The animated-documentary film Chris the Swiss, directed by Anja Kofmel, a Swiss-Croatian-German-Finnish co-production (Croatian co-producer – Siniša Juričić, Nukleus Film) is nominated for a European animation award in four categories. The awards ceremony will be held on December 8th in Lille, France.
The winners in 18 categories are chosen through online voting open to European Animation Awards (EAA) Academy members from November 8th to 30th. The recipients will be announced at the Emile Awards ceremony taking place on December 8th in the Le Nouveau Siècle Concert Hall in Lille, France. Besides the Emile Awards, the Lotta Reiniger Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented at the ceremony. This year’s recipient is Clare Kitson from Great Britain.
The Emile Awards, a Pan-European initiative of 40 countries gathering professional animators within Europe and celebrating diversity and excellence in European animation, were launched for the first time last year.
Anja Kofmel’s feature animated-documentary film is nominated in four categories for a European Animation Award: best writing, best soundtrack, best background and character design, and best sound design. In each category, Chris the Swiss is competing against four other titles.
Animafest’s creative director Daniel Šuljić was a member of this year’s international jury along with Martin Vandas from the Czech Republic and Albert Vaques from Spain. Furthermore, Šuljić has been an EAA ambassador for Croatia since 2017. ‘Chris the Swiss received two nominations from us – best writing and best background and character design. A total of four nominations is a huge success for a film that was animated in Zagreb and had a large team of young animators working on it. I expect the awards to maintain its characteristic of celebrating authorial and artistic expression, and I hope that in the future there will be an increase in nominations for short films which is for many (and myself personally) the most interesting form of animated film. I, and some of the other ambassadors and/or members of the EAA board are working on it. The aim of these awards is to become the most important Pan-European annual professional awards and its well on its way. There is a very large number of people on the scene who have embraced the awards from its first edition last year (with all of the deteced issues). I have to emphasize that there is an initiative that has been relayed to the board of the EAA that the ceremony be held one year in Zagreb (the idea is to have a ceremony that travels across Europe) but that depends on support from the city and the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. But more on that when the time comes,’ said Danijel Šuljić.
Chris the Swiss is a Swiss-Croatian-German-Finnish co-production (Croatian co-producer – Siniša Juričić, Nukleus Film) and is the debut feature by Anja Kofmel who also wrote the script. The basis for the story and the concept for a subjectively told animated film is the death of a young Swiss journalist Christian Würtenberg, who was killed during the war in the former Yugoslavia.
The film premiered this year at Cannes in the ‘Critics’ Week’ programme, while Croatian audiences have had an opportunity to view the film at Animafest, in Motovun and in Opatija. Chris the Swiss has screened at festivals in Annecy, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Sarajevo, Melbourne, and Kosovo where it won a prize, along with the The Golden Stark which it won for best animated film at the European Festival of Fantastic Film in Strasbourg.
A full list of nominees and other details on the European Animation Awards are available here.