Working with the idea of summer, the casual city life in Munich, the relaxed encounters with film stars, the audience itself.
This was the starting point for the motif of the 39th FILMFEST MUNICH, developed by Dutch illustrator Zeloot. Zeloot aka Eline van Dam has already worked for several festivals and also illustrates for DIE ZEIT, SZ-Magazin, The New York Times or Le Monde. That's how she came to the attention of Abc&D, the design studio that has been developing the corporate design of FILMFEST MÜNCHEN for 10 years now. Zeloot's vibrant, psychedelic style, which reminds the team of works by Heinz Edelmann (art director of the Beatles film YELLOW SUBMARINE) and other artists from counterculture, psychedelic art and underground comics of the 60s and 70s, immediately appealed to Manuel Trüdinger and Justin von Keisenberg from Abc&D, and they felt that Zeloot's visual worlds would be a perfect fit for the film festival. Zeloot says about it himself, "I am interested in inventing images as solutions. I translate content or emotion into a readable image, not as a decoration of a text, but as its representation."
Zeloot alias Eline van Dam
Zeloot, or zealot in German, by the way, means fanatic:in - usually used in a religious or ethical sense. Eline chose the name because she is passionate about her work, also because she found it graphically appealing with the Z and the two Os, and on the other hand, she wanted an artist name that didn't give away her gender.
How did she end up becoming a world-renowned illustrator? Ever since she was 5 years old, Eline van Dam wanted to be a painter, but after graduating in fine arts in The Hague, she felt that at 21 she was still too young and inexperienced for the art world, especially when it came to negotiating with galleries. So she moved out into the world, organizing events and drawing posters and flyers for the underground music scene on the side. She then started working as an illustrator for an agency, but soon felt like nothing more than a tool: "There were all these big brands trying to get me - one of these young "underground" artists - ready to launch you, exploit you, and then spit you out again. Drawing only for money didn’t work as a motivation for me. I thought I hated illustration." She continued to make a name for herself in the music scene, however, and was soon designing posters for bigger bands like The Decemberists and Sonic Youth.
It wasn't until Eline became a mother 14 years ago and moved to Berlin that she started working as an illustrator again. As luck would have it, just at that moment a request came from the art director of The New Yorker Magazine for an illustration for an article. She accepted and has since been in demand as an illustrator worldwide, working for numerous newspapers, magazines and cultural events.
The design studio Abc&D did not give Eline many guidelines as to what this year's poster motif for FILMFEST MÜNCHEN should look like. Only the basic theme is defined: "Since the beginning of our collaboration with the film festival, we have focused on one theme each year: the audience, the stars, the films, and this year the city, the urban space. But the central motif is always the sunglasses, which are interpreted by the illustrator:s with whom we develop the motif together." From this, Zeloot developed the cubist-looking city that we can see on this year's poster, populated by the most diverse people, all of whom we invite to FILMFEST MÜNCHEN. The diversity of her characters is particularly important to her: "I have a special liking in drawing strong, firm female characters you can t escape more then decorative, fragile figures. Always trying to avoid the stereotypical men and women." And so the genderfluid figures, as well as the women, men and children of various skin colors, all come from the wonderful Zeloot universe.
When she creates motifs for festivals, Eline's focus is on atmosphere, which she embellishes with a little touch of humor. You can't get too specific and narrative about it, she thinks:
I like working for festivals, it s like a period of celebrations around culture. A little island in time in an ocean of troubled reality
What a beautiful thought, which we as the FILMFEST MÜNCHEN team share 100%. Therefore, we are happy to have her on board this year and thank her for the inspiring motif. We are looking forward to the summer, come by, it will be colorful.