On 13th January 2020, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the nominations in all 24 competition categories, from which the winners will be announced on 9th February at the awards ceremony in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The animated puppet drama Daughter by Daria Kashcheeva, student of the Department of Animated Film at FAMU, which was co-produced with MAUR film, was selected as one of the last five finalists in the Best Animated Short Film category!
Daughter is thus the only Czech animated film that has in recent decades managed to compete for an Oscar. The director has already won many awards, the most prestigious being the Student Oscar for the best foreign animated film, which was awarded to her last September by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Her film also won in the world-wide competition of 1615 best film-school movies. Its world premiere took place in the biggest festival of animated film in the world, in French Annecy, where it was awarded the highest award, Le Cristal d’Annecy, for best student film. Since its premiere Daughter has entered more than 80 festivals all over the world, including major festivals in Toronto, Melbourne, Sundance, and has managed to collect 40 winner prizes! Since mid December when Daughter got on the shortlist for the Oscars, from which today the finalists have been picked, dozens of other festivals have shown an interest. It is already clear that Daughter will be shown at more than a hundred festivals all over the world.
In her bachelor‘s degree puppet movie Daughter the director Daria Kashcheeva experiments with the movement of the camera as she explores the subject of the relationship between father and his daughter. Daria Kashcheeva chose for her film a completely unique art form, when with the hand held camera – an innovative technique in animated film – she achieves very realistic shots. In her creative process she drew inspiration from films by Lars von Trier and Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. The film is entirely hand made, without digital tricks. That is also one of the reasons why it has gained such wide recognition from film critics and viewers around the world and why it figures in many film experts predictions as a hot contender for the Oscar.
„Our Daughter is a dream of every parent. She is well turned out, doing great and making her parents proud. And considering her modest background, she went into the big wide world early, with full self-confidence. Her spiritual mother is a great person and film artist, and that must be the dream of every film producer, too. Daria created an exceptional film. I am happy that I could be at its birth and I am already looking forward to the new film that Daria is beginning to prepare with us,“ says Martin Vandas, MAUR film producer. „Last but not least, besides the closest colleagues, the editor Alexander Kashcheev and Zuzana Roháčová from the Department of Production, I have to mention the systematic and steadfast support of the Czech Film Fund, which – led by 2 Helena Bezděk Fraňková – explores ways how to return Czech filmmaking and Czech animation to its distinguished international position,“ added Vandas.
“When Daughter won the Student Oscar, it was a huge success. Now that it has made it among the top five nominees for the “grown-up” Oscar Awards, it proves that the young Czech animated film authors are gaining strength and hopefully also that the Fund knows how to make strategic decisions to the benefit of the Czech cinema by supporting short animated formats,” said Helena Bezděk Fraňková, Director of the Czech Film Fund.
„Thanks to the Department of Animation, FAMU is experiencing its most glorious era in its recent history. Films made in this department were represented in the leading world festivals – Rotterdam, Berlinale, Annecy, Venice, Sundance. The nomination of Daughter for the „adult“ Oscar is the culmination of this journey,“ remarks the Dean of FAMU Zdeněk Holý on Daughter’s success.
At the weekend the final distribution contract was concluded and Daughter will be represented by a renowned French distribution company Miyu Distribution, which backed for example a short animated Oscar film Negative Space (2017) and on its current shorlist had two more candidates, apart from Daughter. Luce Grosjean from Miyu Distribution remarked: “After following the great career of Daria Kashcheeva’s short, Daugher, we are more than happy to join this amazing team with strong collaborators as FAMU School and MAUR film. We’ll bring our expertise to help the film reach the widest audience!”
The Oscar awards ceremony will take place on 9th February, traditionally in the famous Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre) on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
About the director: Daria Kashcheeva (1986) has since an early age devoted herself to music and she graduated as a pianist from the Moscow Music Conservatory. After the conservatory, she gained a Master´s degree in music direction at the Gnesins Russian Academy of Music. During her studies she worked as a sound engineer in renowned Moscow theatres (MCHAT, Satirikon, Modern). In 2017 she won the international Nespresso Talents Competition. The jury was charmed by her film To Accept, in which she used the combination of stop motion and pixilation techniques, which also brought her important recognition at the Cannes International Film Festival. Her filmography now includes several short animated movies in various techniques (drawn Oasis, anidoc Prague, A Foreigners‘ perspective , and puppet animation In a Dumpster).
About Daughter: A young girl buries in her soul a memory of a painful moment, when as a child she brought home an injured bird and her father burdened by his own weight of worries didn’t notice her feelings and longing for understanding. The girl took her father’s reaction as indifference and closed herself in her inner world longing for her father’s love and its manifestations. Since that moment she and her dad continued to grow apart, and as an adult she is no longer able to accept his endearments. The father suffers from guilt and searches for a way back to his daughter, trying to revive their lost relationship.
• Daughter will be shown in Czech cinemas in the spring by the distribution company Aerofilms, together with several other successful animated films from recent FAMU production.
• The working title of Daughter was The Bird, the author decided to change it just before finishing it.
• The director is now working on a new graduation project movie, which should be finished at FAMU in 3 co-production with MAUR film during 2021.
• Daughter is part of a movie Three Voices, the result of juxtaposing three interesting puppet student films. They were being created concurrently at three Czech art schools – FAMU, UMPRUM and University of West Bohemia.
• In the history of Academy Awards it is unheard of for a student film to be nominated among the final five in the Best Animated Film category.
• The last Czech animated movie to get on the Oscar shortlist was also a film from FAMU, Happy End by Jan Saska in December 2016. Unfortunately, it didn’t make the final five nominees.
• The only artist of Czech origin who has won the Best Animated Short Film category was director and animator Jaroslav Pinkava. In 1998 the Oscar went to his film Geri’s Game produced by the American company Pixar.
The official trailer: https://vimeo.com/316565718
The original title: Dcera
The English title: Daughter
The country of origin: Czech Republic
The year of production: 2019
Duration: 15 minutes
Director, script, animation: Daria Kashcheeva
Producers: Zuzana Roháčová (FAMU), Martin Vandas (MAUR film)
Editor: Alexander Kashcheev
Sound: Daria Kashcheeva, Miroslav Chaloupka
Light: Bargav Sridhar
Music: Petr Vrba
Produced by: Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) and MAUR film.
The film was created with considerable help from the Czech Film Fund.
For more information on the Academy Awards click here.