First Hand Painted Animation ‘Loving Vincent’ Hopes For An Oscar

Loving Vincent is the world’s first animated feature film painted by hand and already has over 4 million views in cinemas all over the world.

The animation which is a first of his kind has 65,000 frames all in the distinct style of Vincent Van Gigh. The piece centers on his untimely death.

The film was shot on a shoestring budget of $5.5 million (4.5 million euros). That is 30 times less than Disney’s Coco, one of the film’s four Oscar rivals.

According to director Dorota Kobiela, Loving Vincent has been a seven-year labour of love combining her twin passions of cinema and painting.

“Van Gogh’s style was perfect for the project; his paintings show all the details of his life, his day-to-day habits, his house, his room, his friends,” Kobiela told AFP ahead of Sunday’s Oscar ceremonies in Los Angeles.

Kobiela and co-director Hugh Welchman already have one Oscar under their belt; their BreakThru Productions film company won an Academy Award in 2008 for the animated short Peter and the Wolf, based on the story and music by Sergei Prokofiev.

“We are the underdogs! In our category it’s normally dominated by Disney and Pixar but I have a feeling we might be one of the big upsets this year,” Welchman, who is also Kobiela’s husband, told AFP.

Revealing more on the making of the piece, after five years of pre-production, it took another two years for 125 artists from around the globe to bring the opus to life under Kobiela’s watchful eye.

Working in a massive studio in Poland’s Baltic port city of Gdansk, they based their oil paintings on scenes initially shot on film with actors.

The film includes representations of van Gogh’s most famous paintings such as The Starry Night.

Van Gogh, known for his bold colours and rough, vibrant painting style, is considered one of the most revolutionary painters of the 19th century.

Painting the 93-minute-long movie was a painstaking task.

“The pace of work was very slow, averaging a quarter of a second of the film a day,” said Kobiela, who spent seven years on the project.

A single second of the film represents an average of 12 hand-painted frames.

Each artist completed an average of six paintings a day, amounting to a half-second of the film for simple scenes.

But according to Kobiela, the quality of the hand-painted frames surpasses digital animation, making them well worth the extra effort.

“Often in animation, we have the problem that facial expressions are limited. But in oil painting, we can show even greater expression if the portrait is painted properly,” she told AFP.

Loving Vincent explores both van Gogh’s works and his death, widely regarded as a suicide, from a gunshot wound.

Based on an original script by Pole Jacek Dehnel, the film follows Armand Roulin, the son of the postman from Arles who was the subject of several of van Gogh’s paintings.

Doubting van Gogh committed suicide, Armand travels to Paris to find out more about his death.

The artist was only 37 when he died after suffering frequent bouts of mental illness including the infamous episode in which he sliced off part of his left ear.

Five million people have already seen Loving Vincent in cinemas across the globe.

Its makers are already thinking about their next project, which could be a horror film based on the disturbing canvases of Spanish painter Francisco Goya.



“The Wedding Party 2” Makes N73 Million, Days After Release

Nigeria biggest and most anticipated movie for the year, “The Wedding Party 2-Destination Dubai,” has made over 73 million Naira on its opening weekend, its producers said.

The movie was released in cinemas across the country on Friday, December 15. This feat is now the highest ever in the Nigerian Box Office, breaking the N36 million record set by the first part of the movie, ’The Wedding Party 1,’ on its opening weekend last year.

Mo Abudu, Chief Executive of Ebony Studios, one of the producers of movie, made the success of the sequel known on her Instagram page.

She wrote: “what can I say, but thank you Lord. Thank you Nigeria. The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai now goes down as the highest opening weekend ever at the Nigerian box office for both Nollywood and international films!

“Last year we did N36m on #TWP1 for our opening weekend, now we have doubled that, this is evidence that Yes We Can and we have!

“Nigeria let’s continue to break this record together, to be the highest grossing film of all time, so that we can tell the world that ‘We Can’”.

Nigerian movie lovers have been expecting this sequel to the inter-tribal-marriage-themed movie, which recently translated to the real life marriage of its main characters Dunni (Adesua) and Dozie (Banky W).

