The Garden of Heart

A szív kertje

A nervous painter-to-be has to overcome his own demons during the university entrance exam, which appear as pests in his imagined inner garden.

Dániel Juhász is a man in his early twenties. His dream is to become a great painter. He is in the final round of the application process for the University of Fine Arts. He's listening to the "Garden of heart" meditation exercise on his mp3 player before the interview. In his mind, he is in a great garden full of flowers, however, his negative thoughts take shape as bugs and pests. As he enters the building, the garden is being overrun by worrying lady-bugs. Potato-beetles are articulating harsh criticism about his work while he is showing his paintings to a co-applicant girl. A mole throws slurs at the girls' paintings when she shows them. The interview is a failure, and on top of that, a UFO worm depicts a bleak future for him: he will stop painting, vanish without a trace, unknown, unremembered. The grim fantasy is disrupted by the girl who invites him for a walk. Even though the pests are protesting the decision, he manages to break out of the prison of his mind.

Director’s statement
As an artist, I always found it difficult to turn off my automatic ego. It always recites lines in my head like: “What I do is worse than anyone else’s”, or “I’m not good” enough, etc. But the voices of my inner ego are also judgemental towards other people: “she’s not that great”, “I’m better than him” and so on. I decided to make a film in which these voices appear as parasitic little animals. The lack of self-value, the inferiority complex, and the compulsion to conform is a big issue in my generation, but it is rarely addressed in animation. I want to explore the spiritual aspect of the ego with humour. I chose to work with digital hand-drawn animation. I am a big fan of naive painters, the style fits the theme too: even though he knows about the anatomy, Dániel is working with the passion and enthusiasm of the naive painters – when his inner voices let him do so. Simultaneously with the filmmaking process, I also compose the music with synthesizers and digital software.


Olivér Hegyi

Bálint Gelley

Country of production


Target audience

Young adults, adults

Animation Technique


Production company

CUB Animation

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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, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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