This past weekend, a tribute to a pioneering figure of animation took the Best Short Film honors at the 2018 American Documentary Festival in Palm Springs, CA. Woven of music, light and shadow, Lotte That Silhouette Girl relates the history of the talented and inventive filmmaker Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger (1899-1981), best known for creating the oldest surviving animated feature The Legend of Prince Achmed (1926).
The film, which will have its Canadian premiere at Hot Docs on May 1, was crafted by co-writer/co-director/composer Carla Patullo and co-writer/co-director/animator Elizabeth Beecherl in Los Angeles under the name Trick Studio.
“AmDocs is an incredibly imaginative festival. To find out that we were awarded Best Short Film by the jury is a true honor,” said Patullo.
Beecherl added, “I imagine Lotte sitting there in the audience with us, as she liked to do during her film screenings, and smiling!”
Lotte is narrated with archival recordings of Reiniger herself. The film’s crew also included writer Jennifer Maisel; animation artists Meejin Hong, Sarah Winters, Matt Yarrington and Nancy Putnam; with puppet designs by Helen Short and costumes by Allison Dillard. Erica Hanrahan-Ball and Andrew Diego voiced Juliet and Romeo.
“Before Walt Disney, there was a trailblazing woman at the vanguard of animation. Influenced by folktales and legends, Lotte Reiniger was a tour de force of creativity and innovation: she invented the multiplane camera and created the first animated feature. This stunning film explores the life and times of a woman who is finally being given her due.”
– Eileen Arandiga, Canadian Film Centre
Learn more at www.lotte-movie.com.