Czech animation director and recent Athens Animfest winner Jan Balej received a record 10 million crown (370,000) grant for his new film, Little Fishergirl.
The planned 80-minute film, a modern adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale The Little Mermaid, is produced by Maur Film (www.maurfilm.com). The film will combine classic stop action animation with computer animation. Reacting to the largest grant ever awarded to an animation film from the Czech State Fund for the Support and Development of Cinematography, Maur Film producer Martin Vandas said, "We are excited by such support. It is a very important step for further realisation of the movie."
The grant comes concurrently with the Grand Prix Athena for Balej's full-length puppet and marionette animation film One Night in One City. The film previously won a Czech Lion as well as prizes at festivals in Teheran, Lisbon, and Tiburon.
Czech feature-length animation has undergone a resurgence in popularity following the success of Fimfarum (2002). This year sees three animated films headed for Czech cinemas. At the Garret from director Jiří Barta and producer Miloslav Šmídmajer (www.bioillusion.com) premiered on March 5. Fimfarum 3 by directors Vlasta Pospíšilová, David Súkup and Kristina Dufková, produced by Maur Film (www.fimfarum.cz), co-produced by Kratky Film (www.kratkyfilm.cz) and Czech TV (www.ceskatelevize.cz ) should be released in the second half of 2009.
Public Relations, MAUR film s.r.o.
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