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CEE Animation Forum 2019 Announce Project Selection

The seventh edition of the CEE Animation Forum (formerly known as Visegrad Animation Forum) will showcase thirty-three animated projects in development in three categories: short films, series / TV specials and feature films. The majority of selected teams are coming from Central and Eastern Europe – the Czech Republic 6x, Hungary 3x, Poland, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Romania 2x, Slovenia, Latvia or Ukraine 1x.

After the successful first edition of the pitching competition, the organizers decided to open a regular call for this category. “Receiving many feature animated film entries to this year’s call is a confirmation to us that the animation industry in the region and in the EU has a bright future as the level of the quality of projects in development is quite high. We intend to support all of the projects in pitchings, including feature projects, with a boost towards building international coproductions, pre-sales and promotion to access international markets,” explains Matija Šturm, Executive Director of CEE Animation. The winning project of the CEE Animation Forum 2018 was Of Unwanted Things and People, which was recently presented at Cartoon Movie and received the Eurimages Development Coproduction Award.

This year, the CEE Animation Forum have selected several promising projects directed by experienced filmmakers such as Czech author Michaela Pavlátová (Tram, 2012) or Martin Kotík (Harvie and the Magic Museum, 2017). Several authors will return to the pitching competition: Hungarian director Iván Tamás after having received a special mention at VAF Třeboň 2015 for his animated series How the World Began or Slovenian director Timon Leder for the successful short film The Weasel (VAF Třeboň 2014 special mention).

CATEGORY FEATURE FILMS IN DEVELOPMENT:
Allah Is Not Obliged  (d. Zaven Najjar, p. Sébastien Onomo; France)
Babu in the Night City  (d. Petr Vodička, p. Radim Procházka; Czech Republic)
The Guardian of Legends  (d. Tomek Niedzwiedz, Waldek Mordarski, p. Magdalena Rawa, Tomasz Paziewski; Poland)
My Sunny Maad  (d. Michaela Pavlátová, p. Kateřina Černá, Petr Oukropec; Ron Dyens, Peter Badač; Czech Republic, France, Slovakia)
Pearl  (d. & p. Martin Kotík; Czech Republic)
Piece  (d. Alan Holly, p. Ciarán Deeney, Carla Vulipiani; Ireland)
Sidi Kaba and the Gateway Home  (d. Rony Hotin, p. Sébastien Onomo; France)
Solo Lobo  (d. Zoltán Miklósy, Attila Herkó, p. Éva Konrád; Hungary)

CATEGORY SERIES / TV SPECIALS FILMS IN DEVELOPMENT:
The Brownies  (d. Jordan Brankovski Zoltán Miklósy, p. Lachezar Velinov, Alexandra Lopez-Koleva; Bulgaria)
The Cat Princess  (d. Iván Tamás, p. Bálint Gelley; Hungary) *
Grandma’s Pond  (d. Friedrich Schäper, p. Ivan Zuber, Antoine Liétout, Friedrich Schäper; Germany) *
Kosmix  (d. Klára Jůzová, Vojtěch Dudek, p. Martin Jůza; Czech Republic)
Move It or Lose It  (d. Raffaele Compagnoni, p. Federico Riboldazzi; Italy)
Some of Us  (d. Matan Rochlitz, Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo, p. Laurent Duret; France, Italy)
Street Pack  (d. & p. Matěj Holub; Slovakia)
The Very Hairy Alphabet  (d. Eliza Plocieniak-Alvarez, p. Laura Messner; Germany)
The Wind Over Aleppo  (d. Agnieszka Sadurska, p. Maria Deskur; Poland) *
* TV Special

CATEGORY SHORT FILMS IN DEVELOPMENT:
Amok  (d. Balázs Turai, p. Gábor Osváth, Péter Benjámin Lukács; Hungary)
Butterfly on the Hook  (d. Valeria Cozzarini, p. Remigio Guadagnini; Italy)
Family Portrait  (d. Lea Vidaković, p. Draško Ivezić; Croatia)
The Goose  (d. & p. Jan Míka; Czech Republic)
Money and Happiness  (d. Ana Nedeljkovic, Nikola Majdak Jr., p. Jelena Mitrovic; Serbia)
Mouse House  (d. Timon Leder, p. Jure Vizjak, Polona Kumelj; Slovenia)
Paolo´s Happiness  (d. Thorsten Droessler, p. Grit Wisskirchen; Germany)
Playing God  (d. Matteo Burani, p. Giancarlo Grande; France)
Raft  (d. Marko Meštrović, p. Mia Bučević; Croatia)
Where To  (d. Asparuh Petrov, p. Vessela Dantcheva; Bulgaria)

Selected authors will have a unique opportunity to consult projects with invited experts and receive valuable feedback and advice on how to improve their presentation, script, or production strategy. Competition participants can secure a chance to find a co-production partner by presenting it in front of almost two hundred film professionals, including producers, TV programmers, festival directors, distributors, investors or representatives of national film funds.

