Lotte Reiniger: Out of the Shadows
Jan 23 2024
event: talk in-person

Goethe, OCAD U, and TAIS present a free expert panel discussion revisiting the paper art and animation pioneer Lotte Reiniger, her early design and moving image innovation–inspired by German Scherenschnitte and the ancient Chinese art of paper cutting–from Berlin to her work at the National Film Board of Canada. Her lasting legacy will be illustrated with examples by students and contemporary animators.

This panel will be accompanied by a screening at OCAD U of the Goethe-Institut’s catalogue of Reiniger films from 1916 to 1956 and a professional silhouette workshop with the Toronto Animated Image Society (TAIS).

Over a 50-year career in the early 20th century, Lotte Reiniger made over sixty films, often fantastical and set to music from Mozart to Britten. Her stunning silhouette films were created from intricate cut-out figures with hinged joints, which were delicately hand-manipulated and captured by stop motion photography. The 1926 classic ‘The Adventures of Prince Ahmed’ is lauded as the first full-length animated feature (and one of the first to include openly gay lovers); her short ‘Aucassin and Nicolette’ was created in 1975 at the National Film Board of Canada. The multi-talented artist, costume and set designer, book illustrator, writer-director invented the first multiplane camera and created shadow play sequences for G.W. Pabst and Jean Renoir. Reiniger’s format exploration and imagination, inspired by travels to Egypt and Greece as well as her exile in Britain, was boundless. Her influence to this day reaches from Disney to Harry Potter films.


Prof. Philippe Blanchard (OCADU Eperimental Animation), stop motion animator Ghazal Tahernia (LAIKA Studios), and more TBA


Goethe-Institut logo
OCAD U logo
Toronto Animated Image Society logo


Who should visitors contact with questions regarding accessibility?
Jutta Brendemuhl
Is this venue accessible by wheelchair or similar mobility devices? This includes access to washrooms and all aspects of programming/events.
(currently no accessible washrooms)
Can people get to the venue using accessible transit?
cc Agentur Primrose Film Productions
German silhouette animation film artist Lotte Reiniger in London
cc Kjersti Lie
The design of Reiniger's silhouette characters: shaded parts from thin lead plates, white parts cardboard, overlaps linked with thin metal wire.
Reiniger-inspired silhouette work by OCAD U student Marisa Elliot
Reiniger-inspired silhouette work by OCAD U student Minhaj Khan