An Island is the World

I screened THE ISLAND for the International Film Festival Rotterdam. The description of the animated feature read “Non traditional storytelling”. I have to agree. Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian made a film with some outlandish scenes combined modern commentary.

A Black and Paper interview with Director Anca Damian.

What is the human condition of the story?

The film aims to go into depth of humanity: we are all on an island, even if it is a planet- is an island in the Universe – we are all reflecting into each other, we are searching for Paradise, we are all alone… So obviously we are somehow facing a kind of dead end to our civilization, so we have to search our human values, our connections to nature, in order to continue to be.

The Island

How did you you come up with the animation style?

I wanted the reality of the film to be immersive, so the space was developed in 3D, with added fluid elements developed in Houdini – the sea, the clouds. The concept was that everything that is man-made doesn’t integrate in the nature, so we have real textures for plastic, metal, fabric. The same texturing we applied also for the cloth of the characters that are in 2D.

In my concept, only what is made by nature remains painted.

Color wise everything is beautiful, like in a Hawaii holiday, but there is also some malaise, a sick feeling behind the chemical pink of the clouds and the green-blue of the sea.

Were you a fan of Robinson Crusoe?

I can’t say I am a fan of Robinson Crusoe; I am a fan of humankind; Exploring Robinson and Friday connection in a setup of nowadays, allowed me to explore a version of Robinson who has the best of intentions, but who is saving who, that’s another story.

The language of the film was playful, then dashing, did I get this right?

Yes, you got it right: the child in us is paying and telling the truth, I always listen to the child me, and keep him close. I wanted the audience will do the same, go in playful way straight forward to the so much needed truth.

The Island screens in The Big Screen Competition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2022.