Feature FilmStop Motion

Spain’s Latest Animated Feature ‘Possessed’ is A Tale of Supernatural Horror

Spain has delivered plenty of eye-catching animated features in recent years, with Nocturna (2007), Chico & Rita (2010), and Wrinkles (2011) attracting international audiences. The clay animation feature Possessed (Pos Eso), which opened theatrically last week in Spain, is the latest animated feature that looks set to transcend its country’s borders.

Possessed is currently playing the international festival circuit and will screen in competition at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival next month.

It’s the first feature film by Samuel Ortí Martí—who goes by simply “Sam”—and a co-production between his Conflictivos Productions and Basque Films. Before beginning work on Possessed, Sam had spent more than a decade bringing clay to life as an Aardman animator and as an independent director of shorts, including the Goya-nominated Vicenta, in his hometown of Valencia, Spain.

Director Sam working on "Possessed." (Click to enlarge.)
Director Sam working on “Possessed.” (Click to enlarge.)

“Jumping from shorts to my first feature was an adventure,” Sam told Cartoon Brew. “The biggest challenge was my insecurity, not knowing if I could keep the public’s interest for 80 minutes. However, in a feature you have the opportunity to go in depth with themes and concepts in a way that’s impossible in shorts. It was a formative experience.”

Possessed draws on the inspiration of Spanish classical effects guru, Segundo de Chomón, and even references Star Wars, but Orti describes the film as mostly a remix of The Exorcist and The Omen. It tells the story of a flamenco dancer and bullfighter couple whose son, Damien, seemingly becomes possessed by a dark spirit.

"Possessed." (Click to enlarge.)
“Possessed.” (Click to enlarge.)

The film was in production for four years, with a budget of around €1.5 million ($US1.7 million dollars). Sam says those four years were among the most difficult years of his life, but he’s satisfied with the final result. “Stop motion isn’t about patience; it’s about tenacity and persistence. Truth be told, my greater joy is to enjoy the movie in festival theaters and see how the public enjoys it.”

"Possessed" (Click to enlarge.)
“Possessed.” (Click to enlarge.)
"Possessed" (Click to enlarge.)
“Possessed.” (Click to enlarge.)
"Possessed" (Click to enlarge.)
“Possessed.” (Click to enlarge.)

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