Signe was born in Latvia. Her first short story was published in a local newspaper when she was 14. She continued to publish short stories, poems and essays through her teens. She studied Philosophy at Moscow State University for 5 years. After she received a BA in Philosophy, Signe started to work at Riga's Animated Film Studio at the entry-level position – cel painter. Around that time, Signe illustrated 3 children's books and made sets for a puppet theater. With support of Latvian Government grants, Signe made 3 animated shorts in Latvia. Seeking a challenge, Signe moved to New York where (1996 - 2003) she worked for independent animator Bill Plympton in capacity of cel painter, art director and production manager. Signe continued to make her own films and did commissioned book illustration work. In 1998, Signe received her US green card as 'extraordinary ability alien'. From 1998 on, she made her films at her own studio. In 2005 she became a NYFA Fellow in Film. She received 2 grants from Jerome Foundation - one for her animated short "Birth", the other for her animated feature "Rocks In My Pockets". She also received 2 grants from NYSCA in support of "Rocks In My Pockets". Signe has written, directed and animated 15 shorts and one feature film. Collectively, they’ve been accepted in over 300 film festivals around the world and received many awards.

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From Signe

" The thing that interests me as an artist, one of the things, is the interaction of the inwardly personal with the outwardly social. We all have deeply personal experiences that we don't discuss, but we feel them, and when we externalize them, they become stories, and most likely they become really removed from the original inner experience. I want to bridge the gap between the internal and external, I want to communicate what it really feels like to be alive and go to a dentist, or have sex, or be depressed.

And yes, I do often address difficult, uncomfortable subjects in my films because I believe in confronting the things that bother me head-on"

 
 

What are your influences?

"I grew up in Latvia, which at that time was part of the Soviet Union, and I was really influenced by Eastern European poster art, illustration and animation. My greatest influence was Stasys Eidrigevicius, a Lithuanian-Polish illustrator whose rich, imaginative work still fascinates me. Then, of course, there was the great Czech Jan Svankmayer whose surrealistic approach to animation has had an everlasting influence on me. Russian animator-director Yuriy Norstein made moody, realistic short film called "Hedgehog in the Fog," which I have probably seen more than 78 times!

When I came to New York, my introduction to Bill Plympton's work influenced me in an entirely different way. It gave me permission to be funny and silly. And I learned a lot from Bill on how to make films cheaply.

My work is a combination of these two contradicting influences - the serious, moody, artsy Eastern European with upbeat, funny, gag-based American animation."

 

SIGNE BAUMANE FILMOGRAPHY

THE MARRIAGE PROJECT, Feature animated film currently in pre-production, USA

A fiery young woman with a wild imagination journeys through many marriages, some real, some imaginary, while confronting societal pressures and her own biology.

 

THE ABC OF TRAVEL (2016) 2 min., USA

Several same-letter families travel to the San Francisco Airport for a reunion.

Festivals

Woodstock Film Festival (October 13-16, 2016, Woodstock, NY)

 

ROCKS IN MY POCKETS (2014) 88 min., USA, Latvia

A poignant and often hilarious tale of mystery, mental health, redemption and survival. Based on true events about five women of the filmmaker's family, including herself, and their battles with depression and madness.

Major Festivals

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Official Selection – Competition (July 4-12,

2014, Czech Republic)

ANIMATOR 2014, 7th International Animated Film Festival (July 8-19, 2014, Poland)

Fantoche Animation Film Festival (September 2-7, 2014, Switzerland)

Athens International Film Festival (September 17-28, 2014, Greece)

Seattle International Film Festival, Women in Cinema (September 18-25, 2014)

Calgary International Film Festival (September 18-28, 2014, Canada)

San Sebastian International Film Festival (September 19-27, 2014, Spain)

24th International Film Festival Message to Man (September 20-27, 2014, Russia)

Vancouver International Film Festival (September 25 – October 10, 2014, Canada)

19th Busan International Film Festival (October 2-11, 2014, South Korea)

