Annecy: CMG Scores Sales on Latvian Director Gints Zibalodis’ AWAY

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“Gints Zilbalodis is a young Latvian animator who has been making ambitious short films since he was in high school. His shorts have met with mixed success at festivals, partially because they have – in my view – perhaps followed live-action approaches a tad too much. Still, you could always feel that this was a talented artist. That is finally on full display with his debut feature, Away. Made entirely by Zilbalodis, this truly one-man band film is astonishing. Told without dialogue, we follow a boy, who has become stranded on an island, as he attempts to flee a giant dark spirit and find his home.

This minimalist, tense and quiet film is filled with gorgeous, emotive scenes (notably the spectacular Mirror Lake chapter) as the boy (and his small bird sidekick) desperately flees what he assumes is a sort of giant Grim Reaper.  The ending is wonderfully oblique and open ended.”

Chris Robinson, Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival