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Animation Block Party 2018: Opening Night (26 July)

The 15th annual NY Brooklyn festival presents its opening night lineup. Animation Block Party will be celebrating its 15th annual animation festival with an opening night...

Inanimate by Lucia Bulgheroni Wins at 2018 Cinefondation Cannes

The puppet film won the third prize at the Cannes festival Cinéfondation competition. The Cinéfondation and Short Films Jury headed by Bertrand Bonello and including Khalil...

Flip Book: The Revolutionary Animations of the 21th Century...

Big flipbook exhibition in Seoul (18 May-12 August 2018) at Ilmin Museum of Art in Seoul, organized by Bucheon International Animation Festival (BIAF). Flip Book: The...

When Zlatko Bourek's Storyboard Was Exhibited at MOMA

The Croatian animator who died 14 May 2018, and one of the members of the Zagreb School, was part of a storyboard exhibition at MOMA New York in 1968. Giannalberto Bendazzi...

Keynote Speakers of the 3rd Ecstatic Truth Symposium Announced

Susana de Sousa Dias, Joan Fontcuberta, José Miguel Ribeiro will lead the one-day Lisbon symposium (27 June) will explore provocative approaches to the factual through animated...

News

Under The Radar Vienna Symposium, 24-28/5/18

Tomm Moore, Olivier Cotte, József Fülöp, Nikita Diakur, József Fülöp and Olga Bobrowska among the...

Animation Block Party 2018: Opening Night (26...

The 15th annual NY Brooklyn festival presents its opening night lineup. Animation Block Party will...

Flip Book: The Revolutionary Animations of the...

Big flipbook exhibition in Seoul (18 May-12 August 2018) at Ilmin Museum of Art in Seoul,...

When Zlatko Bourek's Storyboard Was Exhibited at...

The Croatian animator who died 14 May 2018, and one of the members of the Zagreb School, was part...

Keynote Speakers of the 3rd Ecstatic Truth...

Susana de Sousa Dias, Joan Fontcuberta, José Miguel Ribeiro will lead the one-day Lisbon symposium...

Buñuel In the Labyrinth of the Turtles: Trailer

Coming in 2018, the new 2D animation story on one of the greatest film directors, Luis Buñuel....

Mamoru Hosoda's Mirai to Premiere at Cannes

The new film by the director of Summer Wars will screen at the French festival, with a fall 2018...

Another Day of Life by Damian Nenow and Raúl de...

After the critically acclaimed (and Oscar-shortlisted) Paths of Hate, Damian Nenow prepares the...

Captain Morten and the Spider Queen Gets a Trailer

A lot of anticipation surrounds the upcoming stop-motion Estonian feature film, Captain Morten and...

Festivals

Inanimate by Lucia Bulgheroni Wins at 2018...

The puppet film won the third prize at the Cannes festival Cinéfondation competition. The...

Sunao Katabuchi to Head 2018 BIAF Jury

The director of In this Corner of the World will lead the jury of the 2018 Bucheon International...

Manivald, The Breadinner, Lei Lei Win at 2018...

All the awards of the 11th Anifilm Festival in Trebon. The Oscar-nominated The Breadwinner (Nora...

Animafest Zagreb Celebrates Horror

7 programmes of short films, features and exhibitions on horror and animation in the 2018 Croatian...

Bruce Bickford Signs 2018 OIAF Poster

Legendary animator Bruce Bickford prepares this year's Ottawa International Animation festival...

Cat Days, On Happiness Road Win 25th ITFS Awards

Full winners' list for the 25th Stuttgart ITFS festival. The Anniversary Edition of the 25th...

8 Animated Features for Animafest Zagreb 2018

Wes Anderson, Emma De Swaef, Captain Morten and the Spider Queen in the 2018 Zagreb Festival...

ITFS Stuttgart Celebrates Music and Animation

Α spectrum of musical activities during the 25th International Festival of Animated Film...

Anifilm 2018 Celebrates 3D Animation, Czech...

All the highlights of the 11th Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films, 1-6 May Trebon....

