While browsing the bookstore 19-year-old Gwen is unexpectedly drawn to a volume of kinky erotica, earning her disapproving glares from the other customers. Will Gwen follow her deepest desires or will she let her embarrassment restrain her?
Behind the scenes
Basically ‘Tabook’ is about overcoming shame. Public opinions and societal norms can be so strongly internalized that they obstruct us from seeing and accepting ourselves for who we are. Often we need a shock experience to break through those fears.
In this story the public pressure forces Gwen (the main character) to make a decision and take ownership of an aspect of herself that others disapprove of. It’s a liberating experience.
Why did you want to tell this story?
‘Tabook’ shows a funny and awkward situation, one we’ve all been in one time or another. The question then is: What did you take away from that situation? Did you stay embarrassed or did you accept it and own it, even? I think it’s good to talk about these experiences.
I’m not saying we should discuss all our intimate feelings and preferences with the whole world. There needs to be a bit of mystery as well, right? But what’s important to me is that we shouldn’t feel embarrassed about things we like but others might find silly, reprehensible or aggravating.
What inspired the idea?
The immense success of the ‘50 Shades’ series actually, which made me think. I find it striking that a book about kinky sex can be the best-sold book ever and that at the same time kinks are still seen by a lot of people as fundamentally wrong. ‘Tabook’ is a comment on that paradox.
What was the vision behind the cute design of the film?
Sexuality has its dark sides, but this film is not about the dark sides. We wanted to show sexual kinks as an exciting and harmless phenomenon, which they are, if dealt with in a healthy, unrepressed way. The friendly and familiar, almost Disney-esque, drawing style and color palette help to present these sexual preferences as a healthy and natural thing to explore.
Can you tell us about the techniques used for this film?
It’s a combination of a lot of different techniques. It has 2D character animation, a photographed paper art background, CG books and there is even a tiny bit of stop-motion involved. Combining techniques gives a richness to the world we create.
I enjoy working with different techniques within the same project; it has a limiting effect to what I can do as a director. It helps me with making decisions in a medium where supposedly everything is possible.
Can you tell us about your studio, Studio Pupil, and how ‘Tabook’ fits with your other work?
This film is a mix of the things we like to do best in our studio: Comedy, Characters and Communication! Then the fourth ‘C’ would be Concern, as most of our work is either in some way educational or socially engaged. We don’t do l’art pour l’art or entertainment for entertainment’s sake. It’s our urge to examine and comment on human society; we simply can’t help it…
Original title: Taboek
Running time: 3 minutes (00:02:47)
Release date: September 2016
Country: The Netherlands
Technique: 2D computer animation
Age: All ages
Dialogue: (Almost) none
Category: Debut film
Won Best Animated Short at CineKink 2017
Included in Selected Dutch Shorts 2017
Included in Korte Film Poule 2017
Included in Rooie Oortjes tour 2017
Review in Massad, the Benelux’ oldest SM-magazine, 2016
Review in Skwigly Online Animation Magazine’s podcast, 2016
Half a million viewers, being the supporting film of Bridget Jones’s Baby in Dutch Pathé cinemas, 2016
Les Nuits Magiques 2017
Nahia Film Fest 2017
Anima-São Festival 2017
O Sol da Caparica Music Festival 2017
Festival Hongerige Wolf 2017
Animasyros Festival 2017
Shortz Festival Novi Sad 2017
Festival de Cine de Madrid 2017
Frog Festival Zabljak 2017
Lucania Film Festival 2017
Cartoon Club Rimini 2017
Câmpulung Film Fest 2017
Detmold International Short Film Festival 2017
Neum Animated Film Festival 2017
Snake Alley Festival of Film 2017
NachtSchatten BDSM/Fetisch Film Festival 2017
Northwest Animation Festival 2017
Erotic & Bizarre Art Film Festival 2017
Shortcutz Amsterdam 2017
Holland Animation Film Festival 2017
Festival du Film d’Aubagne 2017
Athens Animfest 2017
Animac Lleida 2017
Briefs Erotic Short Film Competition 2017
The Cinerotic Erotic Film Festival 2017
Love Actually International Short Film Showcase 2017
Anima Brussels Animation Film Festival 2017
Suikerzoet Film Festival 2016
Manchester Animation Festival 2016
Anima Mundi 2016
KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival 2016
Nederlands Film Festival 2016
“Very funny and I really loved the animation.” street-artist Laser 3.14
“A big amazing surprise.” actor Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner, Batman Begins)
Following his animation studies at the prestigious KASK academy in Belgium, Dario has been directing animation with an eye for the weird, the incentive and the power of character performance. His work is characterized by clarity, humor and a love for paradoxes. Besides directing at Studio Pupil, Dario teaches animation at the Willem de Kooning Academy and is co-founder of the KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival.
Wellie Wishers (2016-2017, 26×11’, NL/US/UK, co-director)
Tabook (2016, 3’, NL, director/writer, debut film)
Access Granted (2006, 7’, BE, director/writer, graduation film)
George’s New Place (2005, 4’, BE, director/writer, student film)
Tünde Vollenbroek is a producer of animated shorts, commercials and series at Studio Pupil, lead programmer at KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival, and chief European correspondent for Cartoon Brew. Tünde holds a master’s degree in Animation from the HKU in the Netherlands (2012) and is a graduate from the prestigious European co-production training Animation Sans Frontières (2013).
Wellie Wishers (2016-2017, 26×11’, NL/US/UK, team recruiter)
Scrambled (2017, 7’, NL, producer)
Tabook (2016, 3’, NL, producer)
Full Feather Jacket (2015, 3’, NL, line producer)
Losing Nemo (2013, 7’, NL, producer)
Violinplay (2011, 2’, NL, director, student film)
Producer: Tünde Vollenbroek
Production coordinator: Iris Frankhuizen
Creative consultant: Johan Klungel
Animation studio: Studio Pupil
Screenplay, storyboard: Dario van Vree
Design: Bonnie Mier, Dario van Vree
Paper art: Vera van Wolferen
Background photography: Dario van Vree
Typography: DB Creative Works
Animation: Tom Mourik, Michael Sewnarain, Bonnie Mier
Clean-up: Myrthe Raasveld
Coloring: Daniel Visscher
Compositing: Studio Plumeau
Technical research: Colin Dassen
Lead voice (Gwen): Reineke Jonker
Additional voices: Annegeer Konijn, Oscar van der Heiden, Dario van Vree
Music: Nik Phelps
Foley, sound design, mix: Jeroen Nadorp
Foley recording engineer: Robin van der Heiden
Sound studio: Bob Kommer Studios
Festival distribution: Ursula van den Heuvel (KLIK! Distribution Service)
Production consultant: Jantiene de Kroon