date festival

TRIBUTES AND RETROSPECTIVES

Michael Dudok de wit

In the presence of Michael Dudok de Wit and Xavier Kawa-Topor.

After studying in Switzerland and the UK, Dutchman Michael Dudok de Wit settled in London where he worked as an animator and director on success commercials (including one for American Airlines which won an award in Annecy). In 1992, he made his 3-minute short Tom Sweep at his home, this was followed by The Monk and the Fish in 1994. This short was made during a residencu at the studio Folimage, and made him famous in the world of animation. 20 years later, The Monk and the Fish remains an animation classic. Although the film borders on the burlesque, it has a purity of line (Indian ink and gouache) that combines perfectly with Serge Besset's musical score. The film won the César for Best Animated Film and was nominated for the Oscars. He went on to win an Oscar for Father and Daughter which he made in 2000. Michael Dudok de Wit saw his life change radically when he received an e-mail from Ghibli Studio asking two questions. The first was simple: it asked if they could have the Japanese distribution rights for Father and Daughter. The second was more complicated. It asked if he would be prepared to make a feature with them. Michael Dudok de Wit answered the first question, but said he didn't understand the second… The legendary studio was set up by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, two masters of Japanese animation, in 1985, and had never produced a non- Japanese director. This association led to The Red Turtle (2016), which was a long project, using the minimalist art of his previous films, but magnified by the graphic power of the digital animation. There is the purity of the settings as in Father and Daughter (a forest, a beach, a cliff) and the musical relationship of the lines and the music of The Aroma of Tea (2006). In this film, without dialogues, where the slightest shudder of a leaf is an event, Michael Dudok de Wit looks for a purely visual form of writing, a primitive return to pure sensation. The animation is hybrid, combining digital and hand-drawn techniques, bringing a grainy texture to the image. This philosophical tale told in the form of an adventure story won over critics and audiences alike when it came out two years ago. Michael Dudok de Wit will honour us with his presence this year in Angers to present his complete works and will also chair the short films jury.


Feature film

La Tortue rouge

Michael Dudok de Wit
2016 - France / Belgium / Japan - 1h20
With the voices of Emmanuel Garijo, Tom Hudson, Baptiste Goy, Axel Devillers, Barbara Beretta

A castaway finds himself in alone in the middle of a raging sea. He is washed up on a beach edged by a bamboo forest. The man eats and explores the island: he climbs up to the top of a rocky outcrop and sees that he is on a desert island inhabited by luxuriant flora and fauna. After a serious of misadventures the man is confronted by a giant red turtle who stops him leaving the island.
Under the supervision of an unexpected trio (Dudok de Wit from the Netherlands on production, Pascale Ferran from France on the script and Isao Takahata from Japan as “artistic director”), La Tortue rouge (The Red Turtle) appears from its first scenes as a variation on the theme of Robinson Crusoe, an animist fable questioning man's relationship to nature. The character animation adopts a realistic style and some of the scenes required a great deal of reference work for the animators. The animation techniques used are mixed and the result is a simple and evident formal beauty.
Screenings : thursday 31 - 10:00 am - Le Quai - T900 - presented by Michael Dudok de Wit - director saturday 2 - 2:15 pm - Multiplexe - 2 - presented by Michael Dudok de Wit - director


Short films



Screenings :
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running time: 61 mn

Father and Daughter

Michael Dudok de Wit
2000 - Netherlands / Belgium / United Kingdom - Animation - 08mn
A father says goodbye to his daughter and leaves. She waits for his return, day after day, season after season, year after years…
The success of Le Moine et le Poisson (The Monk and the Fish) gave Michael Dudok de Wit the confidence to undertake Father and Daughter. Once again he uses small actions to express a deep and serious sentiment. “The storyboard took a long time to do because I wanted to condense a whole life into just a few minutes, while at the same time creating a very strong feeling of time and space – I wanted to avoid events going too fast. It was very difficult”. (Positif n°508, interview with Gilles Ciment)

The Monk and the Fish

Michael Dudok de Wit
1994 - France - Animation - 06mn
In a monastery, in a calm, timeless setting, a monk is resting. Until one day, in the reservoir, he notices a fish jumping out of the water. He becomes obsessed with catching it by hook or by crook.
César for the best short film in 1994, Le Moine et le Poisson (The Monk and the Fish) confirmed Michael Dudok de Wit's reputation. Made during a residency at the Studio Folimage in Valence, he worked extremely hard on this project: “I said to myself that if this really personal project – the first that was really close to my heart – didn't attract an audience, I would be forced to accept that I wasn't on the right track, that I should find a new vocation, or accept to take on commercial work for the rest of my life”. (Positif n°508, interview with Gilles Ciment)

L’Homme qui plantait des arbres

Frédéric Back
1987 - Canada - Animation - 30mn
With the voices of Philippe Noiret

By chance a young man comes across Elzéard Bouffier, a Provençal shepherd who is patiently replanting trees in a barren land. He encounters him several times during his life and sees the desolate windswept landscape gradually being transformed…
Canadian by adoption and a great defender of the environment, Frédéric Back adapted Jean Giono for this “long short film” carried by the deep, mellifluous voice of Philippe Noiret. This humble and moving story was immensely successful in Festivals and several people followed the character Bouffier's lead by patiently reforesting land. This astonishingly beautiful film opens with a sketchy animation style before developing into an impressionistic maelstrom.

The Aroma of Tea

Michael Dudok de Wit
2006 - Netherlands - Animation - 03mn
The story of a little sphere who sets off for a change of scene and meets a big sphere.
Michael Dudok de Wit's talents as an artist, draughtsman and painter are fully expressed in this film made up of images painted using only tea. He shows us the journey of a little sphere through forms reminiscent of Asia and in harmony with the baroque violinist and composer Arcangelo Corelli.

Tom Sweep

Michael Dudok de Wit
1992 - France - Animation - 02mn
Tom Sweep has to clean up the rubbish, but his task is complicated by passers-by who pay no attention to him.
Tired from working for commercials, Michael Dudok de Wit thought of Tom Sweep as a pilot for a series. Despite the success of the film, the series never came to fruition. Built around a single camera angle, Tom Sweep was made entirely at his home.

Tsaplya i zhuravl

Youri Norstein
1974 - Russia - Animation - 10mn
With the voices of Innokentiy Smoktunovskiy

The heron wants to marry the crane. The crane refuses, and then changes her mind. Too late, now the heron has changed his. And so on… In a setting of ruins overrun by vegetation, their courting continues, apparently in a stalemate.
Youri Nourstein's fourth short is waltz of feelings and won prizes in festivals around the world, and notably the Annecy Festival in 1975. The characters are animated in cut-out paper and are set in an environment with low-key, slightly misty colours. Features which foreshadow his next short: Hedgehog in the Fog.