The last session of the CEE Animation Workshop will take place from May 4th to 9th and will be organized alongside the CEE Animation Forum. For this reason, several wild cards have been issued for projects to be presented in front of an audience.

FEATURE FILMS:
Gentle Jaco  (d. Anthony Ho Wong, David Toušek, s. Hana Lehečková p. Marek Toušek; Czech Republic)
Twice Upon a Time  (d. Vojin Vasovic, p. Vojin Vasovic, Milorad Kocić; Serbia)

SERIES:
Summer Kingdom  (d. Roman Kepkalo, p. Yana Palamarenko; Ukraine)

SHORT FILMS:
Grandpa Is Sleeping  (d. Matei Branea, p. Helga Fodorean; Romania)
Letter to Milena  (d. Zane Oborenko, p. Sabine Andersone; Latvia)
Viskovitz  (d. Serghei Chiviriga, p. Ioana Lascar; Romania)

CEE Animation Forum (May 6th – 8th, 2019) takes place within the Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films (May 7th – 12th, 2019). CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from the Czech Republic (ASAF, Association of Czech Animation), Hungary (MOME ANIM, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest), Poland (SPPA, Polish Animation Producers Association), Slovakia (APAF, Slovak Association of Animated Film Producers) and Slovenia (DSAF, Slovenian Animated Film Association).

First CEE Animated Projects Selected for Festival Annecy 2019

The Official Selection of the Annecy Festival 2019 was announced. There are 13 short films from Central and Eastern Europe in the competition.

Short Films in Competition

Acid Rain
d. Tomasz POPAKUL, p. ANIMOON SP. Z O.O., Zofia JAROSZUK, Poland, 2019, 26 min 16 s

A Demonstration of Brilliance in Four Acts
d. Lucija MRZLJAK, Morten TSINAKOV, p. EESTI JOONISFILM, Kalev TAMM, ADRIATIC ANIMATION, Drasko IVEZIC, Croatia, Estonia, 2018, 15 min 03 s

Rain
d. Piotr MILCZAREK, p. Piotr FURMANKIEWICZ, FUMI, Mateusz MICHALAK, Poland, 2019, 5 min

Life24
d. Kristjan HOLM, p. KARABANA, Kristjan HOLM, Estonia, 2019, 9 min

Deep Love
d. Nykyta LYSKOV, p. TTM, Andriy GRANICA, Ukraine, 2019, 13 min 58 s

Story
d. Jolanta BANKOWSKA, p. POLISH FILMMAKERS ASSOCIATION MUNK STUDIO, Ewa JASTRZEBSKA, Poland, 2019, 5 min 08 s

Symbiosis
d. Nadja ANDRASEV, p. Pierre BAUSSARON, MIYU PRODUCTIONS, Pierre REYNAL, József FÜLÖP, SALTO, Orsolya SIPOS, France, Hungary, 2019, 12 min 41 s
> The project was pitched at VAF Třeboň 2017.

The Juggler
d. Skirmanta JAKAITE, p. ART SHOT, Agne ADOMENE, TRIPODE PRODUCTIONS AND PERSPECTIVE FILMS, Delphine SCHMIT, Lithuania, France, 2018, 11 min 05 s

Toomas Beneath the Valley of the Wild Wolves
d. Chintis LUNDGREN, p. CHINTIS LUNDGRENI ANIMATSIOONISTUUDIO, Chintis LUNDGREN, ADRIATIC ANIMATION, Drasko IVEZIC, MIYU PRODUCTIONS, Emmanuel-Alain RAYNAL, Croatia, Estonia, France, 2019, 18 min
> The project was pitched at VAF Třeboň 2018.

