Friction 2002 ¨

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FRICTION is a 3D animated parable about a mad scientist from Green Bay, USA whose books have recently affected the world political order. When we met this guy, it was like, wow, what the hell was that? So we tried to recreate that same feeling for the audience through the movie. We felt that was the best and most honest way to 'document' him, for better or worse.

Select Comments

Your movie must be good - I dreamt about Fester [the main character] last night.

Projectionist, Brooklyn Film Festival

Ellmann's either a genius or an idiot; this film should be required in film schools everywhere.

Jerry Marr, Brooklyn Film Festival Participant


The Unmissable Friction Show is just that: unmissable. Only for the most daring of film watchers, this ... will challenge the limits of your senses.

Dahlonega Film Program, 2002

...Thank you. None of us had ever seen anything like Friction before and we felt very strongly that it represented everything that we wanted to see in a true independent film festival. It was our distinct pleasure to screen it. When you see Head Programmer, Dean Treadway's description of Friction in our Festival Program (which I will also ship to you), you will get an idea of how your film struck us. We think you are all geniuses!

BARRY R. NORMAN Executive Director The DIFF

"The festival emphasizes distinctive voices, and none is as idiosyncratic as Grand Jury Prize-winner Friction. Documentarian Robert Ellmann introduces us to Steve Priesler, a chemist who, under the name "Uncle Fester," publishes how-to books about making your own crystal meth or nerve gas. With Priesler's hippie-radical narration matched by a surreal cocktail of animation and special effects, Friction is like watching a 1960s underground comic book come to life." Atlanta's Creative Loafing newspaper

People News (Popular Czech Daily) **** out of *****

Hi/Lo Film Festival says: "Crazy. Just crazy. Robert Ellman's Tennis Match screened at hilo '99 and at least that had some semblance of a narrative, even if it was surreal about a dead puppy winning Wimbledon. But this one? Beats us. It's just too too weird. But even if we don't understand it, Mr. Ellman has something to say and a dazzling, mind-fucking way of saying it."

Bare Bones Fest says: "Robert Ellman turned our brains inside out with [Friction]."

Killing my Lobster late night says "FRICTION Robert Ellman, Prague DV, 40 minutes "...this bizarre series [is] in the shorts program, but for the full, well, it's not really a story, but for the full experience of this tripped out "biopic" of renegade methamphetamine synthesist known as "Uncle Fester." We think this was originally created for a local TV series in Prague, but we're really not sure. Jesum this is weird."

The Prague Post says, "AWARDED Friction, a documentary by local attorney Robert Ellmann, won three prizes at recent international festivals, including a gold medal from the San Francisco documentary film festival and the grand prize from the Dahlonega International Film Festival in Georgia. The film was broadcast on Czech Television in May and on America's TimeWarner Educational Channel in Florida in early July."

"...It also means movies that are far away from the mainstream. Like "Friction," a weird animated flick from the ...Czech Republic that's a nominee for the fest's grand jury prize and has already been awarded a special jury prize. Unfortunately, it's a self-indulgent diatribe and completely unwatchable." The Atlanta Constitution newspaper

Yes, FRICTION got quite a response... some people loved it, some walked out... I heard a comment that someone was very impressed/intrigued by the film as it's based on something by an underground writer?....

Best regards, Michael Harwood, MFF Chair

Television Transmissions

Czech Public Television - many showings - 2002-present

The Florida Education Channel (Time Warner Cable Channel 18 and Adelphia Cable Channel 16) - July 6, 2002

Festivals & Awards

International Film Festival of Fine Arts in Hungary 2002 -- unanimous Gold Medal Experimental

2002 Education Channel's Ninth Annual Independents' Film & Video Festival -- Gold Medal Experimental Films Category

2002 Dahlonega International Film Festival - Festival Grand Prize and Special Jury Prize

The Indie Fest - Gold Medal

Tokyo Video Festival

Echo Film Fest

Memphis Film Forum

Nemzetközi Képzőművészeti Filmszemle

Bare Bones Festival

Fort Myers Film Festival

Brooklyn International Film Festival

Fayetteville FilmFest

Hi/Lo Film Festival

Finále festival of Czech films at Plzeň

Přehlídka animovaného filmu Olomouc 2004

Festival Cinematografico Internacional del Uruguaya

Detroit Docs

FITES Prague Festival of Documentaries and Animations

Program Mezinárodního festivalu dokumentárních filmů, Jihlava 2002

eKsperim[E]nto Film and Video Festival Philippines