The anticipation for the movie heightened when the two main characters in the movie Dozie (Banky W) and Dunni (Adesuwa) got engaged and finally made their two year relationship public.


Anticipated Movie Set To Premier At Tronto Film Festival

Anticipated Nigerian movie “Still Water Runs Deep” is set to premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

The film was put together by producers Melissa Adeyemo, Abbesi Akhamie and Lala Akindoju. The film was written and directed by Akhamie, a Tisch Graduate of New York University.

The thrilling drama is of a father who must withstand his emotions and preserve his pride when his estranged son goes missing. In this unsettling portrait of a man confined by his convictions about paternal duty, a father’s steely resolve to run his household with a firm hand is tested when his estranged son goes missing.

Starring, Toyin OshinaikeRita Edward and Yemi Adebiyi. The film portrays the difficulty that honest, hardworking men face when trying to raise children in the harsh realities of the world. This movie is set to be a msut watch for every family.

‘Dunkirk’ Takes North American Box Office By Storm

Big-budget World War II epic “Dunkirk” stormed to the top of the North American box office in its opening weekend on the strength of stellar reviews and a sterling big screen debut by pop star Harry Styles, industry estimates showed Sunday.

The film directed by Briton Christopher Nolan which took in an estimated $50.5 million in the United States and Canada, according to box office tracker Exhibitor Relations — has been hailed by many critics as a masterpiece.

It stars One Direction singer Styles in the retelling of the heroic evacuation in 1940 of hundreds of thousands of Allied troops from a beach in northern France under constant German bombardment.

Raunchy comedy “Girls Trip” starring Queen Latifah and Will Smith’s better half Jada Pinkett Smith, debuted in second place with $30.4 million in tickets sold.

Third place went to “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which pulled in $22 million in its third week of release. Overall, it has raked in more than $250 million in North America.

Last week’s box office leader, “War For the Planet of the Apes” — the latest installation in the saga of intelligent primates’ battle against an evil human dictator — raked in $20.4 million in its second week for fourth place.

Rounding out the top five was another debut, Luc Besson’s $180 million space fantasy “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”

The EuropaCorp-financed film starring Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne said to be the most expensive independent film ever made, grossed just over $17 million.

‘War For The Planet Of The Apes’ Swings To Top Of US Box Office

“War for the Planet of the Apes” won this weekend’s battle of the box office in North America, riding on strong reviews and ever more natural-looking apes to take $56.3 million.

The Fox/Chemin Entertainment production managed to outdraw “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which fell by more than half from its opening three-day weekend to pull in $44.2 million, website Exhibitor Relations reported.

“War,” directed by Matt Reeves, tells the continuing story of how intelligent primate Caesar (Andy Serkis) and other apes battle the forces led by an evil human dictator (Woody Harrelson). The film, made for $150 million, has a 95 percent approval rating on the Rotten Tomatoes website, which collates reviews.

Sony-Marvel collaboration “Spider-Man,” which draws a similarly strong 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, stars Tom Holland as a young Peter Parker, ably mentored by Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man as he takes on bad guy Vulture (Michael Keaton).

Far behind on $19.4 million was Universal’s animated sequel “Despicable Me 3,” starring Steve Carell as the voice of bad guy-turned-protagonist Gru — and his twin brother Dru, and Kristen Wiig as Gru’s wife Lucy.

The film has done much better overseas than at home, according to Hollywood Reporter, which says its global gross of $519.4 million includes a whopping $113.6 million from viewers in China.

Placing fourth was Sony’s heist thriller “Baby Driver,” with Ansel Elgort (“The Fault in our Stars”) front and center as a gifted getaway driver with a hearing problem. It netted $8.7 million.

And in a surprising fifth place among the big-studio blockbusters was independent rom-com “The Big Sick” from Lionsgate, taking in $7.5 million in its first week in wide release.

“Sick” stars Kumail Nanjiani in the semi-autobiographical role of a Pakistani-American stand-up comic who resists his parents’ insistent efforts to find a wife for him, and instead falls in love with comedy-club customer Emily, played by Zoe Kazan.

