Catya Plate, born in Barcelona, Spain, and raised in Germany, is a Brooklyn based award winning filmmaker, writer and multidisciplinary artist. Her animated films, sculptures, paintings, and drawings explore the ephemeral nature of existence by creating an alternative universe, which exposes, among other things, humanity’s impact on the environment. Catya is a Fulbright Alumna and has been exhibiting internationally since the mid-1980’s. Her work is in public and private collections worldwide, like the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art Library in New York City. Articles, interviews and reviews about her films and projects have appeared in Indie Shorts Magazine, UK Film Review, ReelRomp, Directed By Women, We are Moving Stories, The New York Times, The Independent, and others. In 2009, she created Clothespin Freak Productions to bring her “Clothespin Freaks” characters to life through stop-motion animation short films. In 2012, her first film “The Reading”, was awarded Best Animated Film at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival. Her second film “Hanging By A Thread”, screened at over 22 film festivals in the US and abroad, like the Academy Award-qualifying St. Louis International Film Festival and won 9 awards. Critically acclaimed “Meeting MacGuffin”, the sequel of “Hanging By A Thread” and second in a trilogy of shorts was completed in February 2017 has been making its rounds in the international film festival circuit for two years with over 60 festival screenings, 18 awards and 5 nominations to its credit. It has screened at the Academy-Award qualifying Holly Shorts in Los Angeles, Cucalorus and the Oxford Film Festival among many others. Prestigious awards are the coveted Grand Prize for Best Animated Short at the Academy-Award qualifying Rhode Island International Film Festival-Vortex (2017), Best Shorts Production Design Award at the Other Worlds Austin Festival (2018), Special Jury Price for Animation at the renowned 30th Annual Fano International Film Festival, Italy, (2018), and Jury’s Citation Award for Animation at the 38th Black Maria Film Festival (2019).
Catya’s script for “Meeting MacGuffin” made it into the top 40 at the renowned Cinequest screenwriting competition in 2017.
As of June 2019, Catya’s script “Las Nogas”, the last short in the stop motion ecological trilogy and proof of concept for the feature, has been selected as a SEMI-FINALIST at the Academy Award Qualifying Flickers Rhode Island International Film Festival. Expected release of the short film is 2021.
Living in a world that is obsessed with technology and immortality, I have always felt the urge to produce work that reclaims the use of once feminized materials, like thread and fabric, and that casts a particular focus on conventional domestic and low-tech items such as clothespins. In my projects I’ve been relating these materials to concepts such as mortality, ambiguity, transformation and vulnerability to talk about the ephemeral nature of existence, questioning certain aspects of the human condition. These same concepts and materials re-appear in my animated films within the context of a larger fabricated universe. This alternate futuristic universe is inhabited by ‘Clothespin Freaks’, two-headed humanoid figures made of clear clothespins and sewn pieces. With the help of other invented creatures, these empathetic mutations are commissioned to fix a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has fallen apart. I invented the Clothespin Freaks in 2003 in a series of drawings, collectively called the Clothespin Tarot Drawings. Through the Clothespin Freaks I am creating a new mythology that serves as an allegory and coping mechanism in our angst-ridden times where its ‘inhabitants’ construct a new form of humanity.