TREBON: The artistic and production team behind Slovakia’s success animated TV series Mimi & Lisa were among the five CEE presenters pitching new animated TV projects to the international jury at the 2017 Visegrad Animation Forum held during the Anifilm festival running through 7 May 2017.
Director/producer Katerina Kerekesova of Fool Moon, co-director and producer Ivana Sebestova and scriptwriter Katarina Molakova presented a 26 minute Christmas TV special based on the adventures of the two title characters, a blind girl and her best friend. The series, which was produced by Slovak Radio and Television RTVS, has been sold to several territories in Asia and was sold for theatrical distribution in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Slovenian Radio and TV recently acquired the series, Martina Pestaj, head of children’s and youth programming at RTV Slovenija, announced. The show was also produced as an audio series for radio distribution. The new Christmas special, which was widely applauded by the jury members as a salable commodity and received the jury’s special mention, has an estimated budget of 200,000 EUR and has received support from the Slovak Audiovisual Fund. It is currently in development for delivery by Christmas 2018. The project will have an accompanying mobile app.
The Czech Republic was represented by two projects. The first, The Elements, was presented by VAF chairman Michal Podhradsky and director Zora Cajnkova. The 26-episode, six-minute series has a relatively high estimated budget of 2.6 m EUR, or 100,000 EUR per episode. The central character is a seven-year-old girl with endless curiosity over how the world works, as aided by the four elements: water, earth, fire and air, all anthromorphised by characters in the series. The 2-D animated series will have an accompanying mobile app.
The second Czech project, Why Paintings Don’t Need Titles, is a production of Czech TV with Katerina Ondrejkova producing and Maria Prochazkova directing. The 12 episode, 12-minute series is based on a Czech children’s book which explains selected great works of art to children, an “everything you wanted to know about art by were afraid to ask” approach. Although it was pitched for the 6-12 age group, jury members suggested it be billed as multi-generational family viewing. The series will likely be accompanied by added online content through Czech TV’s own online department. Czech TV will cover 51 percent of the cost of production, which is estimated at 460,000 EUR, or 38,500 EUR per episode.
Polish producer/director Artur Wyrzykowski pitched a courtroom drama series set in a forest with animal protagonists, Forest Disputes. The 13-episode, six-minute series has unusual financing for its 30,000 EUR pilot episode, backed by both the Warsaw attorney’s association and the national Polish attorney’s association. The three main characters in the series are an attorney, a court-appointed lawyer and a judge. The series is produced by the Polish film and animation house Artcore.
A team of four directors and producers from Croatia’s Adriatic Animation pitched the 2-D series Vacuum. The series’ first season, consisting of nine 12-minute episodes, is based on Dante’s Inferno, with a hapless bug struggling his way through the nine circles of hell within a vacuum cleaner. The creators plan to do a second season of the black comedy series (for a teen audience) based on Homer’s Odssey. The production has received 5,000 EUR in development support from the Croatian Audiovisual Center.