Welcome to Cartoon Brew’s collection of spotlights specializing in the animated shorts which have certified for the 2024 Oscars. There are a number of methods a movie can earn eligibility. With these profiles, we’ll be specializing in movies which have performed so by successful an Oscar-qualifying award at an Oscar-qualifying competition.
As we speak’s brief is the Swiss documentary Armat from director Élodie Dermange. Nadasdy Movie produced the movie, which earned its qualification by successful the Golden Pegasus grand jury prize at Animator Worldwide Animated Movie Competition in Poland.
Within the movie, Élodie tries to be taught extra about her household’s Armenian origins. She interviews her father, uncle, and great-aunt and discovers a harsh historical past the place violence and the shortcoming to specific love are handed down from era to era.
Cartoon Brew: That is an autobiographical movie. Are you able to discuss researching your loved ones’s historical past and the challenges of sharing it on display screen?
Élodie Dermange: I at all times knew that my household was half Armenian, however nothing greater than that. The remaining was taboo. The one factor I may bear in mind as a hyperlink to Armenia was an enormous cupboard in the lounge of my grandfather’s home. Once I began to report my household, individuals surprisingly began to speak so much, not at all times about Armenia, however concerning the anger and the violence that also exists within the household in the present day. At first, I didn’t wish to put that in my film. It took some time to know that the whole lot was linked. That household trauma transmits from one era to the subsequent.
The whole lot mentioned within the recordings was new to me, even my father telling me he loves me. That was the primary time that I heard it. Because of my film, our relationship modified. And now, my father and I are a lot nearer. We each really feel relieved from one thing.
What made you wish to inform this explicit story, and why now?
It began from private curiosity. Making a film was the proper excuse to ask questions. I used to be positive the reality was distinctive, authentic, and rather more romantic. What I discovered didn’t meet my expectations in any respect. A lot struggling, a lot ache. I wouldn’t have performed it if I had identified all this earlier than beginning the film. The story of the Armenian individuals is commonly unhappy and darkish. The tragedies they suffered, and people suffered by many different teams of various origins, are nonetheless occurring in the present day.
What did you be taught by way of the expertise of creating this movie, both production-wise, filmmaking-wise, creatively, or about the subject material?
I realized a lot. I realized that folks act with motive. If my grandfather was generally laborious, it was as a result of his father suffered and was laborious on him. And if my father didn’t specific his love for me, it’s as a result of he by no means received that love from his father. I really feel many individuals nonetheless expertise the implications of previous wars, genocide, apartheid, and orphanhood. That is my most private film but, and I by no means anticipated so many responses from individuals with difficult relationships with their households. Despite the fact that that is my story, it intimately touched many individuals.
Are you able to describe the way you developed your visible method to the movie? Why did you decide on this fashion/approach?
I had this blue house in my head, and I wished it to be painted. I took inspiration from Armenian painter Martiros Saryan for this venture. And to characterize anger, the place are you able to discover a higher inspiration than Basquiat? Celluloid was a superb method to paint the film with out having to color each background repeatedly. It was very complicated to shoot the movie below the digicam. We wanted to scrub each cel earlier than taking the photographs. We additionally needed to put on black to keep away from reflections. My staff did a incredible job portray and capturing all of the frames. There have been work all over the place within the studio. It was very nice.