Haifa International Film Festival (October 9-18, 2014, Israel)

London International Animation Festival, (October 24 – November 2, 2014, UK)

6th Re-Animania International Animation Film Festival (October 25-31, 2014, Armenia)

DOK Leipzig (October 27 – November 2, 2014, Leipzig, Germany)

Leeds International Film Festival (November 5-9, 2014, UK)

Fredrikstad Animation Festival (November 6-9, 2014, Finland)

Cork Film Festival (November 7-16, 2014, Ireland)

Cairo International Film Festival (November 9-18, 2014, Egypt)

Animated Dreams, Animated Film Festival (November 19-23, 2014, Estonia)

Gijon International Film Festival (November 21-29, 2014, Spain)

International Film Festival Etiuda & Anima (November 23, 2014, Poland)

International Film Festival of India (November 24, 2014, Goa, India)

Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 5-8, 2014, California)

Gothenburg International Film Festival (January 23 – February 2, 2015, Sweden)

Anima, Brussels International Film Festival (February 13-22, 2015, Belgium)

Holland Animation Film Festival (March 18-22, 2015, Netherlands)

Jamison Dublin International Film Festival (March 19-29, 2015, Ireland)

Anifilm (May 5-10, 2015, Czech Republic)

Annecy International Animated Film Festival (June 15-20, 2015, France)

Melbourne International Animation Festival (June 21-28, 2015, Australia)

Taipei Film Festival (June 27, 30 & July 8, 2015, Taiwan)

Anima Mundi (July 13 {Rio de Janeiro} & July 21, 2015 {Sao Paulo}, Brazil)

DocsBarcelona & Medellin (July 28 & 30, 2015, Colombia)

China International Animation & Digital Arts Festival (Sept. 29 – Oct. 5, 2015, China)

Hiroshima International Animation Festival (August 22, 2016, Japan)

Major United States Theatrical Screenings

New York, NY. IFC Center, September 3-25, 2014

Los Angeles, CA. Laemmle Royal, September 12-18, 2014

New York, NY. Symphony Space, October 5 & 12, 2014

New York, NY. Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences, December 1, 2014

New York, NY. Museum of Moving Image, December 5, 2014

Boston, MA. Museum of Fine Arts, September 24 – October 2, 2014

Chicago, IL. Gene Siskel Film Center, September 26 – October 2, 2014

Miami, FL. Miami Beach Cinematheque, October 1-9, 2014

Houston, TX. Museum of Fine Arts, October 11 & 19, 2014

Washington, DC. Angelica Pop Up at Union Market, October 24-30, 2014

Chicago, IL. The Beverly Center, November 12, 2014

San Francisco, CA. Roxie, November 21-27, 2014

Cleveland, OH. Cleveland Cinematheque, December 4-7, 2014

Seattle, WA. Sundance Cinemas, January 2-8, 2015

New Orleans, LA. Indywood Cinema, January 9-15, 2015

Lincoln, NE. Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center, January 23-29, 2015

Minneapolis, MN. Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul, January 26, Feb. 2 & 4, 2015

Austin, TX. Alamo Drafthouse Ritz, February 1, 2015

Cambridge, MA. Brattle Theatre, March 22, 2015

Portland, OR. Clinton St. Theater, April 11-12, 2015

Major Educational and Special Screenings

Greensboro, NC. Mental Health Association in Greensboro, October 22, 2014

Bronxville, NY. Sarah Lawrence College, December 11, 2014

Los Angeles, CA. Friends of Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior,

January 12, 2015

Boston, MA. Emerson College, March 26, 2015

Amherst, MA. Amherst College, April 1, 2015

Caldwell, NJ. Mental Health Association of Essex, Caldwell College, April 10, 2015

Rochester, NY. Reel Mind Theater and Film Series, May 19, 2015

Livingston, NJ. Academy of Clinical & Applied Psychoanalysis, July 11, 2015

Providence, RI. Rhode Island School of Design, September 28, 2015

St. Louis, MO. Institute for Health Education at St. Luke’s Hospital, September 29, 2015

