Director Tomek Popakul’s Acid Rain – one of this year’s most award-winning animated short films — premiered on Vimeo as a Staff Pick on Monday. Produced by Warsaw-based Animoon, the short is qualified for Academy Awards consideration.
Popakul’s innovative animated short film began its festival run at Rotterdam IFF and Sundance Film Festival in January 2019. Since then, the film screened at over 60 festivals across the globe including Annecy IAFF, Ottawa IAFF, Nashville IFF, Palm Springs and Denver IFF to list just a few. The film has received 19 awards, including Grand Prix at Animafest Zagreb, BIAF, Glas Animation and Animest IAFF among others. The film was brought to the U.S. and Canadian screens as a part of Animation Next program in mid-September.
Acid Rain is set in post-industrial Eastern Europe and follows a young woman who runs away from her depressing hometown. That’s how she meets Skinny – a kind of unstable weirdo who lives in a camper and runs his not-so-legal errands. Their journey gradually leads them towards more and more eerie settings, revealing the attraction and repulsion of rave culture.
“Working on this film, I wanted to depict some very mixed and ambiguous feelings: fascination and repulsion, naive spirituality and ‘human dirt’, nature and civilization, [a craving] for colors and grey everyday reality in a post-communist landscape of Eastern Europe,” said Popakul, who is a graduate of the Lodz Film School where he studied screenwriting and animation.
Popakul manifests a highly original point of view staying true to the offbeat technique he established with his previous films Ziegenort and Black. Its crude edginess may intimidate at first, but as the pace of Acid Rain speeds up and the visual capacity fully unfolds, it becomes obvious that the film could not have looked differently. The film’s glitchy and quirky imaginary landscape mirrors the emotional and social entanglement of its protagonists.
Acid Rain is produced by Piotr Szczepanowicz and Grzegorz Wacławek of Animoon, who produced Marta Pajek’s multi-awarded short film series Impossible Figures and Other Stories — including III, which screened at last year’s Cannes Film Festival.
Acid Rain is co-produced by Poland’s National Archive and Audiovisual Institute and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Promotion of the film and its festival distribution is supported by KFF Sales & Promotion.