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Doha Film Institute announces co-financing partnership of ‘Loving Vincent’, the world’s first fully painted feature film

May 24, 2017

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  • Written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, film narrates the remarkable life story of Vincent van Gogh through oil paintings, all hand-painted

Cannes, France/Doha, Qatar; May 24, 2017: Strengthening its ongoing commitment to international film production, the Doha Film Institute today announced its latest co-financing partnership on the world’s first fully painted feature film, Loving Vincent, a cinematic ode to the remarkable life of legendary artist Vincent van Gogh.

Commenting on the partnership, Chairperson of Doha Film Institute and Qatar Museums, H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, said: “Film is a very important means of creative and cultural expression. Its narrative and visual aspects make it a unique form of art that plays a crucial role in societies around the world. Films inspire and bring people together. They are much more than just a cultural phenomenon.

“We are especially delighted to support Loving Vincent, a film that is truly unique in terms of genre, content, approach and craft. It brings to life the profound and inspiring story of one of the world’s most accomplished fine artists Vincent van Gogh, celebrating his life and works. At the Doha Film Institute, we actively explore opportunities to partner with such ambitious ventures that push the boundaries of film making. Combining art and cinema like no other film, Loving Vincent will serve as an inspiration for emerging and established filmmakers and artists alike.”

The film brings the paintings of Vincent van Gogh to life to tell his remarkable story. Loving Vincent will have its world premiere at the 2017 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in France, competing in the Festival’s Official Selection for feature films. The Doha Film Institute has been a long-term partner on the project since the early stages of production.

Loving Vincent, the film is written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, and produced by Academy Award winning studios, Poland’s BreakThru Films and UK’s Trademark Films. Each of the 65,000 frames of the film is an oil-painting hand-painted by 125 professional artists who travelled from across the world to the studios of Loving Vincent in Poland and Greece.

The film was first shot as a live action film with actors, who worked either on sets specially constructed to look like Van Gogh paintings or against green-screens. The footage from the live action shoot then becomes the reference for painting animators. The final effect is the interaction of the performance of the actors playing Vincent van Gogh’s famous portraits and that of the painting animators, who bring the characters into the medium of paint.

Hugh Welchman said: “Despite the grassroots support from people around the world, it wasn’t easy to find industry partners for Loving Vincent, as many film funders were too cautious to risk being part of something so new. Thankfully we found some special and courageous individuals who believed in us. We thank Her Excellency and the team at Doha Film Institute for their support to this passion project, that will not only entertain but also inspire and inform global audiences about the extraordinary paintings and no less extraordinary life of Vincent van Gogh .”

Loving Vincent features acclaimed actors Douglas Booth (Jupiter Ascending) as Armand Roulin; Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark, Jack the Giant Slayer) as Adeline Ravoux; Jerome Flynn (Game of Thrones) as Doctor Gachet; Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn, Atonement) as Marguerite Gachet; Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) as Postman Joseph Roulin; John Sessions (Gangs of New York) as Vincent’s paint supplier Pere Tanguy; Aidan Turner (The Hobbit) as the Boatman from Bank of the Oise at Auvers; and Helen McCrory (Harry Potter) as Louise Chevalier. Theatre actor Robert Gulaczyk, in his first film role, plays Vincent van Gogh.

The film’s crew include acclaimed cinematographers Tristan Oliver (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Chicken Run). and Lukasz Zal (Academy Award nominated for Ida).

Co-produced by City of Wroclaw – European Capital of Culture 2016, Odra-Film/The Lower Silesian Film Fund and CeTA, the film is supported – in addition to the Doha Film Institute – by Silver Reel, RBF Productions, Sevenex Capital Partners, The Polish Film Institute, MEDIA and Unibail-Rodamco.

Films co-financed by the Doha Film Institute have gained international acclaim, opening major film festivals and securing prestigious award. Some of these projects include Academy Award® winner The Salesman by Asghar Farhadi, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet by Roger Allers, The Idol by Hany Abu-Assad, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mira Nair and May in the Summer by Cherien Dabis among others.

In addition to co-financing, the Institute supports first- and second-time filmmakers from around the world and established filmmakers from the MENA region through its Grants programme. The Institute also nurtures national film talent through the Qatari Film Fund dedicated to supporting short and feature filmmaking by Qataris.