TIFF Review: Tito & The Birds
By Nina Kalirai
Tito & The Birds, an animated children’s feature, is a Brazilian film that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) ’18.
The film is created from a combination of oil paints, digital drawings and graphic animation. Although, it is just over an hour long, it successfully takes viewers through the theme of overcoming fear with the film’s main character, Tito, alongside his friends.
Throughout the film, we see young Tito and his friends face loss, confusion, fear and discovery all in an attempt to save the city from fear, a disease that is crippling the population daily. In the beginning of the film, the disease of fear was deemed as incurable, however Tito’s determination to find the cure changes that by the end of the film.
Tito & The Birds is producer and director Gustavo Steinberg’s - his first childrens movie. In an exclusive interview with VIBE 105 Correspondent Nina Kalirai, Steinberg explains the inspiration behind the film:
“My city (Saõ Paulo) is known as the city of walls and many people hide behind these walls. In Saõ Paulo fear is something that has really been in the air for some time, almost as if it’s a trend. We (Gustavo, Gabriel & André) wanted to talk about this subject to kids. The idea was to discuss a very adult subject, in a way that kids would understand. We have to start to talk about this subject with kids, otherwise the world will become a very bad place. We have to come up with a civilized solution that isn’t simply an instant reaction to fear (e.g. violence).”
© TIFF Trailers | YouTube
Gustavo further went on to explain why he felt the need to make his first children’s movie:
“I have two kids, so I wanted to make something that they could watch. I also think we must talk to kids about the things happening in the world. I feel that adults are too numb and they don’t really react much to the things that are happening. Maybe the kids have a way of getting us out of this mess that we’ve created. Also, as a producer and a director there’s a more practical aspect to it. I’ve produced five features before this one and they were very political films. This (Tito & The Birds) has a more traditional narrative. Nevertheless, it’s also very difficult for a Brazilian movie to go abroad because of the language barrier, and how he industry is structured. It was a bet I was willing to make, to make a film that was more international and would travel more. And so far…the bet I paying off! To be here at TIFF is amazing! I only saw two animated features being premiered here, so this is extraordinary!”
*Editor’s note: Tito & The Birds was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival ‘18