First wave of films, guests announced!

posted by Joseph C. Chen on

The Waterloo Festival is proud to announce the first wave of film titles for the 10th edition of the Festival, with eight premieres of films from around the world ranging from heart-rending fairytales to heart-thumping science fiction.

Kicking off the Festival in 2010 is a Gala presentation of Brent Green’s hypnotic stop-motion animation Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then, an ethereal opus to lovers and tinkerers everywhere. Director Brent Green and leading actors Mike McGinley and Donna K will be in attendance. This premiere presentation features a haunting original soundtrack that will be performed live by the entire band for the first time.

Fresh from its world premiere in Locarno is master Russian animator Garri Bardin’s call for tolerance and acceptance The Ugly Duckling. Based on the timeless fairytale by Hans Christian Anderson, this exquisite stop-motion animation is set to a spectacular soundtrack by the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia and the Turetsky Choir, and is considered so politically subversive that it has been banned from screening on Russian television. Director Garri Bardin will be in attendance.

China’s first independent feature animation, Piercing 1, deals with the social issues and upheavals that come with the rapid economic rise in China. The first film in an intended trilogy, the director Liu Jian self-funded the film and crafted every frame with nothing more than a WACOM tablet and a PC, creating a film of great power that has earned him well-deserved recognition at Cannes and other top festivals. Director Liu Jian will be in attendance.

From the other side of the world comes a similarly poignant film, Joška Marušica’s The Rainbow. The Croatian film tells the story of a hidden war between generations in which children always lose. Inspired by Bulgarian folklore and 19th-century Croatian writer Dinko Šimunovica’s short stories The Rainbow and The Horseman, a young girl is so stricken with the harshness of the world that she decides to try to walk beneath a rainbow, so that she could turn into a boy.

Master Czech animator Jirí Barta’s latest film, In The Attic: Who Has A Birthday Today? paints a wonderful world of friendship and adventure. The winner of the Grand Prize at the 2010 New York International Children’s Film Festival is utterly charming and recommended for all ages.

In the category of definitely-not-for kids is the provocative, roughly-hewn Goodbye Mr. Christie by multi-award winning British animator Phil Mulloy, which brings a racy edge to the Festival’s 2010 Midnight Madness programme. An outwardly perfect gentleman who is truly a selfish boar, Mr. Christie’s life is turned upside-down forever when he is caught on live television having sex with a French sailor.

The Armenian national epic poem Daredevils of Sasun is realised into film for the very first time in the eponymous first animated feature film from Armenia. The film covers the legendary tales of the heroes of Armenian folklore that have been passed down orally since the 8th century A.D. from parent to child, with the sounds and colours of Armenia.

Last but not least, the Waterloo Festival’s deep anime tradition continues with a premiere presentation of Takeshi Koike’s hyperkinetic Redline. The racing film has been called “the most insanely exciting, visually exhilarating anime film… in decades.”

The Festival runs from Thursday November 18th through Sunday November 21st, 2010. All films will be exhibited at the Festival’s theatre at 137 Ontario Street North, Kitchener, Canada.