TREBON: Animated TV series pitches from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Croatia were among the ten projects presented at the Visegrad Animation Forum (VAF) taking place 2-4 May 2017, during the Anifilm festival of animated film running through 7 May.
New initiatives launched by both VAF and Anifilm were specifically designed to encourage industry networking in the field of animation, an aspect that in the past has taken a back seat to the work itself.
Anna Vasova, who emceed the VAF TV series pitching forum, told FNE that the forum’s new Coproduction Pool had 24 participants who had one-on-one meetings to discuss working together with the help of new minority coproduction funds in the region. The beefed-up programme included a presentation by representatives of Korean animation discussing ways to coproduce with South Korea. VAF also hosted an enhanced private session for national broadcasters and film funds from CEE, building upon smaller meetings that took place in previous years.
A notable shift in the presentations was the emphasis on additional media content to the traditional field of animated TV series. Presenters announced intentions to create virtual reality games, mobile apps and interactive internet content, which TV buyers and distributers say are becoming more important in the fight for audiences. CEE animation buyers and organisers said that the move toward new media add-ons has been slower to come to the region, but that demand was likely to take off over the next couple of years. The projects themselves tended toward familiar 2-D techniques.
Anifilm launched its own new industry initiative, the Anifilm Business Bistro. Anifilm director Tomas Rychecky told FNE, “The Business Bistro is a two-day networking event for students and businesses to connect,” meant to assist students as they move into their professional careers. “Businesses want to meet the new young students,” he said. This year 25 studios from the Czech Republic were in attendance and next year Rychecky plans to organise one-on-one meetings in place of the more informal pilot session that is taking place this year.