“C’mon babe, have some faith! There could be magic here, or a utopia! Use your imagination!” – “Utopias never work out.”

The scene: California, circa 1970. While the nation’s youth practice free love and protest against the establishment and the Vietnam War, a different sort of struggle plays out underground: veterinarian Lauren Grey tracks down fantastical creatures, rescuing them from abuse and providing refuge in her Cryptozoo. Alas, the military is scheming to get its hands on the greatest cryptid of them all, the dream-devouring chimera Baku, to harness its power and destroy the dreams of the burgeoning alternative culture.
In Dash Shaw’s idiosyncratic, transgressive trip, utopic visions of hero and anti-hero are put to the test. Inspired by the psychedelic underground comics of the 1960s, this story situated between lucid dream and horror trip resonates like an echo in our present day.
by Dash Shaw
with Lake Bell, Michael Cera, Alex Karpovsky, Zoe Kazan, Louisa Krause
USA 2021 English 90’ Colour recommendation: 14 years and up


  • Lake Bell (Lauren Grey)
  • Michael Cera (Matthew)
  • Alex Karpovsky (David)
  • Zoe Kazan (Magdalene)
  • Louisa Krause (Amber)
  • Angeliki Papoulia (Phoebe)
  • Thomas Jay Ryan (Nicholas)
  • Peter Stormare (Gustav the Faun)
  • Grace Zabriskie (Joan)


Written and Directed byDash Shaw
Animation DirectorJane Samborski
AnimationEmily Wolver
EditingLance Edmands, Alex Abrahams
MusicJohn Carroll Kirby
Sound DesignRyan M. Price
ProducersKyle Martin, Jane Samborski, Bill Way, Tyler Davidson
Executive ProducersGail Flanigan, Dexter Braff, Drew Sykes
Co-ProducersDan Janvey, Kate Moran

Produced by

Electric Chinoland

New York, USA

Fit Via Vi

Paradise Valley, USA

Low Spark

Grafton, USA

World sales

The Match Factory

Köln, Germany

+49 221 5397090

Dash Shaw

Born in Los Angeles in 1983 and raised in Richmond, Virginia, USA, he studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and works as a cartoonist and animator. He has created the graphic novels “BodyWorld”, “Doctors”, “Bottomless Belly Button”, “Clue: Candlestick” and “Discipline”. He made his debut as a director with the animation film My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea which screened in Generation in 2017. Cryptozoo is his second film.


2016 My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea 2021 Cryptozoo

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2021


Fri Jun 11 21:30

Freiluftkino Rehberge

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Sat Jun 12 21:45

Freiluftkino Pompeji

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