UPDATED with video: KilI It And Leave This Town is a deeply personal, unconventional and moving hand-drawn animation from artist-turned-animator Mariusz Wilczynski, who explores subjects including grief and childhood in his feature debut.
“I wouldn’t say it was biographical; it’s a tale based on emotions I had to deal with and things that happened in my life. It came from a deep feeling of sadness I was going through when my parents passed away,” Wilczynski says during the film’s panel at Contenders International. “I realized there was no tomorrow. I was left with a lot of remorse, unfinished conversations, and mistakes I wanted to make up for. This is what the film does.”
As we hear, the project began as a short film and, as it grew in the director’s head, underwent a remarkable 12-year journey to become a feature. “At some point the film outsmarted me,” says Wilczynski. “It grew cleverer than I am and I started following it.”
The film’s voice cast is a who’s who of famous Polish film biz names, not all of whom survived to see the final version, including Andrzej Wajda. “They put their hearts and souls into working with me on this film. Unfortunately many of them didn’t live to see it, but I feel that maybe somewhere they are watching and they are proud of it.”
Wilczynski credits his producer Ewa Puszczynska with helping him to finally get the film over the line. It premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in early 2020 and is now campaigning for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Outsider Pictures is handling U.S. distribution and sales.
Check out the panel video above.
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