A young artist is working on a portrait when an unexpected moment of frustration and doubt shatters his inspiration. Distracted by his own curiosity, he suddenly finds himself engulfed by a grande parade. Buzzing characters spirited from contemporary pop-culture and art-history crystallize out of the air. Unable to resist the charismatic pull of this vast and grotesque world, he joins in on an exploration through his own colorful ambitions. But when Pablo Picasso’s terrific charisma ends up threatening everything he holds dear, he learns to push back in order to rediscover his own voice.
Directed, Written & Animated by Robbe Vervaeke
Original Music by Ruben De Gheselle
Re-recording Mixer & Sound Design by Jef Aerts
Produced by Sarah D’hanens & Barend Weyens
Director Robbe Vervaeke graduated from the School of Arts with the hand-painted animated short film 'Erszebet' (2008). Continuing to refine his unique approach to the medium while working on his debut film 'Norman' (2012), the film went on to successfully tour the international short film festival circuit and took home the Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for Best Debut Prize at the prestigious Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France.
For his long-awaited new film, Vervaeke wanted to once again wed his passion for film and painting but he also felt it was time to challenge his signature style even further. Exploring a formal strategy that breaks away from the traditional frame-by-frame approach used in any other hand-painted film —even his own previous works— he developed a unique choreography that permits for more space between the individual drawings. By expertly staging the changing expressions and allowing room for the viewer to actually enter the emotion, he created an uncanny instability that feels true to how emotional expressivity works. 'Fighting Pablo' (2018) is a journey in masterful pacing and intense energy that escalates on its own internal logic. A deep dive into ones unconscious, focussing on a mood or visible segment of life that appears and then disappears, much like the ongoing events around us as we live them.