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FEATURE WATCH: “Loving Vincent” Vincent Van Gogh and 56,000 Hand Painted Frames

FEATURE WATCH: "Loving Vincent" Vincent Van Gogh and 56,000 Hand Painted Frames

In these days of immense technological innovation, the most groundbreaking animated films are usually lauded on their grasp of intricate computer graphics work. With 2D taking the backseat to much more common CG animated films, the art of the hand-drawn film has become mostly a thing of the past. And the promise of a hand-painted film, well, that’s basically unheard of.

With a completion date scheduled for 2015, U.K.’s  Breakthru Films (Peter and The Wolf) plans to make the unheard of a reality with Loving Vincent, a film dedicated to telling the story of the life and demise of famed post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. The film is set for release on the 125 year anniversary of van Gogh’s death. It aims to bring light to the tragic death by suicide of the artistic legend through Van Gogh’s own paintings, featuring accounts by the characters who knew the man himself.

Loving Vincent is to be the first feature film of its kind, offering 80 minutes of 56,800 hand-painted frames, every shot composed of oil paints on canvas. Utilizing what Breakthru Films dubs “Painting Animation Work Stations” (PAWS for short), the studio will have a workspace for 30 painters to produce this revolutionary film.

The film was successfully funded via a Kickstarter campaign that ended in March 2014, surpassing its £40,000 fundraising goal. However, for those interested in contributing to the team, the Loving Vincent shop offers some of the fundraising incentives for purchase.

Breakthru Films is perhaps best known for its 2008 Oscar-winning Peter and the Wolf stop-motion short, which used the music of Sergei Prokofiev to retell the popular children’s fable. Their work is characterized by a love for classic storytelling and unique artistic execution. From its earliest trailer, Loving Vincent already appears a faithful interpretation of the work of the master Van Gogh, with a respect for his artistic style and sensibilities.

As part of the motivation for the film’s creation, Breakthru Films cites a quote from Van Gogh’s own suicide note, written in 1890: “we cannot speak other than by our paintings.” And by undertaking this extraordinary task of translating his paintings to film, they intend to do exactly that.

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