Cleveland, OH. NAMI Greater Cleveland, October 21, 2015

Baltimore, MD. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, October 22, 2015

Ann Arbor, MI. University of Michigan / Michigan Theater, October 29, 2015

Greenville, SC. South Carolina Governor’s School, March 30, 2016

Wellesley, MA. Wellesley College, April 7, 2016

New York, NY.  Hunter College, April 15, 2016

Orlando, FL. Science of Screen Project, Enzian Theater / Rollins College, June 25, 2016

Brisbane, Australia. Griffith Film School, August, 22, 2016

 

TARZAN (2014) 3 min., USA

A man meets a woman on New York City subway and flirts with her until it hurts. Song by Joe Cartoon.

Major Festivals  

BeFilm The Underground Film Festival (April 2014, New York City) 

23rd Woods Hole Film Festival (July 26 - August 2, 2014, Cape Cod, MA)

Annecy Plus (June 13, 2014, France)  

Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival (September 2-7, 2014, Massachusetts) 

Woodstock Film Festival (October 15-19, 2014, Woodstock, NY) 

16th Wiesbaden International Weekend of Animation (October 30 – November 2, 2014,

Wiesbaden Germany)

2014 KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival (November 4-9, 2014)

 

BIRTH (2009) 12 min, USA/Italy

A young woman, Amina (17) is pregnant and afraid to give birth. For consolation and advice she goes to older women but their stories scare her even more.

Major Festivals

Berlinale Shorts (Competition, February 5-15, 2009)

Florida Film Festival (March 27 - April 5, 2009)

16th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (May 5-10, 2009)

2009 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival (March 13-21, 2009)

Melbourne International Animation Festival 2009 (MIAF), (June 22-28, 2009)

International Competition of the Paris Cinema International Film Festival (July 3-14, 2009)

BeFilm The Underground Film Festival (April 28 - May 2, 2009)

Annecy International Animation Film Festival (June 8-13, 2009)

London International Animation Festival (August 28 - September 6, 2009)

2009 Rooftop Films Summer Series (June 10,, 2009)

58th Melbourne International Film Festival (July 24 - August 9, 2009)

17th Intl. Animation Festival of Brazil ANIMA MUNDI 2009 (Rio de Janeiro, July 10-19, Sao Paulo, July 22-26)

2nd International Animated Film Festival, Animator 2009 (July 6-12, 2009, Poland)

13th annual L.A. Shorts Fest (July 23-31, 2009)

SICAF - Seoul International Cartoon & Animation Festival (July 22-26, 2009)

Wiesbaden Animation Festival 2009 (October 15-18, 2009)

Göteborg International Film Festival (January 29 - February 8, 2010)

Ottawa 2009 International Animation Festival (October 14-18, 2009)

29th Atlantic Film Festival (September 17-26, 2009, Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Woodstock Film Festival (September 30 - October 4, 2009)

Hamptons Film Festival (special screening, 2009)

International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - DOK (October 26 - November 1, 2009, Leipzig)

Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival (September 10-13, 2009)

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival (November 5-26, 2009)

London Film Festival (Oct 22nd, 23rd, 15th, 2009)

International Film Festival ETIUDA&ANIMA 2009 (Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2009, Poland)

ANIMA 2010, Brussels Animation Films Festival (February 12-20, 2010, Belgium)

Future Film Festival (January 26-31, 2010, Italy)

International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund | Cologne (Panorama, April 14-18, 2010)

AniFest 2010 (May 18-23, 2010, Czech Republic)

  

TEAT BEAT OF SEX: EPISODES 8, 9, 10, 11.  (2007) 7 min, USA/Italy

A take on first kiss, first make-out session and first sex from a girl’s point of view.

