Inspired to create their short after wandering around a European city and noticing the amount of stray dogs on the streets, Marc Riba and Anna Solanas’ Canis is a dark, twisted coming-of-age story set in a post-apocalyptic world overrun with canines. Utilising stop-motion to tell its tale, this 17-minute film is a stark but brilliant reminder that this particular brand of animation isn’t just for kids.
With a narrative focused on themes of fears and facing up to them, Canis follows its protagonist as he struggles to adjust to the brutal and uncompromising world in which he lives. A tale of survival, at all odds, Riba and Solanas’ film is an unsettling and harrowing watch that pulls no punches when it comes to making sure it impacts on its audience.
Though Canis’ ominous storytelling approach is bound to capture the attention of most audiences, it would feel neglectful to talk about Riba and Solanas’ short without mentioning the craft involved in its creation.
Employing a stark black and white aesthetic to compliment their purposefully scruffy stop-motion approach, Canis is a film where style and story really come together to deliver the tone the filmmakers were aiming for. Taking around 15-months to make the puppets were made from balsa wood, wire and fabric and all the sets and props were handmade.
With a career in animation spanning 15-years, Marc and Anna are now looking to add to their extensive back-catalogue of shorts films with their latest production Cavalls Morts (Dead Horses), which premiers in October at the SEMINCI Valladolid International Film Festival.