On 11th – 16th June 2018, the International Animation Festival was held in Annecy, France. Under the auspices of the newly established association CEE Animation (formerly known as the Visegrad Animation Forum), a delegation of Central and East European animation artists was presented to participants of the traditional MIFA festival market (June 12 – 15, 2018).
A total of 42 representatives from 11 countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Croatia, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) had the opportunity to be part of the Creative Europe MEDIA Umbrella Stand. It was the first time ever that a stand of several European entities, sheltered by the Creative Europe MEDIA, made an appearance at the most important European animation fair MIFA. Thanks to this offer, CEE Animation was able to approach film professionals from Central and East Europe and invite them to participate in this prestigious event.
“Our participation was very important in several ways. At the venue we functioned under the newly established CEE Animation brand as a meeting point for MIFA visitors and a gateway to the animation industry of a so far neglected region. We were often approached by producers who were interested in working with someone from Central and East Europe, but they didn’t know what projects are being prepared or who to address. It turned out that our region is beginning to attract attention again, and foreign producers and festival dramaturgists are discovering our talents, “ Marta Jallageas, the CEE Animation spokeswoman describing her own experience from the event.
Largely represented were animation producers (Aeon Production, Zograph Films, 3D2D Animators, Adriatic Animation Amulet Studio, 3Bohemians, Animation People, Eallin, Hafan Film, Hausboot Production, Klucivespolek, Kouzelna Animation, Maur Film, Kedd Animation Studio, Kurilov Group, Anima-Pol, Momakin, Safe Frame, Artichoke, Bfilm, Fool Moon, Finta Studio or ZVIKKS) but also representatives of important institutions such as the Czech Film Fund, the Croatian Audiovisual Center, the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava or the Slovenian International Animated Film Festival Animateka. National associations under the umbrella of the CEE Animation brand – Association of Czech Animation Film (ASAF), Slovak Association of Animated Film Producers (APAF), Slovene Animated Film Association (DSAF), the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME Anim) and Polish Animation Producers Association (SPPA) – play an essential role in the efforts as well.
The delegation of Czech representatives, whose participation was made possible thanks to significant financial support from the Czech Film Fund, made up a substantial part of the delegation. Markéta Šantrochová, Head of the Czech Film Center of the Czech Film Fund was among the festival participants: “We had an exhibition in Annecy in the past, but we had to admit that the independent Czech stand did not have much impact. As a small country, we can hardly compete with larger countries – in the volume of production or the size of the industry itself. Thanks to the offer from Creative Europe MEDIA and the interest of ASAF and other associations in the region a joint presentation together with Central and East European countries was possible. And it turned out to work very well. The model has proven to be successful – we are much stronger as a region, drawing more attention, “says Markéta Šantrochová.
The European Film Forum took place as part of the accompanying programme. The purpose of this debating panel was to discuss and look into the opportunities that exist for animation studios to focus on effective marketing and brand development. One of the speaker, the Slovak producer Juraj Krasnohorský (Artichoke), pointed out the famous animated characters – Czech Krtek (Little Mole), Croatian Baltazar or the Polish couple Lolek and Bolek, and their connection with current successful projects such as The Websters (SK), Koyaa (SI) or Agi Bagi (PL). Among the invited speakers were Marc Dhrami (Normaal), Edward Galton (Cake), Brenda Maffuchi (De Agostini Editore), Pierre Sissmann (Cyber Group Studios) and Martin Dawson (DG Connect, European Commission).
The animation from Central and East Europe made itself known in several festival sections (see the complete list in the brochure HERE – page 11). In the category of short films the Croatian-French short film Cyclistes by Veljko Popovic (Lemonade 3D, Krupni Kadar, Bagan Films) was awarded the Jury Distinction. The screenings of Jan Švankmajer’s latest film Insect were very popular with the audience.
For more information on the MIFA 2018 delegation, see the CEE Animation brochure HERE.
Photo: David Toušek