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Just a Guy

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Just a Guy
Directed byShoko Hara
Produced byStefan Michel
Written bySimon Thummet
Music byChiara Strickland
CinematographyShoko Hara
Edited byTobias Wilhelmer
Studio Seufz
Distributed byMiyu Distribution
Release date
  • April 30, 2020 (2020-04-30)
Running time
15 minutes

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Just a Guy is a 2020 animated documentary short film in self-erasing claymation, combined with elements of collage, authentic handwritten letters[1] and archive footage[2], directed by Germany-based female director Shoko Hara[3]. The title is a reference to an interview where Ramirez describes himself as "just a guy"[4]. In 2020, Just a Guy won two Oscar qualifying awards in Krakow and Zagreb.[5]


In an intimate testimony, three women talk about their affection, relationship and correspondence with convicted serial killer and rapist Richard Ramirez during his incarceration.The film explores inmates' sexuality in a non-judgemental way[6].

Voice Cast[edit]

  • Eva Clayton alias Eva O as herself
  • Shoko Hara as herself
  • Sarah as herself



Some characteristics of this film are the personal involvement of the director in the facts related, the herald of a serial killer as an absurd entertainment icon and cult figure[7], and the absence of judgment[6] on the transgressive aspect of love affairs in prison.[8] The film is often presented as a film about love, that offers a definition against the norms[9].


Year Award Country Category Result Ref.
2020 Annecy International Animation Film Festival France Grand Prize Won [10]
Interfilm Germany Grand Prize Nominated [11]
Ottawa Canada Narrative Nominated [12]
Krakow Film Festival Poland Golden Dragon Won [13]
Animafest Zagreb Croatia Grand Prix Won [14][15]
Man festival Russia Grand Prix of Message Won [16]

The film has been selected in both best animated short & best documentary short categories.


  1. "Raindance 2020: Short Films". Warped Perspective. 2020-10-29. Retrieved 2020-11-17. the inclusion of the letters themselves are fascinating Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  2. Cowley, Laura-Beth. "Interview with 'Just a Guy' director". Skwigly. The film’s raw visuals and agile animation style, combined with elements of collage and archive footage, create a rich, acidic visualisation of the fascinating world of death row relationships and the women who nurture them. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  3. Raindance Film Festival 2020 | Just A Guy, retrieved 2021-01-23
  4. "Intro Just a Guy". Skwigly Animation Magazine. 2020-07-02. Retrieved 2020-11-17. The infamous American serial killer Richard Ramirez once described himself during an interview as ‘just a guy’. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  5. "Cartoon Brew". The year’s heavyweight animation festivals threw up some very interesting winners. Animafest Zagreb awarded Shoko Hara’s Just a Guy, a searingly candid stop-motion documentary portrait of three women — including Hara herself — who formed intimate relationships with serial murderer and rapist Richard Ramirez. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Animated Documentary 'Just A Guy' Wins Top Prize At Animafest Zagreb 2020". Cartoon Brew. 2020-10-05. Retrieved 2020-11-17. “The Grand Prix goes to a film that treats the subject with a sensitivity that leaves no judgement of right or wrong. This left the jury mystified about why women would be fascinated with having a relationship with a serial killer on a death row. Is there someone who can, or should, or must not be loved?” Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  7. "Just a Guy". Serial killer Richard Ramirez is heralded as an absurd entertainment icon and cult figure. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  8. Driscoll, Angie. "Just a Guy". Hot Docs. Retrieved 2020-11-16. Just a Guy expresses their transgressive affection and attraction without judgment, and shows the destigmatizing and charitable potential of human interaction. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  9. "Just a Guy". Retrieved 2020-11-16. But what does a word like “normal” even mean, when it comes to love? About a new definition of love. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  10. "Just a Guy".
  11. "Just a Guy".
  12. "Just a Guy".
  13. "Just a Guy - Film of 60th KFF". Krakow Film Festival. Retrieved 2020-11-16.
  14. Wolters, Johannes. "Zagreb, Stuttgart/Ludwigsburg: Shoko Hara (Studio Seufz) gewinnt beim Animafest in Zagreb den Grand Prix für „Just a guy"" (in Deutsch). Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  15. "Shoko Hara's Just a Guy triumphs at Animafest Zagreb". News Break. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  16. "JUST A GUY". IFF Message to Man. Retrieved 2020-11-17.

External links[edit]

Category:Stop-motion animated films Category:2020 films Category:2020 animated films Category:2020 short films Category:Short film stubs Category:Clay animation Category:stop motion Category:Prison sexuality Category:Richard Ramirez Category:Documentary film

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