Almost 100 projects from all over Europe competed to participate in the 4th year of the Visegrad Animation Forum (May 3-5, Třeboň). 12 short films and 12 TV series in development were selected for the contest where the Hungary clearly dominated on the winners’ box.
The award for the best animated short film in development went to a French-Hungarian co-production „CARPEL“ by Tibor Banoczki and Sarolta Szabo. Both authors are deeply engaged in storytelling and look to discover mysterious, often obscure and bizarre worlds. Together they founded a multi-award-winning art formation Domestic Infelicity. „The jury were unanimous in their decision. We were impressed with the originality of the story and design and felt the project was excellently pitched.“, explained the jury members.
The Jury’s Special mention was received by the Romanian director, Paul Muresan, for his short film „SOMEWHERE“. The young animator studied art school in Cluj, Romania and his film Baby Nap was selected and awarded at many film festivals, including Stuttgart, Annecy and Anim´est Romania. „The jury decided to give a special mention to a Romanian film Somewhere just to show our support to its original idea, strong potential and interesting art design.“, added the jury of short films category.
The Main Prize in the TV Series category was received at the festive ceremony by the Hungarian-Croatian delegation headed by the Directors, Flora Anna Buda and Balazs Turai, for their project
“THE PIRACY OF PRINCESS PRICELESS“. Flora Anna Buda attended MOME in Animation Design. Balazs Turai is an animation writer, designer and director; for 3 years, he has worked as a graphic designer and animation artist for Prezi.com. „For the large effort at creating an entire new universe of funny, inspired and yet close-to-real-life characters. The jury wants to support their project in the probably long way of development and fund-raising for production phase.“, justified the TV Series jury.
Special mention amongst TV Series was awarded to “BORKA AND THE MAGIC DRESS“ by Hungarian directors Beata Gurmai and Balint Benkovits. Beata studied photography at Fotografus.hu and editing, directing and cinematography at the Dunaversitas master course of motion pictures. Balint has been doing animation, video mapping and vfx since 2000. From 2010 he has been working as animator in Glowing Bulbs and Derengo Animation. „For it´s unique, simple and tender way how it manages everyday ordinary family matters and problems through the eye of a little girl who finds helping hands in her family memories and tradition.“ , clarified the jury.
JURY / Short films:
Barbara Johnsonová — Creative Producer, Czech Television (Czech Republic)
Juraj Krásnohorský — Producer, Artichoke Film Production (Slovakia)
Christian Pfohl — Producer, Lardux Films (France)
Boško Picula — Film Critic (Croatia)
Graham Ralph — Director, Silver Fox Studio (Great Britain)
Kimmo Sillanmikko — Producer, Twisted Films (Finland)
JURY / TV Series:
Robert Baliński — International Relations Department, Polish Film Institute (Poland)
Tibor Búza — Programming Director, RTVS Slovakia (Slovakia)
Ádám Márton Horváth — Film Editor, Film Department, MTVA (Hungary)
Jan Maxa — Director of Programme Development, Czech Television (Czech Republic)
Frédéric Puech — Producer, Planet Nemo (France)
Lukáš Záhoř — Chief Producer, Stream.cz (Czech Republic)
Křešimir Zubčić — Editor-Buyer, Acquisition Department, Croatian Television (Croatia)
The list of SHORT FILMS in pitching competition can be found at this link: http://visegradanimation.com/short-films-advancing-to-the-finals/
The list of TV SERIES in pitching competition can be found at this link: http://visegradanimation.com/finalists-for-the-category-tv-serial-tv-series/
This year’s programme was opened by a meeting with the Korean delegation consisting of the representatives of the KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency) and Korean producer companies. This was a first meeting of its kind. VAF has crossed the boundaries of Europe with a clear aim of initiating contact with a country where animation is interpreted as a part of a high growth potential industry. The cooperation is likely to developed and grow into coproduction relationships in the year to come, too.
VAF also accommodated a historically first meeting of the national film fund representatives of Central and Eastern European countries. All participants perceive the difficult current climate for the animation industry and have declared a unanimous will to work together to support animation for the New Europe projects. The meeting was held upon invitation of the Czech State Cinematography Fund manager, Helena Bezděk Fraňková.
Another highlight of the programme was a debate with top professionals in the field of children’s film distribution. Gert Hermans (Jekino), Aleksander Stein (Short Circuit) and Eric Tijman (Cinekid) introduced the situation as it is in Europe in 2016 and looked into the topic of distribution opportunities.
The audience really appreciated the presentations by the authors of four successful animated projects already in production: The Odd-Sock Eaters (Czech Republic), which is a keenly anticipated feature film to arrive in cinemas in October this year. Next, the authors of Tonda, Slávka and the Genius (Czech Republic), Morten (Estonia, Ireland, Belgium, Great Britain) and White Plastic Sky (Hungary) presented their projects.
The Visegrad Animation Forum accommodated the announcement of VAF New Talents 2016. This official selection of animated short films focuses on extraordinary talents whose work promises successful future careers. The purpose of New Talents is to promote the most talented young and debuting animation filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe in a given year and bring them together with experienced foreign producers.
VAF also involved an introduction of the RedBricks project which was developed last year. It aims to promote and facilitate the generation of coproduction connections between producers in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Visegrad Animation Forum is held in cooperation with Anifilm (International Festival of Animated Films, Trebon, CZ). The VAF is organized by the ASAF (Association of Czech Animation) in collaboration with SPPA (Polish Animation Producers Association), APAF (Association of Animated Film Producers Slovakia), :D´SAF! (Slovenian Animated Film Association) and MOME (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest). It cooperates with the Cartoon Forum and is organised with the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union.