The First Hand-Painted Feature Film Brings Van Gogh’s Paintings To Vivid Life

Recently, Airbnb and the Art Institute of Chicago threw down a remarkable offering: the chance to do what many post-impressionist superfans have always longed to do and briefly live inside one of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings. Anyone who couldn’t actually make it to Chicago to step inside the uncanny replica of The Bedroom, though, has another chance to feel like they’re living inside the master’s paintings.

Poland-based painter and director Dorota Kobiela recently teamed up with Academy Award-winning producer Hugh Welshman to create Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully hand-painted feature film, one that takes place inside the vividly rendered world hatched by Vincent Van Gogh. It all started two years ago when Kobiela and Welshman launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to secure funding for the project. Now, after a laborious production process, there’s a dazzling trailer for the film, which gives the abstract story of the artist, his paintings, and the characters within them a beating heart.

The plot is derived from the 800 letters written the painter left behind, which shed light on the significant people and events that comprised his too-short life. The real draw, though, is the visuals. In a rather fleeting minute, the trailer reveals some of the lush, gorgeous eye candy that makes the film work. Familiar images like Starry Night Over the Rhone and even Van Gogh’s own self-portrait are suddenly infused with movement, and the effect is stirring. It’s all even more impressive, though, taking into account the difficulty of pulling it off. According to designboom, Welshman’s Breakthru Films carefully chose and trained 100 artists to produce the more than 56,000 paintings in Van Gogh’s distinct style that the film required.

Although a release date has not been announced yet, it is scheduled for some time in 2016.JB