A new initiative under the name CEE Animation Workshop brought together twenty-four independent producers of animated films from sixteen Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries. They came to Ljubljana to network, consult, learn and share their producing experience. Throughout the workshop, all participants discussed the current situation in animation and identified potential common steps to encourage and support the growth of the animation industry. These steps and strategies have been summarised in a document signed by all participants, namely The Ljubljana Accord.
This year, the European Commission developed the Animation Plan For Europe, published in September 2017, which aims to invigorate the animation industry in the entire EU. Independent producers from the CEE countries, for the past few years gathering at the Visegrad Animation Forum, share the view that steps for the future need to be defined by a common voice that would represent the specificities of the CEE region more accurately. The CEE Animation Workshop has brought producers from the CEE countries together for the first time. The degree of importance of this event was immediately recognized even by Creative Europe Desks – MEDIA offices. “CEDs from a total of nineteen countries agreed to pull their forces together, which is a clear statement of recognition of the role of independent producers as key movers towards the creation of quality animated content in CEE,“ explains Sabina Briški Karlić, on behalf of CED Slovenia.
The CEE Animation Workshop was the first occasion bringing producers from so many countries together to discuss strategic issues concerning coproduction but also their relationship to the region’s broadcasters and film funds. The result of this five-day work is a document called The Ljubljana Accordwhich is divided into eight categories such as e.g. National and Regional Funds, Local Broadcasters, Education in the sector or Digital platforms, etc., on more than seven pages of concrete strategies. “We all contributed to, discussed and signed the Ljubljana Accord to prove that this is an act of larger understanding and the declaration of a will to work together as a region under one distinctive brand that we call CEE Animation,” adds Juraj Krasnohorsky, producer from Slovakia and VAF member. Juraj Krasnohorsky, Matija Šturm – producer from Slovenia, VAF member, Pavlína Kalandrová – CED Czechia and Sabina Briški Karlić – CED Slovenia were the key organizers of the CEE Animation Workshop. This document will also serve as a guideline for future dialogue with the European Commission.
CEE Animation Workshop was hosted by the Animateka International Animated Film Festival (December 4-6, Ljubljana). An AnimatekaPRO pitch for six selected projects from the Ex-Yugoslavian countries was organized for the first time. Having completed a training session with an expert tutor, Anna Vášová, teams presented their projects in front of an international jury of professionals. The winner is a Serbian short film, LIGHTS&SHADOWS (d. Rastko Ciric, p. Iva Ciric, Milan Stojanovic (SENSE). Special Mention goes to LILIANA (d. Milanka Fabjancic, p. Kolja Saksida (ZVVIKS), Slovenia). The winning project will be invited to the VAF Třeboň 2018 pitching competition held on May 1-3, 2018 in the Czech Republic.
The CEE Animation Workshop was a networking and training event co-organized by the Creative Europe Desks – MEDIA from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Georgia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine and the market access platform Visegrad Animation Forum. The local partners are Slovenian Animated Film Association and Motovila Institute in cooperation with the Animateka International Animated Film Festival.
Photos: © Katja Goljat, Andrej Firm