First Films Announced for 2008 Waterloo Festival!

posted by Joseph C. Chen on

Welcome to the 8th edition of the Waterloo Festival, the film festival for feature-length animated films!

Feature animation is blooming in creativity, quality and production around the world. We’re proud to bring you some of the very best of these films to you, our audience, on the silver screen. From our retrospective programme on the first animated feature films in history to the premieres of the latest Japanese blockbusters, the 2008 programme is a four-day immersion in great animated cinema.

The Festival will be opening with a very special presentation in 35mm (restored from nitrate fragments) of the earliest surviving animated feature film in the world, Lotte Reiniger’s 1926 masterpiece Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed), with a new film score performed live by the composers of the score, Miles and Karina. Also screening will be the Canadian premiere of Quirino Cristiani: The Mystery of the First Animated Movies, a documentary on the little-known Argentinian artist who created the first known animated feature film in the world, El Apóstol (The Apostle) in 1917.

Continuing the Festival’s tradition of celebrating animated feature films made by small, dedicated teams of (sometimes just one) artist, the Tidbits programme includes Nina Paley’s Sita Sings The Blues, an utterly charming interpretation of the Indian mythology The Ramayana, drawing parallels with the filmmaker’s own life, and set to 1920s jazz vocals by Annette Hanshaw. Also screening will be the full original version and the mind-twisting bravado of We Are The Strange, which has only ever been screened once before now. The screening will be presented by its creator, the Internet sensation M dot Strange in person.

For anime fans, the Festival has a smorgasbord: the 2008 Tokyo Anime Fair anime feature film of the year Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone lands at the Festival for its Canadian premiere. The Festival is especially proud to present the complete Genius Party anthology, with back-to-back screenings of the astounding films Genius Party and Genius Party Beyond. Also making its Canadian premiere is a tale of innocence and friendship between two budding artists, Piano no Mori (The Piano Forest).

This is just a taste of what is to come. More films and programmes will be announced soon, so check back often, and we hope to see you at the Festival this year!

For those of you from out of town, we recommend staying at our wonderful hotel partner the Walper Terrace, a wonderful, charming boutique hotel located just steps away from the Festival’s screenings. The Walper Terrace is offering a special discount to all Festival attendees; be sure to book soon, and ask for the “Waterloo Festival” room block.

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