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Waterloo Offers Early Animation, Anime, Sita Sings The Blues

Celebrating the artistry of animated feature films, the Waterloo Festival showcase is one of the most comprehensive public exhibitions for animated feature films in the world. More ambitious than ever, the first titles revealed in the 2008 program span the gamut of animation and storytelling styles.

Tracing the historical beginnings of feature animation, the festival will be presenting a rare retrospective screening of the earliest surviving animated feature film, Lotte Reiniger's DIE ABENTEUER DES PRINZEN ACHMED (1926). The 35mm print was restored from nitrate fragments by the British Film Institute, hand-tinted, and will be presented with a new soundtrack commissioned by the Northwest Film Forum and performed live at the festival by the musician-composer duo of Miles and Karina. Also screening will be the Canadian premiere of QUIRINO CRISTIANI: THE MYSTERY OF THE FIRST ANIMATED MOVIES, a documentary on the artist who created the first known animated feature film in the world.

Continuing the festival's tradition of celebrating animated feature films made by small, dedicated teams of (sometimes just one) artist, the Tidbits program includes Nina Paley's SITA SINGS THE BLUES, a charming interpretation of the Indian mythology THE RAMAYAN, drawing parallels with the filmmaker's own life, and set to 1920s jazz vocals by Annette Hanshaw; and the mind-twisting bravado of WE ARE THE STRANGE, presented by director M dot Strange in person.

For anime fans, a smorgasbord: the 2008 TAF anime feature film of the year REBUILD OF EVANGELION 1.0: YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE lands at the festival for its Canadian premiere. The festival will present the complete GENIUS PARTY anthology, with back-to-back screenings of the astounding films GENIUS PARTY and GENIUS PARTY BEYOND. Also making its Canadian premiere is a tale of innocence and friendship between two budding artists, PIANO NO MORI (THE PIANO FOREST).

All screenings will be held at The Gig Theatre (the old Hyland Cinema), 137 Ontario Street North, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, November 13-16, 2008. The theatre is conveniently located near rail and bus services, and there is plenty of parking nearby.

For adults, single admission prices are $12 per screening. A limited pass, good for any five screenings, is $45 for adults. A full festival pass (best deal), good for all festival screenings and activities for $90. Passes are transferable. For children and high school students (ID required), single admission prices are $8 per screening. A limited pass is $30, and a full festival pass is $60.

As a special offer to early purchasers, full festival passes will be available at a discounted early bird pricing of $60 for adults ($30 off), and $40 for high-school students ($20 off). Only 50 passes will be available at this discount. Single admission tickets and passes will be available in advance from the website and also at the door. Festival organizers advise purchasing in advance.

Further details will be published on the festival Website at www.wfac.ca.

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