Academic CFP

05
Jun
Zagreb, Croatia
Animafest Zagreb invites all interested professionals and scholars to join the Animafest Scanner V 2018 international symposium.

27
Jun
Lisboa, Portugal
Ecstatic Truth is a one-day symposium (27/6/18) that will explore provocative approaches to the factual in Lisbon.

30
Jun
University of Warwick, UK
Call for paper for an interdisciplinary symposium on Animals, Adaptation and Animation at University of Warwick, 10/11/2018.

13
Jul
Esposende, Portugal
The 6th edition of CONFIA, after previous editions in Ofir, Porto, Braga, Barcelos and Guimarães, calls for papers.

14
Aug
Sonoma County, CA
Visual Music Symposium (14-16/8/18, Sonoma County, California) invites call for papers.

04
Oct
Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
The Midwest Popular Culture Association/Midwest American Culture Association seeks proposals for papers and panels both on Western animation and on anime.

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REVIEWS

Pixar – Ιmagination Κidnapped

Mr. Kropka delves critically into Pixar’s narrative and aesthetic strategies. Animation is quite commonly seen as nothing more than mere entertainment. On top of that, the idea that animation is...

The Oddsockeaters Review: We Need to Have A Gang Talk

Film review for the Czech animation feature The Oddsockeaters by Galina Miklínová. Based on the Czech writer Pavel Srut ’s bestselling book, Oddsockeaters (Lichožrouti), the book's illustrator and...

Apocalypsis by Eric Leiser: Revelation Is More Serene Than It Sounds

Review for the new experimental animation feature Apocalypsis by US director Eric Leiser. The new independent experimental feature film by CalArts graduate filmmaker Eric Leiser (Glitch in the Grid)...

Farewell to the Rooster: Chinese Animation in the 2017 Season

Olga Bobrowska reviews the most recent achievements of the Chinese animation independent and industry scene. The year 2017 (a year of the Rooster) was symbolic for the Chinese animation. Exactly 50...

Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas) Review: Beware of Children in Distress

When Kronenberg met The Fantastic Planet. Film review for the Spanish animation feature Birdboy:The Forgotten Children . It would be easy to categorize Alberto Vázquez and Pedro Rivero 's...

Ethel and Ernest Review: A Love Shelter Below The Rooftops of London

Ethel and Ernest feels unashamedly nostalgic, carefully researched and with a heart. The whole project started as an idea from The Snowman and When the Wind Blows producer John Coates (1927-2012),...
Špela Čadež at the 2013 Animateka Festival

She's talented, European and fights hard for her puppet world. The Slovenian stop-motion director Špela Čadež talks to Zippy Frames.

Spela-Cadez1Her big success came with the stop-motion film, Boles (2013), a story of the aspiring writer Philip who meets the extravagant prostitute Tereza made waves along the international festival circuit, winning almost 40 awards and distinctions.

But the Slovenian Špela Čadež is not new to animation, even though she initially studied arts and graphic design. Since 2004, when she completed her first film, she has a consistent viewpoint to share about independent animation, storytelling, and the world of puppets.

ZF: How did you ever consider to do animation? You came from Ljubljana to Germany to study visual design?

SC: I came to Germany and the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne to study interactive design, but I didn't feel comfortable there, I didn't know what to do. Then I realized I needed some animation for projects I'd like to do.

Actually, my first class was an animation puppet one-day workshop. There were puppetmakers from Berlin. I was very new in animation class, but was impressed by everything, so I came home and made my very first little puppet.

I brought it to a professor assistant, he loved it and he immediately said: "You must join us to Annecy next week". I said: "What is Annecy?" I got a space left and then I traveled to the festival -everything was paid by the University at those times.

 So, I went there and it was just like a whole new world was opened to me with people doing animation, talking animation. I returned home, and I immediately wanted to do an animated film.

Didn't have any animation education before that, only screenings in Llubljana curated by Igor Prassel [artistic director of Animateka, Slovenia], who was also paramount in my Annecy introductions. And, one year later, I had a film in student competition at Annecy, Zasukanec (2004).

ZF: What was the idea about the first film?

