Stop-motion animated film set in the late 19th century in the bitter milieu of Belgium-occupied Congo opens theatrically in Los Angeles on March 1.
The 41st edition of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival came to a close this past Saturday, February 9, with the stop-motion animated This Magnificent Cake! (Ce magnifique gâteau!) winning the National Grand Prix.
Directed by the award-winning duo Marc James Roels and Emma de Swaef and produced by Belgium’s Beast Animation, This Magnificent Cake! is a mid-length stop-motion animated film set in the late 19th century in the bitter milieu of Belgium-occupied Congo. Divided into five chapters, the film shows the experience and effects of colonization from a multitude of perspectives. The title comes from then-King Leopold II of Belgium, who, keen to compete with other European imperial powers on the continent at the time, proclaimed, “I do not want to miss a good chance of getting us a slice of this magnificent African cake.”
An official selection at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Toronto International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Animation Is Film Festival, the surreal 45-minute film received an Annie Award nomination for Best Independent Animated Feature, the Andre-Martin Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, and the top feature animation prize at the Ottawa International Animation Festival.
GKIDS, which recently picked up the film for distribution in North America, is set to release This Magnificent Cake! theatrically in Los Angeles on March 1. The film is the follow-up to Roels and de Swaef’s widely acclaimed 2012 short Oh Willy..., featuring felted wool puppets and intricate hand-crafted sets with the same distinctive look.
The 42nd edition of Clermont-Ferrand will take place between January 31 and February 8, 2020. A full list of winners at the 41st edition can be found on the Clermont-Ferrand website.