Perspectives Short Films in Competition

From Under Which Rock Did They Crawl Out
d. Daniel SULJIC, p. ZAGREB FILM, Sanja BORCIC, Croatia, 2018, 5 min 27 s

Winter in the Rainforest
d. Anu-Laura TUTTELBERG, p. OÜ NUKUFILM, Andres MAND, MOON BIRDS STUDIOS, Anu-Laura TUTTELBERG, ESTUDIO CARABÁS, Daniel IRABIÉN PENICHE, ART SHOT, Agne ADOMENE, Estonia, Lithuania, 2019, 8 min 36 s

Imbued Life
d. Ivana BOSNJAK, Thomas JOHNSON, p. BONOBOSTUDIO, Vanja ANDRIJEVIC, Croatia, 2019, 12 min 15 s

Young Audiences Short Films in Competition

The Kite
d. Martin SMATANA, p. BFILM, LTD., Peter BADAC, Czech Republic, 2019, 13 min 10 s
> The project was pitched at VAF Třeboň 2017

Discover the complete list of selected short films here.
The nominee of other categories will be announced shortly: Short films, TV and commissioned films, graduation films: end of March, Feature films: end of April and VR Works: end of April.

It is with great pleasure that the animation film professionals from Central and Eastern European countries – united under the CEE Animation brand – have again accepted the generous offer of Creative Europe MEDIA to be part of their Umbrella Stand at MIFA in Annecy and present the industry, studios, institutions, authors and festivals of the Central and Eastern European animation.

 

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“Of Unwanted Things and People” is the winner of the Eurimages Co-production Development Award at Cartoon Movie

The project “Of Unwanted Things and People” by David Súkup, Ivana Laučíková, Leon Vidmar & Agata Gorządek and co-produced by Maur Film (Czech Republic), Artichoke (Slovakia), ZVVIKS (Slovenia) & WJTeam/Likaon (Poland) was awarded the Eurimages Co-production Development Award at the Cartoon Movie (Bordeaux, France) on 7th March 2019.

The story of two orphans and a magical cat is a modern, short puppet film set in the present day, based on Arnošt Goldflam’s book Of Unwanted Things and People.

The four-country coproduction won the first animated feature film pitching award at the CEE Animation Forum 2018 (formerly Visegrad Animation Forum). The success of this project was confirmed by receiving Nespresso Audience Award.

The Council of Europe’s Eurimages Fund has joined forces with ten co-production markets all over the world – and Cartoon Movie is one of them once again this year – in order to award the Eurimages Co-production Development Award. This cash-prize of €20,000 has been created to promote the Fund’s role in encouraging international animated co-production from the initial stages of a project. The project has to be designed from the outset as an international co-production for cinema release and initiated by a lead producer based in a Eurimages country willing to co-operate with other partners internationally. The lead producer should aim to involve at least one other producer from a Eurimages country. The award, which takes the form of a non-reimbursable subsidy, must be used by the producers to cover development expenses of the animation project.

The Jury was composed of Dorien Van de Pas (Netherlands Film Fund – The Netherlands), Tom Carpelan (Filmkompaniet – Finland) and François Mergier (STUDIOCANAL – France). Eight international projects in development pitched at Cartoon Movie 2019 were nominated. The Jury was impressed by the project “Of Unwanted Things and People” by David Súkup, Ivana Laučíková, Leon Vidmar & Agata Gorządek and co-produced by a unique team of 4 co-producers coming from 4 different European countries: Maur Film (Czech Republic), Artichoke (Slovakia), ZVVIKS (Slovenia) & WJTeam/Likaon (Poland). They would work together for the first time with this project “Of Unwanted Things and People”. A film involving a great deal of fantasy and imagination dealing with universal and sometimes also difficult issues with both respect and not underestimating the children’s way of understanding. It is on top of that a plea for the art of storytelling. The co-producers have also a strong vision on their working process, the development and production of the film, financing and marketing.

Congratulations!!!

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“Of Unwanted Things and People” Gets Ready for Cartoon Movie to Competes for Eurimages Co-production Development Award

For the third time, Cartoon Movie, the international event devoted to animated feature films, will take place in Bordeaux. 66 projects from 25 countries have been selected to be pitched: 28 of them are in concept, 24 in development, 7 in production and 7 in sneak preview. The Central and Eastern Europe will be represented by 10 projects.

The four-country coproduction Of Unwanted Things and People (MAUR Film, CZ / Artichoke, SK / ZVVIKS, SI / WJTeam / Likaon, PL) won the first animated feature film pitching award at the CEE Animation Forum 2018 (formerly Visegrad Animation Forum). The success of this project was confirmed by receiving Nespresso Audience Award.

“After a successful presentation in Třeboň last year, the project got not only very positive and important feedback from both the audience and jury, but also a commitment. We are working intensely on the final versions of scripts, while deeply immersed in artwork, schedules and budgets at the same time. Just to synchronise the order of applications for all kinds of national and international funds with the timetable of all filmmakers involved is a unique and tough nut to crack in the context of four countries. Nevertheless, as the film is taking shape, it’s becoming obvious that it’s not going to be just about short stories, but that we have also found an excellent key to narrate a complex and unified story, and perhaps also the unique spirit of international co-operation and collectiveness within an international construction as complex as this. But the interest shown before the start in Bordeaux is for me, even after so many years, extraordinary and very promising. I’d like to thank CEE Animation and we will try to come up to and surpass all expectations … “, Martin Vandas, producer of the film, told us.

