Armor del Amor

From world-renowned animation studio HouseSpecial and Director, Kirk Kelley comes Armor del Amor – a kind of nature ‘documentary’ that follows the mating rituals of Dasypus novemcinctus to discover the dark underbelly of modern mammalian dating.

The narrative follows a nine-banded female armadillo as she emerges from her burrow and into the lonely Texas landscape. Our researchers captured footage of this modern animal’s efforts to find a potential mate until finally, after a few missed opportunities, a match is made.

Read the press release.

March 28 - April 14, 2019: Mecal Pro, the Barcelona International Short and Animation Film Festival
March 18-24, 2019: Festival international du court métrage d'animation de ROANNE
Feb. 28 - March 3, 2019: Boulder International Film Festival - Boulder, CO
Feb. 22-14, 2019: Oregon Short Film Fest - Portland, OR

It’s hard to think of a better way to spend seventy seconds than this. Enjoy.
— Christopher Rauschenberg


At the heart of Până când nu te iubeam is a Romanian love ballad of devastating beauty and ethereal loneliness. It is both apocalyptic and cyclical. We can never grab hold and follow a narrative per se, but instead are drawn deeper into the vortex of the lament. - Director Kirk Kelley

The short film is inspired by Portland’s own world-renowned Pink Martini’s rendition of the sorrowful Romanian ballad Până când nu te iubeam (Before I Fell in Love with You), with vocals by Storm Large. Director Kirk Kelley employed traditional stop-motion animation, in-camera VFX and CG elements combined with high-speed footage captured in practical environments. As the film unfolds, Kelley takes the musical instruments needed to perform the arrangement and drowns them in sensuality, longing and sadness, creating a story that is as mesmerizing, cyclic and hauntingly obtuse as the ballad.

The production was produced with support from The Oregon Film Board’s Indigenous Oregon Production Investment Fund (iOPIF). The short film has screened at numerous festivals around the world including Amsterdam Film Festival (Winner – Best Music Video), Berlin Short Film Festival (Winner – Best Music Video), Best Short Fest – Ontario (Winner – Best Short Film), Silveron International Film Festival (Winner – Best Music Video), Austin Short Film Fest, Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival, London International Short Film Festival and the prestigious Mill Valley Film Festival.

Traditional Romanian, in the public domain
From the Pink Martini album Get Happy
Courtesy of Heinz Records ©℗ 2013

Director: Kirk Kelley
Executive Producer: Lourri Hammack
DP: John Nolan
Editor: Michael Corrigan

Find more - Credits, a translation and our press release.

There is an amazing amount of detail throughout the short that the crew lavished on the sets, props & puppets.
— Aaron Sorenson, Director