Posts Tagged ‘animation’

Children’s Film Factory (ASIFA Magazine, vol. 24 no. 2 Winter Issue 2011)

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

The article on Children’s Film Factory was published in ASIFA Magazine not so long ago.

I am putting here the scanned text and I do hope you enjoy it. If you’d like to read / see more, go to one of my previous posts.









































September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

On Saturday, 24th September awards and nominations for awards were announced at 2nd Se-Ma-For Film Festival. Winners of international competition for the best stop motion animation will be known at the 2nd part of this year event that will take place in Lugano, Switzerland in November 2011. 

Follow the link for the list of Se-Ma-For winners: 2nd Se-Ma-For Film Festival – awards.

Detailed Programme of 2. Se-Ma-For Film Festival (22-25 September 2011)

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Organisers of 2nd Se-Ma-For Film Festival in Lodz,  Poland have announced this year event programme.

Check this out as the festival starts in 2 days: Detailed Programme of 2. Se-Ma-For Film Festival.

High quality and diversity of European animated series energized Cartoon Forum 2011

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

European animation for television has a promising future ahead, with strong quality projects sparking the interest of broadcasters and investors as well as audiences. Such was the conclusion from the 22nd Cartoon Forum, the European co-production forum which closed its doors on 16th September in Sopot, Poland.

The positive sector trend was helped by a significant rise in investments and production volume, which grew about 30% year on year according to information from the event’s organisers, CARTOON – the European Association of Animation Film. Creativity and a large diversity of concept and design stand out as characteristics of European animation.

The latest edition of Cartoon Forum served as a showcase for 66 new projects for animated series which sought wider distribution and financing at the event. Studios from 19 countries are involved in the production of the projects, which have a total budget of 215 million Euros and represent some 468 hours of content.

Series for children aged 6-9 and preschoolers remain the most popular in Europe, representing 33 and 29% respectively of the total. The event also detected a growing interest in projects for young adults, a trend which could eventually lead to new slots for animation in channel programming.

With a third of the projects selected, France was the main protagonist of the event with eight of the 10 most-attended projects (list below). Meanwhile, Britain and Spain doubled their participation from last year with 14 and 11 projects respectively while

Polish animation showed its potential with five projects.

Irish animation took the Cartoon Tributes 2011 – the annual awards to outstanding companies that have had a dynamic influence on the European animation industry – winning Broadcaster and Producer of the Year (RTÉ and Monster Animation, respectively). As for Investor/Distributor of the Year, the award went to awol animation, a Paris-based company headed by Ireland’s Julie Fox.

The future promise of animation also had a place at Cartoon Forum Polska with the Cartoon d’Or award for the best European animated short film of the year, which this year went to “The Little Boy and the Beast” directed by Johannes Weiland and Uwe Heidschötter (Germany) and produced by Studio Soi in Ludwigsburg.

The next edition of Cartoon Forum will take place from 11 to 14 September 2012, in Toulouse, one of France’s most dynamic cities and home to some of French animation’s best studios.

CARTOON FORUM POLSKA – Top ten projects in terms of attendance at the pitching session

 “Oscar and Hoo” – Frog Box (FR) – eOne (UK)

 “Burny the Little Dragon – LuxAnimation (LU) – Gaumont – Alphanim (FR) – Cromosoma (ES)

 “Dimitri” – Vivement Lundi! (FR) – Beast Animation (BE) – Nadasdy Film (CH)

 “Roger” – Je Suis Bien Content (FR)

 “Hubert & Takako” – Xilam Animation (FR)

 “The Crumpets” – 4.21 Productions (FR) – Redcastle Mediaconsulting (FR)

 “Secret Ranch” – Tele Images Productions (FR)

 “Crazy Cavemen!” – Silver Fox Animation (UK) – Evergreen Entertainment (UK) – Cine Cartoon (AU)

 “The Cookie and Crime Club” – Neomis Animation (FR)

 “Ori & Gami” – Jus de Prod (FR) – 2 Minutes (FR)


Press Release: Cartoon Forum

Categories: Animation Tags: ,

World Premiere of The Flying Machine at Toronto Film Festival

August 17, 2011 2 comments

As announced recently on Polish Film Institute website, The Flying Machine (2011) is going to be premiered at 36th Toronto International Film Festival that takes place next month. 

The Flying Machine is an interesting project undertaken by producers and creators of an Oscar winner, Peter and the Wolf by Suzie Templeton (2006). The film combines 3D stop-motion animation with live action (here they even got a star Heather Graham) and with Fryderyk Chopin music played by famous Chinese pianist, Lang Lang. Apart from Chopin himself, there is of course a huge Polish input in the production – from financial support from Polish Film Institute or Lodz Film Commission to my best liked Polish names, like Marek Skrobecki or Krzysztof Ptak (cinematography).

I am under impression that to find a full list of credits  you would have to check quite a few sources and actually compile it yourself. Or maybe one day Sight and Sound will publish it in full length – that’s a very good practice of the magazine! So, to avoid creating additional confusion I will just refer you to the website of the film’s British producer, Breakthru Films. It is said that The Flying Machine will reach Polish cinemas on 21st October 2011. And I only hope that it will be possible to see it in other parts of the world, too – not only at festivals…

You know, there was once a piece of text published in FilmPRO 1/2010 (a Polish film industry related magazine), entitled Preludium by Marta Luchacz and Jarek Somborski. Even though it got printed almost 1.5 year ago when The Flying Machine production was actually at the stage of preproduction I guess, I think it provides quite a nice insight into the film concept and the way the works were planned. And that’s exactly why I would like to refer to it a bit and give you some shadowy (sic!) facts. (Sure, if you ever happen to find anything more up-to-date, do drop me a line as I’ll be happy to learn about it myself.)

