A showcase of top animation from the UK's finest new talents. British animator Osbert Parker presents the TV premiere of exciting short films. All were recipients of grants under BBC Four and the British Film Institute's Animation 2018 initiative, which called out for new and emerging talent from around the country. The films take a variety of approaches, using styles and techniques ranging from hand-drawn images to live-action puppetry, stop motion, CG, 2D and 3D, covering a diversity of genres from science-fiction to documentary. Though richly varied in tone and content, they have been curated into four groups on the themes of animals, other worlds, obsession and love. Morris dancing badgers, a noir fairy tale, a heartening tale of love beyond the grave and an alien coming-of-age story are just some of the treats in store from some of the nation's most-imaginative and talented new animators.
Architect Piers Taylor and actress Caroline Quentin explore unusual homes built in or near areas of forest. After trips to properties near Madrid and the Catskill Mountains in New York State, they arrive in Piha, New Zealand, to a house built within an indigenous forest of pohutukawa trees. Navigating very strict environmental laws, this wooden-cladded and glass-roofed property mimics the branches of the surrounding trees, while its huge sliding glass walls open up to allow the surrounding forest to become an intrinsic part of the house itself.
'Girl with a Pearl Earring' by Johannes Vermeer is one of the most enduring paintings in the history of art, but despite its popularity, the painting itself is surrounded by mystery. Who was this girl, why and how was it painted, and why is it so revered? This film takes us on a journey through the masterpieces of the extensively-renovated Mauritshuis in The Hague in the Netherlands to try to answer many of the questions surrounding this enigmatic painting and its mysterious creator.
Monet, Cezanne, Degas and Renoir are some of the world's most popular artists. Their works, and that of their contemporaries, fetch tens of millions of dollars around the globe. Who were they and how exactly did they paint? To help answer these questions, this film focuses on the man credited with inventing impressionism as we know it - 19th-century Parisian art collector Paul Durand-Ruel. It was his brave decision to back these radical artists and then, on the verge of bankruptcy, to exhibit them in New York in 1886 that created impressionism as we know it. Thanks to his sales to enlightened wealthy Americans that subsequently filled US galleries with impressionist masterworks, Durand-Ruel kept impressionism alive at a time when it faced complete failure. This film tells his remarkable story, along with that of the impressionists themselves.