Directors: Roland Becerra, Kelly Bigelow Becerra
At this last year’s Academy Awards, Guillermo del Toro stepped up to the podium upon winning the Oscar for Best Animated Film and talked about how animated features are ‘not a genre, but still cinema.’ While I’m sure readers on this site will more than likely know this already, it’s a great reminder that animation is just a choice in creating cinema and not inherently separate.
This year, Panic Fest 2023 showcased a rather unique “animated” horror feature that struck a unique chord with me. Agatha became an unnerving cinematic venture that burrowed under my skin with its distinctive visuals that blend animation and live action in one of the most fascinating ways. It’s the kind of experimental style in film that warrants a viewing, even if it makes some choices that may alienate some viewers.
My screening included a brief introduction by one of the directors, Kelly Bigelow Becerra and she notes that the film was a combination of animation and live action where the footage of the actors was painted – frame by frame – over with the animation. It’s an interesting expectation that’s set prior to the film. It’s almost necessary because being thrown into the film might be a bit overwhelming for those not expecting what it is bringing to the table.