SC: I just wanted to try something completely on my own. I did the lights on my own, the sets, the settings. But the story is always the first thing for me, not the technique. So, I learned a little bit about storytelling  that way.

SC: What was your teachers' reaction?

SC: They loved it, and they even suggested a trip to Portugal to perfect the sound.

spela-cadez-Zasukanec520
Zasukanec

The film was selected in many festivals, and I got to travel and met people. During traveling, I learned so much talking to people, more than I had learned in schools of animation and at University.

ZF: But one film is never enough, so you made Lovesick (2007).

SC: [She laughs]. No, one film is only the beginning of a next one. Lovesick was my graduation film, and afterwards I made Marathon (2007) with Izabela Plucinska - I stayed 6 months in Berlin. But the most difficult part was getting back to Slovenia after my studies, for no one in Slovenia, apart from a few people,  knew what independent animation is.

spela-cadez-lovesick520
Lovesick

My first application for funding just returned to me with a note to stop this kind of filmmaking, because no one watched the kinds of films I am doing.  It was quite like a shock.  I was spoiled at the Academy of Media Arts; I  even had money to complete the projects, all of them were very supportive to students.

So, it took me four years to finance Boles (2013), my next film. I had to wait for a government change and Slovenian Film Fund administration change, while Igor [Prassel] fought a lot for the government to support animation. So, in the end we managed to get a lot of funding for animation approved -half of it was actually given to us, they said we don't need that much. I was able to do the film the way I wanted to, but it was a painful production nevertheless.

ZF: Boles strikes me as a very Adriatic film in its settings and colour palette.

SC: I do think about colours when designing the sets. In Boles, everything was brownish and warm. Even the main character, the writer Philip is dressed in a warm brown colours. Then the cold Tereza comes to his life.  But I do think that everything has to support the story.

boles520
Boles

Every time I asked myself what should be the colour or the dress, I always go back to the story and say: "OK, I'll need this feeling, so let's support this feeling with that colour".

 ZF: And you have many redheads in your films.

 SC: You're right, but I don't know why. My mother is a redhead [she laughs].

 ZF: You concentrate on couples of outcasts in your films. Your characters have trouble integrating in the society, but somehow they have to stick together to survive. Is this a covert statement for independent animators, that you need to be together?

 SC: Don't we all have trouble to integrate? Regarding independent animation, it is true. We are very lonely, work in dark rooms.

 ZF: You make stop-motion films. What stop-motion animation means to you?

 SC: I love stop-motion. Actually, I started animation and puppets because I wanted to get away from the computers and graphic design, sitting in front of the computer 12 hours a day. After the University workshop I attended, I realized I could do something useful with my hands. Everything was useful in the puppet world. There was a new territory for me.

ZF: It shows in your work. All those elongated fingers of Boles when he is lost in the typewriter. Even in your first film, Zasukanec, the tailor has long fingers.

SC: I have the picture of my grandfather, whom I loved very much and died on my 12th birthday. He had really long fingers. He was a doctor, he never worked with hands.

boles2-520

ZF: What I really like about your films is that you start with a mundane, realistic environment which changes into an imaginary world in the process.

SC: My teacher, Lutz Garmsen, then assistant professor in the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne, told me one sentence, that I really stick to it. He told me: "if you take so much time to do things in animation, try to use it for things you cannot do in live-action". We have to show the limits of an imaginative world.

Raimund Krumme always tells me that I am too realistic. But, you know, every time I start making a film, my imagination is always leading me to a different point; yet, in the end it it is still my film. So, if I stay honest to what I say,  then this  is the film I wanted to make.

ZF: What's your next film about?

SC: It is based on a very small piece of news in the newspaper, a two-liner joke almost, but it has the verious serious subject of addiction. It is not a love story, only one person struggling with his addiction. It is not really alcoholism, but I want to describe the addiction process and consequences, independently of time and possible settings.

But I don't have a person this time, but an animal, a badger. You know, the sort of a story when animals get too much food and the food gets stuck in their stomach. Funding was given by Slovenian Film Center and National Radio-Television of Slovenia (RTV), the first time the latter gave funding for an animated short.

