Once upon a time, long before Disney or Pixar, Lotte Reiniger ignited the world of animation with shadows, light, and a pair of magical scissors.

Once upon a time, long before Disney and the other animation giants, Lotte Reiniger ignited the screen with shadows, light, and a pair of magical scissors.

And so with music, magic, and a stirring narration by Lotte herself, LOTTE THAT SILHOUETTE GIRL tells the largely unknown story of one of animations’ biggest influencers. Her unique style of storytelling and visual contrast inspired many, including modern day filmmakers Nora Twomey, Henry Selick, Rebecca Sugar and many others. Lotte's 1926 film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed is the oldest surviving feature length animation, and she also invented the multi-plane camera, both of which changed the field of animation forever. And sadly, both feats are often mistakenly credited to Walt Disney. This stunning documentary uses Lotte’s utterly unique silhouette style as it re-narrates history to tell the previously untold and charming fairy tale of Lotte Reiniger’s life. It is “a visual symphony” that will delight audiences with its smart, artful, and romantic animation accompanied by truly imaginative music and the wonderful narration of Lotte’s gravely and thickly accented voice.

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Interview with filmmakers Elizabeth Beech and Carla Patullo: New Documentary Brings to Life the Magical Story of Lotte Reininger, the Trailblazing Woman who is the Mother of Animation - PROFILES AND INTERVIEWS

P&I: Lotte That Silhouette Girl brings attention to not only the true pioneering woman in animation, but really the true pioneer of animated films in the world. What drew you to her story?

ELIZABETH BEECH: Yes, she is a pioneer, but we didn't know that at first. The first time we saw one of her films was on YouTube. Carla was looking for a silent film to write music to, and while browsing, we came across Lotte's 1922 Aschenputtel. We both thought it was absolutely mesmerizing--we had never seen anything like it, and so we started looking for and watching more of her short films. We fell in love with her work right from the start. It has a special quality that comes from the craft of it. You can feel her presence and her hands in the film even though you can't see them. She was obsessed with trick films, which were popular in Berlin when she was a young girl, and she brought these elements of trickery and magic to her work. And then she combined that with her stunning talent of hyper detailed silhouette cutting. Jean Renoir once said of Lotte that she was born with fairy hands.

CARLA PATULLO: We've watched some videos of her cutting out silhouettes, and it's crazy. She just goes along with the scissors, and when she gets back to the beginning, there is a perfect character created out of cardboard. I know she started as a young girl and had a lot of practice cutting silhouettes, but it's just so cool that she carved a whole career out for herself based on this weird talent she had. But yeah, back to your question, it was the beauty and the magic of her work that first drew us to her story, and then the whole pioneer thing just piled up on top of that later… CONTINUE READING