At first glance, Volcano Island seems like a beautifully illustrated tale about the natural world. Matisse-like cutouts of plants provide a backdrop for a cast of gorgeous, textural tigers; and the jungle landscape is brought to life with vivid colours and abstracted shapes.
But through a purely visual message – there's no text or dialogue here – the short film tells a powerful, brutal, but sadly universal story around sexual harassment.
The animation was created by Budapest-born animation filmmaker, director and illustrator Anna Katalin Lovrity, who graduated with her MA in Animation from the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME) in 2016.
But on the secluded island where she was born, the tigress has no escape. Lovrity uses a metaphor of the volcano on the island to reflect the scared tiger's feelings, who eventually, "with the help of nature", becomes able to "act upon her own will," as she puts it.
It feels like a hugely pertinent piece of work as the world still reverberates post-#metoo. What's interesting though, is that it was actually created prior to the movement's peak. "While writing the script I was inspired by my friend's stories and my own experiences with different forms of sexual harassment," says Lovrity. "I had a feeling it is a really universal story, that's why I choose animals as my protagonists."
Since graduating, the animator has participated in Animation Sans Frontiéres, the European animation production and marketing workshop, and she is also the co-author of ZINA, a zine created by Hungarian female artists.