Every summer, the sprawling Fantasia International Film Festival fills Montreal’s cinemas with a smorgasbord of striking genre movies. The first wave of films playing at this year’s edition (July 11–August 1) has been announced — and, as ever, there is plenty for animation fans.
One highlight is the North American premiere of Away, a hugely atmospheric feature made entirely by one man: the 25-year-old Latvian animator Gints Zilbalodis. Eschewing dialogue, the film has a freeform, meandering narrative reminiscent of adventure video games; it won in Annecy’s Contrechamp category for challenging and innovative features. Cartoon Brew recently spoke to Zilbalodis about his creative process.
Another tantalizing offering is Zhou Shengwei’s gonzo stop-motion feature SHe. Making a virtue of his small budget, the director filmed with found objects — particularly clothes, through which he constructs a piercing indictment of patriarchal social structures. Following Liu Jian’s Have a Nice Day, this film will keep stoking interest in China’s indie animation scene.