Just shortly after the world premiere of the film Daughter at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, where it won the top Crystal Award, and winning the main prize this week at the Melbourne International Film Festival, this puppet drama is heading overseas to Los Angeles for the final of the Student Oscars. Daughter was selected as one of the best three movies from a field of 1615 competitors from around the world. It follows the success of the Czech director Jan Saska, who made the shortlist of the best animated shorts Oscar in 2016.

Czech cinematography has a chance to equal the success of Jan Svěrák 30 years ago, whose film Ropáci (Oil Gobblers) the American Film Academy awarded an Oscar in 1989. „It is a great honour for FAMU, for the Czech Republic and for me personally. Such a success raises the expectations of an artist and encourages me to work even harder,“ says the director of Daughter, Daria Kashcheeva. „I congratulate the whole team who cooperated in making the movie and we thank everyone who supported us in making it. To be in the final is a great honour and a dream come true,“ adds the executive producer Zuzana Roháčová of Prague FAMU.

The Department of Animated Film at FAMU maintains the long term high quality of its students. Another children’s puppet film – The Kite by Martin Smatana – made this year‘s  student  Oscars semi-final. The dean of FAMU Zdeněk Holý commented on the success: „I am very proud of the achievements of the Department of Animated Film. This is the reward of their long term efforts, which in recent years is reflected in success at film festivals and various awards. I would like to thank the amazing faculty team who managed to set up an excellent teaching system, the amazing students who inspire and support each other, and of course Daria, for whom this success is absolutely deserved.“

The director Daria Kashcheeva chose an utterly unique artistic approach for her movie, she used a handheld camera, which is very difficult to implement in a puppet film, to achieve very realistic shots. „I’m delighted by Daughter. Daria showed great professionalism, maturity and talent in the preparation and shooting of the film. From the beginning she treated the intimate motif with great gentleness, understanding and the gift of film narration and originality. I believe that this already huge success will help her not only in making her next animated film, which we are currently preparing, but also in her career as a filmmaker. Especially if she stays as professional and hardworking, which I don’t doubt.“ explains Martin Vandas, producer of the company MAUR film. The film was supported by the Czech Film Fund.

The autumn Czech premiere of the film Daughter is approaching. It will be accompanied by exhibition of two other puppet films and called Trojhlas (Three voices), a result of the joining of three interesting student projects. These three projects were created at the same time at three Czech art schools – FAMU, UMPRUM and University of West Bohemia in Plzeň. Producer Martin Vandas is considering a cinema release of the three films as a longer animated sequence.

„I believe that although it is but a small step for the field of Czech animation, it‘s a sign of good times to come, because it‘s proof that we don’t lack talent and good ideas and we have something to offer the world. On the other hand, it’s also a challenge for FAMU and other film schools and professionals in the field to keep up the systematic and purposeful work. Because animation is an endurance race,“ explains Martin Vandas.

Daughter will take on the German short film Love me, Fear me (Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF) and the French The Ostrich Politic (Gobelins, l’école de l’image) in the student Oscar final. The winner will be announced on 17th October in Los Angeles.