Away is remarkable for various reasons. Not only does it feel like a completely different style of animation from what one might traditionally associate with the Baltic regions (it being a slick, 3D computer animation), but it also represents an immense technical achievement for an animator. Everything in the movie – from the animation to the editing to the music – was done solely by Zilbalodis. Without any other crew on board, the film is a testament to the singular vision and dedication of an animator whose work will be eagerly awaited over the years to come.
- Laurence Boyce, Cineuropa
[The film] took three-and-a-half years to make. I decided to split it up into four chapters. This helped me to transition from shorts to features more smoothly, and made it easier to structure the story and find the funding. There were no storyboards or script. I could do this because I didn’t have a crew.
- Gints Zilbalodis
According to Gints Zilbalodis, Away was influenced by a lot of different things. The long-take camera shots were inspired by films like I Am Cuba (1964) and Y tu Mamá También (2001). There were also TV series such as Future Boy Conan, a 1978 post-apocalyptic science-fiction anime series made by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, which is an example of incredible world building. There are bands and musicians like Sigur Rós, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, Max Richter, and Gustavo Santaolalla alongside computer games like Journey and Shadow of the Colossus. He also admires the books of Haruki Murakami.