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Synopsis: Joe is a stop motion short film set at the height of the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the film, an old clown is given a second lease on life when a young creative street urchin gets a bright idea and kindly shares it. However, it is also a film about a conversation between two voices in the head of an artists struggling with depression. The scamp represents the more optimistic voice of youth, the washed up clown only sees missed opportunities and lives in the past. The big idea is about someone else’s optimism bringing another person who has given up back from the brink of oblivion. I wanted to work with the concept of self-reflection. The characters are kind of mirrors of each other. Both are performers. One is at the beginning of his journey, the other at the end. I think about how much more optimistic I was in the past, and I feel a bit disappointed in myself with where I am at now. I wish that I could reach out to my past self and impart some wisdom, and maybe get a reminder of what really matters; the interaction between Joe and Scamp is a visualization of that wish



Run Time

4 minutes

Executive Producer

Kristin Solid


Ely Klem

Director's Statement

I am an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on visual storytelling. My work is in traditional 2D animation, stop motion, and live action. I am fascinated by stories about the disenfranchised featuring darkly whimsical or fantastical themes. I enjoy stories that analyze intergenerational trauma, and protagonists that deal with sudden or great change. Having lived a relatively sheltered life, I often feel overwhelmed or out of my depth when facing problems— sometimes rational and other times not.
That specific emotion of being completely and utterly unprepared for a situation, yet still having to face it down head on, is something I am very passionate about exploring in my stories. Trauma is passed on through family lines—something terrible that happened a hundred years ago to someone may manifest itself in a younger relative in the form of an inescapable sense of dread or anxiety. What we choose , what we do not choose, and what we have no choice to carry on from our ancestors is another topic that greatly informs my work.

Director's Bio

Noah Rogers is an interdisciplinary artist with a focus on visual storytelling. His work is in 2D animation, stop motion, and film. He is fascinated by stories about the disenfranchised featuring darkly whimsical or fantastical themes. The protagonists of his stories often deal with sudden or great change in the form of larger than life threats that they must face, regardless of their preparedness.
Raised on the border of Evanston and Skokie, two northern suburbs of Chicago, Rogers spent most of his life feeling like he was between two worlds. He was sheltered, and quiet, and had trouble expressing himself. Drawing became an outlet to him that allowed him to process the world around him, and would eventually give him the confidence to open up and pursue theater, and a drive to tell stories through comics, film and animation.
From 2017-2021, Rogers attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Fine Arts Degree in Animation. The film, JOE, was his senior project at MCAD.

**** The family of Noah William Rogers would like to express excitement and gratitude that Noah’s senior student film, Joe, was selected for the Queens World Film Festival. It is a bittersweet moment for us as Noah eventually lost his battle with depression in April of this year. If you would like to learn more about Noah and his art please visit

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