The Association of Czech Animation Film (ASAF) revealed the highlights of their achievements in 2018 and what to look forward to for the year of 2019 and upcoming years.
Feature films released in 2018
Four feature films by Czech filmmakers were released in cinemas. For example, the highly anticipated Insects was Jan Švankmajer’s latest film, which spent seven years in production. Harvie and the Magic Museum made sales in 90 countries.
Pat & Mat: Winter Adventure (Director: Marek Beneš)
Insects (Director: Jan Švankmajer)
Mimi & Lisa: Christmas Lights Mystery (Directors: Ivana Šebestová and Katarína Kerekesová)
Harvie and the Magic Museum (Directors: Martin Kotík and Inna Evlannikova)
With the releases of these successful feature films, Martin Hovorka, Chairman of ASAF, believes that 2019 will be a turning a point for the industry and Czech animation will regain its reputation abroad. He also says that the organization will support the development of the animation industry in the country.
Pick-ups of successful short films in 2018 by ASAF
Charlie the Snowman’s Christmas Wedding (Director: Petr Vodička, Produced by the Anima Studio)
The 12-minute puppet animation won the Audience Award at the Biennial of Animation Bratislava and was released in France, Belgium and Luxembourg in November.
Fruits of Clouds (Director: Kateřina Karhánková)
It was nominated for the Emile European Animation Awards. The film was broadcast by Czech Television before Christmas. With more than a hundred festival releases, it is reported as one of the world’s most successful Czech films in recent years.
Apart (Director: Diana Cam Van Nguyen)
Following the success of the animated documentary The Little One, Diana Cam Van Nguyen, an illustrator and Film Academy of Performing Arts student, presented her next work, Apart, using the techniques of feature and animated films to address the theme of life after losing a loved one. The film has won the award for the Best Czech Experimental Documentary at the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival and was selected for the prestigious International Film Festival in Rotterdam this year.
Days Off (Director: Filip Blažek)
It is the first Czech queer animated film, awarded at Famufest, and the only Czech representative at the Queer Lisboa Festival in Portugal.
Feature Films, Short Films and TV series in development and in production
Feature films to be released in 2019
Fritzi – A Miraculous Revolutionary Tale (Directors: Ralf Kukula and Matthias Bruhn)
A German film in international co-production with Belgium, Czech Republic and Luxembourg, with MAUR film as the co-production partner from Czech Republic. To mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of communist regimes in Central Europe, the films describes the political events of autumn 1989 in Leipzig from the point of view of a 12-year-old heroine, with a childhood friendship that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Great Adventures of the Lucky Four (Director: Michal Žabka)
Celebrating 50 years of the comic book Lucky Four, the film consists of four short films based on the newer themes by the “spiritual father” of Lucky Four, Jaroslav Němec.
The Impossible Voyage (Director: Noro Držiak)
A film about the life and tragic death of Rastislav Štefánik, one of the founders of Czech Republic, for 100-year anniversary after his death.
TVMiniUni and the Thief of Questions (Director and screenwriter: Jan Jirka)
The film combines multiple techniques, such as puppets, actors and animation. This builds upon 144 parts of the TvMiniUni programme of Czech TV’s children’s channel ČT: D.
Short films to be released in 2019
This is a student co-production project and co-financed by crowdfunding. Being in development in three Czech art schools: The Film Academy of Performing Arts, Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design and Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art at the University of West Bohemia. The project is supported by the Czech Film Fund and produced by MAUR film.
The World’s End (Director: Martin Kukal)
One of the promising graduates from the Animation department at Tomas Bata University in Zlín is going into production at the Zlín-based studio Kouzelná animace.
TV series to be released in 2019 and upcoming years
The following TV series for children are being developed.
– Hungry Bear Tales (Directors: Alexandra Májová and Kateřina Karhánková)
– The Smallest Elephant in the World (The Prague Eallin Studio)
– Barney the Piglet (Director: Pavel Ondrašík)
Feature films to be released in 2020
ASAF introduced the two feature films in development to be released for 2020.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven (Directors: Denisa Grimmová and Jan Bubeníček)
It is a feature film of a Czech-French-Polish-Slovak co-production, which is based on the same titled book and produced with the combined techniques of puppet and computer animation. Its premiere is scheduled for 2020. The main productions is with Fresh Films (Czech Republic) and Hausboot Production (Czech Republic).
The Crossing (Director Florence Miailhe)
It is a co-production feature film by the French director, Florence Miailhe. The film is being created with a remarkable oil-painting technique with MAUR film in Prague.