Zako: Armenian Animation Feature in Development
The graphic novel 'Zako - Crude Fruit' by Tigran Mangasryan is the source inspiration for the upcoming animation feature 'Zako'; the graphic novel conveys the events of WW2 through the eyes of a painter and the lens of his relationships with people, himself and the system, as the latter’s imperfections are being brought to light.
Soviet Armenian painter Sargis Mangasaryan was a Nazi prisoner in a POW camp; Nazis called him Zako. Zako survived by drawing portraits of his tormentors. In 1956, Zako and his friends visit a Picasso exhibition. Suddenly they freeze in awe before the great master’s pinnacle work Guernica. Zako realizes how unripe he has stayed in all those years drawing portraits. And even though he was fighting for freedom, his artistic growth was limited by the impact of the system.
Tigran Arakelyan, wants to deliver the unique message of the story with innovative technique, which he developed experimenting in the early stages of production.
Our aim is to produce an innovative piece that would push artistic boundaries by engaging with modern VR technologies using Quill capacities combined with classical CG rendering tools to create a unique visual language verging to a graphic novel - Tigran Arakelyan
Watch the teaser for the film:
Yerevan-based OnOff Studio (also working on Aurora's Sunrise animated documentary) is the film's producer. The film got support from the National Cinema Center of Armenia and won a MIFA Annecy accreditation in 2021, via the Annecy workshop in Georgia with the support of ReAnimania International Animation Film & Comics Art Festival and the Georgian Animation Association "Saqanima". The film is now in development and according to producer Susanna Khachatryan, a 2025 release is in place.