Six years ago, Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman hatched a crazy idea: to create the world’s first painted feature film. The subject? The final days of Vincent van Gogh. They knew it would be a tough sell.
Hundreds of paintings, many unsuccessful meetings with film financiers, and $5 million later, the film Loving Vincent makes its New York premiere today. The animation-style, stop-motion film is made entirely from real oil paintings; the result looks as if Van Gogh’s vivid figures have come to life. The story considers what might have happened if Van Gogh did not kill himself, but was in fact murdered.
The journey to make the film was an uphill battle. “When we decided we were going to paint an entire film, we thought that was going to be the toughest part,” Welchman tells artnet News. But instead, “among the hardest challenges was raising the money for it.”
Film financiers are notoriously risk-averse, and this project had no industry comparables to speak of. Potential backers doubted the film would finish in its projected two-year time frame and were suspicious of the novel format. Read more