Anyway, The Flying Machine is supposed to be the first stop-motion puppet animation in Poland made with the use of stereoscopic technique (and, so far, I have not heard of any similar project, so my assumption is The Flying Machine still holds the title of a pioneer on Polish scene). However, the film will be screened in both: traditional and 3D cinemas. There were supposed to be two different scales for puppets created for the purpose of the film – a scale of 1:4.5 for 30-40cm puppets and 1:9 for those of 15-20cm. The film was to combine 50% of animation with the remaining 50% of live action. All that was to be filmed in a specially built studio with over 20 sets prepared by Marek Skrobecki.

In the initial phase of works on the film the crew made a lot of tests, first of all, based on reference material used by creators of Coraline (2006), in order to work out the best way of creating the stereoscopic effect. However, due to completely unsatisfying results and disparity in the depth of the picture in different frames, the crew decided to reject it and set up their own rules. The challenge seemed to be even bigger when you realise that what you actually get in the film is a mix of stop-motion animation, live action (sure, I already mentioned these) but also computer animation (was to be added in the postproduction process) along with both postproduction and compositing to have been done in stereo alike (if I’m making myself clear at all 😉 ).

I am not going to get into more technical details here as I am not that technical person myself nor it’s a post on meanders of stereoscopy. It’s definitely worth reading on that fascinating subject if you are not a specialist in the field and, to be honest, the mentioned issue of FilmPRO magazine gave me a good insight into the technical details as well as the historic aspects. For the purpose of this post, though, enough to say that stereoscopy is fascinating and if you’d like to learn more, this time from a critic’s point of view, check a post by Jasper Sharp on his blog: Cinematism, Realism, and Spectacle part 6: Changing our Focus – StreetDance 3D.

In the meantime, let’s watch The Flying Machine space and fingers crossed the final effect is worth the noise 😉

Below, as usual, is a bit of a moving picture…

Animation Magazine on Damian Nenow

August 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Animation Magazine published on 7th August a piece of text on Damian Nenow, a Polish animator of Platige Image.

It tells us about Nenow’s  lifelong obsession with flight and objects that traverse the sky, his inspiration for his acclaimed by now Paths of Hate as well as Nenow’s view of Polish current animation scene.

(…) The idea for Paths of Hate occurred to me about five years ago, when I was still studying at the film school in Lodz, says Nenow. After producing two earlier shorts, I felt the need to create something that was surrealistic, but dynamic and serious. I couldn’t imagine a subject more exciting than a duel between two fighter planes. (…)

For the whole article, go to: Polish Animator’s Career Takes Flight.

Crulic – The Path to Beyond Gets A Special Mention at Locarno Festival

August 15, 2011 2 comments

The film festival in Locarno ended on Saturday and among this year laurels there is a special mention for a Polish-Romanian animated documentary. Is that the only reason I mention this particular film event here, on Frogs and Squash? Well, … 🙂

Anyway, Crulic – The Path to Beyond seems to be worth mentioning for at least a couple of reasons: the true story the plot is based on as well the mix of animated techniques the film uses to tell it. The film’s directed by Anca Damian (there is a nice interview with Anca Damian available from the Press section on Crulic website), produced by Aparte Film but also co-produced by Fundacja im. Ferdynanda Magellana and Romanian Ministry of Culture and the Romanian Heritage/ Editura Video, Krakow Festival Office.

Synopsis: Narrated from beyond the grave by its main protagonist, this animated feature-length documentary tells the life story of Crulic, a 33-year-old Romanian, who died in a Polish prison while on a hunger strike. On July 11, 2007, an important Polish judge is robbed and around 500 Euros are withdrawn using his credit cards. On September 10, Crulic is accused of the crime and brought to the Krakow Detention Centre, where he immediately starts a hunger strike. Claiming he was in Italy on the day of the theft, his demands are clear: he wants a meeting with a Romanian Consulate representative and another attorney. At the beginning of 2008, Crulic’s deteriorating health prompts the court to release him. But it is too late; the young man dies sixteen hours later. A strong visual style, the result of beautifully blending hand drawn, collage, stop-motion and cut-cut animation techniques, create a striking, surprisingly integrated and memorable film.

The true story: On the 11th of July 2007, a wallet belonging to an important Polish Judge, containing some credit cards, is stolen: on the same day, there are two withdrawals from the cards: total value, about 500 Euro. Crulic had previously been accused of another theft. On the 10th of September, he is accused of having stolen from the Judge on the 11th of July. Crulic is brought to the Krakow Detention Center Custody prison. He decided to start a hunger strike from the day he was arrested, asking for: a meeting with somebody from the Romanian Consulate, a change of the attorney. In exchange, the Consul writes an answer to Crulic, in which he advises him to put his trust in Polish justice. Crulic claimed he was in Italy at the day  of the theft, and not only the bus ticket, but also the record containing the passengers’ names, confirms his innocence. At the beginning of December, his detention  was lengthened by 3 months. In the first days of 2008, the man’s condition was already very bad. Finally, on the 11th of January the prison doctors, decided to force-feed him via a probe. A needle perforated Crulic’s pleura. That led to complications. Finally, the Court agreed to release the man so that he could be treated in a civilian hospital. The ambulance took Crulic to the Interior Ministry Hospital: he had muscular and tissue atrophy, and suffered from pneumothorax. He died after 16 hours. Press investigation started in both countries. The repercussions of the investigation have concluded with the resignation of the Minister of the Foreign Affairs, while in Poland, 3 doctors were officially accused of Crulic’s death.

Below, is the film’s trailer (others available from Crulic vimeo channel):

Crulic Trailer 1 from Crulic Movie on Vimeo.

Also, if you’d like to read even more on this interesting project, check these links out:

Screendaily review (which is also my source of the picture above)

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