Competition Narrative Feature
Directed by: Dash Shaw
USA, 2021, 95m
East Coast Premiere
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A truly bizarre, adults-only, animated adventure, Cryptozoo is unlike anything you will see at this year’s festival. The Cryptozoo is a sanctuary where humans and cryptids (mythical creatures like unicorns, centaurs, and Loch Ness monsters) live in harmony and safety from the outside world. Cryptozookeeper Lauren (voiced by Lake Bell) ventures out with her partner Phoebe—a gorgon in human disguise—to rescue the nightmare-eating cryptid known as a “baku” from the U.S. government. Lauren is dedicated to saving cryptids and bringing them out of hiding, but their violent adventure raises doubts about whether humans and cryptids are capable of peaceful co-existence. Dash Shaw (My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea, FFF 2017) delivers a sophomore feature with a unique animation style that is beautifully creative and equally unsettling. Cryptozoo features a star-studded cast of voices, including Michael Cera, Zoe Kazan, Jason Schwartzman, and Peter Stormare, and was awarded the NEXT Innovator Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.