Major Festivals

Berlinale Shorts (February 7-17, 2008)

Florida Film Festival (March 28 - April 6, 2008)

Film Fest Dresden (special program, April 15-20, 2008)

15th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film 2008 (special program)

BeFilm The Underground Film Festival (April 29-May 3, 2008)

Best of FilmFest Dresden (May, 2008, Koln, Berlin)

Annecy International Animation Festival (Spicy program, June 9 - 14, 2008)

Rooftop Films 2008 Summer Series (June 20, 2008)

Animator 2008 - the 1st International Animated Film Festival (July 7-12, Poznan)

3rd San Francisco International Animation Festival (November 13-16, 2008)

Woodstock Film Festival (October 1-5, 2008)

AFI Fest 2008 (October. 30 - November 9, 2008)

Nashville Film Festival (April 16-23, 2009)

  

THE VERY FIRST DESIRE NOW AND FOREVER (2007) 1 min, New York

Do you remember your first desire?

Major Festivals

Philadelphia Film Festival (April 3-15, 2008)

Brooklyn International Film Festival (May 20 - June 8, 2008)

Animanima International Animation Festival (Panorama, September 10-13, 2008, Serbia)

 

VETERINARIAN (2007) 17 min, Rija Animated Film Sudio, Latvia

V221.0069.jpeg

A veterinarian with a broken heart receives an unexpected help to heal.

Major Festivals

15th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival(October 17-21, 2007)

2007 Taiwan International Animation Festival (September 28 - Oct 7, 2007)

San Francisco Independent Film Festival (February 7-19, 2008)

50th Annual Exhibition for the Society of Illustrators (January 30 - February 16, 2008)

Florida Film Festival (March 28 – April 6, 2008)

Philadelphia Film Festival (April 3-15, 2008)

2008 Arizona International Film Festival (April 18-27, 2008)

15th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (special program), 2008

Melbourne International Animation Festival 2008 (June 16-22, 2008)

Rooftop Films 2008 Summer Series (June 27, 2007)

Melbourne International Film Festival (July 25 - August 10, 2008)

Animator 2008 - the 1st International Animated Film Festival (July 7-12, 2008, Poznan)

The London International Animation Festival (September 2-7, 2008)

"Etiuda & Anima 2008" (November 17 - 21, 2008, Krakow, Poland)

Anifest 2009 (Czech Republic)

 

TEAT BEAT OF SEX (2007) 4 min, USA/Italy/Latvia/Switzerland

A take on sex exclusively from a woman’s point of view. Shocking!

Major Festivals

BeFilm The Underground Film Festival, 2007 (New York)

ASIFA-East Festival, 2007 (New York)

Finalist of NFB Short Film Online Competition Cannes Special, 2007

15th International Animation Festival of Brazil – ANIMA MUNDI, 2007

Ottawa Int'l Animation Festival (September 19-23, 2007)

3rd Zurich Film Festival 2007 (September 27 – October 7, 2007, Switzerland)

Rooftop Films (September, 2007, NY)

Calgary International Film Festival - Best of Just for Laughs program, 2007

2007 Taiwan International Animation Festival (September 28 - October 7, 2007)

2007 Woodstock Film Festival (October 10-14, 2007)

2nd San Francisco International Animation Festival (November 8-11, 2007)

9th Wiesbaden International Weekend of Animation 2007 - (October 18-21, 2007)

Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - DOK Leipzig (Oct. 29 - Nov. 4, 2007)

27th Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival (October 18-28, 2007)

Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival - Animated Dreams (November 21-25, 2007)

FIKE 2007 - Evora International Short Film Festival (November 16-24, 2007)

Sundance Film Festival 2008 (January 17-27, 2008)

San Francisco Independent Film Festival (February 7-19, 2008)

Florida Film Festival (March 28 - April 6, 2008)

15th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (May 1-6, 2008)

Ann Arbor Film Festival (March 25-30, 2008)

Film Fest Dresden (April 15-20, 2008)

2008 Arizona International Film Festival (April 18-27, 2008)

39th Annual Nashville Film Festival (April 17-24, 2008)

18th Zagreb World Festival of Animated Film Animafest (May 31 - June 5, 2008)

Melbourne International Animation Festival 2008 (June 16-22, 2008)

34th Seattle International Film Festival (May 22 - June 15, 2008)

Brooklyn International Film Festival (May 20 - June 8, 2008)

Sundance Shorts Sunday at Brooklyn Academy of Music (June 1, 2008)

Fantoche International Animation Film Festival, special program “Body Parts” (September 8-13, 2009, Switzerland)

 

FIVE INFOMERCIALS FOR DENTISTS (2005) 4 min, New York

The five bizarre infomercials introduce dentists to the essential tools of their trade - latex gloves, anesthesia, crowns and chocolate.

