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Mark Your Calendars: ‘This Magnificent Cake!’ Opens in Los Angeles March 1

Marc James Roels and Emma de Swaef’s award-winning stop-motion animated film set in Belgium-occupied Congo to be accompanied by their short film ‘Oh Willy...’ and Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s ‘The Burden.’

Here’s a can’t miss event for Los Angeles-area fans of independent animation: GKIDS is bringing directorial duo Marc James Roels and Emma de Swaef’s This Magnificent Cake! to Los Angeles on March 1 at the Laemmle Glendale (207 N Maryland Ave, Glendale, CA 91206). Theatrical screenings will be accompanied by the short films The Burden (2017) from Swedish director Niki Lindroth von Bahr and Oh Willy... (2012), the first short film by Roels and de Swaef. Find tickets and showtimes here.

The award-winning stop-motion animated This Magnificent Cake!, produced by Belgium’s Beast Animation, is a mid-length feature set in the late 19th century in the bitter milieu of Belgium-occupied Congo. Keen to compete with other European imperial powers on the continent at the time, then-King Leopold II of Belgium proclaimed, “I do not want to miss a good chance of getting us a slice of this magnificent African cake.”

The subsequent occupation of the Congo would come to attract a contingent of servants, merchants and miscellaneous bourgeois driven by everything from insatiable greed to existential fear. From the intimate stories of these characters -- many of whom pass through a luxury hotel in the middle of the jungle -- emerges a greater narrative concerning the imperialist mentality. In a film by turns surreal, darkly comic and brutal, directors Roels and de Swaef ultimately turn their critical gaze on the colonists themselves in a work of stunning, mysterious beauty.

An official selection at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Toronto International Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Animation Is Film Festival, This Magnificent Cake! 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.

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Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef Return with ‘This Magnificent Cake’ --

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.