Animation Heads to Park City

A handful of productions will animate Park City, Utah, during the 2007 edition of the Sundance Film Festival, kicking off on Jan. 18. Fully animated movies and live-action films that incorporate animation will debut in the noncompetitive Premieres, Spectrum, Midnight and New Frontier series of screenings during the prestigious independent film fest.

Sundance will officially open with a screening of Chicago 10 from filmmaker Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture). The new documentary employs animation, archival footage, interviews and music to tell the story of the antiwar protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that resulted in the Chicago Conspiracy Trial of 1969.

The Spectrum screenings will include Year of the Fish, an animated feature written and directed by David Kaplan. Featuring a rotoscope technique similar to that used by Richard Linklater in Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly, Year of the Fish film is described as a contemporary Cinderella story set in the underbelly of New York’s Chinatown.

Also making the Spectrum program is the live-action Japanese feature Bugmaster, based on a famous Manga. Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo and written by Sadayuki Murai, the movie tells the story of a mystical doctor who travels through remote areas of Japan curing the ill effects of supernatural creatures known as “Mushi.”

Premiering during the wee hours of the fest is We Are the Strange, an animated feature written and directed by M dot Strange. The midnight world premiere presentation has two outcasts struggling to survive in a sinister fantasy world. On their way to the ice cream shop, the pals find themselves caught in the middle of a deadly battle between bizarre monsters.