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Nocturna - film review SIFF 2008
by Karen Pecota

Tim, residing in the city orphanage, is afraid of the dark. Every night, Tim aggravates his roommates with the rituals he performs to hang onto some form of light to keep him safe in his dark world. One night he discovers that his favorite star, Adhara, has disappeared from the sky. He begins to see a pattern of star disappearance which concerns him because without their help to light the night sky, he would soon never be able to sleep. Secretly, Tim heads to the rooftop of the orphanage to get a better look at the catastrophe but while en route he is terribly afraid of what he might encounter in the dark.

He successfully arrives at the rooftop, as the stars drop out of the sky faster that just minutes earlier. It is here that Tim meets several creatures of the night. Some are kinda scary! Others pour sand in the eyes, mess the hair up while in bed, etc. However, one by one they each encourage him to get to the bottom of the crisis. They all bring him to visit the Night Boss. He gives Tim the assignment to catch the star thief but gives him no direction. The Night Boss does not avoid mentioning the dangers of the evil darkness to Tim’s companions: Tobermory, the guardian cat and Cat Shepard, the big creature. The assignment he gives them is to make Tim’s journey easy so that his fears will not rise up and force him to abandon the mission. Struck by the inconceivable task, Tim’s companions purse it with gusto which leads Tim down a path he does not bargain for.

The Spanish have endeared the audience with their quirky animated narrative exploring one way to conquer the fear of the dark, in Nocturna. Film directors, Adrià García and Victor Maldonado, deliver the goods with their original screenplay and non-traditional art forms. Their own imagination comes to life! The design and abstract of Nocturna’s characters are interestingly sympathetic to a cause; using their significant role to appropriately culminate a pleasing morality tale.