Premiere of "Acid Rain" by Tomek Popakul at Vimeo

“Acid Rain” directed by Tomek Popakul – one of the most awarded short animated films of the year, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and produced by Animoon, on November 18  it premiered on the Vimeo platform to the curatorial Staff Pick section. The film will be available on Vimeo for six months.

Innovative animation of  Tomek Popakul appeared in the festival circulation in January this year, and premiered at the prestigious Rotterdam Festival and then the Sundance Film Festival in the USA. Since then, the film has been included in the program of over 60 festivals around the world, including such prestigious ones as the festival in Annecy, Ottawa, Nashville, Palm Springs or Denver. The film has won 19 awards so far, including the Grand Prix and Audience Award of the Animafest Zagreb festival and the Grand Prix at the festivals BIAF, GLAS Animation, New Chitose and Animest. Since September this year, “Acid Rain” has been shown in theaters in the United States and Canada as part of the Animation Next program. Tomek Popakul’s film also participates in the Oscar race at the current stage, seeking to qualify for the shortlist.

„Acid Rain”

The film takes place somewhere in Eastern Europe. The Young run away from home, as far as possible from the gray town. The initial excitement of hitchhiking goes down as she lands on the outskirts of the city in the middle of the night. On the bridge she notices a figure balancing dangerously on the rail. This is how she meets Chudy, a bit unstable freak. Chudy lives in a motorhome, which he drives, not necessarily dealing with legal errands. Young decides to get on with Chudy. Their common path leads to increasingly stranger regions, and an unnamed bond quickly forms between them.

The film can be viewed here:

The director about the film:

“ACID RAIN results from my fascination with the rave subculture and its iconography, especially in the early years of this scene. In the film, I wanted to express mixed feelings of fascination and disgust, a sense of community and alienation in the crowd. I wanted to show naive spirituality and low human “dirt”, nature and civilization as well as hunger for colors and gray everyday life in the post-communist landscape of Eastern Europe,” says Tomek Popakul, who is a graduate of the Film School in Łódź, where he studied screenwriting and animation.

Producers about animation

In his “Acid Rain,” Tomek Popakul presents the original point of view, remaining true to the unusual animation technique he developed by directing his earlier films “Ziegenort” and “Black.” The uncompromising and raw nature of the technique may be intimidating at first, but as soon as the film gathers pace, and its visual potential is fully revealed, the viewer quickly understands that the film could not look different. The demanding and eccentric visual style of the film reflects the emotional and social confusion of the characters. 

The producers of “Acid Rain” are Piotr Szczepanowicz and Grzegorz Wacławek from Animoon. They produced also Marta Pajek’s award-winning triptych “Impossible Figures and Other Stories” including its third part, which in 2018 was presented in the short competition of the Cannes festival. The film’s co-producer is the National Film Archive – the Audiovisual Institute, and its production was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. KFF Sales & Promotion is responsible for the festival’s promotion of the film.

Oscar chances of “Acid Rain” by Tomek Popakul

Cartoon Brew – one of the most opinion-forming animation portals in the world consider the short animation “Acid Rain” directed by Tomek Popakul as the main favorite of this year’s race for statuettes of the American Film Academy in the category of best short animated film.

Cartoon Brew editors conducted a survey among the leading professionals related to the animated film industry – directors of animation festivals and film critics. Based on the votes cast, three films were selected – Theodor Ushev’s The Physics of Sorrow, Daria Kashcheeva’s Daughter and Tomek Popakul’s film, which won the first place in the ranking.

“ACID RAIN is a bold and ambitious film that will become emblematic for the next generation of viewers. This is a very realistic story, based on real experiences and stories of ordinary people. The film is extremely honest in the way it portrays subcultures through both the aesthetics and narrative. I am happy that the animation is heading in the direction of such movies as ACID RAIN,” writes Jeanette Bonds, artistic director of the GLAS festival, where the film won the Grand Prix.

Link to the article.

The premiere of the film at vimeo is part of the Oscar-winning film campaign, which is supported by the Polish Film Institute.

Source: producer’s press release