 7. Thank you, Aaron Nosan, for the photos!






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MinnAnimate 7 photos

Here is a photo of Dean Hatton’s MinnAnimate shirt and some of the Youth/Student Q and A panel. MinnAnimate 7 was so much fun! Thank you to everybody who came and contributed! Panel photos by Beth Peloff!








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MinnAnimate 7 Bios

Trevor Adams work can be seen online at He was born and resides in the Midwest.

John Akre is an animator who lives in Minneapolis and is interested in figuring out ways to create animation in public places. He teaches animation at Hamline University and to youth and co-owns Green Jeans Media, where he creates animation and video with his wife Beth.

Born in California and raised in Apache Junction, Arizona. Joseph Dutra currently attends his senior year at Minneapolis College of Art and Design to better extend his creativity. He is influenced by Animaniacs-type of animation and hopes to bring it back into popularity.

Joel Erkkinen is a self taught animator and film maker. My work usually tends to dance the line between funny and gross. I aim to make people laugh.

Sarah Urquhart Evenson is a genderqueer printmaker, illustrator, and now animator(?) originally from Denver, CO.

Emily Fritze is an independent animator and motion graphics artist based in Minneapolis. She has worked on a variety of projects that include music videos for Pert Near Sandstone, Trampled by Turtles, and Perry Project, among others; documentaries, feature films, commercial work, as well as illustration and graphic design. She has been shown and awarded in film festivals – Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, Square Lake, MNTV, Philadelphia Film Festival, and SoCal. Her works can be found at

Me Cable [Hardin]. Me make move things.

Dean Hatton is a mime trained by world renown mime Marcel Marceau and has been performing since 1984. In 97′ he moved from Ohio to Minneapolis where he continues to create perform today. He only recently discovered doing animation using photoshop and this is his first major project.

Lizzie Hutchins (she/her/hers) is a filmmaker, media educator, and creative spirit. She loves collaborating with others to seek out the secret worlds. She believes moving image is important for building empathy.

Julie JAO is primarily a painter and performance artist. She has exhibited and performed at Bedlam Theater, Vine Arts Center, Intermedia Arts, The Southern Theater and at various festivals doing live speed painting in the back of a pick up truck. This is her first animated short.

Robert Jersak is an independent animator, audio documentary producer and Communication Studies faculty member at Century College.

My name is Buko Laditan. I have been in the entertainment industry for about 10 years.

Adam Loomis is a film programmer and animator from Minneapolis, MN. In addition to joining the Film Society in August 2017, he has worked with organizations such as the Walker Art Center, Trylon Cinema, Northern Exposure and, most recently, Hellavision Television Animation Show.

Kelley Meister (pronouns: ze/hir/hirs) uses drawings, video, and participatory experiences to investigate this how the planet is shifted by the indelible touch of humans. Ze received an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2008 and continues to live and work in Minneapolis. See more:

Stephen Miller is currently a student at Hamline University, working towards a Digital media arts degree.

Wayne Nelsen teaches English as a Second Language in St. Paul.

Beth Peloff is a video maker and teacher who works in both documentary and animation. Her films have played at film festivals including the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, the Twin Cities Film Festival and the Sodak Animation Festival.

Tom Schroeder has been making hand-drawn animated films since 1990. His films have been broadcast on Independent Lens, the Sundance Channel, Canal + France, SBS in Australia and CBC in Canada and have screened at the American Cinematique in Los Angeles and Anthology Film Archives in New York. The films have also played widely on the international festival circuit, including at Annecy, Rotterdam, Sundance, Ottawa, South by Southwest and Edinburgh, and have won over thirty festival awards.

Patrick Schwalbe graduated from the Art Institutes, MN in 2000. I spent the following years working in the medical animation industry doing technical direction.

Colin Stanhill is a self-taught animator working in Minneapolis. He draws all his films by hand on paper. According to Malcolm Turner, of the Melbourne International Animation Festival, he is “quite a lucid sort of fellow.”

Persephine Yang is 12 years old. I started animating in 4th grade when I saw a youtuber post a animation for their school. I was inspired to make my own animations just for the fun of it and I slowly liked doing and I would want to be an animator when I grow up.

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