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Moon Man - Opening Night Gala

Stephan Schesch Ireland, France, Germany 2012 92min


If only Moon Man knew just how much children loved him. But he's not even remotely aware, he's just sitting on the moon, bored stiff, in his lonely silver sphere. One night, a shooting star appears, whizzing through outer space towards the moon. Moon Man seizes his chance, grabs the speeding comet by the tail, and hitches a ride to earth. Earth's arrogant president regards this as "an attack from outer space." He is absolutely furious. He has only just conquered the last speck of earth, and defeated all his enemies. Now aliens from another planet are attacking his dominion. The only traces they find of the intruder are silvery footprints near the edge of the crater’s impact. Meanwhile, the world's children are unable to sleep without seeing the Moon Man in the night sky, leading him to seek help from a kindly scientist who lives in a castle by the sea full of charming Rube Goldberg-like devices. While escaping the president and his soldiers, Moon Man sets off on a long journey, where he marvels at the many wonders the earth has to offer and realizes how much children love and need him.

Based on the bestselling book by Tomi Ungerer, the film's well-chosen moon tunes include Louis Armstrong’s Moon River. Moon Man is co-produced by Le Pacte and the Oscar-nominated Irish production company Cartoon Saloon, responsible forThe Secret of Kells (R2R, 2009). The animation - by Irish animators Fabian Erlinghauser (The Secret Of Kells), Sean McCarron (Song Of The Sea) and Marie Thorhauge (Old Fangs) – is impressively true to Ungerer’s style.

Themes: loneliness, adventure, difference, understanding and acceptance

Rating: G

Recommended for ages 7 to adult

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Followed by R2R's Opening Night Party!

The celebration of all things lunar will continue with a reception in the Atrium. A special guest performance by local space-lovers Wintermitts and orbital shadow show by Montreal's Mere Phantoms

More surprises for the Opening Gala will be announced shortly. Check back closer to the festival.


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Moon Man also screens on:

Stephan Schesch was born in Munich, studied at Munich Academy of Film, and began his career as a writer for television. He decided to specialize in animation during an internship at Film Roman (The Simpsons) in 1995. He has produced animated television series and feature films, including Hood (2001), The Cave of the Yellow Dog (2005) and The Three Robbers (R2R, 2007). He has produced over a dozen animation films and television series, and headed the animation studios Odeon, Ellipse and Animation X. Moon Man is his feature directorial debut.

Opening Night Party


The celebration of all things lunar will continue with a reception in the Atrium, featuring an opening set by Vancouver's very own genre bending, six-piece, alt-pop/folk band, Wintermitts.  "They sing in French and English. They rock out on trumpets and accordions. They waltz when they need to and they’re as absorbing (and comforting!) as you’d hope a winter mitten would be." - CBC Music. Wintermitts has a new album coming out entitled Our Love. Check out a couple of our favourite animated videos: Accord Mineur, from their '08 album Heirloom and Sharks from their '12 album Océans.

Then have your senses brightened by Media Artists Mere Phantoms with their interactive, space-themed shadow installation.  

Mere Phantoms, a Montreal-based collaborative studio, will create a custom-designed interactive shadow installation. It is designed to engage young audiences in animating and illuminating space adventures.  Artists Jaimie Robson and Maya Ersan will create an intricate ‘stage set’ of paper cut-outs that will be installed by suspending giant projection screens inside the atrium of the Vancity Theatre. The Mere Phantoms artists will demonstrate one of the paper-cut techniques they use in their work, and will guide participants through a design and creation process.

During our Opening Night Gala, you will be invited to contribute pre-cut 3D shadow puppets and your own body's shadow to the installation, using Mere Phantoms’ custom hand held lights, accompanied by live audio of Vancouver-based sound artist Paul Bennett.  Then watch the installation grow over the weekend.

Take part in a pre-registered in depth workshop on Sunday, April 14 at 10:30am and learn as much as you can about this magical use of moving images!

To go back to the Opening Gala film page click here or to purchase tickets to the evening click here.