Training animators to pitch

By Cathy Meils in Trebon
With TV stations strapped for commissioning cash, animators need all the help they can get. That's where Anifest's pitching training forum comes in.

The training session, in its second year at the eight-year old Czech festival of animated films AniFest (www.anifest.cz), gave nine animated projects from young producers and directors a first shot at presenting to a panel of professionals. Together with a one-day training session with British consultant Mike Robinson, the pitching forum offered feed-back for animators preparing to pitch their films to co-producers and buyers.The object, he says, is learning "'to get the idea that's in their head in front of a broadcaster."

Two of the projects that were presented grew out of a competition held at the 2008 AniFest, where three Czech animated film projects were selected to be produced by AniFest. The competition will take place again in 2010.

The forum registered its own success as well, with a short film that went through last year's training session showing up in this year's AniFest competition, and the director now pitching his first feature length animation film.

For those interested in the future of animation in Central Europe, the range of projects presented was encourating, from traditional children's series to digital sci-fi to adult tailored 3-D musical films.

AniFest is growing along with the pitching forum. This year, the festival began with its standard May 1-4 edition in Trebon, and added a second session in Teplice, May 7-10.