Project Info
Biography – Eddie White, Writer/Co-director
Biography – Ari Gibson, Co-director
Biography – Jessica Brentnall, Producer
The People’s Republic of Animation


In a city of singing cats, a lonely beat poet falls for a beautiful siren. When a mysterious dark figure emerges, kidnapping the town’s singers for his twisted musical plans, the poet must save his muse and put an end to the nefarious tune that threatens to destroy the city.

Project Info

The Cat Piano is an 8-minute short film by The People’s Republic of Animation, co-directed by Eddie White and Ari Gibson, and produced by Jessica Brentnall. The story is told in the form of a poem written by Eddie White, which is narrated by iconic Australian artist Nick Cave. The film’s co-investors were the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival and The South Australian Film Corporation.

The film’s graphic 2D look is achieved by animating the entire film by hand in Adobe Photoshop, drawing with Wacom tablets directly into the computer. This highly versatile technique of animation is quickly becoming a signature style of The People’s Republic of Animation.


Narrator Nick Cave
Directors Eddie White & Ari Gibson
Poem Written by Eddie White
Producer Jessica Brentnall
Executive Producers Nick Cave, Sam White, Hugh Nguyen
Art Director Jason Pamment
Animators Ari Gibson, Makoto Koji, Alex Grigg, Benjamin Drake, Brodie McCrossin
Production Manager Renée Boucher
Character Design Ari Gibson, Eddie White, Makoto Koji, Alex Grigg
Editor Jeremy Hill-Brooks
Assistant Editor James Calvert
Music Benjamin Speed
Supervising Sound Designer Robert Mackenzie
Sound Designer Tom Huezenroeder
Re Recording Mixer Pete Smith
Music Mixer Geir Brillian Gunnarsson
Compositing & VFX Ben Steele, Raynor Pettger, Leath Mattner
3D Visualisation Simon Westlake, Ben Steele, Brodie McCrossin
Colouring & Shadows Luke Marsden, Heath Pagram, Leath Mattner, Jonah Booth-Remmers

A Film by


Developed and Produced in association with

Magic Films

Principal Investor


Financed with the assistance of


Biography – Eddie White, Writer/Co-director


Edward Alexander White was born in Adelaide, Australia 9 October 1981. Eddie graduated from Flinders University with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Drama Performance.

With a strong interest in drawing and animation from an early age, Eddie co-founded The People’s Republic of Animation in 2003 with his brother, Sam and childhood friends. As PRA’s Creative Director, Eddie devotes most of his time to writing and directing the studio’s films as well as providing creative input into their other projects.

Eddie co-directed Fritz Gets Rich (2005) and Carnivore Reflux (2006) with fellow PRA founder, James Calvert. Carnivore Reflux was awarded the best animation award at Australia’s people’s choice of film ‘The IF Awards’ in 2006.

In 2007, Eddie wrote and directed the short film Sweet & Sour a short-film co-production with The Shanghai Animation Film Studio. Eddie also wrote and co-directed the animated TV series pilot; I was a Teenage Butterfly (2007), for Nickelodeon Australia.

His latest film, The Cat Piano, has won the Best Animation award at the Australian Film Institute Awards, the Sydney Film Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and the Inside Film Magazine Awards, as well as selection at the prestigious Annecy International Animation Festival.

He is currently developing an animated feature film, The Popovich 5, which tells the story of 5 cosmonaut-in-training teenage siblings who escape and journey across 1980s Soviet Union to perform as a pop group in an international Pop Music competition.


  • 2009 – THE CAT PIANO (writer/co-director)
  • 2007 – I WAS A TEENAGE BUTTERFLY – ‘Battle of the Bug Bands’ – for Nickelodeon Australia (writer/co-director)
  • 2007 – THE GHASTLY GOURMET COOKING SHOW ‘Meat, Meat, Meat’ – for Nickelodeon Australia (Writer/Co-director)
  • 2007 – SWEET & SOUR (writer/director)
  • 2006 – DUST ECHOES: WHIRLPOOL (character designer)
  • 2006 – DUST ECHOES: MERMAID STORY (character designer)
  • 2006 – CARNIVORE REFLUX (writer/co-director)
  • 2005 – CLOWN PRINCE (Music Video) (Writer/co-director)
  • 2005 – ERRORISM: A COMEDY OF TERRORS (writer/director)
  • 2005 – FRITZ GETS RICH (writer/co-director)
  • 2003 – THE BOMB (SIXXX LEGS) (Music Video) (writer/director)

Biography – Ari Gibson, Co-director


Ari Gibson was born in Adelaide, Australia on 14 May 1983. He graduated from the University of South Australia with a Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in New Media Art. Ari has collaborated with The People’s Republic of Animation since 2005.

With Eddie White, Ari co-directed The Cat Piano short film and I Was a Teenage Butterfly pilot. He also served as Art director on Eddie’s short film, Sweet & Sour, bringing to it lavish visuals that combined traditional drawn animation with 3D graphics.


  • 2009 – THE CAT PIANO (co-director)
  • 2007 – I WAS A TEENAGE BUTTERFLY – ‘Battle of the Bug Bands’for Nickelodeon Australia (Co-Director)
  • 2007 – SWEET & SOUR (Art Director/2D Animation Director)
  • 2006 – DUST ECHOES: WHIRLPOOL (Art Director)
  • 2006 – DUST ECHOES: MERMAID STORY (character designer)
  • 2006 – CARNIVORE REFLUX (Art Director)

Biography – Jessica Brentnall, Producer

Jessica Brentnall began her career in the fashion industry at Vogue Australia. Following Vogue, Jessica worked in Public Relations for Louis Vuitton.

Jessica made the transition to film in 2000 working on the Australian drama, Rabbit-Proof Fence. In 2001 Jessica produced the feature length documentary, The Walk, and 2002 created the special film project POV (Point of View), which was presented by her production company, Magic Films, in association with Working Title Australia, the Australian arm of Working Title Films (Bridget Jones Diary).

During the two years that POV ran in Australia, Jessica commissioned and executive produced 14 short dramas and theatrically released (in Australia) both POV 2002 and POV 2003 as anthology feature films. Directors of POV films included Clayton Jacobson (Kenny), Nash Edgerton (The Square), Elissa Down (The Black Balloon), Andrew Lancaster (Accidents Happen), Anthony Hayes (Ten Empty) and Garth Davis (Love My Way). Individual POV films went on to screen at festivals around the world, including Sundance.

In 2007 Jessica initiated PULSE, an Australian Directors’ Showcase that screened at Paramount Studios, Los Angeles in January 2008 as part of Australia Week (G’DAY USA). Magic Films presented PULSE with Australia’s screen agency, the Film Finance Corporation, and United Talent Agency (USA).

In 2009 Jessica produced the short film The Cat Piano with Eddie White and Ari Gibson of The People’s Republic of Animation, which was narrated by iconic musician, Nick Cave. The film won Best Short Animation at the Sydney Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival and was selected for Official Competition at Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

Jessica is presently in pre-production on her first feature film as producer, Sleeping Beauty, which stars Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) in the lead role.

Through Magic Films, Jessica is developing a number of new film and television projects, including Eddie White’s debut feature film, The Popovich 5.

The People’s Republic of Animation

PRA_LogoThe People’s Republic of Animation (PRA) is an award-winning studio creating world class work that gets a reaction.

Their Diverse team of directors, writers, artists and producers all agree on one thing; that when it comes to creating great work, we would rather offend some than impress none.

For more information, please visit


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