Institute History

  • 2008 Sundance Film Festival


Spiders' legs brushing against naked skin. Unexplained noises in the dark. A hypodermic needle getting closer and closer. A dead thing trapped in a bottle of formaldehyde. A growling dog running and on the hunt. A big empty house creaking . . . Six amazing graphic artists and cartoonists lend their distinctive hands to stylize these dark nightmares with no color, only black, white, and gray.

With ultrarealistic techniques now possible, it is important to remember that animation is first and foremost art. Whether slick or rough, paint or pencil, or even originating from a computer, there is an image carefully hand designed for every single frame of film. It is the ultimate work of a creator, personally using the drawn frame, chiaroscuro contrast, the angle of the light, and the line movement to tell a story. But it is also the duration of a shot, and what is and isn’t heard. It is the style of the art and the art of the storytelling that make Fear(s) of the dark so wonderful. Since they come from the artists' own phobias, you can trust a loving exploration into the surreal atmosphere of your creepiest dreams. As your emotions get worked over, you won’t jump up; you will sink in.

— Mike Plante

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]