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2011 Slamdance Award Winner: Bottle

The charming and innovative movie Bottle, directed by Kirsten Lepore, just won the Grand Jury Sparky Award for Animated Short at the 17th annual Slamdance Film Festival. You can watch it in full above. The film is a heartbreaking love story between a sand creature and a snow creature separated by climate, but united by their ability to communicate through messages in a bottle they are able to pass back and forth. As the long-distance romance heats up, is there any chance these two lonely souls will eventually unite?

Bottle has been on a real roll the past few months, having screened at the 2010 AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, was a finalist in the first ever Vimeo Awards and won the Best Student Film award at the Anim’est International Animation Film Festival.

It’s a hard film not to love, due to both the cute love story as well as the completely original form of stop-motion animation Lepore employs. Instead of the traditional method of manipulating little puppets on a miniaturized stage, she moves around medium-sized figures around real landscapes.

According to a comment Lepore left on the film’s Vimeo page, the movie was shot in two southern California locations: The Malibu beach and the Big Bear snow resort area. Lepore has also uploaded a fascinating one-minute video showing exactly how she created the film. It’s astounding to see how complex it was to shoot such a rather simple love story.

You can read more about the filmmaker at her official website and watch more of her animation on her Vimeo page.


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