The Smile


A quick roundup of the festivals that recently Smiled upon our little film:
  • Festival Internacional de Cine del Cono Sur, Chile - Best Animation
  • Fantaspoa, Brazil - Best International Animation Short Film
  • Chester Animation Festival, UK - Audience award best animation
  • Long Story Short International Film Festival, Romania - best animation
  • Short to the Point, Romania - Best Film, Best Screenplay
  • Couch Film Festival, Canada - BEST FILM of the FESTIVAL / Audience Choice
  • International Animated Film Festival Animocje, Poland - Audience award best short
  • ShortCutz Amsterdam Annual, Netherlands - nominated for Best Screenplay, Best Soundtrack, Best Film and The Audience Award, winner Best Animation
  • Animation Marathon Athens, Greece - Special mention
  • Short Film Factory, Romania - Honorable Mention
  • Blackbird Film Festival, USA - Honorable Mention
  • London seasonal short film festival X4, UK - Special Mention
  • Animation Dingle, Ireland - Honorable Mention
  • Cannes Indie Short Film Festival, France - Semi-Finalist
  • Short Stop International Film Festival, Romania - Nominee

And, of course, being selected for competition in Annecy 2023 brings a Smile to our faces!
Thank you all!
CIFF TheSmile 2023

There are film festivals... and then there’s Annecy, the world’s largest event dedicated to animation

Guess what? The Smile has been selected for competition at Annecy 2023! See you there..?


TheSmile Smithee Knud banner3

The Smile has won the Audience Award for Best Animation at Chester Animation Film Festival in the UK. Some funds and festivals in Holland have proved to be way too woke to appreciate satire. So we are particularly delighted to see the British – famous for their superior humour – enjoying the story of Knud. Much obliged. Ta!

The Smile tattoo

After being nominated for Best Screenplay, Best Soundtrack, Best Film and The Audience Award, our stop-motion animated film 'The Smile' won Best Animation at the 10th Shortcutz Amsterdam gala. It was a great show with lots of inspiring guests, beer, and bottle openers!

Now, that's what makes me smile!

On behalf of the entire Smile-team we thank the jury, the audience and of course Joao and Alexa.



I composed three songs for The Smile, and you can play them on every audio streaming service imaginable! Spotify, Youtube Music, Apple Music, Shazam, you name it!

That's What Makes Me Smile is some crazy-ass jazz-mayhem reminiscent of Fats Waller. Ready for a blowout? This is it!

The Smile –the title song obviously– is a butter-smooth ballad. Yes, it's very much Chaplin-ish and I tried my best to croon like Cole, but it is also a fresh melody put to an outrageous story.

And finally, we have No Animals Were Harmed. Rockabilly time! I love the slap base on this one. It is impossible to sit still during this credits song!

I had a ball recording with Rinus Aarts (music producer and sound designer for the movie). 

Björn van den Boom (drums)
Constantijn van der Heijden (contra bass)
Clemens Horn (grand piano)
Tessa Zoutendijk (violin, viola)
Mariette Freijzer (cello)
Magic Berry (blues harp)
Ietje van den Berg (backing vocals)
Lilian van den Berg (backing vocals)
Raoul Soentken (recording)
Jaap Berends (recording)
Rinus Aarts (recording, mixing, producing, synthesizers, backing vocals)
Erik van Schaaik (music, lyrics, lead vocals, guitars, piano, bass guitar)

TheSmile FilmPoster

Got a nice present in the mail today: A fantastic film poster by Erik Vos from Het Lab. Such a happy image, even though there seems to be something off...
I love it! Thanks, Erik! You are a star!