Posts Tagged ‘Se-Ma-For studio’

Balbina Bruszewska About Fryderyk Chopin (in Animation)

July 5, 2011 1 comment

I think Fryderyk Chopin is one of those Poland’s distinctive features that are worshiped and proudly mentioned everywhere when we want to refer to ART rooted in our noble country. Chopin – unquestionably great composer whose pieces are best played mainly by… Japanese 🙂 Also, a good subject for a movie especially when you realise there was 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth last year. Could it be a good subject for an animation as well? Let’s see…

Today, in a large part, I would like refer to an article by Elzbieta Chowaniec, that was published last year in a Polish film industry related magazine, FilmPRO (Od kafla do serca; issue 3/2010, October – December). So if there is any significant update on the subject, that I don’t know of, feel free to let me know – will definitely appreciate it!

Balbina Bruszewska is a young (b. 1982) and talented director, writer, photographer and animator. She graduated from Lodz Film School and has currently been working at Se-Ma-For studio in Lodz, Poland. She won Grand Prix at the most important Polish music video event in 2009, Yach Film Festival, and Yach Film Audience Award in 2008. Hence, some even call her the Queen of the Polish music video industry. Her film The City Sails On from 2009 got awarded and mentioned at a number of Polish festivals too.

Her most current project is Heart in the Wall.  It does not aspire to be an illustration of Chopin’s life. His biography is rather treated as a good base for a story of friendship, adolescence and magic love that join together a 21st century girl, Ester and a 19th century pianist. It tries to understand on-going popularity of Chopin’s music as well as Chopin’s motifs for sending his heart after death to Poland to be placed in a pillar of one of churches in Warsaw.

Works on Heart in the Wall started in 2010 and it’s planned to be finished in 2 years time. It is a Polish-Swiss co-production and it seems that it’s going to be the first Polish puppet animated feature and have the biggest budget in history. Its first script draft actually won a pitching at Animafest in Zagreb as potentially the most successful project which later on helped promote the project abroad.

In terms of production process, the film’s crew decided to arrange 8 simultaneous sets where about 200 people would work. It would allow to finish the works within 18 months, hence the film’s budget is estimated at $7mln. There are two main co-producers: Se-Ma-For studio from Poland and Archangel Film Group from Switzerland and the works were planned to be divided between the two:  puppets, sets and shoots made in Poland with postproduction made in Switzerland. Along with Bruszewska two other co-directors are said to be working on the film: Yves Gutjahr and Mihaly Gyoerik.

The information published in media make the Heart in the Wall project look very interesting and promising. I very much look forward to its completion and premiere and genuinely hope it will be worth waiting. Since there’s not many pics available on the web yet, let’s – in the meantime – have a look at a sample of what Bruszewska is capable of. Below, you can see a showreel:


but for more, visit a few other links:

– sepukuPARTY’s Channel on Youtube


Heart in the Wall (opens as .pdf)

Balbina Bruszewska – film maker


Se-Ma-For Studio Tours (update)

July 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Two posts appeared on Se-Ma-For studio website recently:

1. DANNY BOY WINS IN TRANSYLVANIA. JOYETS STILL AT FESTIVALS – another award for Danny Boy by Marek Skrobecki along with another acceptance to a festival for Joyets by Magdalena Osinska.

2. SE-MA-FOR ON TOUR IN ODESSA – from 1st till 3rd July 2011 audience in Odessa, Ukraine had a chance to see the studio productions at U-Cinema.

Check both links for details.

Se-Ma-For Films at Festivals Worldwide (update)

June 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Se-Ma-For studio seems to be doing quite well recently in terms of attendance of their productions at various festivals worldwide.

This week studio announced on their website when and where you can see some of the titles, so let’s have a look:

Maska by Quay Brothers, Two Steps Behind… by Paulina Majda, as well as The Lost Town of Switez by Kamil Polak have been qualified to the 17th Palm Springs International ShortFest (21-27 June 2011). Also, Maska by Quay Brothers got into a competition at 19th International Animation Festival ANIMA MUNDI, which takes place in Rio de Janeiro (15-24 July 2011). (…)

If it’s not enough, three of Se-Ma-For productions have been accepted to Animator Festival competition in Poznan, Poland.

For more, visit this link: SE-MA-FOR AT INTERNATIONAL FESTIVALS.

Polish Film Festival Wisla in Moscow, Russia (15th April – 5th May 2011)

May 25, 2011 2 comments

The festival is over but I think it’s still worth mentioning. I am selective though as I am not going to write here about anything else than animated film. This year the event organisers dedicated a separate part of its programme to Polish animation with a special contribution from Se-Ma-For studio which screened some films but also gave a stop motion master class.

As a matter of fact, I think Se-Ma-For has been doing a pretty good job recently, at least PR-wise. They have been working hard to make sure everybody knows what the studio is about, what its history was, its achievements, and what films they currently work on. In the past it was widely known in Poland that the studio had had financial problems, and it changed its status from state organisation to private. Now it seems Se-Ma-For promotes their films everywhere – not only in Poland as they appear at festivals in Europe, America, Africa, now Russia. They have retrospective programmes but also their new productions get selected for competitions and get mentioned among winners. So all in all it looks great in the media, animated film is in the scope, which means Poland gets in the scope too. So, well done Se-Ma-For!

Yes, but getting back to the Moscow festival programme… The films shown in Moscow included a few titles from Marek Skrobecki but also Maska by Timothy Quay and Stephen Quay, Two Steps Behind… (Dwa kroki za…, 2010) by Paulina Majda and The Good, the Beauty and the Truth (Dobro, piekno, prawda, 2010) by Balbina Bruszewska (pretty interesting and very active animator who will get her own post here veeeery soooooon).

For more information (available in Polish and Russian), go first of all to the festival website or at least to a piece of news on Polish Television website.

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