The animated short film “The Clearing” will debut on The New Yorker’s digital channels on Friday, December 9th, as part of the magazine’s award-winning Screening Room series. Director Daniel Robert Hope’s Oscar-qualified film shows a snapshot of a family on a camping trip and the problems that plague them. Hope uses stop-motion animation to tell the story in an out-of-the-box way.
In a desperate battle with his ballooning ego, husband Bill struggles in vain to re-woo his wife, Deb, with his below-par outdoor skills and shocking behavior—that is until their last-ditch camping trip takes a very sinister turn.
Bill and Deb are voiced by real-life couple and U.K. comedy royalty Julian Barratt and Julia Davis, making this animated short a must-watch for fans of the comedy heavyweights.
Barratt is known for performing in “The Mighty Boosh” alongside comedy partner Noel Fielding during the 2000s. The show generated a cult fan following and won many awards.
Davis wrote and starred in BBC comedy “Nighty Night” and the comedies “Hunderby” and “Camping,” which she also directed. Critics have lauded Davis for creating boundary-pushing black comedy that centers female anti-heroes. A nine-time BAFTA TV Award nominee, she won Best Comedy Writing for “Hunderby” and Best Scripted Comedy for “Sally4Ever.”
Daniel Robert Hope wrote, directed, and animated “The Clearing” with a team of students and volunteers. Silly and sad in equal measure, Hope’s work explores characters through dark, surreal comedy. He was joined in that effort by producer Johannes Schubert, who was named Austria’s Producer on the Move at the Cannes Film Festival in 2022 and was featured on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
“The Clearing” is the latest of a host of outstanding animations to come out of the U.K.’s prestigious National Film and Television School, including “Wallace & Gromit”, “The Hill Farm”, “Head Over Heels”, “The Bigger Picture”, and many more.
As part of an impressive festival run that includes BFI London Film Festival, Ottawa, Stuttgart Animation Festival, and Flickerfest, “The Clearing” scooped Best Animated Short at both Aesthetica Film Festival and RiverRun International Film Festival, qualifying for the same category in the run-up to the 2023 Oscars.
“The Clearing” is presented by the New Yorker Studios and joins The New Yorker’s award-winning “Screening Room” series, a collection of fictional films that will make you laugh, cry, and challenge your view of the mundane and the extraordinary.