Feature animated documentary
Mixed Media - 60% animated sequences and 40% live action footage
16+ with an interest in science, traveling, climate change, animation and documentary
Produced by Kimonos Animation Studio and IndigoFlicks
With the support of the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology
How does it feel to live in the most isolated place of the planet? Does time matter there? Do you only dream in white?
These are some of the questions Alexandre Gautier, a French woodworker who works in the maintenance service of the infrastructure of the French scientific mission in Antarctica, tries to answer in this animated documentary.
The film follows Alexandre’s voyage in Antarctica, during the scientific expedition and presents his train of thoughts and reflections about the vast whiteness of the continent, his experience as a worker there, his concept of home, the feeling of exile, isolation, loneliness, death - which is always present - and the purpose of life.
He recalls memories from the past, ponders on his current situation and sketches out his vision and dreams about the future.
This is the story of a man in search of a country, his inner Odyssey in the vastness of the edge of the world, in quest of an answer to the ultimate question of “where is home?”
France, Cyprus, Antarctica. Three totally different places and environments that connect through our character’s memories and experiences.
“Vast Blue Antarctica” is a feature animated documentary that tries to answer the question “where one’s home is?” through the eyes and experiences of Alexandre Gautier, a French artist who turned to carpentry and works as a maintenance worker for the Paul-Emile Victor scientific base in Antarctica.
The film follows Alexandre to Antarctica during his second and third expedition. His literal journey to the edge of the world, is presented in parallel with his inner struggle to discover himself and to find out where he belongs.
In the film, Antarctica is presented not only as a vast cold place, but also is revealed as Alexandre’s inner space where his personal experiences unfold.
I first met Alex in Cyprus, a few months before his first trip to Antarctica. I could tell that he was preparing himself for a trip to the unknown. We met again and had the chance to know each other better about a month before his second trip. This time he had a bunch of interesting stories to share about his experiences, the people that he met there and his work.
What made me want to make a documentary about his story though, was his eagerness and his impatience to go back to Antarctica as soon as possible and for as many years he is physically able.
What I find particularly interesting in the process of making this film is how differently Alexandre will experience Antarctica in every new trip there and how stronger his bond with the place will be.
This film is very special to me, among other reasons, because I find it challenging to create a film about a place that I have never visited and probably never will, even though it is a dream I had as a child.
It is really rare to stumble upon a story like the one about Alex and his connection with Antarctica. A story full of excitement about life in one of the most isolated places on earth, narrated by an inspired voice. The kind of story which we felt as creators, that has to find its way to the screen and offer a unique cinematic experience to the audience. This is the reason we chose to combine animation and live action footage for this film.
The animated sequences will serve as a visualisation of Alexandre’s ruminations, thoughts, dreams, memories and ideas - a visual rendition of his inner voyage in all its complexity and, sometimes, surrealism. It will also serve as a visual way to separate the presentation of Alexandre’s inner world to the external one.
Kimonos Animation Studio (CY)
Kimonos Animation Studio is the animation studio of the Kimonos Art Center. Since its beginning in 2015, it has been organizing workshops and providing animation courses. At the same time it produces its own animated films. It is also regularly involved in international co-productions and collaborations with other production companies and studios. Since 2017, the studio organizes the independent annual international animation festival The Animattikon Project.
(Kimonos Animation Studio director)
IndigoFlicks is a production company based in Greece, that specializes in the audiovisual and cultural sector. The company collaborates regularly in international productions which vary from short films to feature documentaries and from music videos to museum installations.
Its latest productions participated in European Capital of Culture PAFOS2017 and various international film festivals across Europe.
The project is also supported by the Department of Multimedia and Grpahic Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology.