everything will be ok

now available on dvd

A series of dark and troubling events force Bill to reckon with the meaning of his life - or lack thereof.

Everything will be ok is the first chapter of a three-part story. Chapter two, I am so proud of you, is now on DVD.

Production credits
  • Camera, Writing, Animation, Sound,
    Production, and Direction by Don Hertzfeldt

  • Editing by Brian Hamblin
  • Music by Bedrich Smetana and Georges Bizet
    with original music by Don Hertzfeldt
  • Copyright 2006 Bitter Films

"Everything will be OK" reviews

  • "...genius...Hertzfeldt’s offering, Everything Will Be OK, takes the prize... In his trademark 2-D animation, a stick figure enacts quotidian rituals — fruit buying, commuting — with a growing sense of ennui, existential angst, and eventually insanity. It’s hellish — and moving, too."
    Nina Maclaughlin, Boston Phoenix

  • "...the centerpiece of this year’s show must be Hertzfeldt’s new one, which is short-listed for an Oscar. In the 17-minute Everything Will Be OK, [Hertzfeldt] mixes up his stick figure skills with experimental photography to show the slide into depression and insanity of a man named Bill. With his trademark salty-sweet take on life exhibited though poignant, simple writing, Hertzfeldt demonstrates how animation can tackle such tough issues as mental health and the doldrums of regular life better than Hollywood. It’s a sad tale, but one that’s likely pretty common in today’s world."
    Matt Kettmann, Santa Barbara Independent
  • "Hilarious, touching, frightening, and wildly cinematic, Don Hertzfeldt's latest short continues down the same fourth-wall-breaking path he set himself on with Rejected and the trilogy from the first Animation Show. But this time the non-sequiturs and meta-cinematic effects are not used to reveal and expand the filmmaking apparatus so much as they serve to simulate an everyman named Bill's mental collapse...Hertzfeldt's stick-figure drawing style may be propelling him into experimentation outside of the animator's traditional realms, but it's also the secret weapon that makes his films as widely relatable as they are... Anyone who's ever felt a bit out-of-sync or depressed is likely to see themselves in Bill, and become appropriately unnerved when the representation of his anxiety begins to overwhelm even the narrative conventions Hertzfeldt had previously established."
  • "The best entry is Hertzfeldt's "Everything Will Be OK", a collage of line drawings and photography that follows a stick figure named Bill through medical treatments and madness. In 17 minutes, it manages to pack in more wonder, pity and dread than you'll find in several feature films. All that plus this classic line: "Outside, horribly deformed birds checked their voicemail." What more could you want?"
    Aaron Mesh, Willamette Week

  • "What begins as a "day in the life" story of a regular Joe (or Bill, in this case), descends into madness and Lynchian disruptions of filmic sanity, where even the paper and pen medium of the director's work seems to be under threat."
    Ted Mills, Santa Barbara News Press

  • "...this may be [Hertzfeldt's] most impressive. 2005's The Meaning of Life had some jaw-dropping visuals, but there's something creepy and real about Everything Will Be OK... It's done in Hertzfeldt's familiar stick-figure style, although he's added a few new tricks to his arsenal... integrating black and white photography and separating the picture into various bubbles as Bills' thoughts fragment. Even with the relative simplicity of the individual bits, the total composition is complex. At seventeen minutes, it's Hertzfeldt's longest film yet, and it's packed dense with gags, often overlapping. There's also a real darkness to this one, compared to the more fantastical types in his other shorts."

  • "...Hertzfeldt's latest masterpiece... cracks hilarious jokes while looking squarely at the meaninglessness of everyday life. It's like seeing a character from a Raymond Carver short story trapped in a "Far Side" cartoon... Hertzfeldt pushes the art form and its audience into some unexpectedly serious places."
    Curt Holman, Creative Loafing Atlanta

  • "...the story, music, figures, and optical effects have been brought into perfect alignment... for a long time afterward, a sense of wonder for everyday life lingers."
    J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader

  • "...darkly original..."
    Rebecca Winters Keegan, TIME magazine

  • "...devastating... stretches the form of the animated short in every direction. A meditation on the preciousness and fragility of health, mental or physical, it sends the soundtrack and visuals plunging into psychotic chaos as its stick-figure hero sinks deeper into undiagnosed despair. It’ll stay with you."
    Jim Ridley, Nashville Scene

  • "...the best of the bunch... a touching exploration of terminal illness."
    Graham Killeen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • "...maybe the single best short... As you're marveling at its weird brilliance, take a minute to appreciate the humble ingredients: solid writing, a few low-tech camera effects and a bunch of stick figures on white paper."
    Melissa Starker, Columbus Alive

  • "Bill has trouble remembering names. He knows something's wrong but he's not quite sure what. He dreams of having his head sent into orbit in a space capsule after his death. Bill is a stick figure. Yet in many ways Bill is more fleshed out, real and touching than most of the characters inhabiting Hollywood films... As the central character in Everything will be OK, Bill shows that innovation, heart and nuance are alive and well in cinema."
    Tom Long, Detroit News

