Annecy, 13 June 2017
The remarkable animated film Loving Vincent will be showing in cinemas around the world. In Holland, Vincent van Gogh’s native country, this marks the start of a series of events and exhibitions focusing on the new movie and on the life and work of this unique artist.
Loving Vincent is the first painted animated film to be produced based on the work of Van Gogh. Over 125 artists collaborated to bring the artist back to life, using brush strokes that recreate a similar technique to that used by the grandmaster himself. Each frame was painted by hand, with some twelve canvases per second. The makers of the film, Hugh Welchman and Dorota Kobiela of Breakthru Productions, spent four years creating the movie. A preview of the film already received great acclaim on social media last spring.
Vincent van Gogh's exceptional talent originates in the province of North Brabant, his birthplace. It was there that his love for nature and authentic human portrayals developed - motifs that he would return to throughout his entire career. The region still celebrates his memory, 150 years after his birth. The Van Gogh monuments, heritage sites and the landscape in locations such as Nuenen, Etten-Leur and Zundert enable visitors to see for themselves who Vincent was and what inspired him.
The Noordbrabants Museum in ‘s-Hertogenbosch will be holding Loving Vincent: the Exhibition between 14 October 2017 and 28 January 2018. The exhibition will provide a unique look behind the scenes of this wonderful animated film. Seventy of the most beautiful paintings produced for the film will be brought to the city, which is around 80 kilometres south of Amsterdam. In addition to these exceptional works, further visual material and presentations will show visitors how the paintings were brought to life.
At the premiere of the film at the Annecy film festival, the film makers Hugh Welchman and Sean Bobitt wore shoes featuring one of Van Gogh’s most famous motifs. The first contact between the shoe factory and the two film makers was in Nuenen, the area where Van Gogh painted his first masterpiece 'The Potato Eaters' in 1885. They responded enthusiastically when they were told about the unique collaboration between designer Tomas Snels, the Van Drunen Shoe Factory and the participating Van Gogh Brabant heritage sites. Proceeds from the sale of the shoes, which will be available in the autumn of 2017, will help to finance the conservation of the province’s heritage.
Loving Vincent will premiere on October 19th in the province of Gelderland, about 70 kilometres east of Amsterdam. A small selection of the 1,400 works created for the film will be exhibited in Cinemec in Ede, which is close to the unique Kröller-Müller Museum in the Hoge Veluwe National Park. ‘The works are too good not to show to the visitors who are coming to see the film,’ explains Lies Boelrijk of the Kröller-Müller Museum. The museum, which is set in a peaceful rural landscape, accommodates the second largest Van Gogh collection in the world. It is also home to some of the famous paintings that are brought to life in Loving Vincent, such as 'The Café Terrace at Night', 'The Sower', 'The Bridge at Arles' and ‘Portrait of Joseph Roulin’ - the postman who plays a leading role in the animation.
The Dutch premiere will be celebrated at the museum, too, with a Loving Vincent Weekend. A number of top chefs and food producers from the culinary town of Ede will create special dishes for the occasion, inspired by Van Gogh’s letters and the paintings being shown in the Kröller-Müller Museum, including works in which the countryside, food and daily life play an important role. The weekend will also have a musical flavour provided by Holland’s most famous harpist, Lavina Meijer, in a unique image-based concert including Van Gogh paintings from the Kröller-Müller collection.
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam will also be celebrating the release of Loving Vincent. The world-renowned museum will roll out the red carpet in October. Just like the Kröller-Müller Museum, the museum will be exhibiting the works that inspired the filmmakers. The Van Gogh Museum attaches great importance to ensuring that Vincent van Gogh's life and work are and remain accessible for young and old alike: ‘Loving Vincent is the culmination of years of dedication and hard work and the Van Gogh Museum has supported the project since 2014. We have drawn on our extensive expertise to provide assistance throughout the research and development phases,’ explains director Axel Rüger.
All these Van Gogh locations in the Netherlands are within a one-hour drive of each other. This provides a unique opportunity for Van Gogh lovers to spend a weekend exploring and learning.