Negative Space

Negative Space is an animated short about a father and son’s bond developed through the packing of a suitcase

Based on a 150-word poem by Ron Koertge, the five-minute stop-motion animation adds subtext to the original words. It contrasts the autumn-tone memories of a child against the cold winter realities of adulthood.

The animation does a great job of keeping the ambiguity of the last line. Leaving viewers to come to their own conclusions of how it should be interpreted.

The short film was directed by award-winning duo Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, also known as Tiny Inventions. They have directed and produced TV commercials, music videos and independent films. Their films often combine handcrafted art, CG animation, drawn animation, stop-motion and photographic effects.

We previously featured their short called Between Times.

Negative Space resonated with Kuwahata whose father was an airline pilot, and travelled often when she was growing up. One of the most vivid images of her childhood is her father’s packing list pinned to the wall of his study.

You can learn about how and why the duo made Negative Space in this making of video.

To date, Negative Space has won 127 prizes and played in over 314 festivals. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 90th Academy Awards.


Director / Writer: Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata
Producer : Nidia Santiago & Edwina Liard
Co-producer: Jean-Louis Padis

Original prose poem: Ron Koertge
Voice:Albert Birney
Set Decoration: Ru Kuwahata, Marion Lacourt, Victoria Tanto, Max Porter
Puppets: Ru Kuwahata, Satoru Yoshida, Tomas Gebcyznski, Max Porter
Animation lead: Sylvain Derosne
Additional animation: Eric Montchaud, Ru Kuwahata
Cinematography lead: Nadine Buss
Additional cinematography: Simon Gesrel, Max Porter
Production / Post-production management: Nidia Santiago, Edwina Liard
Production Assistants: Philippe Baranzini, Walid Païenda, Fred Borja, Lucile Pellerin, Maxime Lebalanc, Juluien Renrad, Willy Fair

Post-Production: Max Porter, Sami Guellai, Pierre Morin, Ru Kuwahata
Editing: Max Porter
Music & Sound Design: Bram Meindersma
*posée et enregistrée avec le soutien de la SACEM en association avec Ciclic
Voice Recording: Keviln Hill, CAS
Color Grade:Thibaut Pétillon
Sound Mix: Matthieu Langlet
Distribution: Luce Grosjean at Miyu Distribution
PR: Fumi Kitahara

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