Anna Mantzaris and Eirik Grønmo Bjørnsen’s 2012 film But Milk Is Important can be very cute, but that doesn’t mean it’s simplistic. It’s a film about anxiety and fear, about the things that force us out of our comfort zones, and how good intentions don’t always lead to good results. It just happens to convey all that that through fuzzy, lumpy monsters.

One of the film’s biggest strengths is its ambiguity. Mantzaris and Bjørnsen take every opportunity to complicate the mood, through small gestures, sinister stings and unresolved moments. Social anxiety and similar conditions aren’t often treated with so much nuance, which makes Milk all the more important.

(But Milk Is Important screened at over 100 animation festivals and picked up at least 21 awards and honorable mentions, including Best Film From An Emerging Artist at 2014’s GIRAF fest. And Mantzaris has a new film making the festival rounds, which we can’t wait to check out.)

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