The project was also nominated for Eurimages Co-production Development Award – the cash prize of €20,000 to encourage international co-production animations from the initial stages of a project. The winner will be announced Thursday March 7th.

Discover all CEE animated feature projects:
> Born in the Jungle, by Edmunds Jansons, p. Latvia – Atom Art / France
> Comrades, by Olivier Patté & Rafael Lewandowski, p. France / Poland – Donten & Lacroix Films / Germany
> Fritzi – A Revolutionary Tale by Matthias Bruhn, Ralf Kukula, p. Germany / Luxembourg / Belgium / Czech Republic – MAUR film
> Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs by Edmunds Jansons, p. Latvia – Atom Art / Poland – Letko
> Marona’s Fantastic Tale by Anca Damian, p. Romania – Aparte Film / France / Belgium
> Of Unwanted Things and People by David Súkup, Ivana Laučíková,  Leon Vidmar, p. Czechia – MAUR Film / Slovakia – Artichoke / Slovenia – ZVVIKS / Poland – WJTeam / Likaon
> Piece by Alan Holly, p. Ireland / Hungary – CUB Animation / France
> Raggie by Karsten Kiilerich, Meelis Arulepp, p. Estonia – A Film Estonia / Denmark
> The Crossing by Florence Miailhe, p. France / Czech Republic – MAUR film / Germany
> The Island by Anca Damian, p. Romania – Aparte Film / France

Find all Cartoon Movie 2019 selected projects here.

Cartoon Movie has announced the finalists for Cartoon Tributes 2019, the awards for outstanding contribution to the development of European animation over the last year. The nominee in the category EUROPEAN DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR is Anca Damian for her long feature Marona’s Fantastic Tale (release date: September 2019 in France). Damian is the most prolific animation director from Romania. She already directed 2 animation feature films (The Magic Mountain and Crulic: The Path to Beyond – Cristal for Best Feature Film at the 2012 Annecy International Animated Film Festival). Anca Damian will also present The Island, her new project in concept mixing 2D/3D, painting and cut-out.

We are very pleased to announce that Anca Damian will be one of the jury member at the upcoming CEE Animation Forum 2019 – category Feature Films in development.

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MASTERCLASS / ANIMATION – ACTOR IN FOCUS

With the CEEA MASTERCLASS the Slovak Association of Producers of Animated Film (APAF) presents an exciting opportunity to receive training and meet internationally-renowned animated film professionals – for the third consecutive year!

Presented in co-operation with CEE Animation, the Academy of Arts in Bratislava (VŠMU), and Fest Anča International Animation Festival, the masterclass continues to create a bridge between studying and the professional world – helping students and young professionals navigate their careers.

In 2017 production pipeline experts attended the masterclass, and last year we covered artistic aspects of script development. This year will see a balance between artistic and practical – because good animation film-making also needs confident production managers, creative directors and skilled animators.

At this year’s “Animation: Actor in focus” we’re looking forward to welcoming Ed Hooks in Bratislava, who’s known for unveiling the mysteries of acting to animators around the globe. Both novice and experienced animators will benefit from discovering how to apply acting techniques to create believable characters in their work.

Both actors and animated characters need a well-organized production to keep a project on track and budget. This is especially true of complicated co-productions, such as last year’s winner of the European Film Academy award for best animation: Another day of Life that was steered by Urszula Łuczak. Aspiring production managers and producers will benefit from this approach.

We also wanted to bring a taste of the excellent Anomalia training programme run by our Czech colleagues Marek and David Toušek. Every year some of the best senior animators and artists from famous studios (such as Pixar and Dreamworks) come to Central Europe to share their experience at Anomalia – creating a huge opportunity for aspiring young 3D animators in the CEE. David Toušek and Anomalia trainer – 3D animation expert Keith Lango – will reveal the full creative and artistic potential of 3D animation software. Ten students and five professionals will also attend a workshop – led by Keith and David and assisted by Slovak 3D artist Marian Villaris – to put theory into practice.

The CEEA MASTERCLASS 2019 is the place to meet, greet, and learn for production managers, directors, animators and 3D specialists.

