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Andreas Hykade directs the 2D animation film Altötting.

Featuring design by award-winning Portuguese animator/artist Regina Pessoa, Altötting is a co-production between Studio Film Bilder, the National Film Board of Canada and Ciclope Filmes.

“You know, when I was a boy, I fell in love with the Virgin Mary.” In the small Bavarian town of Altötting, a mother takes her young son to visit a nearby chapel. The boy becomes entranced by the Shrine of the Virgin Mary inside the chapel and begins daily pilgrimages to see his beloved Madonna. His love, devotion, and passion for her continue to grow, until one day his world is crushed by the devastating secret behind her eternal beauty. Mesmerizing, haunting, and deeply personal, Altötting is a coming-of-age story about love, faith, mortality, and shattered illusions.

In this poignant and philosophical animated short, acclaimed filmmaker Andreas Hykade (We Lived in Grass, Ring of Fire, The Runt, Love and Theft) interweaves scenes of quiet, spacious minimalism with flourishes of opulent beauty to create a timeless story of lost innocence.

Watch Altötting trailer:

Throughout Andreas Hykade’s career, his films have skirted between two strands: a minimalist, almost stick-figure-like style (The Runt, Nuggets, Tom) and a more elaborate and visually explosive design (Love and Theft, Walkampf, Ring of Fire, We Lived in Grass). Hykade’s most recent film, Altötting, bridges both of those approaches, combining an elegant, minimalist design and sound approach that emphasizes space and silence with moments of dazzlingly detailed opulence (notably in the scene where the Virgin Mary reveals her secret to the man).

In creating these more elaborate scenes, Hykade reached out to Portuguese animator Regina Pessoa, who’s known for her distinctive engraving (or scratch) technique.

I needed Regina’s contribution so that she could put her holy scratches on top of the animation. So the result is not stilted scratching but something quite magical and alive, which is exactly what was needed for the film, I think - Andreas Hykade

Script, Direction, Narration: Andreas Hykade | Design: Andreas Hykade & Regina Pessoa | Assistant Director: Orion Schweitl | Music: Daniel Scott | Tenor: Bernard Richter | Sound Design: Olivier Calvert | Artistic Director and Painting Supervisor: Regina Pessoa | Painting: Regina Pessoa, Sara Naves, André Marques, Alexandre Braga | Animation: Elena Walf, Andreas Hykade, Anselm Pyta, Orion Schweitl | Production Manager: Bianca Just | Line Producers: Mylène Augustin, Anne-Marie Bousquet | Studio Coordinators: Laetitia Seguin, Michèle Labelle| With the support of: MFG Baden-Württemberg, Filmförderanstalt Berlin, Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual, Ministério da Cultura | Executive Producers: Thomas Meyer-Hermann, Abi Feijó, Julie Roy | Producers: Thomas Meyer-Hermann, Marc Bertrand, Abi Feijó | Co-produced by: Studio FILM BILDER, The National Film Board of Canada, Ciclope Filmes

About Andreas Hykade:
Andreas Hykade was born during the summer of love in the Bavarian town of Altötting, “the Lourdes of Germany,” famous for its chapel housing a popular shrine to the Virgin Mary. Hykade has created animation for young audiences and adults, combining distinctive minimalist design with moments of lavishly detailed, psychedelic-inspired imagery. His stories deal with childhood memories and touch upon themes of identity, love, desire, death, and addiction. His award-winning shorts include We Lived in Grass (1995), Ring of Fire (2000), The Runt (2006), Love & Theft (2010), and Nuggets (2015). Since 2015, Hykade has been the director of the Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and the Chairman of FMX: The Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Immersive Media. His most recent film, Altötting, is a co-production between Studio Film Bilder, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Ciclope Filmes. This is Hykade’s first collaboration with the NFB.

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