'Deathly Hallows 2' to screen as part of tribute
The Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film and the FMX confab kick off today, spotlighting top animated works from around the world and exploring the latest trends and developments in visual effects, games and digital media.This year’s highlights at the five-day FMX include a fete for “Harry Potter,” a presentation by DreamWorks Animation and the screening of Leslie Iwerks’ documentary “Industrial Light and Magic: Creating the Impossible.” FMX is paying special tribute to the “Harry Potter” franchise to commemorate the completion of the series, and will hold an exclusive screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” The accolades include a series of presentations and panels hosted by Chris DeFaria, exec VP, digital production, animation and visual effects at Warner Bros., that will focus on the franchise’s impact on global VFX production as well as highlight the evolving look, tools and technology over the years. Visual effects have played a major role in capturing the fantastic world of “Harry Potter” since the first film in 2001. The panels and discussions will bring together for the first time reps from several of the VFX companies that worked on the films, including Cinesite, Double Negative, Framestore, ILM and MPC. Also on hand at FMX will be Philippe Denis and Philippe Gluckman of DreamWorks Animation, who will discuss the company’s feature animation pipelines and workflow at its studios in California and India. Other highlights include a special presentation on “Tron” and “Tron: Legacy” with animation director and CGI pioneer Bill Kroyer and VFX house Digital Domain. Iwerks, who directed 2007 doc, “The Pixar Story,” will attend the confab to present “Industrial Light and Magic: Creating the Impossible,” examining the history and work of the VFX company founded by George Lucas in 1975. ILM veterans Tim Alexander, Ben Snow and Hal Hickel will also be at the event. The Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, which runs until Sunday, includes sections dedicated to features, shorts, children’s fare and applied animation (including works in advertisement, spatial communication and technology). AniMovie, the main film competition, presents 10 pics. The lineup includes Spanish-U.K. title “Chico and Rita,” a love story set in 1948 Cuba that centers on a young piano player and a beautiful singer drawn together by music, and Denmark’s “The Great Bear,” about a boy who ventures into an enchanted forest to rescue his little sister. Also unspooling is Japanese work “Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror,” about a little girl who travels to a magical island where she finds all the things that people have lost or forgotten; from Russia, “Belka and Strelka: Star Dogs” (aka “Space Dogs 3D”) about a flying circus dog who meets a street mutt; “The Olsen Gang Gets Polished,” the first animated film featuring the smalltime crooks of the popular Danish movie series; and France’s “Tales of the Night,” which screened in competition at the Berlin Film Festival.