Within our national legislation, broadcasting channels should support filmmakers, but this was never implemented till last year.

ZF: How long would you conceive your film to be?

SC: Around 7 minutes. It is cut-out animation in multiplane. I have a lot of fun working on this film, and it is a new challenge for me. We don't have a title yet, but the film is supposed to finish within 2016.  There is a Slovenian legislation that the film must be finished within two years, no matter what, otherwise you'll have to return the funding!

It is a terrible law that does not take account of the animation complexities and time needed, so I will definitely fight to change this status. I cannot even start a feature animation within this time framework alloted.

 ZF: Would you like to direct an animation feature?

SC: If I didn't have to struggle so much with low budgets, and I could pay properly people who work for me, yes, I would think so. Of course, this is like saying I would like to fly to the moon. It could take 4 or 6 years of my life, but at the same time, it would be a challenge for me.

But features are a totally different world. It is a very serious-like process, when and where are you going to sell your film. You need a bigger production team.

 ZF: What about animation festivals?

SC:  Without them, my work would make no sense, it would be screened nowhere.  Even live-action film festivals start to include animated films in their programme, which is nice. And, of course, animation films can have "serious" subjects, and people acknowledge that.

Here in Anibar, I was two years ago with Boles - I think it was the second festival that screened my film, now I am a jury member.  The organizers are very young and I admire their power. I don't think that many of us are aware of the kind of situation they are. They don't have the privilege to travel around as we do. We forget the freedom that we have - we think that it is self-evident. Making something like this, it is very important for the young community of Peja, Kosova, who are its most faithful audience.It was a very emotional moment for me when I saw such a warm welcome of the Serbian band in one of the Anibar concerts. They loved it, and that's the future, I think.

 ZF: What's your own festival future? Are you going to Greece?

SC: Yes, I'll be at Animasyros in September, but that will be my last festival, for I have to concentrate on my film.

ZF: Špela, every bit of success, and thanks for talking to Zippy Frames.

 SC: Thank you too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Training - Pitching

Animation Goes Transmedia: 5th CARTOON 360

The fifth edition of transmedia pitching event CARTOON 360 moves to Lille, with 24 participating...

Floating, Of Unwanted Things and People, Rabbit...

View all winners of the 6th Visegrad Animation Forum. The sixth edition of Visegrad Animation...

Animation Sans Frontières 2018-19: Call for...

Open call to young animation Artists, Producers, Writers and Technical Directors from the European...

Animated In Poland Pitching Call: 2018 Krakow...

For all Polish produced or co-produced animated film projects, Krakow Film Festival offers a...

(EXCLUSIVE) 6 Feature Projects for Visegrad...

The pitching forum for Central Eastern European Animation extends its mandate to feature animation...

Scholarships for CARTOON 360: Transmedia Projects

CARTOON encourages applications for scholarships to its Cartoon Masters. CARTOON 360 is a new...

170 Participants for Animation Production Day 2018

Animation Production Day 2018 – Conference Programme with top-class experts. The Conference...

Visegrad Animation Forum 2018: Selected Projects

Rastko Ciric, Chintis Lundgren, Péter Vácz and their projects are among the Visegrad Animation...

Animarket Job Fair Trebon: Open For Registration

Deadline 25 March to be part of the new Animarket section, the Anifilm Trebon (Czech Republic) job...

Production

Buñuel In the Labyrinth of the Turtles: Trailer

Coming in 2018, the new 2D animation story on one of the greatest film directors, Luis Buñuel....

Another Day of Life by Damian Nenow and Raúl de...

After the critically acclaimed (and Oscar-shortlisted) Paths of Hate, Damian Nenow prepares the...

Captain Morten and the Spider Queen Gets a Trailer

A lot of anticipation surrounds the upcoming stop-motion Estonian feature film, Captain Morten and...

Women In Animation 2018 Summit: Programme Lineup

Dorota Kobiela, Nora Twomey, Fernanda Frick, Eric Beckman among the 2018 Annecy WIA panelists....

