From our 2003 archive: A twelve-minute story of love, self-sacrifice, and jealousy played out against a black and white world that is both nightmarish and hauntingly beautiful.
Created and directed by Director Marc Craste, this BAFTA-winning short film is both a joy and tragedy to behold. The films undeniable star is Madame Pica, the cold-hearted mistress of a circus of “monsters and misfits”, attended each night by thousands of curious spectators. The hapless Pica known as ‘Hero’ is among them every night, but he is there only to pine after the enigmatic Jo Jo, a winged trapeze artist. One night after the show, he steals the keys of the cell where Jo Jo is imprisoned, freeing her. The two escape and commence an all to short-lived romance, culminating in a waltz among the stars. But soon the two lovers are discovered and as a last desperate act, hand-in-hand, they leap from the highest window in the tower. Jo Jo attempts to fly the two of them to safety, but Hero loses his grip and falls to the ground, whilst Jo Jo is re-captured by Madame Pica’s lackeys. A single feather from JoJo’s wing floats to the ground, landing on Hero’s apparently lifeless body.
Ten years pass, and Madame Pica is in search of some new attraction to draw in the crowds. She discovers that Hero is still alive but horribly disfigured, and takes him on as the new star of the show. Hero is placed in the cell next to JoJo’s, and the reunited lovers embrace through the bars …
Written, Designed and Directed by
Harlem In Brünn
Andreas Lackner/Die Knodel
More Wings For Wheelers
Toru Yamanaka/Dumb Type
Andante from Violin
Concerto Opus 14
Samual Barber/RSN Orchestra
Watch The Film here.
Recognition for Jo Jo In the Stars
• UK – BAFTA 2004 – Best Short Animated Film
• FRANCE – Cartoon D’Or 2005
• FRANCE – Clermont Ferrand 2004 Best Short Animated film
• FRANCE – Les Lutins du Court-Métrage Press Lutin
• SEOUL – SICAF 2004 2004 Short Film Grand Prize UK –
• UK- Bradford Animation Festival 2004 Grand Prix
• UK –Brief Encounters 2004 – Best of British
• USA – Aspen Shortsfest 2004 Special Jury Prize
• USA –IFCT 2007 Award for Most Innovative Animation
Once there was …
The creation of Jo Jo was indirectly inspired by “The Carny”, a song by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and was the development of a world Craste had created back in the late 20th century…
The world of PICA TOWERS came to Marc in a fever dream, where he envisaged a mysterious and compelling place, somewhere ‘out there, out beyond the other side’. Marc originally explored this world in three one-minute films, created at Studio AKA, and starring Madame Pica in a circus setting. The films; ‘The Good News’, ‘Hounds Of Flesh’ and ‘Pizza Sangre’ gave us a brief glimpse of the peculiar PICAS, and on the back of these three shorts, Studio AKA then asked Marc to make a longer film using the same characters, “but without any murders”. Jo Jo in the Stars was the result.