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'Blind Man's Eye' In Competition At Venice Film Festival
27 Jul 2007 :
The Irish short film ‘Blind Man’s Eye’, from director Matthew Talbot Kelly, writer Neil Leyden and producer Michael Algar, has been selected for official competition at the prestigious 64th Venice International Film Festival. The 6 minute animation is one of 18 shorts competing and is the only Irish project in the festival lineup.

‘Blind Man’s Eye’ is a 2D/3D animated short produced through the Frameworks funding programme (an Irish Film Board/Arts Council/RTE initiative). The film tells the story of an old man sitting at his favourite bench…by a river… below a bridge…under a willow… the sun is shining… and he drifts into a reverie.

The Venice Biennale is one of the world’s longest running festivals and also one of the most prestigious. ‘Blind Man’s Eye’ will compete against international shorts from countries including the USA, Sweden, UK, New Zealand and Poland amongst others.

Director Matthew Talbot Kelly is a resident producer/director/animator at Dublin media house Glimpse Digital. He has worked on visual effects for numerous film and television projects including the television series ‘Rome’, ‘Stargate’ and the feature films ‘I,Robot’ and ‘Elektra’.

Speaking to IFTN today about the selection, Talbot Kelly said: ”I am surprised and honoured! Its fabulous news - this is the Venice Biennale Cinema, Venice Film Festival! Being accepted is a wonderful endorsement of our efforts and intentions. One of the wonderful things is that is in the short film competition, as opposed to an exclusively animated film competition. This tells me that the film is being seen as 'film' in the largest and most inclusive sense, and is therefore not just about the experimental techniques that were employed.”

The animation for ‘Blind Man’s Eye’ was created by building large and detailed physical model which was shot with a computerized rostrum camera. These plates were then used as backgrounds for seamless 3D and 2D additions. Inspired by Eastern European film, theatre and puppetry animation, the director designed the palette, texture and content for the animated film working over a 12 month period.

“The seeds of the film - in terms of technique and story – I have been ruminating over and experimenting with for many years”, explains the director. “Though this is truly a digital film throughout the pipeline, I didn't want the digital techniques to dominate the film. I wanted to explore how analog techniques like physical models, cameras, paint and print could intersect and compliment and juxtapose with state-of-the-art digital tools.”

Simon Perry, CEO of the Irish Film Board, congratulated the filmmakers and underlined the growing expertise in the Irish animation industry. “We’re delighted to see Blind Man’s Eye achieve international recognition at such a prestigious festival,” he said. “The Irish animation sector is thriving and Ireland has a growing reputation for outstanding animation talent. The IFB has been a big supporter of the animation industry over the last 12 years and many of the companies who produced Frameworks short films over the last decade have now flourished into major successful companies producing feature films and large TV series. We are looking forward to working with Matthew and his production team again in the future and wish him every success.”

Giles Packham, Creative Director of Waveform Studios, who worked on the sound for the film added: “Blind Man's Eye' was a very unusual and interesting project to work on. We were tasked with creating an aural backdrop to Mathew's extraordinary cityscape. Just like the visuals, the soundtrack is composed of a collage of eclectic real sounds such as bed springs, a printing press and my grandmother's gramophone. Canadian composer Oliver Schroer was also involved. He created some haunting violin sounds. We're very pleased with the result and are delighted to hear that the film will screen at the Venice Film Festival, we wish Matthew and all the guys at Glimpse the best of luck!"

Thanking, amongst others, his life partner and three children; his colleagues at Glimpse Digital; composer Oliver Schroer; Waveform Studios; producer Michael Algar and writer Neil Leyden; Matthew Talbot Kelly says he will be “bringing the whole family” when he travels to the Italian city for the festival in September, adding “I might have to sell the house, but we're all going!”

The Venice International Film Festival runs from August 29 to September 8.

The trailer for ‘Blind Man’s Eye’ can be found at www.glimpsedigital.com/blindmanseye/trailer.html

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