Winter In The Rainforest is a nature film with surreal creatures – animals, birds, insects, plants made of porcelain living in the tropical rainforest. The film premiered at the Annecy International Film Festival in 2019. You can watch the film and learn more about the making process here.
Winter In The Rainforest is shot in Chiapas Mexico and Amazon forest in Peru.
I spent two months in an artist residency in a small village San Roque de Cumbaza in Peru. For two months I was wondering in the forests and rivers, gathering inspiration and ideas and shooting and animating, carrying my cameras and puppets and fighting with mosquitos.
The main shooting of the film took place in Chiapas Mexico at a paradise like ranch named Kan Kan Ha located in the rainforest on a shore of a beautiful river with natural pools and waterfalls. Our small crew spent 2 months shooting the film and sharing our daily life with the animals of the forest and the farm.
The film is animated outdoors in the nature and shot with a 16 mm film camera using only natural light.
The puppets are made of porcelain and silicone.
Winter In The Rainforest is the first short animated film in a bigger long-term project. It will be a composition of short animated films consisting of 3 individual films each one shot in a different location in the World depicting different seasons of the year.
Director, script, design, animation: Anu-Laura Tuttelberg
Producer: Anu-Laura Tuttelberg, Andrus Raudsalu, Daniel Irabien Peniche, Agnė Adomėnė
Composer: Maarja Nuut
Camera: Rodrigo Pérez Alcocer, Anu-Laura Tuttelberg
Production studio: Moon Birds Studios (Estonia), Stuudio Nukufilm (Estonia), Estudio Carabás (Mexico), Art Shot (Lithuania)
Stop motion animation
SHOOTING OF THE FILM
I am happy to announce that we have finished the shooting for Winter In The Rainforest! The shooting took place in the beautiful rainforests of Chiapas in Mexico. We spent two months in the forests and rivers with my small and amazing team consisting of our Mexican producer Daniel Irabien and camera man Rodrigo Pérez.
Thanks to all the people who helped us there and most of all the City of Palenque who supported the production in Mexico!
Here you can see our jungle studio in Mexico and the puppets on location:
Best Short Film – Viborg Animation Festival (Denmark, 2020)
Best International Short Film – The 28th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival, (USA, 2019)
Jury Grand Prix – Piccolo Festival dell’Animazione, (Italy, 2019)
Best Visual Design Award – 22nd Cellu’lart Short Film Festival, (Germany, 2021)
Best Sound Prize – Paris International Animation Film Festival, (France, 2019)
Special Mention – Go Short Award, International Short Film Festival Nijmegen, (Netherlands, 2020)
Special Mention for Short Film – Ljubljana International Short Film Festival (Slovenia, 2020)
Jury’s Special Award, New Chitose Airport International Animation Festival (Japan, 2019)
Outstanding Work of Short Films Competition – Taichung International Animation Festival, (Taiwan, 2019)
Special Distinction Prize – Bucheon International Animation Festival, (South Korea, 2019)
Special Mention – 17th European Film Forum Scanorama, (Lithuania, 2019)
Special Mention of On The Edge Competition – Zubroffka International Short Film Festival, (Poland, 2019)
Students Jury Award – StopTrik (Lodz, 2021)
First Prize for film project – Baltic Pitching Forum (Lithuania, October 2015). As a prize chosen to participate at the European Short Film Co-production Forum Euro Connection at 38th International Short Film Festival Clermont-Ferrand (France, February 2016)
And the final puppets. The photos are taken in a botanical garden and in the nature on a wintery beach.
The characters for this film are porcelain animals, insects, birds. Here are some pictures of sculpting, making molds and the porcelain details that are assembled into final puppets.
I will produce porcelain sculptures of the characters as independent artworks aside from the film. If you wish to have one of the puppets you can contact me and let me know of your interest!
Prior to shooting the film in Mexico I spent two months in the summer of 2016 in the Peruvian Amazon in art residency Sachaqa Centro de Arte in a small village of San Roque de Cumbaza. Living in a village in middle of the forest I was gathering ideas for the film, exploring the jungle for finding locations for shooting and practicing how to animate puppets in the nature. Here are a few shots of my jungle-animation-set with the cameras and puppets right in the middle of wilderness.
Self portrait with the puppets, Bolex 16 mm camera and my house.
Sets in the nature and stills from the animated scenes.
Five minutes after an attack of the giant ants and a plunge into the river to get rid of the biting ants in my hair. The pictures are taken by Daniel from Sachaqa Centro de Arte who was kind to show me around in his forest and search for locations.
ANIMATION TESTS IN THE STUDIO
In a hidden corner of the world there is a place where all impossible dreams come true. In a rainforest amidst lush nature fragile porcelain animals can be found. Strange white stony creatures are born in wild river streams, birds with feet like human fingers hunt for flying fish, vicious spiders catch miniature dancers into their traps…
This is a surreal world inhabited by creatures never seen before. Time here passes in a strange way moving in an unexpected paste. As the film is shot in nature the changes of light create a strange shift between the passing of time and the movement of the characters. Tropical nature, ceramic creatures, Estonian music and sounds of northern nature form a surreal world with bizarre sensation of seeing something unknown but familiar at the same time.