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NYICFF To Screen "Tales of the Night," The First 3D Work By Fantastic Fairy Tale Animator Michel Ocelot


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Column by Scott Green


Lovers of fairy tales and animation take note, The New York International Children's Film Festival will be screening the North American premiere of the newest film from renowned animator Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress, Azur & Asmar), Tales of The Night, on October 15th and 16th at NYC's IFC Film center.

The film marks Ocelot's first foray into 3D animation, with black silhouetted characters set off against exquisitely detailed Day-Glo backgrounds as viewers are whisked off to enchanted lands full of dragons, sorcerers, werewolves, and enormous talking bees . See more details below. NOTE: This event is expected to sell out, advance purchase is highly recommended.



NYICFF will also be screening Chocolate Underground, Hamana Takayuk's anime adaptation of Alex Shearer's Bootleg, this weekend.

- In the not-too-distant future, society is run by the Good For You Party, an all-powerful government organization that has outlawed everything sweet and delicious - and most especially chocolate. Gigantic sniffing robots patrol the streets, zeroing in on even the faintest chocolaty scent and sending all sweet-toothed lawbreakers to jail for "re-education" (think Orwell's 1984, but with candy). Unable to resign themselves to a lifetime of bland, healthy foods, teenage best friends Smudger and Huntly decide to take matters into their own hands and create the Chocolate Underground, a secret club where revolutionaries can indulge in their coveted confections.

This tasty, tongue-in-cheek allegory comes to a head when the boys stumble upon an abandoned mine filled with sugar and cocoa beans, leading to a climactic showdown between the free-snacking youth resistance and their corrupt Big-Brother oppressors. Featuring a perfect mix of fast-paced action scenes and montages fueled by a sugar-sweet J-pop soundtrack, Chocolate Underground is a delectable celebration of chocolate freedom, and a film to make even Willy Wonka salivate!

Fri Sep 30 - IFC CENTER - 11:00
Sat Oct 1 - IFC CENTER - 11:00
Sun Oct 2 - IFC CENTER - 11:00

In Related news, NYICFF producers GKIDS has acquired US distribution rights to Chico& Rita, the highly acclaimed new animated feature from Academy Award-winning director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque) and renowned illustrator and designer Javier Mariscal.

The film made its world premiere at Telluride Film Festival, was an official selection at Toronto International Film Festival, and has been released to wide acclaim in the UK, France, and Spain. It will be qualifying for the Oscars in the Best Animated Feature category with a Los Angeles qualifying run December 2011, followed by US theatrical release in early 2012. The film will be released by GKIDS under their new Luma Films banner for adult animation.

GKIDS president Eric Beckman said, “Chico& Rita is a stunning, vibrant film, and a testament to the ongoing resurgence of animation as an art-form for adult audiences. This is a passionately sexy love story with a red-hot soundtrack, as well as a shimmering postcard to old Havana and bebop-era New York. With this pickup GKIDS continues to deepen its focus on unique stories and Oscar-caliber animation from some of today's most creative visionaries.”

Oscar-winning director Fernando Trueba and Spain’s most famous and successful designer Javier Mariscal celebrate their passion for the music and culture of Cuba with an epic story of love, passion, and heartbreak. Cuba, 1948. Chico is a young piano player with big dreams. Rita is a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice. Music and desire unite them, but their journey – in the tradition of the Latin ballad, the bolero – brings heartache and torment, as they chase their dreams and each other from Havana to New York to Paris and Las Vegas. With an original soundtrack by legendary Cuban pianist and five-time Grammy-winning composer Bebo Valdés, Chico& Rita captures a defining moment in the evolution of jazz and history and features music (and animated cameos) by Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Cole Porter, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Tito Puente, and Chano Pozo.





Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 29, 2011, 3:41 p.m. CST

    The Fantastic Fairy

    by Iowa Snot Client

    Tale Animator

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 3:47 p.m. CST

    This looks amazing

    by SkeletonParty

    I've never been happier in my whole life.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 3:52 p.m. CST

    There is so much I don't understand

    by SkeletonParty

    Yet this all rings true.

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 6:45 p.m. CST

    all looked watchable except Chocolate Underground

    by deelzbub

    barely made it thru the trailer

  • Sept. 29, 2011, 11:12 p.m. CST


    by sasquatch_with_a_swatch_watch

    I much preferred the handmade look of Kirikou and the Sorceress. I absolutely loved that movie. This looks way too neat and orderly, and well... like it was made with computers. It is just not as easy to sense the friendly hand of human artistry in these movies, where they are making 3D models like drawing graphs It also irritates me at the lack of color subtelty in these movies, even dark scenes have an artificiality that is really inappropriate. Do a Google image search for the posters of the past two dozen PIXAR Dreamworks, etc 3D animated films... and ask yourself why they all scream obnoxious flourescent diaper colors like shitty beach pails from the dollar store. Like the houses in Scissorhands. Pastel and pre-fab. This is very sad for me, but I suppose inevitable. Kirikou is a masterpiece, and if anything the work of Ocelot and also Rene Laloux show how much can be accomplished with so-called "limited animation". Less is more... and lo-tech means that mistakes and unpredictable things and sweaty creativity are still possible. Lo tech means you have to really use your imagination to work out creative solutions. ...also I should add that I am suspicious of how much the design seems to echo Thief and the Cobbler, Richard Williams' still unreleased masterwork of traditional handmade animation. Cobbler is an example of how one man can toil away creating unheard of brilliance and have his work stolen out from under him by corporate backers. judge for yourfelf, but this movie seems to be using computers to echo that tapestry of color and design- I just don't want my cartoons snapped together like a Swedish block set. That's worth fighting for to me. I still look to Miyazaki and Chomet to make old-fashioned films that are charming, textured, and so stimulating... in the way that only paint can do... to all the mysterious parts of the imagination.

  • Oct. 2, 2011, 10:37 p.m. CST

    if my last name was OCELOT

    by Tigger Tales

    i'd probably have a girlfriend