When The Cat Is Not Away

"A house becomes the theater of a game between a cat and a mysterious character."


The film is spoken in French and doesn’t have subtitles, but can hopefully be understood without them.

Three characters, playful non-realistic staging and creative use of voice-over are the ingredients of this fun short produced by animator and director Sarah Saidan, during her studies at French school La Poudrière.

Sound design, including voice-over and music, plus stylized staging and lighting are employed to create the impression of a theater spectacle in which the cat is the featured performer. This comes to an end with a fun twist as the director plays with breaking the fourth wall (the cat attacks the “camera” around 2:09) and the source of the voice-over is revealed as a mouse character.

Other highlights include the character designs, decorative aesthetic, the contrast between the voice-over narration and the ordeal the cat goes through, the use of a “spotlight” as narrative device to help advance the story and the stop motion animation, which breathes life into the characters.

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