Artist Allison Schulnik's animated short, our second installment from the SXSW 2014 Film Awards, is a hypnotic, surreal homage to life and death.

This animated film is a viscerally beautiful work of art by the talented Allison Schulnik, a Los Angeles-based painter, film-maker and sculptor. Created as part of her second solo exhibition at ZieherSmith Gallery in New York City at the beginning of the year, it received a Special Jury Recognition Award at the SXSW 2014 Film Awards. Eager is an inspiring example of film-making without digital wizardry, relying on the artist's prodigious talents and using mainly clay-mation and stop-motion animation techniques.

The film builds up gradually, opening with a series of hauntingly faceless dancers enacting a strange, slow ritual (and drawing on Schulnik's background as a dancer). The audience's patience pays off, however, as the action explodes from macabre surrealism into a profusion of natural life in all its glory. Flowers cavort, mutate, burst and wilt in a synchronised display that is as much about life as it is about death.

Composer Aaron M. Olson’s specially commissioned soundtrack is both uplifting and eerie, leading the audience through Schulnik's darkly delicious vision.