The Edinburgh Short Film Festival 2017 kicks off this evening with a selection of animated films curated by Mecal, the Barcelona International Shorts and Animation Film Festival. The screening is taking place at the Edinburgh Filmhouse and is the perfect way to begin this year’s eclectic festival.

In total there are eleven shorts in the programme and a variety of animation techniques and styles are on display. Stop motion, hand-drawn, digital and mixed-media are all present. Mecal director Roberto Barrueca is in attendance to give an introduction to the programme and an insight on how he goes about selecting animated shorts for the festival.

The programme begins with Canis, a 17-minute stop motion short directed by Marc Riba and Anna Solanas. This is a bleak and disturbing horror, featuring rabid dogs, poverty and violence. It is a tough and challenging watch, but very much a rewarding one. Deep from director Marta Lafuente is the shortest of the selection and uses rotoscope animation techniques to bring to life the poem A Thousand Kisses by Leonard Cohen. Other shorts in the selection include Amar, Bendito Machine – Pull The Trigger, Amor De Mono and Decorado, the latter being a surreal tale with anthropomorphic animals who question their own existence. The theme of struggle and displacement is very much apparent in the majority of the shorts this evening, with characters looking to find their place in the world.

Comedy is another theme that presents itself during the selection with Por Que Desaparecieron Los Dinosaurios?, The Day I Killed My Best Friend, Made in Spain and Los Reyes Magos all drawing laughs from the audience and possibly offering some relief from the intense opening films. The final short is La Cosa En La Esquina from Zoe Berriatua, another comedic tale where again the protagonist questions reality and ponders existence. It is a fine animation to bring the screening to a close.

The Edinburgh Short Film Festival continues until the 11 November 2017 with further screenings at the Edinburgh Filmhouse and Summerhall. The festival includes a variety of workshops, networking events, parties and also an Award Ceremony for Best Film, Best Animated Short and Rising Star.