On the 6th December 2018 a set of short films for small children and their parents about the extraordinary friendship of two little girls, Mimi and Lisa, will be released in Czech cinemas. Seven short stories depict the magical adventures of a blind girl and her friend. Target audience: 4 to 8 years.
The Slovak studio Fool Moon and the Czech MAUR film took part in the production, with co-production by Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS). The film was created with the support of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Czech State Cinematography Fund.
According to producer Martin Vandas (MAUR film), the fact that the main heroine Mimi is blind played an important role in approaching partners and famous Czech actors, who lent their voices to the characters. “These are beautiful and powerful stories where a disability is not a disability. On a European scale, it’s a completely original idea to tell children about their blind peers and show them that although the blind may not be able to see, their other sense perceptions are much more intense and we can learn a lot from them; they can experience adventures in the childhood world together with us. Both girls learn a lot from each other. There’s a good reason for putting the films in cinemas with the slogan “Close your eyes and watch!”
The stories of blind Mimi and her friend Lisa have appealed to a number of actors and other personalities: Linda Rybová and David Prachař voiced the characters of the parents; Arnošt Goldflam and Viktor Preiss will appear in other roles; and the superb Dagmar Pecková speaks and sings for the opera singer character Melania Melodius in her first ever voiceover role. The title songs recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra were sung in distant Iceland by Markéta Irglová. Natálie Grossová and Karolína Křišťálová will appear in the leading roles of the two little girls.
The film was given yet another dimension thanks to cooperation with the Czech Radio Endowment Fund Světluška: “Thanks to amazing director Gábina Drastichová, we’re thinking of how to deliver the songs from the film and the film itself to a wide audience. At the same time, many actors, after finding out that we’re cooperating with Světluška, have forgone their reward to benefit the Fund. In turn, Světluška will show its appreciation for the educational potential of the film, as Mimi and Lisa point out to both child and adult viewers that people can behave in a wholly normal and natural manner toward people with a visual impairment.”
Before the fairy tale warms the hearts of the Czech audience, a Christmas special is set to arrive in France, where it will be released in late November. The French distributor secured successful screenings of a part of the stories two years ago and already showed interest in the new Christmas special when it was still in its preparatory phase.
Last year, the story called “The Christmas Light Mystery” also took part in the Visegrad Animation Forum international pitching competition in Třeboň (next year VAF will be renamed to the CEE Animation Forum), where it won the Jury Special Mention. “Comparison with other Central and Eastern European projects was interesting for us and helped us open up another door for financing, co-production and distribution. It only confirmed that pitching in Třeboň has matured and the participation of a project alone (which was pre-selected from a number of others) carries a guarantee of quality and potential for distributors and other investors,” Martin Vandas concludes.
About the film – “Mimi&Lisa: The Christmas Light Mystery and Other Stories“
Director: Iva Šebestová and Katarína Kerekesová
Art Design: Iva Šebestová, Boris Šima and Katarína Kerekesová
Script: Katarína Moláková, Katarína Kerekesová and Iva Šebestová
Production: Katarína Kerekesová with the Fool Moon company, co-producers RTVS SK and MAUR film.
Release Date in the Czech Republic: 6th December 2018