Lotte Reiniger was born in Germany in 1899, and started making her own cut-out shadow puppets as a teenager. In 1818 she began to explore the potential of animating these silhouettes on film, and after a series of shorts she created a feature-length film: The Adventures of Prince Achmed.
This spectacular tale of a heroic prince and his flying horse was painstakingly produced over three years in a small studio above a garage, using cut-out paper, multiple panes of glass and an overhead camera. The film is often cited as the very first animated feature, but whatever its place in history Prince Achmed can still captivate audiences of all ages.
This one-off screening will be accompanied by a short talk from Ian Francis (7 Inch Cinema), who will be exploring Lotte Reiniger’s unique work and in particular her connections with Coventry towards the end of her career. In the early 1960s Reiniger produced a series of short animated fairy-tales designed to be screened during the interval at Coventry Theatre’s hugely popular pantomimes. There will also be a demonstration of shadow puppetry by Ron Clarke from the Herbert.