Heading home from MIPCOM, Illuminated Films' half-hour animated special WAR GAME is boasting sales in a number of territories. Deals concluded in Cannes included Teletoon in Canada, Television Suisse Romande in Switzerland and NHK/Mico for Japan. The short has already sold to FR3 in France, SVT in Sweden, YLE in Finland and Channel Four in the UK. Most of these countries intend to screen WAR GAME on their national remembrance holidays. Based on the book by Michael Foreman, WAR GAME is the story of three English boys who are members of the same football (soccer) team. After getting caught up in the national war fever, the boys enlist together to fight in World War I. The centerpiece of the story is a spontaneous truce that occurs between the Germans and the English on Christmas day, which is based on an actual incident. The film, directed by Dave Unwin, has been on the international festival circuit, and has won honors at the British Animation Awards, Annecy, the Banff Television Festival and the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy. Most recently, WAR GAME won the Golden Butterfly Award for Best Short Film at the International Festival of Film & Video in Tehran. The film will also be screened at the upcoming commemorative event "Some Desperate Glory," a unique evening performance of words, music and film about World War I taking place at Her Majestys Theatre in London on Britain's Remembrance Sunday (November 10, 2002).
Jon Hofferman reviews five short films fresh from the festival circuit including Dave Unwin's WAR GAME.