On Tuesday 6 October 2020, the first annual pitching of Czech animated films took place in Liberec, held by the Association of Czech Animation Film as part of the international industry event CEE Animation Forum. Viewers were presented with a total of 23 projects at various stages of development.

The development of animated films is one of the most important phases in the creation of a project, as it has a fundamental impact on its future quality, financing, and realisation. Animation Espresso is the first step on the path to high quality development. During the short presentation, the jury had the opportunity to judge the potential of the projects, their strengths and weaknesses, and the best approach for their future presentation. This activity focused only on Czech projects.

At Animation Espresso, the type of project and its current phase of development are immaterial. It is designed for short films, feature films, and series – from the initial idea and artistic concept through to projects that are about to be made. Animation Espresso was developed as a tool which can help define the parameters of a project and provide creators with experience in presenting projects, so films made by students were also welcome!

The winner of the Animation Espresso first prize of 15,000 Czech crowns was chosen by Mr. Jaromír Kallista (one of the leading Czech producers, producer of all of Jan Švankmajer’s films, and member of the Board of the Czech Film Fund) and awarded to the short animation project ODPUSŤ (Forgive) directed by Alžbeta Mačáková Mišejková (Jiří Pecinovský, FAMU).

A special mention was given to highly anticipated project ELECTRA. A POEM from the director Daria Kashcheeva (Martin Vandas, Zuzana Křivková, MAUR film, FAMU).

The animated series MR. BOMBARINO directed and produced by Matěj Litera can look forward to the Concept Art course, which is an annual programme organised by the company ANOMALIA.

The company MAUR film will support the project WHATMAN with 7,000 Czech crowns. This film has been created under the direction of Niko Zinovev at the Faculty of Multimedia Communication at the Tomáš Bata University in Zlín.

Specialised training from producers Michal Podhradsky and Martin Vandas, and from screenwriter and dramatist Anna Vášová, will be awarded to the following projects: ELECTRA. A POEM (directed by Daria Kashcheeva), HOLUBÍ VOJÁK (Pigeon Soldier) (by Michaela Lovecká), MOHYLA (The Mound) (by Mikuláš Suchý), ODPUSŤ (by Alžbeta Mačáková Mišejková), SVĚTLA (Light) (by Jitka Skálová) and ZVÍTĚZÍM (I Win) (by Michaela Režová).

Animation Espresso was organised in Liberec as part of the CEE Animation Forum in collaboration with the international film festival Anifilm. Almost sixty participants also had the opportunity to follow the ongoing international pitching at the CEE Animation Forum, which served as a wonderful inspiration to young creators.

Photo: Eva Kořínková, René Volfík