  • "...a sort of masterpiece... alternates between dream-like day-to-day life and hallucinogenic nightmare, scored at some point to Bizet. This is The Diving Bell and the Butterfly taken to paranoid extremes. It's wild, fun, and unexpected, not to mention a perfect demonstration of the lollapalooza that moviemaking - short and otherwise - can be."
    Wesley Morris, the Boston Globe

  • "The highlight of the show was Hertzfeldt’s Everything Will Be OK, which packs more originality and voice into its 17 minutes than a lot of feature-length films... It blends Hertzfeldt’s signature bare-bones imagery with a fantasy-tinged bleakness to stunning effect."
    Margaret Lyons, Time Out Chicago

  • "...wonderful and weirdly poignant..."
    John DeFore, Austin American-Statesman

  • "...nothing else moved me like Everything Will Be OK... worth the price of admission... By blending in fuzzy and fragmented real-world photography and overlapping sound and a variety of fitting music into the mix, we really feel Bill's disorientation as he slips into his surreal world of psychosis. With Hertzfeldt providing a matter-of-fact voiceover narration to the action, we are never tugged in any manipulative ways. But Everything Will Be OK still hits with a surprising depth of emotion. Even with stick figures blinking on the screen instead of real people, this is one of the more realistic representations of a mental breakdown you'll see."
    Jim Walker, INtake Weekly

  • "The best of the bunch.... takes the brilliant and focused wit of [Hertzfeldt's] previous work and applies it to a more expansive canvas than ever, building on the humanist tone of last year's The Meaning of Life and crafting an unforgettable piece of work."
    Jason Shawhan, Nashville Rage

    "...simply one of the finest shorts produced over the past few years, be it animated or not, full stop... essential viewing."
    DVD Verdict

Awards for "Everything will be OK"

    2006 Best of Festival - Nevada City Film Festival
    2007 the Jury Prize: Best Short Film - Sundance Film Festival
    the Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative Film - Ann Arbor Film Festival
    Grand Jury Award for Best Film - London International Animation Festival
    Grand Jury Award for Best Animated Film - Florida Film Festival
    Grand Jury Award for Best Animated Film - Seattle International Film Festival
    Corwin Award for Best Animation - Santa Barbara International Film Festival
    Grand Jury Prize for Best of Festival - Ellensburg Film Festival
    Jury Prize for Best Animated Short - Atlanta Film Festival
    Excellence in Animation Award - Indianapolis Film Festival
    Best in Show - ASIFA-East Animation Festival
    Best in Category - Platform Animation Festival, Portland
    the Silver Hugo - Chicago International Film Festival
    Gold Medal, Best Animated Short - Fantastic Film Festival, Austin TX
    Best Animated Film - Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival
    Best Animated Film - New Jersey Film Festival
    Best Animated Short - Fantasia Film Festival, Montreal
    Best Animated Short - Deadcenter Film Festival, OK
    Best Animated Short - 1 Reel Film Festival, Seattle
    Best Animation - Frozen Film Festival, San Francisco
    Best Animation - Memphis Film Festival
    Best Animation - USA Film Festival
    Best Animation - Solstice Film Festival
    Best Animation - Red Bank International Film Festival
    the Gold REMI - WorldFest-Houston
    First Place - KLIT Animation Festival Amsterdam
    Audience Award - Portland International Film Festival
    Audience Award - Ann Arbor Film Festival
    First Place, Animation - Rhode Island International Film Festival
    Best Animated Film - Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, AL
    Best Animated Film - Hardacre Film Festival
    First Place - ASIFA San Francisco
    Special Award - Anima Mundi, Brazil
    Merit Award - 2D or not 2D Animation Festival
    2nd Place Animation - Dam Short Film Festival
    2008 Nominee - Best Short Film, the Annie Awards
    Best Animated Short - Big Muddy Film Festival
    Audience Award: Best Animated Short - Big Muddy Film Festival
    2009 Special Jury Award - Lucca Animation Festival, Italy
    2010 Best Film (tied with I am so proud of you), MUMIA Underground World Animation Festival, Brazil

    "Everything will be OK" exhibition history

      2006 Nevada City Film Festival (Best Film of Festival)

      St Louis Film Festival

      2007 the Animation Show tour

      Sundance Film Festival (Jury Winner: Best Short Film)

      Ann Arbor Film Festival (the Lawrence Kasdan Award for Best Narrative Film & the Audience Award)

      Florida Film Festival (Grand Jury Award for Best Animated Film)

      London International Animation Festival (Grand Jury Award for Best Film)

      Seattle International Film Festival (Grand Jury Award for Best Animated Film)

      Santa Barbara International Film Festival (Corwin Award for Best Animation)

      Ellensburg Film Festival, WA (Grand Jury Prize for Best of Festival)

      Atlanta Film Festival (Jury Prize for Best Animated Short)