The film, co-written by Nanjiani and the real-life Emily, his wife, rates a resounding 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and is credited by the New York Times with no less than “revitalizing an often moribund subgenre with a true story of love, death and… everyday comedy.”

Rounding out the top 10 were:

“Wonder Woman” ($6.8 million)

“Wish Upon” ($5.5 million)

“Cars 3” ($3.1 million)

“Transformers: The Last Knight” ($2.8 million)

“The House” ($1.7 million)

Source: Guardian

Game Of Thrones: Winter Is Finally Here

Game of Thrones has become the world’s most popular TV show, making viewers worldwide anticipate the final episodes. One of the darkest and most controversial primetime series ever made, it has been the target of criticism over the years for senseless violence and its repeated use of rape as a dramatic device.

The scriptwriters have brutalised women, killed children, depicted graphic sex and had their characters hacked, stabbed, flayed, poisoned, decapitated, burned alive, eye-gouged and eviscerated — all in glorious, close-up detail.

The adult themes have not deterred fans, however, and the audience has grown in the US to more than 23 million per episode.

The R-rated fable of noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne has just 13 episodes left, split across two shortened seasons which will bring the curtain down on a rating juggernaut that made television history.


“Game of Thrones” has more Emmy Awards than any narrative show in history and airs in 170 countries, with viewership figures shattering records across the world.

Season six was the first to move beyond George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels and carve its own path.


Few details have been revealed about the new episodes, except that Oscar-winning Jim Broadbent joins the cast and pop sensation Ed Sheeran is to make a cameo appearance.

One theory doing the rounds on social media is that fan favorite Dany may become a villain.

Proponents point out that her father, Mad King Aerys Targaryen, was a brutal killer and that the Mother of Dragons herself appears to be getting colder with each new season.

“I think that would be highly unlikely,” Iain Glen, who plays her ally and fellow exile Jorah Mormont, told the Huffington Post, however.

“I mean, this is Iain speaking and Jorah speaking — we share the same voice — my belief in her is such that I can’t see her going that way myself.”

The big question still remains; Who Would Sit On The Iron Throne?

How Prostitution, Drug Trafficking Inspired My Movie ‘Slow Country’ — Eric Aghimien

Eric Aghimien is a young but thorough Nollywood producer and director. He is the producer of the award winning action movie, ‘A Mile From Home’ and the soon to be in cinemas, ‘Slow Country’. He talks about his life and his new movie.

You are the producer of ‘A Mile From Home’, can you tell us about your new movie?

Slow country is about a woman who made some mistakes in her early life and is trying to deal with it. She has a son who happened to her world and in order to take care of her son, she took a dive into the dark world of prostitution and drug trafficking. At some point, she wanted out but it became impossible to do so.


What was it like coming up with the idea of the story?

It wasn’t like anything serious because I wrote the first 20 pages in 2011. It was supposed to be my first movie but realistically it wasn’t possible to make the film with the kind of money I had then, so I had to write ‘A Mile From Home’ and made it within the budget I had in 2011. This time around after ‘A Mile From Home’s success, I was able to pull enough funds for this one, so I had to just bring it out one day and completed it  within 8 days.

Slow Country appears to be a metaphor, slow country, Nigeria. What is behind the concept?

Slow Country is metaphorical. It is not about Nigeria, so let me clear that. People think it’s about Nigeria because of the things we went through recently. But no, it is not about Nigeria, it is just the right name I can come up with to describe the emotions this woman was going through. First of all, a lot happen in our mind, most of the battles we fight in life happen in our mind, trying to make decisions, trying to do stuffs. There is a whole different world within us that we have to contend with every day, battles we have to fight with ourselves, I consider that the greatest battle human beings fight.


So, just for a woman who is sitting down in the dark room, thinking what her life would have been like and what her life is right now, comparing both. So, it was something that is almost indescribable, I had to look for a word to describe how she felt, so ‘Slow Country’ came to my mind. So that was just how the title came up.

Source: Vanguard