The Czech Republic will preside the Council of the European Union in the latter half of this year. This is one of the reasons why the following months will be marked by major events with a pan-European dimension, and not only in culture. One of them is the prestigious ANIMA Brussels film festival (25 February – 6 March 2022), which will focus on animated films of Czech provenance as part of one of its programming sections. The section is titled CZECH-IN.
The objective of the section is to introduce the audience to the most successful animated films from the past few years. Many of them include the output from the Department of Animated Film of the Film and TV School of Prague’s Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). Viewers in Brussels will have an opportunity to see the Golden Globe Nominee My Sunny Maad directed by Michaela Pavlátová who has been at the helm of the aforementioned Department, overseeing the creation of many influential student films in recent years.
Red Shoes, the bachelor’s graduation film by Anna Podskalská, was selected for this year’s Anima Brussels competition; the film was also featured at the Cannes Film Festival. The young filmmaker was involved in another full-length animated film, The Crossing directed by the French director Florence Miailhe, which will also be shown in Brussels.
FAMU and the Audiovisual Arts Studio of the Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín will share a presentation at ANIMA Brussels, featuring the most successful films for the past five years. The films will include Happy End by Jan Saska, Hide’n’ Seek by Barbora Halířová, Fruits of Clouds by Kateřina Karhánková, S P A C E S by Nora Štrbová, and the puppet drama Daughter, which was shot by Daria Kashcheeva and which won the supreme award for a student film – the Student Oscar for the best animated film of 2019 and was even nominated for the “regular” Academy Award.
FAMU students’ films will also be presented as part of the Czech This! programme, which will feature the current strong generation of talented Czech animators. The films to be shown in this section include the highly successful Love, Dad documentary by Diana Cam Van Nguyen who previously made her mark with The Little One and Apart. Another film to be shown as part of the programme is Sisters by Andrea Szelesová. Sisters premiered at the animated film festival in Annecy last year and was also screened in the competition section of the Clermont Ferrand film festival, one of the world’s premier short film events.
The CZECH-IN themed section will also cater to the youngest audiences with a selection of the most beautiful and poetic animated films titled Chic Czech. The section will feature Kateřina Karhánková’s The New Species, Hopus by Lucie Kokoliová, Mistake directed by Petr Mischinger and, last but not least, The Kite, the bachelor’s graduation film directed by Martin Smatana, which globally premiered at the Berlinale festival in 2019.
Alexandra Hroncová, the head of FAMU’s Distribution Section, assisted with the selection of the films for all sections on behalf of AMU/FAMU.