"INGRID PITT: BEYOND THE FOREST is so wonderful and appropriate to today - to the children in this world, growing up and needing something to touch theirs' and others' hearts and souls, so as to know the true feeling of love and empathy for their peers."
-Millie Perkins, actress playing "Anne Frank" in the classic film, The Diary of Anne Frank
Memories from the Holocaust have been portrayed in almost every medium, but rarely animation -- and never before by a child animator. Animated short film "INGRID PITT: BEYOND THE FOREST" is a cross-generational collaboration between a world-class animation master, two-time Academy Award-nominated Bill Plympton, and a first-time animator, 11-year-old artist Perry Chen. It is narrated by Ingrid Pitt herself.
Starting with Ingrid Pitt's poignant narration and Bill Plympton's 23 traditional pencil sketches as storyboard, award-winning artist and film critic Perry Chen brings this moving story and its contemporary implications alive. Read more
Actress and cult figure Ingrid Pitt, who died suddenly in London on November 23, 2010 at age 73, was best known and by many adored as "The Queen of Scream" in British horror films of the early 1970's. Her life story is nothing if not confounding and, to some, bizarre. In the BBC's obituary -- just one of a surprising avalanche appearing worldwide -- Michael Hearn, a historian of Hammer Films, for whom the star worked, described her as "a warm but stubbornly enigmatic figure."
Kevin Sean Michaels was born and raised in New York City. He started making films at age thirteen with a Super 8 home movie camera in the style of early silent films. Michaels was the Art Director for Troma Entertainment for three and a half years, working closely with filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman on Troma's film Poultrygeist! Night of the Chicken Dead, as well as numerous DVD extras.
Theodora K. Michaels has been working in the music industry since 1987, and as an attorney at one of the world's largest independent music publishers, Carlin America, Inc., since 1998. Since 2005, she has also been working in partnership with her husband, Kevin Sean Michaels, for their independent film production company VAMP Productions.
Dr. Zhu Shen's love for the movies started when she was a young girl, growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution where watching movies was the only entertainment available to the masses. Her journey to become a filmmaker took a convoluted path. She studied medicine at Peking Union Medical College before coming to the US and earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Colorado, and then an MBA from Cornell University's Johnson School.
Jud Newborn, Ph.D., is a New York-based author, lecturer and expert on the Holocaust and the fight for human rights worldwide. Founding Historian of NY's Museum of Jewish Heritage from 1986 to 2000, Dr. Newborn is co-author of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose, companion to the Academy Award-nominated German film, Sophie Scholl - The Final Days. Awarded his PhD with Distinction by the University of Chicago, Dr. Newborn has lectured from San Diego's Old Globe Theatre and L.A.'s Simon Wiesenthal Center to the United Nations, and from Canada to Cape Town.
Perry Chen is the youngest award-winning film/entertainment critic and animator, artist, speaker, and entertainment personality. His interest in films started at age three when he watched Tom and Jerry for the first time and couldn't stop laughing. He started writing movie reviews at age eight using a kid-friendly starfish rating system, under the guidance of his mom Dr. Zhu Shen and his third grade teacher Ms. Harris. Perry's debut on the CBS Evening News in 2009 made him a national sensation.
In 1985, Bill Plympton approached Maureen McElheron to score a short film. The result was Your Face, and her surreal song helped garner the film an Oscar nomination. Maureen's soundtrack for The Tune, Plympton's first animated feature, was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award in 1992. She produced and composed music for 12 Tiny Christmas Tales, a 2001 holiday special on Cartoon Network. In addition to music for many of Plympton's animated shorts, Maureen composed I Am Special, an album of songs published by Addison Wesley to promote life skills for challenged students.
More bios and photos coming soon.