Third edition of Visegrad Animation Forum (VAF) was characterised by the quality of submitted products. Thanks to its programme concept, it attained the position of the biggest and most popular event focusing of animated film industry in Central and Eastern Europe. A number of guests described the dates 6th to 8th May as highlights of their year.
The VAF competition this year included a record-breaking number of 44 short films and 18 TV series in development.
The award for Best Short Film goes to Operation Burning Corset by two Hungarian directors Zsuzsann Kreif and Éva Katinka Bognárs, graduates of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest.
This category unusually awarded two jury special mentions. One went to the project Egg by Danish director Marina Scarpelli. It is an animated document portraying a woman’s fight with anorexia.
The second special mention goes to the project Superbia by Hungarian director Lucy Tóth. It describes the country of Superbia where the natives create independent societies.
Section TV Series in Development was won by Czech author Vojtěch Domlátil with his project Kitchen Tales. It is a unique project in terms of its visual and its narrative that builds on specific Czech animation and leads the viewer into a kitchen that has come to life.
Hungarian author Iván Tamás was awarded a special mention by the jury for his project How the World Began?. The project will be filmed as a 2D series and the jury was intrigued by it innovative graphic design.
The TV Series in Development jury was composed by programme and development director from seven Central and Easter European TV channels.
Many organisation novelties ensured that this year’s edition of VAF has become a memorable and must-visit event both for film authors and film professional from the whole continent.
The organisers have managed to establish cooperation with the prestigious pan-European Cartoon Forum (CF) and negotiated lecturer exchanges and also participation of the winning TV series in development in the September CF competition held in Toulouse. The winning project will also get additional lecturing by the Czech Television which means that it will have a bigger change to make a lasting impression at Europe’s biggest pitching platform.
The VAF programme has been expanded by non-competition series in development pitching, case studies, TV series distribution and distribution feedback for the presented projects. VAF has also held a TV round table with Cinematography Fund director Helena Bezděk-Fraňková and its board member Jiří Kubíček. The panel addressed the future of Czech cinema which has to, as every other cinema, raise new generations of audiences. Support of high-quality works for children should therefore be one of the priorities of the Fund as most of the European countries that can today boast quality films that effortlessly draws audiences has chosen this path.
The most interesting programme of the Short Films Section was again film projects pitching. But also the panel on new distribution possibilities of short films, school distribution and film education attracted attention.
Visegrad Animation Rallye is another programme novelty of the forum. It is a presentation module for the best animated works created during the last year in the V4 countries. This presentation will continue on other festival and markets focusing on animated film. This will ensure that our best film will be presented to the whole Europe.
Visegrad Animation Forum is the biggest Central and East-European platform for professional education, creation of coproduction collaborations, opportunities to get project funding and also for presenting the most successful projects created in the region. Both in the field of animated shorts and TV series, VAF brings opportunities to meet the authors, producers, broadcasters, distributors and film professionals from Central and Eastern Europe.
VAF was created by the Association of Czech Animation Film (ASAF) which is represented by Czech producers and their studios. Firs event and presentation of our region in connection with was held at the MIFA 2013 in Annecy. The first Czech presentation was organised at the 2013 Anifilm in Třeboň. This year’s edition was organised with the help association of animated films from Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and the the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest.