Roger Ebert heaps plenty of praise on this 2008 "best film not playing at a theatre near you," titled Sita Sings The Blues - described as "an animated version of the epic Indian tale of Ramayana set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw," by cartoonist and filmmaker Nina Paley.
It hardly ever happens this way. I get a DVD in the mail. I'm told it's an animated film directed by "a girl from Urbana." That's my home town. It is titled "Sita Sings the Blues." I know nothing about it, and the plot description on IMDb is not exactly a barn-burner... I carefully file it with other movies I will watch when they introduce the 8-day week.The stuff filmmaker dreams are made of...
I put on the DVD and start watching. I am enchanted. I am swept away. I am smiling from one end of the film to the other. It is astonishingly original. It brings together four entirely separate elements and combines them into a great whimsical chord.
I obtain Nina Paley's e-mail address and invite the film to my film festival in April 2009...
You can read his entire enthusiastic entry HERE.
As of today, despite all the attention Nina and her film have received thanks in large part to Ebert's mention last week (although it did play at several prominent film festivals over the last 12 months), Sita Sings The Blues is still without a distributor.
HOWEVER, that certainly hasn't stopped Paley from attempting an effort of her own. You filmmakers reading this will certainly appreciate her thorough explanation of her plans to get the film in front of audiences, by any means necessary! You can read it all here: Nina Paley announces her new distribution plan.
Here's the film's fun little trailer (not quite Waltz With Bashir, but it still intrigues):