‘Nyosha’ by Liran Kapel and Yael Dekel

Nyosha is the story of a young Jewish girl who becomes fixated on a pair of shoes as the source of her salvation while her life is ripped apart by the Holocaust. Based on the diary and video recordings of Nomi Kapel, one of the young filmmaker’s grandmother, director Liran Kapel and Yael Dekel have employed both stop-motion and traditional 2D animation to render this harrowing tale.

A certain uncanny charm keeps the viewer afloat in the rippling currents of such a dejected context. Despite the truly terrible nature of the historic narrative, naïve optimism is provided by the child’s perspective. The medium also engages us with a toy like simulacra; for better or for worse this buffer dampens the emotional response to the distressing subject matter.

This towering project is impressive but by no means is it flawless. At times the stop-motion is a tad jerky, the models still have their flash lines and the illusion of scale is not fully realised. That said these are the imperfections that come hand in hand with such a challenging medium: an Aardman production, for example, would be missing a great deal if all thumbprints were removed. Set design on Nyosha is impressive and at times the lighting is too. Particular attention has been paid to attempting tricky post-production effects, like the beams of light that cut through the forest. Despite not always being entirely convincing, the over all atmosphere these create is invaluable.

You can watch a making-of film here:

Nyosha – Behind The Scenes! from liran kapel on Vimeo.

Advertisements

‘Wham! Bam! Islam!’ by Isaac Solotaroff

A live action documentary about the creation of a comic book of Muslim heroes, which uses animated sequences to bring the comic characters to life. The film tells the story of Naif Al-Mutawa’s journey to produce and distribute an animated TV series for children.

Clips on the film’s website: http://whambamislam.com and available for download on iTunes here.

‘The Trouble With Love and Sex’ by Jonathan Hodgson for the BBC

A 50 minute film, made for the BBC, in which several couples discuss their relationship problems. In the first full-length animated documentary made for British television drawn characters lipsync to the audio testimony recorded in the counselling rooms of Relate.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0113fwl

And co-director Zac Beattie writes on the making of the film here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/tv/2011/05/wonderland-trouble-with-love-and-sex.shtml