Copyright. Square-Eyes 2006. All Rights Reserved


Square Eyes is delighed to again be associated with the Telecom New Zealand International Film Festivals, this year with the screening of French animated feature U.

As with last year's festival screenings, if you have an Around the World Empire Passport, please bring it with you for stamping at the Wellington film festival sessions.

France, 2006, 71 minutes, For ages 8+
Directed by Gregoire Solotareff and Serge Elissalde
In French with English subtitles

Meet Mona, an orphaned princess who lives in a crumbling castle by the sea. She is miserable and lonely, mistreated by a pair of mean rats. One day, as she bemoans her fate, U suddenly appears. U is a sprightly unicorn who declares she is there to help Mona through life and to assure her happiness. The two become inseparable friends.

Fast-forward a few years, and Mona has grown into a typical preteen. One day U brings home a lively lizard named Lazare who introduces Mona and U to his family, a gypsy clan of musicians who live in a tree near the castle. Despite the the fact that the rats try and force Lazare and his itinerant kin to move on, Mona asserts her under-exercised royal authority and demands that they stay. Mona loves the music and joy that Lazare's family brings, and soon U is afraid that Mona also loves the young guitarist, Kulka. What will become of U if Mona finds true happiness?

In collaboration with co-director Serge Elissalde, a highly acclaimed animator, and the great French singer Sanseverino (who provides the voice of Kulka), the highly renowned Solotareff creates a world of smart talk, expressive characters and extraordinary visual images. The story follows an ephemeral path, accompanied by music contagiously reminiscent of Django Reinhart and Stephane Grappelli.

'Ask any parent: small children are seething balls of emotion. It is a rare film indeed that acknowledges the depth and intensity of children - all the love, fear, jealousy, anxiety, possessiveness, curiosity, excitement and stubbornness that they feel. Now, from the fertile mind of Gregoire Solotareff, France's premiere children's author, comes U, a fascinating animated tale where all of the aforementioned feelings are expressed in a most visually arresting and emotionally genuine way... Parents will undoubtedly find themselves as enthralled as their small companions - and perhaps even dancing in the aisles.' Jane Schoettle - Toronto International Film Festival

See our 2011 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2009 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2008 Film Festivals programme here.
See our 2006 Film Festivals programme here.




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