‘Loving Vincent’ tells the story of Vincent van Gogh by bringing his art to life.

Oscar-nominated film, Loving Vincent, premiered in South Africa to a sold-out opening weekend at The Bioscope cinema in Maboneng, last weekend. The film has made history as the world’s first entirely hand-painted feature film, in which all 65 000 frames are individual oil paintings produced by 125 different artists from around the world.

The movie tells the story of the world-famous Dutch artist, Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890), particularly focusing on the circumstances surrounding his death. It is a Polish production written and directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. It has been nominated for Best Animation Feature at both the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards this year.
The Bioscope owner, Russell Grant, told Wits Vuvuzela that the decision to screen Loving Vincent was a no-brainer. “It’s the first feature film of its kind that had my attention when it first came up,” he said. Grant was able to get access to the film through distributors he had built relationships with. According to Grant, it is normal for movies to perform well on their opening night, but for a movie to sell out its entire opening weekend is unusual.

The film uses Van Gogh’s most famous works, such as ‘Starry Night’, as its basis. According to Wits School of Arts, History of Art lecturer, Stacey Vorster, Van Gogh’s style and art is influential because it “broke away from the tradition of realism, arguably sparking a generation of avant garde artists who fundamentally changed the idea of western art”, said Vorster. Lwazi Stofela, 24, who saw the movie, said, “It’s definitely worth the hype. I rate art lovers and school kids need to watch it.

Loving Vincent will screen at The Bioscope until Tuesday, 6 March.