The gala premiere of Lucie Sunková’s animated short The Tree will take place on 24th February at the French Institute in Prague. The French Institute will screen The Tree as a supporting film until the end of June. But it is not the only opportunity to see the film. You will have a chance to see it in the competition section of the International Festival of Animated Films Anifilm in Třeboň as a supporting film of the competition film Green Horse Rustlers by Dan Wlodarczyk based on a book of the same name by Jiří Hájiček or at other festivals throughout the world – it has already been selected for festival competitions in France, Spain, Portugal and other countries.

If all ends well and the film’s producer Martin Vandas (MAUR Film) succeeds to get the film into cinemas as a supporting films, it will be another success of this kind for the company. The first one came when the animated short poem New Goodness also by Lucie Sunková was screened as a supporting film of Delight by Jitka Rudolfová (2013).

The Tree is a Czech-French co-production and its budget reached almost 150 thousand EUR. The work was evenly split between MAUR film and Les Films de l ́Arlequin. Both sides were supported by their respective national funds – State Cinematography Fund in the Czech Republic and the prestigious national fund CNC – Centre National du Cinema in France.

The film is a lyrical story of birth and death. It is a poem about the flow of our time, a parable of parenthood and crossing the boundaries of a human (not only) life. Lucie Sunková spent almost two years working on it using a very demanding technique of paint-on-glass animation where each phase is painted with oil paint on glass and then repainted for the next phase. The film then resembles moving canvases.

Since this process is not only time-consuming but also fading, the producers decided to create a book version of the story. This project was made possible thanks to a crowdfunding campaign on Startovač.cz where, even though it reached its target after 14 days, the campaign is still going strong.

An unusual DVD with the short film will be introduced at the gala premiere on 24th February. There is also a travelling exhibition of original oil paintings from the film in the making.

Lucie Sunková’s short film The Tree was included in a compilation DVD by the Czech Film Centre – Czech Short Films vol. 7 – that is intended primarily for dramaturges and programme directors of various film festivals as an information material presenting contemporary Czech films.