Sun Nov 16,2008

Sophisticated Sampling of International Animation in Dedicated Programming Segment

The Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) today announced the establishment of an animation programming segment,  showcasing the strange and wonderful alternate worlds created by the merging of cinema and graphic art.

Sheila Whitaker, Director of International Programs,  stated: “We are pleased to be able to offer a segment entirely devoted to animation this year, since it is often an overlooked art form when it comes to traditional cinema. The films selected incorporate the themes that are so richly rendered in animation—whimsical and dark, childish and timeless,  grotesque and sublime. We hope that this segment brings adventurous cinema-lovers the ultimate in the unexpected.”

In Idiots And Angels, notorious animator Bill Plympton introduces Angel, a miserable, misanthropic soul and regular at Bart’s Bar where, one morning, he awakes to find a pair of angel’s wings growing out of his back and try as he may he cannot rid himself of them. Wild,  bizarre, eccentric, fantastic  – all the usual Bill Plympton trademarks feature in this extraordinary feature.

‘The Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told’ is film-maker Nina Paley’s description of Sita Sings The Blues, a hugely imaginative and entertaining re-telling of the epic Indian story the Ramayana. In a vibrant blend of cultural voices, Paley weaves a rich tapestry of contemporary animation, combining the traditional tale with a modern day narrative,  concerning herself and the break-up of her marriage and a truly fantastical cast of flying monkeys, evil monsters, gods, goddesses, warriors, sages and even the odd winged eyeball.

Based on a novella by Lee Jeok, The Story Of Mr Sorry is a delicately strange animation from Korea. Mr. Sorry works as an earwax cleaner with an entertainingly diverse clientele. One day a fortune teller is supremely pleased with Mr. Sorry’s ministrations and unexpectedly Mr Sorry finds himself shrinking… and shrinking… until he is small enough to climb into his customers’ ears. Clean as their inner canals may now be, whatever will happen to Mr. Sorry now that he can see his clients’ innermost thoughts?

Mamoru Oshii’s dominance of the anime genre continues with The Sky Crawlers, an intriguing feature-length production that blends 2- and 3-D animation with a compelling futuristic love story that tells the story of a generation of ‘kildren,’ perpetual teenagers destined never to grow up. In charmingly anachronistic fighter planes, they play at impressive air battles, plotted on behalf of giant corporations in order to entertain citizens. Oshii confronts viewers with a profoundly moral and questioning narrative satirizing not only heroics of war, but the controlling power of megalithic business on the world today.

DIFF 2008 will run from December 11 to 18, 2008.

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