A one-man, multidiscipline labour of love.
Director: Chris Sullivan
Best quote: ‘I do not suggest using ashes as fertilizer – these bitter urns of charred memories soak into the soil and leave a blackened taste on the lips.’
Defining moment: A scratchy, pencil-sketch scene of loss, as the authorities come to take away little Lydia and Victor Blue.
Surely the most obscure film on our list, ‘Consuming Spirits’ is the result of more than a decade’s work for writer, director, animator, musician and voice artist Chris Sullivan and his small team. Running 136 minutes and encompassing more than 230,000 individual frames, this epic achievement combines cutout, stop-frame and pencil sketches and a beautiful soundtrack steeped in mountain folk. But as with any great animated movie, it’s the emotional content that’s most rewarding.
Set in a small Pennsylvania town, this is a poetic, downbeat tale of three characters united by disappointment, alcohol and a haunted past. Thanks to an extremely limited US release, ‘Consuming Spirits’ is little known even within the animation community, but almost everyone who voted for it here made it their number-one choice. Tom Huddleston