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American Animals

Bart Layton
UK, USA 2018 / 116’
70 years WFDiF. Wrocław in the Polish Film Chronicle From the Inside

Layton has a flair for translating cerebral documentary concepts into the universally accessible language of cinematic suspense, and he finds a number of clever ways to blur the line between reality and his hyper stylized version of it. - David Ehrlich, Indiewire. In  American Animals, the maker of the documentary  The Imposter once again combines, in an innovative way, the style of a classic documentary with the conventions of a top-notch thriller. Talking heads discussing what happened in Kentucky in 2004 are juxtaposed with sequences of a suspenseful story about four students who decide to break into a university library to steal a book worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. In doing so, they want to prove to themselves that they are exceptional and deserve a special life. Do people like that ever fall? Will those who believe in the American dream ever wake up?

Klaudia Rachubińska choice (the Main Award of XXIII Krzysztof Mętrak Competition) 

Anna Bielak

Bart Layton

Bart Layton is a director and creative producer at one of Britain's leading RAW production companies. He is the creator and executive producer of a number of television series. As a director, he won numerous awards for his controversial 2012 documentary The Imposter, which, after its premiere at Sundance, was hailed by the critics as a masterpiece, brought home a number of awards (including a BAFTA), and found itself on the shortlist for the Academy Awards. The hallmark of all his films is his innovative approach to form and subject matter.

Selected filmography

2005 Becoming Alexander (doc.)

2006 16 for a Day (doc.)

2012 W cudzej skórze / The Imposter (doc.)

2018 Zwierzęta Ameryki / American Animals

Cast & Crew

director Bart Layton
screenplay Bart Layton
cinematography Ole Bratt Birkeland
editing Nick Fenton, Chris Gill, Julian Hart
music Anne Nikitin
cast Evan Peters, Blake Jenner, Barry Keoghan, Jared Abrahamson, Ann Dowd
producer Katherine Butler, Dimitri Doganis, Derrin Schlesinger, Mary Jane Skalski
production Film4, RAW, New Amsterdam Film Company
Polish distributor Disney Polska
language English
colouration colour