Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata

France , 2017 / 5 min / English OV with French subt. / animation

Part of the short film programme The County Fair

A short, Oscar-nominated animated short that depicts a father-and-son relationship through the art of packing a suitcase.

Based on a 150-word poem by Ron Koertge, Negative Space tells the story of a father-and-son-relationship. Sam who learnt how to pack a suitcase from his father as the latter was often away from home, now has to pack his bags as he goes on an important trip. The art of packing the suitcase keeps him connected to an oft-absent parent.


“Porter and Kuwahata’s gorgeous slip of a heart-tugger, detailing the relationship between a son and his oft-absent father through a pragmatic suitcase-packing tutorial, shows just how much a movie can get under your skin in a mere five minutes.” Guy Lodge, The Guardian, 03/03/2018

  • Grand Prix, International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao ZINEBI, 2017 (Spain)
  • Grand Prix, Anima Mundi, 2017 (Brazil)
  • Grand Prix, Thessaloniki Animation Festival, 2017 (Greece)
  • Grand Prix, ReAnimania - International Animation Film & Comics Art Festival of Yerevan, 2017 (Armenia)
  • Grand Prix, Tokyo Anime Award Festival, 2018 (Japan)
  • Grand Prix, Cyprus Animation Festival, 2018 (Cyprus)
  • Grand Prix for the Best Short Film, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, 2018 (USA)
  • Grand Prix for the Best Short Film, International Film Festival of Uruguay, 2018 (Uruguay)
  • Grand Prix for the Best Short Film, Stopmotion Our Fest, 2018 (Argentina)
  • Grand Prix for the Best Short, Chilemonos, 2018 (Chile)
  • Prix Bernard Jubard, Ciné-Rencontres de Prades, 2018 (France)
  • Grand Prix, Animation NOW!, 2018 (New Zealand)
  • Grand Prix, AnimaSyros, 2018 (Greece)
  • Best International Short Film, Kuandu International Animation Festival, 2017 (Taiwan)
  • Best International Short Film, Festival international du Film de Nancy, 2018 (France)
  • Best Animated Short, KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival, 2017 (Netherlands)
  • Best Animated Short, DC Independent Film Festival, 2018 (USA)
  • Best Animated Short, International Children’s Film Festival of Jaipur, 2018 (India)
  • Best Animation Short, International Kids Film Festival, 2018 (India)
  • Best Animation, Tampere Film Festival, 2018 (Finland)
  • Best Animation, Festival du Film Court de Villeurbanne, 2017 (France)
  • Best Animation, New Hampshire Film Festival, 2017 (USA)
  • Best Animation, Corti Da Sogni International Short Film Festival, 2018 (Italy)
  • Best Animation, Sapporo International Short Film Festival, 2018 (Japan)
  • Best Animation, Way Down Film Festival, 2018 (USA)
  • Best Animation, UK Film Festival, 2018 (United Kingdom)
  • Jury Award for the Best Animated Film, Stop Motion Barcelona Short Film Festival, 2017 (Spain)
  • Professional Jury Award for the Best Animation, The Budapest Short International Film Festival, 2017 (Hungary)
  • Best Stop Motion Award, SPARK ANIMATION, 2017 (Canada)
  • Best International Short Film, Dublin Animation Film Festival, 2017 (Ireland)
  • Best International Animation Film, Festival of Animation Berlin, 2018 (Germany)
  • Best International Animation: Rural Film Fest– El Edén de La Mancha, Spain (‘18)
  • Audience Award, Fantoche, 2017 (Switzerland)
  • Audience Award, Turku Animated Film Festival, 2017 (Finland)
  • Audience Award, Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, 2018 (Germany)
  • Audience Award, Tabor Film Festival, 2018 (Croatia)
  • Prix Fipresci, Annecy International Animation Festival, 2017 (France)
  • André-Martin Special Distinction for a French Short Film, Annecy International Animation Festival, 2017 (France)
Cast & Credits
Albert Birney
Ron Koertge, based on his eponymous poem
Nadine Buss
Bram Meindersma, Matthieu Langlet
Ru Kuwahata, Marion Lacourt, Victoria Tanto, Max Porter
Bram Meindersma
Ikki Films, Manuel Cam Studio
Miyu Distribution
Sylvain Derosne

Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata are a filmmaking duo based in Providence, USA. Collaborating for over a decade as “Tiny Inventions”, they have directed short films, TV commercials and music videos, and have developed comics. Produced by Ikki Films and Manuel Cam Studio in France, Negative Space (2017) is their fourth professional film. They’re currently in pre-production for their first animated feature film, Dandelion Seed.

  • Max Porter & Ru Kuwahata
  • 2017 – Negative Space (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2016 – Perfect Houseguest (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2014 – Between Times (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2010 – Something Left, Something Taken (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm