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Tony, Shelly and the Spirit

(Status: In Development)

Synopsis
Tony has been glow­ing since the day he was born and it caus­es him a lot of trou­ble. Just before the Christ­mas, a new odd girl with thick glass­es moves into Tony’s house. Shelly has a strange way of express­ing her­self. Tony is fas­ci­nat­ed by her but he is also being cau­tious at first. Togeth­er with Shelly’s flash­light, they explore their house and they are slow­ly get­ting to know each oth­er. The kids have to join all their efforts to fig­ure out who’s behind the cir­cuit of dark cracks that sucks out all the light bulbs, even the day­light. It must be because of the ​“Spir­it of the house”. A film about being dif­fer­ent, about friend­ship, and first loves… But above all about light and darkness.

Tony, Shelly and the Spirit
Director, Author, Graphic Author: Filip Pošivač
Scriptwriters: Jana Šrámková, Filip Pošivač
Producers: Jakub Viktorín (nutprodukcia, Slovakia) and Pavla Janoušková Kubečková (nutprodukce, Czech Republic)
Co-Producer: Gábor Osváth (Filmfabriq, Hungary)
Target Audience: Family
Technique: Stop-motion, Puppets
Format: 80’


Tony, Shelly and the Spiritis a stop-motion feature film project with an intriguing universe. The film is about the experiences of two unique characters on understanding and accepting each other throughout their adventurous and fantastic experiences.

The trailer screened at Cartoon Movie 2022 revealed several mysterious yet beautifully-depicted scenes from the film, fascinating enough to give us high expectations for the film.

We interviewed Filip Pošivač, the director and creator of the film, and Jakub Viktorín, the main producer, on the story behind the film project.


Interview with Filip Pošivač and Jakub Viktorín

Hideki Nagaishi (HN): Could you please let us know the outline of the film’s story and the key points that you would like to appeal to the prospective global audience?

Filip Pošivač: This is a film about a boy who has a very special difference from birth: he shines. But, he also has a problem with self-acceptance. However, the moment a new friend moves into his house, that changes.

In addition, there is an adventurous storyline, where both main characters search for the secrets of their house, which is inhabited by a ghost named Genius Loci.

HN: How did the film project start?

Jakub Viktorín: Our Czech company has worked with Filip on his previous two shorts and one web series. So, creating an animated feature film was a natural next step for us, especially with the story Filip brought to us.

HN: Could you please briefly introduce to us the key members of the core film project team? And how were each of them important for this film project?

Jakub Viktorín: The core team members are:

Filip Pošivač, Czech director, co-writer and art director
Jana Šrámková, Czech co-writer
Denisa Buranová, Slovak director of photography
Marek Kráľovský, Slovak editor
Kateřina Šafaříková, Czech line producer
Péter Benjámin Lukács, Hungarian sound designer
Adam Balász, Hungarian music composer
MagicLab, Czech post-production studio.

I am working with Pavla Janoušková Kubečková (Czech producer) and Gábor Osváth (Hungarian co-producer) as producers. So, the team behind the project is quite international.

HN: What part of the film’s story and of Filip’s talents were keys in your decision to produce this film project?

Jakub Viktorín: The key reasons for the decision were the specifics of the story on the character Tony; the story topics about being different, friendship and first loves; and Filip’s talent not only as a director, but also as an art director, as he is behind designing all the visual elements of the film.

HN: Where did the initial idea of the story and characters come from?

Filip Pošivač: It originated from my personal topic worked on at university. The story at the time was based on my younger brother, who has red hair. In animation, however, you can divide each motif into a dream and fairy tale. So, we created a character who symbolically and realistically brings light to all of us.

HN: What do you take care in the most when writing the script with Jana Šrámková?

Filip Pošivač: First and foremost, we want the characters to experience a real story and real emotions. It’s all, of course, wrapped in the spirit of a fairy tale, but I make sure that the characters are authentic.Furthermore, I really care about the cooperation with playwrights and their feedback.

HN: Could you let us know the most important characteristic and goal of the film’s visual design of the characters and universe of the story?

Filip Pošivač: It’s a puppet stop-motion. I have always felt the dramatic potential of puppets in their simple stylization. We did not embark on the path of realistically-styled puppets, but I use simple visual forms that are “imperfect” in perspective. My puppets for this film resemble toys and I think they are very inspiring for children and can nurture their creativity. It should give them the impression that they can touch living things made from well-known materials such as paper or wood. I think the end result could be a beautiful alternative among other audiovisual works in European cinema.

HN: Could we hear about your vision for the music of the film?

Filip Pošivač: We’re working with classical film music that handles the emotions and atmospheres.