Major Festivals

ASIFA-East Festival, 2005

L’Etrange Film Festival, 2005

Milwaukee International Film Festival, 2005

New York Television Festival, 2005

2006 San Francisco Independent Film Festival (February 2-12, 2006)

13th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, 2006

Nashvile Film Festival, 2006

  

DENTIST (2005) 10 min, New York

An enthusiastic dentist, a reluctant patient and a strange picture on the wall... 

Major Festivals

Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, Children’s program, 2005

Florida Film Festival, 2005

Nashville Film Festival, 2005

4th Tehran International Animation Festival, 2005 (Iran)

Philadelphia Film Festival, 2005

Tribeca Underground Film Festival, 2005

Newport International Film Festival, 2005

Brooklyn International Film Festival, 2005

Anima Mundi, 2005

Atlanta Film Festival, 2005

Stony Brook Film Festival, 2005

Rooftop Films, 2005

Woodstock Film Festival, 2005

Animadrid, 2005

Animated Dreams -Black Nights Film Festival, 2005 (Estonia)

FIKE 2005 Evora International Short Film Festival, 2005

2006 San Francisco Independent Film Festival (February 2 - 12, 2006)

World Festival of Animated Films Zagreb (films for children, 2006)

5th Tribeca Film Festival, special program, 2006

New York Short Film festival, 2006

 

WOMAN (2002) 10 min, Rija Animated film studio, Latvia

Woman 4 copy.jpeg

A personal myth of creation of a woman and her two ways to encounter a man.

Major Festivals

Florida Film Festival, 2003

Tehran International Animation Festival, 2003

Brooklyn International Film Festival, 2003

ASIFA East Festival, 2003

Newport International Film Festival, 2003

Anima Mundi 2003 -International Animation Festival of Brazil, 2003

Woodstock Film Festival, 2003

The Hamptons International Film Festival, 2003

FIKE 2003 - Evora International Short Film Festival (Portugal)

New York Exposition of Short Film and Video, 2003

6th San Francisco Independent Film Festival, 2004

Philadelphia Film Festival, 2004

23rd Black Maria Film&Video Festival, Citation Selection (2004)

  

FIVE FUCKING FABLES (2002) 7 min, New York City

5 separate, slightly immoral stories.

Major Festivals

Florida Film Festival, 2002

Annecy International Animated Film Festival , 2002 (Annecy, France)

Anima Mundi - International Animation Festival of Brazil, 2002

Woodstock Film Festival, 2002

Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation Festival

San Francisco Independent Film Festival, 2003

Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2003

International Competition of 15th Filmfest Dresden, 2003

Caroline’s Comedy Club, New York City

Boston Underground Film Festival, 2003

Melbourne Underground Film Festival, 2003

International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, 2003

Animadrid, 2003 (Spain)

12th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, 2004 (Germany)

Philadelphia Film Festival 2004, Best of International Animation Program 2003 / 2004

L’Etrange Festival Short Film Competition, 2004 (France)

I Castelli Animati, 2004 (Italy)

The Black Nights Film Festival, 2004 (Estonia)

Taiwan International Animation Festival, 2006

Ottawa Intl. Animation Festival special program of Erotic films “Blue Toons” (Sept 17-21, 2008)

 

NATASHA (2001) 10 minutes, New York City

Natasha-003.jpeg

Conceived and rendered with Josh Rechnitz.

A story about a neglected housewife who falls in love with a vacuum cleaner.