      ASIFA-East Animation Festival (Best in Show)

      Chicago International Film Festival (the Silver Hugo)

      Frozen Film Festival, San Francisco (Best Animation)

      Solstice Film Festival, Minneapolis, MN (Best Animation)

      Rio de Janeiro International Short Film Festival (Best Animated Film)

      New Jersey Film Festival (Best Animated Film)

      Fantasia Film Festival, Montreal (Best Animated Short)

      Indianapolis International Film Festival (Excellence in Animation Award)

      Deadcenter Film Festival, OK (Best Animated Short)

      Platform Animation Festival, Portland (Best in Category)

      Fantastic Film Festival, Austin TX (Gold Medal, Best Animated Short)

      WorldFest-Houston (Gold REMI)

      KLIT Animation Festival Amsterdam (First Place)

      USA Film Festival, Dallas (Best Animated Film)

      Memphis Film Festival (Best Animation)

      Red Bank International Film Festival, NJ (Best Animation)

      Portland International Film Festival (Audience Award)

      Rhode Island International Film Festival (First Place, Animation)

      1 Reel Film Festival, Seattle (Best Animated Short)

      Anima Mundi Animation Festival, Brazil (Special Award)

      Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, AL (Best Animated Film)

      Hardacre Film Festival, Iowa (Best Animated Film)

      ASIFA San Francisco (First Place)

      2D or not 2D Animation Festival (Merit Award)

      Flatpack Festival - Birmingham, UK

      Cosmic Zoom Festival - Denmark

      Omaha Film Festival

      Philadelphia Film Festival

      Riverrun Film Festival, NC

      Southside Film Festival, PA

      Durango Film Festival, CO

      Independent Film Festival of Boston

      Palm Beach International Film Festival

      Nashville Film Festival

      Sarasota Film Festival

      Maryland Film Festival

      Athens International Film Festival, Ohio

      Silverlake Film Festival, CA

      Antelope Valley Film Festival, CA

      Milwaukee Underground Film Festival

      CineVegas Film Festival

      Los Angeles Film Festival

      Jacksonville Film Festival, FL

      Dallas Video Festival

      Rooftop Films, Brooklyn, NY

      Guerrila Film Festival, Washington DC

      Williamstown Film Festival, MA

      Bend Film Festival, OR

      Best of Short Films Festival, France

      Animation Block Party, Brooklyn

      Wiesbaden International Weekend of Animation, Germany

      Santa Monica International Film Festival

      Milwaukee International Film Festival

      Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego

      Anim'est Animation Festival, Bucharest Romania

      "Short but Great" Festival, Milan Italy

      Ottawa International Animation Festival

      Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival, DE

      Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films

      Black Earth Film Festival

      SoCal Independent Film Festival

      Atlantic Film Festival, Nova Scotia

      Cucalorus Film Festival, NC

      Anima Mundi Special, Belém (Amazonia), Brazil

      Anima Mundi Special, Belo Horizonte (state of Minas Gerais), Brazil

      Dragon*Con Independent Short Film Festival, Atlanta

      Puchon International Animation Festival, Korea

      VoldaAnimation Festival, Norway

      New Hampshire Film Festival

      Cinémathèque québécoise, Quebec City

      Cinémathèque québécoise, Montreal

      AFI Fest, Los Angeles

      Hamptons International Film Festival

      Hell’s Half Mile Film and Music Fest, MI

      Dresden Festival for Animated Films

      Olympia Film Festival, WA

      Akbank Short Film Festival, Turkey

      Fredrikstad Animation Festival, Norway

      Animanuit, Lyon, France

      NYC PictureStart Film Festival

      Cinematexas, Austin

      Cachaça Cinema Clube, Rio de Janeiro

      2008 An Evening with Don Hertzfeldt tour

      the Annie Awards (Nominee, Best Short Film)

      Big Muddy Film Festival (Best Animated Short and Audience Award: Best Animated Short)

      Glasgow Film Festival

      Ashland Independent Film Festival, OR

      Dam Short Film Festival, NV

      Projector Animation Festival, Dundee UK

      Flickerfest International Short Film Festival, Sydney

      Salem Film Festival, MA

      Warsaw Short Film Festival

      Charleston International Film Festival

      California Next Gen Film Festival

      Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival

      Big Cartoon Festival, Moscow

      All Souls International Film Festival, AZ

      2009 An Evening with Don Hertzfeldt tour

      I.Sat, TBS Latin America (TV broadcast)

      Lucca Animation Festival, Italy (Special Jury Award)

      Pictoplasma Festival, Berlin

      Big Cartoon Festival, Krasnoyarsk and Norilsk, Siberian Arctic Circle

      2010 MUMIA Underground World Animation Festival, Brazil (Best Film, tied with I am so proud of you)

      Image Forum Festival tour, Japan

      Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

      Citrus Cel Animation Festival, FL

      International Festival of Animated Film of Fortaleza, Brazil

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