Michel Ocelot's Dilili in Paris Opens 2018...

Michel Ocelot's next feature film, Dilili à Paris will be the opening film at the 2018 Annecy...

Production: The Horn Quartet TV Special

The French/Belgian TV special premieres in France, and screens in competition at Annecy Festival....

Un Homme Est Mort: Trailer For the French...

Another political feature comes from Les Armateurs in 2018. Coming from the adaptation from the...

Gordon & Paddy: Swedish Animation Feature at the...

The 2D animation feature competes at the Generation section of this year's Berlin Film Festival....

Michel Ocelot Travels to Belle Epoque Paris:...

Michel Ocelot's next feature film, Dilili à Paris will move to Paris and a signature period for...

INTERVIEWS

Project to Watch: Floating by Jelena Milunovic

it recently won the Best Short Animation project at the Visegrad Animation Forum. Serbian director Jelena Milunovic and producer Milos Ivanovic talk about their Floating film. It's hard to invest...

Each Family Is a Planet: Interview with Alberto Vázquez

Spanish animation director and artist Alberto Vázquez talks about his feature film Birdboy:The Forgotten Children (Psiconautas), and his artistic style and mandate at Zippy Frames. He seems to be...

Building a new Jordan animation from University of Petra: Interview with Tariq Rimawi

Peter Schavemaker interviews Jordan animator and filmmaker Tariq Rimawi. On October 15, the second year of the four year bachelor’s degree program Animation and Multimedia Design - held within the...

The animation in Norway is made in the attic: Interview with Ove Heiborg

Mr. Kropka, an animation afficionado, interviews Ove Heiborg, film producer at Qvisten Animation Studios, Norway. This story might have begun on Monday 4th September at 10 in the morning. It was at...

Women rule at Norwegian Animation Volda Festival

The Norwegian animation festival Animation Volda is being held between September 14-17. This year's theme is Women in Animation. Zippy Frames interviewed Karoline Sundet , one of the four women...

I Love Creating Worlds: Interview with Eva Cvijanović

A very daring hedgehog is waiting for your attention. Interview with Eva Cvijanović , director of the awarded stop-motion short, Hedgehog's Home . The film premiered at the 2017 Berlin Film Festival...

What About the Oscars? Panagiotis Rappas talks to Zippy Frames

Academy Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences voting member Panagiotis Rappas talks to Zippy Frames. When this time of the season arrives, there are always trials and tribulations. Academy Awards are...

70 Years of Malaysian Animation: Interview with Hassan Abd. Muthalib

It's been 70 years of Malaysian animation and Hassan Abd. Muthalib was the man to write a book about. Peter Schavemaker interviewed the animation professional pioneer on his recent book, "From Mouse...

Under Your Fingers (Sous tes doigts): Interview with Marie-Christine Courtès

Oscar-shortlisted French animation short Under your fingers is a poignant and powerful film about a little-known story of a French camp. Director Marie-Christine Courtès talks about history,...

Editor's Picks: Awards

Kara by Sinem Sakaoglu Wins Eurimages...

The Germany/Belgium animation feature co-production won the award at the 2018 edition of CARTOON...

The Night Oscars Got Divorced From...

Some things change, but can also change for the worse. Vassilis Kroustallis reflects on the...

The Discreet Charm of Exclusiveness:...

Olga Bobrowska critically reflects upon the premiere European Animation Awards for Zippy Frames....

Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis, James...

ASIFA-Hollywood announced its Juried Award recipients, which honor career achievement and...

Editor's Picks: Pitching

Project to Watch: Floating by Jelena...

it recently won the Best Short Animation project at the Visegrad Animation Forum. Serbian director...

Floating, Of Unwanted Things and...

View all winners of the 6th Visegrad Animation Forum. The sixth edition of Visegrad Animation...

Report: Animarkt 2017 Stop-Motion...

Paolo Polesello reports from Lodz, and Animarkt stop-motion pitching forum (2-6 October 2017)....

Cordial Networking, Projects to Watch:...

Vassilis Kroustallis reports from Segovia and the ninth edition of 3DWire. Already in its ninth...