PROGRAMME
(The masterclass will be conducted in English, without translation)

Tuesday, 12 March, Public Lectures
Venue: Kino Klap, FTF VŠMU
10:00 – 13:00 Urszula Łuczak: Case Study of Another Day of Life
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break
14:30 – 17:30 Urszula Łuczak: Case Study of Another Day of Life

Wednesday, 13 March, Public Lectures
Venue: Kino Klap, FTF VŠMU
10:00 – 13:00 Ed Hooks: Acting for Animators
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break
14:30 – 17:30 Ed Hooks: Acting for Animators

Thursday, 14 March, Public Lectures
Venue: Kino Klap, FTF VŠMU
10:00 – 13:00 David Toušek: Fundamentals of Organization in 3D Animation & Introducing ANOMALIA Program
13:00 – 14:30 Lunch Break
14:30 – 17:30 Keith Lango: Introduction of various animation processes & Portfolio Consultations

Friday, 15 March, For Selected only
Venue: Room 109, 110, FTF VŠMU
10:00 – 17:30 David Toušek and Keith Lango: WORKSHOP / How to animate in 3D

ADMISSION
1 day = 10 €
3 days = 20 €
Workshop with Keith Lango & David Toušek = 30 € (limited capacity)
Students and Teachers (VŠMU), APAF members = free admission

All participants need to register >>HERE<<

ED HOOKS
While Ed Hooks is not an animator, he was a New York-trained professional actor for almost 30 years with numerous media-wide acting credits.  He also started teaching acting professionally – with acting studios in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Ed was first invited to teach animators in 1996 – at PDI/DreamWorks during Antz.  This gave him the opportunity to experiment with teaching acting theory to animators rather than stage or movie actors. Being the first to apply his skillset in this way, Ed wrote Acting for Animators (Routledge, fourth edition). So what began at PDI/DreamWorks became the tail wagging Ed, and he has progressed in leaps and bounds to teach hundreds of thousands of animators in over twenty countries.

KEITH LANGO
Keith Lango (Director of CGI/Animation Director) has been an avid explorer and practitioner of CG animation art and technology since the early 1990s. A world-renowned and award-winning animator, he has a specialty for achieving new visual production techniques and pipeline efficiencies – especially on limited-resource projects. Keith has applied these skills on notable projects such as 3-2-1 Penguins!, VeggieTales, G.I. Joe, Mickey Mouse, Willy Wonka, Peanuts, HALO, Portal, Team Fortress 2, TV shows, commercials, interactive, VR, and video game titles. He has also worked on projects for Big Idea Productions, Blur, ReelFX, DNA Productions, Magnetic Dreams, Fox/Blue Sky, Warner Brothers, Sony, Disney, EA, and Take 2 Interactive. For the last 9 years He’s been senior animator & technical artist at Valve Corporation for the last nine years, focusing on leading video game titles and interactive media.

URSZULA ŁUCZAK
Urszula Łuczak was a producer at Platige Image (Poland) for over eight years. She started working in the VFX Department with movies such as Essential Killing, Melancholy and Uwiklanie. As a production manager she created stereoscopic scenography for Polita (Buffo Theatre) and Pilots (Roma Theatre). She also produced animation movies for the Qatar market: Hero and the message and Heroes and the mission. She was production manager for Another Day of Life – the first full-feature animation movie co-produced by Platige Image now being released to festivals. Since February 2019 she’s been working in VFX production at Piximondo (Stuttgart, Germany).

DAVID TOUŠEK
After multimedia studies in Seattle (US), David returned to Prague and founded 3BOHEMIANS production with his brother Marek. He then advanced his animation skills and started classes at The Animation Workshop in Viborg (Denmark), led by professional presenters (including from Pixar Studios). There he became artist in residence (and his first credit – the short film TELE-VISION), teacher of Maya 3D Basics, and then 3D character animation basics teacher at the Institut de l’image de l’Ocean Indian (Réunion). He leveraged this experience to establish the ANOMALIA PROGRAM in 2008. David usually works on character animation in short films and advertising (Kofola, Jupík, Sazka, etc.). He also worked on a 13 animated spots advertising campaign for the film Harvie and the Magic Museum (Hurvínek a kouzelné muzeum, 2017) for Rolling Pictures Production. He is the only Czech animator to animate Spejbl and Hurvínek in 3D. He’s currently working on an animated spot for a new full-length animated movie.

 Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2139704806315659/

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What’s on the Menu for Czech Animation in 2019

The year 2018 did not yield any box office hit in the field of Czech animation, yet festival showings and achievements abroad imply that our creators are not resting on their laurels. There are a number of interesting feature films, series, and TV bedtime-story animations in development or production. They will also include this year’s anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 50th birthday of Lucky Four or one hundred years since the death of historical Czech figure Rastislav Štefánik.

