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  MOVIE POSTER CADAVER, Animation/Adventure - 8min - USA
Appeared at WILDsound's May 2013 Film Festival

Directed by Jonah D. Ansell

Starring: Christopher Lloyd, Kathy Bates, and Tara Gevinson

WATCH NOW - CADAVER, 8min, Romance/Animation short film from the United States. Starring Christopher Lloyd and Kathy Bates.


CADAVER is an award-winning animated short film (longlisted for a 2013 Academy Award). It is also a graphic novel for adults (Academy Chicago Publishers, 2013). The bittersweet love story features Back to the Future's Christopher Lloyd, ROOKIE Magazine's Tavi Gevinson and Academy Award winner Kathy Bates. CADAVER is written and directed by Jonah D. Ansell and produced by Amanda Ely and Mike Raspatello.


A cadaver wakes up to say a last goodbye to his wife, but discovers a truth in death he didn't know in life.

Why It's Unique:

CADAVER isn't just any old love story. It is a cinematic poem. Literally, it rhymes. Inspired by the wit of Shel Silverstein and the wisdom of William Shakespeare, it is a twenty-first century love sonnet that seeks to awaken the hopeful romantic within even the harshest cynic.

short films A Multimedia Love Story:

CADAVER the graphic novel, available for sale at, features three bonus items: a haunting rendition of Neil Young's 1972 Billboard #1 hit, "Heart of Gold,” performed by Tavi Gevinson, and an acoustic rendition of The Pet Shop Boys' 1988 UK Billboard #1 hit "Heart” -- and finally, a digital viewing copy of the film, Cadaver. As seen in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Vogue, Elle, Glamour, MTV, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Deadline, Huffington Post, Jezebel, The Onion A.V. Club, Page 6, New York Magazine, Marie Claire, Daily Mail & Animation Magazine.

Director's statement:

CADAVER began as a short, whimsical poem that I wrote to my kid sister the day she cut open her first dead body as a med student at Chicago's Northwestern University. I never intended to make the poem into a movie. I simply sought to lighten her mood and mitigate her understandable fears on what was then the biggest day of her life on her path to becoming a doctor.

short films My sister successfully cut open her cadaver. I successfully moved onto other projects. A year passed. But something in the poem kept prying me back to it. Beneath the rhyme that tickled the ear lurked a text that tackled a truth.

CADAVER isn't a poem. CADAVER is a battle.

Of romantic versus cynic. Of how love inspires versus how love exploits. CADAVER is the net sum of my thirty battered years of falling into and out of love. Of having my heart crushed. Or discovering I was crushing someone else's.

short films As a writer, I am honored and humbled that my words resonated so deeply with my dear friends (producers Amanda Ely & Mike Raspatello) and my childhood icons (and cinematic heroes) Christopher Lloyd and Kathy Bates. The film was a true collaboration that was blessed by so many people's wonderful talents. On behalf of the entire cast and crew, I look forward to sharing CADAVER with anyone who has had their heart broken -- and with anyone who has broken a heart. It is a story for the hopeful romantics. It is a story for the harshest cynics.

- - writer/director Jonah D. Ansell

Mike Raspatello, producer

Mike Raspatello served as Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Rival?sh, an online humor magazine. After selling it to National Lampoon, Michael went on to found Kingtello Presents, a live music production entertainment-branding consultancy. Michael served as Executive Producer of the Mancow Radio Experience, co-founded the Chicago Bluegrass & Blues Festival and North Coast Music Festival, and co-produced a series of live music events featuring acts like Nas, Damian Marley, Moby, The Chemical Brothers, Thievery Corporation, and many more

short films Abraham Dieckman, animation lead

Abraham Dieckman is a director, editor, and animator residing in his hometown of San Francisco, California. Having graduated with a BA in Cinema at San Francisco State University, he moved immediately into honing his digital post-production skills at various Bay Area ad agencies, but has recently begun a shift toward his passion in ?lmmaking and multimedia storytelling. When he's not working on a number of animated and narrative shorts, he's busy completing his ?rst feature-length directorial effort, Trash and Progress, and is developing a number of creative efforts in the year to come.

Chris Whetson, sound editor and design

short films Chris Whetstone graduated from the University of Southern California in 2009, with an MFA in Film Production, specializing in sound. Since then he has worked as a freelance sound editor, Foley artist, ADR engineer, and production sound recorder, creating and shaping sound for feature films, online ads, and everything in between. He currently teaches production sound at Columbia College Hollywood.

Chris Thomas, composer

Chris Thomas composed music for the documentary, Woman Rebel. The film was short-listed for an Academy Award and nominated for an Emmy Award. In 2011, Chris won Best Film & TV Music at the eWorld Music Awards in Hollywood, and the Gold Medal Prize from the Park City Film Music Festival. In 2007, Chris was nominated for Best Orchestrator at the Academy of Film & TV Music Awards in Hollywood. He also orchestrated for the Sundance-winning foreign film, Captain Abu Raed. It too was short-listed for an Academy Award. That same year Chris was a music editor for Sony Pictures Dragon Wars. He has also orchestrated and conducted on ABC's Lost and CSI: NY.