Sadly, neither film about an artist won an award at the Oscars this year. Previously mentioned in our blog, Faces Places, is a documentary about 89-year old Agnes Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33 year-old French photographer and muralist JR teaming up to co-direct this enchanting documentary/road movie. Kindred spirits, Varda and JR share a lifelong passion for images and how they are created, displayed and shared. Together they travel around the villages of France in JR’s photo truck meeting locals, learning their stories and producing epic-size portraits of them. The photos are prominently displayed on houses, barns, storefronts and trains revealing the humanity in their subjects, and themselves. Faces Places documents these heart-warming encounters as well as the unlikely, tender friendship they formed along the way.
Loving Vincent, nominated for Animated Feature Film about the life of painter Vincent van Gogh, and in particular, the circumstances of his death. It is the first fully painted animated feature film. The film, written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, is a Polish production, funded by the Polish Film Institute, and partially through a Kickstarter campaign.
First conceived as a 7 minute short movie in 2008, Loving Vincent was idealized by Dorota Kobiela, a painter herself, after studying the techniques and the artist’s story through his letters. Each of the film’s 65,000 frames is an oil painting on canvas, using the same technique as Van Gogh, created by a team of 125 painters. The film premiered at the 2017 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. It won Best Animated Feature Film Award at the 30th European Film Awards in Berlin and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 90th Academy Awards.