And How Did Czech Animated Production Do Last Year?
Four feature films by Czech filmmakers came to cinemas. One of them made it among the top 50 most visited: Pat & Mat: Winter Adventure, directed by Marek Beneš, attracted nearly 88,000 viewers, while the American animated Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation brought in nearly half a million. The highly anticipated and latest film by Jan Švankmajer Insects was released after seven years of production and nominated for the Film Critics’ Awards. In December, cinema-goers had a chance to see the Christmas story of Mimi & Lisa: Christmas Lights Mystery (directed by Ivana Šebestová and Katarína Kerekesová). Famous personalities such as Dagmar Pecková, Arnošt Goldflam, Linda Rybová or David Prachař supported its creation via voice over.

The feature film Harvie and the Magic Museum, which was attended by more than 200,000 spectators in our cinemas, drew attention abroad and last year became the best-selling Czech animated film of modern history. “In Czech standards, Harvie is doing great in the world. We have made sales to 90 countries, and although it is mainly a popular-audience film, it has been selected for the main competition at 26 festivals. Perhaps the biggest surprise for us is the success of the film in the US, where it made it to seven festivals and even won the Best Animated Feature Film award in San Diego”, says the producer Martin Kotík from Rolling Pictures.

The feature film category is extremely demanding for the producers. At present there are not enough funds in the Czech Republic to cover proper development and production; the only solution are international co-productions. The aim of the Association of Czech Animation Film (ASAF) is to promote and develop animation as an important part of the creative industry. I believe that 2019 will be a turning a point and Czech animation will regain its reputation abroad again,” Martin Hovorka, Chairman of ASAF, sums up the five-year activity of the association.

Short Film Scores Big Points
The 12-minute puppet Charlie the Snowman’s Christmas Wedding by Petr Vodička produced by the Anima Studio won the Audience Award at the Biennial of Animation Bratislava and was released in France, Belgium and Luxembourg in November.

The category of short films is traditionally the domain of students, who have long been collecting various awards. Let us mention last year’s unparalleled success of the lovely Fruits of Clouds by director Kateřina Karhánková, nominated for the Emile European Animation Awards. The film was broadcast by Czech Television before Christmas. With more than a hundred festival releases, it is one of the world’s most successful Czech films in recent years.

An interesting novelty is the combination of the animation and documentary genres. The talented Czech-Vietnamese illustrator and Film Academy of Performing Arts student Diana Cam Van Nguyen drew attention with her animated documentary The Little One, and last year she presented her next work, Apart, using the techniques of feature and animated films to address the theme of life after losing a loved one in a captivating way. The film has already carried off the award for the Best Czech Experimental Documentary at the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival and was selected for the prestigious International Film Festival in Rotterdam this year.

Last year also marked the appearance of the first Czech queer animated film – Days Off by director Filip Blažek, awarded at Famufest and the only Czech representative at the Queer Lisboa Festival in Portugal.

Animated Short and Feature Films in Preparation
Currently, the final work is taking place on the student co-production project Trojhlas, which is being made in parallel at three Czech art schools – the Film Academy of Performing Arts, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design and Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the University of West Bohemia. The project is supported by the Czech Film Fund and produced by the MAUR film studio. Its release will be accompanied by an exhibition of puppets and sets used in the film, which was co-financed by crowdfunding.

The short grotesque The World’s End directed by Martin Kukal, a representative of the emerging generation of promising graduates from the Animation department at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, is going into production at the Zlín based studio Kouzelná animace.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of communist regimes in Central Europe, the feature film Fritzi Miraculous Revolutionary Tale is to be released in cinemas, a story about a childhood friendship that can knock down Walls. A German film in international co-production (studio MAUR film for the Czech Republic) describes the political events of autumn 1989 in Leipzig from the point of view of a 12-year-old heroine.

This year is marked by yet another jubilee – 50 years of the legendary comic book Lucky Four. A celebratory release of the Great Adventures of the Lucky Four, directed by Michal Žabka, is scheduled for April 2019. The Great Adventures will consist of four short films based on the newer themes by the “spiritual father” of Lucky Four Jaroslav Němec.

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of Rastislav Štefánik, director Noro Držiak is preparing a feature film with animated elements The Impossible Voyage for this spring, which deals with the life and tragic death of one of the founders of our country.

TVMiniUni and the Thief of Questions by director and screenwriter Jan Jirka, which combines puppets, actors and animation, is to come to cinemas this summer. The film, made entirely in Zlín, builds upon 144 parts of the TvMiniUni programme of Czech TV’s children’s channel ČT: D.

