mysterious and symbolic;
animation without words, just music
and natural sounds as a boy who has
become entangled in a tree by his
parachute frees himself to try to find
a way home, relentlessly pursued by
an enormous giant in the award-
winning, simplistic Away...
GIVEN THAT THE ONLY SOUNDS are from music, the weather and creatures other
than man, Away develops into a thought-provoking film; more so, as the
two main characters a boy and a very tall giant utter not one
The young man has apparently parachuted out of a plane and is stuck in a leafless
tree on an island. He eventually frees himself to make his way across the stark,
foggy landscape through a series of arches with ever-changing weather and scenery,
defining the seasons. He has home in his sights, using a map that he found in
a sack, along with a telescope, compass, a flask and a key.
Darkly haunting and
the mist a giant creature with burning eyes appears, lumbering after him as
he hurries across the island. The archways open to lush green vegetation; he
comes across birds and butterflies and a possible means of escape
a motorbike that starts first time with the key.
However, the giant is forever behind him. The young man lingers by a lagoon
where he drinks water and eats the fruit of a peach tree. He also discovers
a little yellow bird that cannot fly.
He gives the bird water and feeds it peaches as it cheeps happily at him and
joins him on his journey, eventually peeling off to fly with a flock of white
birds but returning to the boy, sometimes in the company of a single white bird.
Visually beautiful with magical starry night skies, snow-covered mountains,
a perfect mirror lake and a ruined village where a large number of black cats
live, Away embraces the very human element of man wishing to return to
the safety of home. On his way the boy interacts with the birds and animals
and comes across a lone human skeleton and a crashed aeroplane with ghost airmen.
The giant continues to follow the young man and the bird wherever they go, seemingly
unstoppable, through the arches and their meetings with various animals, including
a family of elephants and a turtle desperately in need of help.
While the young man faces the challenge of destroying a bridge to escape from
the giant, a white fox spells danger for the little bird, reflecting choices
in life that may have consequences. Further challenges come with torrential
rain and, with safety in sight, snowstorms and an avalanche.
Perhaps the giant, or dark spirit, is the giver and taker of life and the kindly
young man is lost; setting out on a mission to find sanctuary and home, shown
on the map as a harbour with tall ships. The young man attempts to keep himself
and the bird safe as he connects with other living creatures in a benign, caring
Described as part dream, part reality, Away seems to explore a shared,
collective desire to find a connection to other beings. It also appears that
the boy is not sure how he ended up on the island and yet he recognises the
harbour as home.
Darkly haunting and simplistically exquisite, this engaging animation delves
into the way a human lives his life in harmony with others; avoiding danger
and with one aim: to return to a safe haven. Away is a new animated low-budget
feature made by Gints Zilbalodis, who is writer, producer, director and score
Following the UK and Ireland cinema release of Away in August, the film
is released on Digital Download in the UK by Munro Films on 18 January 2021.
Available to pre-order now from Apple TV and iTunes and to purchase from Sky
Store, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Rakuten and Sony on the release date.
Chapters: 1 Forbidden Oasis | 2 Mirror Lake | 3 Dream Well | 4 Cloud Harbour.
Certificate: U | Running Time: 75 Minutes.
"Rare, mysterious and symbolic… Darkly haunting and simplistically exquisite"
**** Maggie Woods, MotorBar
"Stunning" ***** Matt Rodgers, Flickering Myth
"Strong visual storytelling and an excellent score" ****Empire
"Dreamy, sublime… a breath-taker" **** Matthew Leyland, Total Film
"Simply extraordinary" **** Larushka Ivan-zadah, Metro
"Beguiling" **** Kevin Maher, The Times
Gints Zilbalodis is a Latvian filmmaker and animator. He has made seven short
films in various mediums including hand-drawn animation, 3D animation and live-action,
often mixing the characteristic aesthetics. His previous films are: Rush
(2010, short), Aqua (2012, short), Clarity (2012, short), Priorities
(2014, short), Followers (2014, short), Inaudible (2015, short),
Oasis (2017, short), Away (2019, feature).
The multiple-award-winning Away, with a Rotten Tomatoes scored of 100
per cent, took the prestigious Contrechamp Award at Annecy International Animation
Film Festival 2019.
Director, Writer, Producer, Animator and Film Score Creator Gints Zilbalodis
worked on the film for three and a half years, writing the fascinating story,
creating the beautifully animated landscapes and characters, and composing and
recording the enchanting music to this stunning dialogue-free film.