Major Festivals

Florida Film Festival, 2001

New York Animation Festival, 2001

Dokfestival Leipzig, 2001 (Germany)

Intl. Independent Brussels Film Festival, 2001

San Francisco Independent Film Festival, 2002

Göteborg Film Festival, 2002

Oporto International Film Festival/Fantasporto, 2002

Nashville Independent Film Festival, 2002

Brooklyn International Film Festival, 2002

World Festival of Animated Films, Zagreb, 2002

AniFest, 2003 (Trebon, Czech Republic)

Rooftop Films, NYC, 2003

 

THE THREATENED ONE (1999) 4 minutes, New York City

An animated, visual interpretation of the poem by Jorge Luis Borges.

Major Festivals  

Florida Film Festival, 2000

Long Island Film Festival, 2000

New York Expo, 2000

Portland Independent Animation Festival, 2004

  

LOVE STORY (1998) 3 minutes, New York City

A story about the separation of love and sex.

Major Festivals

22nd Göteborg Film Festival, 1999 (Sweden)

Oslo Animation Festival, 1999 (Norway)

Fantasporto International Film Festival, 1999 (Portugal)

ASIFA-East Animation Festival, 1999

Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, 1999

Fantoche, 1999 (Switzerland)

Worldfest, Houston International Film Festival, 1999

Festival International du Film Independent, 1999 (Brussels)

Minneapolis International Film Festival, 1999

Florida Film Festival, 1999

International Leipzig Film Festival, 1999 (Germany)

 

THE GOLD OF THE TIGERS (1995) 21 minutes, Dauka Animation Studio, Riga, Latvia

A Borges-like tale about tigers that switch the customary places of dream and reality.

Major Festivals

Nordic Light Film Festival, 1995 (Lithuania)

Sedona International Film Festival (February 24 - March 1, 2009)

 

TINY SHOES (1993) 10 minutes, Dauka Animation Studio, Riga, Latvia

A modern Freudian fairy tale about a girl, her father, a prince, and a dragon.

Major Festivals

Nordic Light Film Festival, 1994 (Finland)

Zagreb International Animated Film Festival, 1994 (Croatia)

Minsk International Women’s Film Festival, 1995 (Belarus)

Ottawa International Animated Film Festival, 1994

 

THE WITCH AND THE COW (1991) 2 minutes, Dauka Animation Studio, Riga, Latvia

A tiny witch tries to milk an immense cow. Things get out of her control.

Major Festivals

Arsenals International Film Festival, 1992 (Latvia)

Bratislava International Film Festival, 1991 (Slovakia)

  

EXHIBITIONS

 1995 - Meeting of Images, Visby, Sweden

2004 - Toon Town: Comic and Cartoon Art in New York, NY

2005 - 47th Annual Exhibition of Society of Illustrators, New York, NY

 

RETROSPECTIVES

 2003 - International Animated Film Festival “Bimini”, Riga, Latvia

2003 - Two Boots Pioneer Theater, New York, NY

2005 - Rencontres Audiovisuelles, Lille, France

2005 - 4th Festival Internacional de Quadrinhos, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

2006 - Jacob Burns Center, New York, NY

2006 - Anima Basauri - 2nd Basauri International Animation Film Festival, Spain

2008 - ‘In Person’ at Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film Festival, May 1-7, Germany

2008 - Animpact, April 29th, Seoul, Korea

2008 - Latvian Film Marathon, May 4th, Riga, Latvia

2010 - Tricky Women Festival, March 4-8, Vienna, Austria

2010 - Busto Arsiizio Film Festival, March 23rd, Gallarate, Italy

 

  2010 - Leipzig DOK, 53rd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film,

  Oct 18 - Nov 24, 2010, Germany

2010 - Society of Illustrators, October 13th, 2010, New York, NY

2012 - The Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente, April 11-22, 2012

2015 – Melbourne International Animation Festival, June 21-28, 2015, Australia

2015 – Anima, Brussels International Film Festival, February 13-22, 2015, Belgium