Directors Denisa Grimmová and Jan Bubeníček are making a feature based on the bestselling book Even Mice Belong in Heaven, in which they combine puppet and computer animation. Alice Nellis and Richard Malatinski were involved in the screenplay work. The main producers are the Czech companies Fresh Films and Hausboot Production; the film is made in a Czech-French-Polish-Slovak co-production. The premiere is scheduled for 2020.

Next year, another co-production feature film The Crossing by French director Florence Miailhe will set out into the world. The film is being created with a remarkable technique of oil painting in the MAUR film studio in Prague.

The upcoming film by Filip Pošivač Tonda, Slavka & Genius (nutprodukce), awarded by Eurimage for Best Development at the Cinekid festival, and Martina Duda’s Rosa & Dara (Bionaut in co-production with Czech Television), will surely also be worth our attention. Both films were supported by the Czech Film Fund and should be finished in the upcoming years.

Czech Animation for Child Audiences
Production of TV bed time stories is a special category. Hungry Bear Tales (dir. Alexandra Májová and Kateřina Karhánková), whose pilot episode Blueberry Hunt was awarded the Golden Slipper for the best animated film at the Zlín Film Festival 2018, is now being created (see the teaser). The Prague Eallin Studio continues the production of new parts of the Smallest Elephant in the World tale. At Film Node Zlín, film director Pavel Ondrašík is working on the animated children’s series Barney the Piglet, which is to be finished in less than two years.

Education for Czech Filmmakers
A unique opportunity for local artists are the Anomalia summer workshops, where filmmakers can develop their animation projects in the presence of foreign professionals from studios like Disney and Pixar. Last year offered participants a chance to try out a new technique of film animatic development using virtual reality, which turns out to be one of the directions of contemporary animation. The Anomalia Incubator to support the development of new project stories and visuals will be held again in Litomyšl in July and August 2019.

DEADLINE EXTENDED

We are pleased to announce that the deadline for CEE Animation Forum 2019 has been extended until Friday 18 January.

This means you have extra five days to submit your animated project to one of our three categories:

  • > Short films (single film less than 20 minutes long)
  • > Series and TV Specials (web and TV series of any format and single films over 20 min.)
  • > Feature Films (in concept, in development or in production)

Visit our pitching rules page to view the submission guidelines and how to submit your project(s).

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Meet CEE Animation on the Festival Road

Our team members work together across disciplines, love to meet new and traditional partners, discuss with different authorities across Europe and research new possibilities of cooperation. Do you want to meet us?

When East Meets West / January 20 – 22
Matija Šturm, Jožko Rutar and Juraj Krasnohorsky will attend the ninth edition of When East Meets West, the Italian co-production forum taking place in the frame of the Trieste Film Festival. This year WEMW will bring together industry professionals from over 35 countries, particularly from the 2019 East & West spotlight territories: Central Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine) and Benelux (Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands).

>>> Book a meeting with Jožko Rutar /jozko(a)ceeanimation.eu/ – his dates are 20th – 22nd January or with Matija Šturm /matija(a)ceeanimation.eu/ to meet him from 21st to 22nd January.

Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival / Euro Connection / February 1 – 9
Among other things, Aneta Ozorek will follow eight CEE projects that have been selected to be pitched at the Co-production Forum:
Once There Was a Sea, Joanna Kozuch (Slovakia)
Steakhouse, Spela Cadez (Slovenia)
Portrait of Europe, Filip Jacobson (Poland)
DA-MI MÂNA, Paul Muresan (Romania) – VAF Třeboň 2016 winner with his project “Somewhere”
Branka, Mate Ugrin (Croatia)
Mud Pie!, Katerina Karhánková (Czech Republic) – included allready in our CEE Animation Talents 2018 selection with her “The Fruits of Clouds”
Night Shift, Eddy Schwartz & Yordan Petkov (Bulgaria)
County Court, Eeva Mägi (Estonia)

Five CEE short films remain to make up the International Competition. We are bringing you the selection of CEE animated short films: Biciklisti by Veljko Popovic (Croatia, France), Elektrika diena by Vladimir Leschiov (Latvia), III by Marta Pajek (Poland) and Na zdrowie! by Paulina Ziolkowska (Poland). Hungarian director Reka Bucsi will present her Solar Walk within the Lab Competition 2019.

>>> Contact directly Aneta Ozorek /anetaozorek(a)gmail.com/, she will stay from 1st to 8th February.

Berlin International Film Festival / February 7 – 17
Berlinale = the place to be!

