In an event opened to the public and coordinated by EYEspeak, animator Signe Baumane screened her featured animated documentary Rocks in my Pockets on Friday, April 15, 2016 followed by a Q&A.

During the event, IMA students had the opportunity to show their short animation works in progress, and Signe shared with them her thoughts and critiques.


Rocks in my Pockets

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.

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”


Sponsored by: IMA Program & EYEspeak