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A Visit to the Sintel Premiere


Last night I visited the Sintel premiere at the Dutch Film Festival in Utrecht. It was a superb epic experience!

After meeting the Durian team and a hand full of Blender users in the lobby the team left, planning to make a smashing entrance in a limousine. City centers of Dutch cities often have very narrow streets though, and as it turned out, the limo could't make the necessary turns ;-) So after a bit they arrived on foot.

The theater was booked solid. As it turned out, one ticket would get you into two movies so I can't be sure how many people came for Sintel exclusively. Still, it was a HUGE audience and that the event even better. Most of the team members, including Ton, were understandably nervous. Ton kicked off the event by explaining the unique background of the project and by spoiling the end of the movie (2000 names of community members who pre-ordered the DVD ;-).

Then the movie started. I'll tell you only a few things about it, and let you enjoy it on your own later this week. First of all, I completely forgot I was watching an animated movie after a few minutes. The story was THAT strong - it sucks you in, surprises, and moves you. I was fighting back tears at the end, and I still get goosebumps when I think of some of the scenes. Editing and the soundtrack were also both bold but modest, and especially the final song is beautiful. Sintel is going to turn quite a few heads. The only thing I don't like about it is that I can't show it to my 3 year old boy - some of the scenes are WAY too scary ;-)

After the movie ended we all moved to the 'Filmcafe' for champagne, snacks, and some more booze. From what I've heard the party went on for a long time after that.

The evening was great and I'm even more proud of Blender than I was before!

If all goes according to plan, Sintel will be released this Thursday. Stay tuned!

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Amazing maaaaaan! Amaziiiiiiiing! But I'll wait the DVD box to watch the movie! I will turn off internet from thursday till that time :D, I will not resist the temptation!

    Congratulation to all the team! Really can't wait!

  2. Really, Ton should be proposed to some kind of a peace nobel prize. His devotion for developing Blender, a free software everybody can use, no matter how wealthy he/she is, is truly outstanding.

  3. What a wonderful day, and i know most people came to see sintel. I wish the limo could make all the turns. I am in nigeria and am a blender user am looking forward to the blender community to help me make a movie based on an african story.more detail will come

  4. It also kinda saddens me that I won't be able to show it to my 3 years old son! He loves Big Buck Bunny. Every time I enter blender DOT org and he's near me (and sees the header) he goes crazy. 'Let's see the bunny dad! Please! Let's see the Bunny!'
    BTW Congratulations to the team!

  5. Bart... you do know 'worst' is dutch for sausage right... I keep misreading :D

    Ben: You were missed dude! It was awesome, but would have been even better had you been there!

  6. It was really impressive on such a big screen, the 35mm print and the projection were superb!
    Sound: The theatre is quite reverberant, but it still sounded awesome, particularly the adult dragon!

  7. Guys, you give me the greatest inspiration, I haven't seen it yet but I just know it will be great.

    I hope one day to be a great blender user and pass on this great creative gift

    All you need is the strongest of intentions and nothing will stop you..

  8. Thursday is the greatest day of the year ::

    1. SINTEL World wide release

    2. The return of ONE PIECE manga

    woooooohooooooo..i wish i can sleep long enough and when i wakeup its Thursday night :b

  9. I'm so thrilled to see Sintel making a splash like this. I've been thinking about the movie "9" a lot lately, and how the creator/animator of that movie actually did it for his masters thesis (or some such). And he only did a 5 minute bit.

    Sintel seems to have a lot of those "one-off" qualities, and wouldn't it be cool to see an entire feature-length project come out of it. With maybe just indie-distribution. Or mainstream.

    WAY COOL....many, many congratulations!

  10. Looking forward to firing up bittorrent! (BTW, Bart, ya gotta install a lightbox clone for pix here at BN, dood!) Thanks for the great report!

  11. Coolness!
    thanks for the write-up Bart, it only builds the tension even more. But man, it looks like your camera was drunk!
    ...I'm so glad I'm at work on Thursday. I can use the fast net connection there to download ze biggest possible resolution version! I hope the mirrors will be prepared for a shock! :D

  12. Amazingly impressively (obligatory) epicly great news :D

    Now you made me even more curious to see the movie. Hardly believable that that was possible at all O.o

    Out of curiosity, though: What was the other movie?

  13. > wouldn’t it be cool to see an entire feature-length project come out of it. With maybe just indie-distribution. Or mainstream.

    My thoughts exactly. That would be a huge step toward getting Blender a strong place in the industry.

  14. Arkady said:
    "> wouldn’t it be cool to see an entire feature-length project come out of it. With maybe just indie-distribution. Or mainstream."

    J. said:
    ">But how do want to finance that?
    It would cost a few million!"

    Already done. Although I haven't seen it, Plumíferos is an 80 min animated feature made in Blender by a studio in Argentina.

    It probably didn't cost a few million to make.

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