>>> Meet Jožko Rutar /jozko(a)ceeanimation.eu/ who will be in Berlin from 8th to 12th February together with Matija Šturm /matija(a)ceeanimation.eu/ who will join him from 8th to 10th February.

Cartoon Movie / March 5 – 7
Marta Jallageas will not miss the pitching event with focus on feature films that will welcome the winning project from VAF Třeboň 2018 Of Unwanted Things and People (Maur Film, CZ / Artichoke, SK / ZVVIKS, SI / WJTeam/Likaon, PL).

Discover with us all selected projects coming from the Central and Eastern Europe:
Born in the Jungle, by Edmunds Jansons, p. Latvia – Atom Art / France
Comrades, by Olivier Patté & Rafael Lewandowski, p. France / Poland – Donten & Lacroix Films / Germany
Fritzi – A Revolutionary Tale by Matthias Bruhn, Ralf Kukula, p. Germany / Luxembourg / Belgium / Czech Republic – Maur film
Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs by Edmunds Jansons, p. Latvia – Atom Art / Poland – Letko
Marona’s Fantastic Tale by Anca Damian, p. Romania – Aparte Film / France / Belgium
Of Unwanted Things and People by David Súkup, Ivana Laučíková, Leon Vidmar, p. Maur Film, Czechia – Maur film / Slovakia – Artichoke / Slovenia – ZVVIKS / Poland – WJTeam/Likaon
Pat & Mat the Film by Erik van Schaaik, Marco van Geffen, p. Lemming Film (Netherlands), the original story comes from the Czech Republic
Piece by Alan Holly, p. Ireland / Hungary – CUB Animation / France
Raggie by Karsten Kiilerich, Meelis Arulepp, p. Estonia – A Film Estonia / Denmark
The Crossing by Florence Miailhe, p. France / Czech Republic – Maur film / Germany
The Island by Anca Damian, p. Romania – Aparte Film / France

>>> Marta Jallageas /marta(a)ceeanimation.eu/ will stay the whole event from 5th to 7th March.

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Eight CEE Short Film Projects Getting Ready for Euro Connection 2019

Euro Connection is the European Short Film Co-production Forum taking place each year at the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market. The next edition will take place during the 2019 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France. The pitching forum will take place on 5-6 February 2019.

14 projects have been selected to be pitched at the 11th edition of the Forum:

– Once There Was a Sea, Joanna Kozuch (Slovakia)
– Steakhouse, Spela Cadez (Slovenia)
– The Night Train, Jerry Carlsson (Sweden)
– Portrait of Europe, Filip Jacobson (Poland)
– Night of the Living Dicks, Ilja Rautsi (Finland)
– O Casaco Rosa, Mónica Santos (Portugal)
– DA-MI MÂNA, Paul Muresan (Romania) who won VAF Třeboň 2016 with his project “Somewhere”
– Zoo-I-Side, Anna Olafsdóttir (Iceland)
– Branka, Mate Ugrin (Croatia)
– A Summer Place, Alexandra Matheou (Cyprus)
– Mud Pie!, Katerina Karhánková (Czech Republic) who is in our CEE Animation Talents 2018 selection with her “The Fruits of Clouds”
– Night Shift, Eddy Schwartz & Yordan Petkov (Bulgaria)
– Heaven Is Made of Scars, Alexandru Badelita (France)
– County Court, Eeva Mägi (Estonia)

With over 7400 films submitted this year, 76 films remain to make up the International Competition. We are bringing you the selection of CEE animated short films:
– Biciklisti, Veljko Popovic / Croatia, France / 2018 / Animation / 07’00
The cycling season is at its peak. During the final race, the two leaders are not just battling for the grand prix trophy, but also for the affection of a lady and fulfillment of their erotic fantasy

– Elektrika diena, Vladimir Leschiov / Latvia / 2018 / Animation / 08’44
It all started with a power outage.

– III, Marta Pajek / Poland / 2018 / Animation / 12’00
A man and a woman meet in a waiting room and immediately get closer to each other. The game they start playing gradually gets more ferocious.

– Na zdrowie!, Paulina Ziolkowska / Poland / 2018 / Animation / 04’45
Everyone gets sick of everyone. But things become really bad when you get sick of yourself.

Lab Competition 2019, the place where people rush in to experience jarring films. Congratulations to talented Hungarian director Reka Bucsi.
– Solar Walk, Reka Bucsi / Denmark / 2018 / Animation / 20’00
The film shows a journey through space and the process of creation within an animated cosmic chaos.

Congratulations to all selected directors!