Two Czech animated films head to cinemas

By Irena Zemanová

    After the success of two Fimfarum movies, classic Czech puppet and marionette animation is undergoing a renaissance with two full-length classic animated movies in production for release in 2009.

    Fimfarum 3 by directors Vlasta Pospíšilová, David Súkup, Kristina Dufková and Jan Balej should be released in the second half of 2009. An animated fairy-tale for both children and adults, Na pude () by director Jiří Barta and producer Miloslav Šmídmajer, opens in Czech cinemas March 5.

    Czech animation has a strong tradition going back to filmmakers including Jiří Trnka, Karel Zeman, Jan Švankmajer and Břetislav Pojar. "Classic animation is still alive, however we face the attack of the Hollywood big-budget 3D production," said director and designer of At the Garret Jiří Barta, who also co-write the screenplay with Edgar Dutka.

    The story about old toys including a doll, a teddy-bear, an elderly marionette chevalier and little gnome that live their own lives at the garret of a silent house but suddenly face the "World of Evil" combines puppet, drawn, and digital animation.

    The CZK 30 million film was co-produced by Bio Illusion (www.bioillusion.cz), Czech Television (www.ceskatelevize.cz), Universal Production Partners (www.upp.cz), Continental Film and Krátký Film Praha, according to the film´s producer Miloslav Šmídmajer from Pluto Film (www.plutofilm.cz). The State Fund for Support and Development of the Czech Cinematography supported At the Garret with more than CZK 6.6 million. At the Garret is distributed by Cinemart company (www.cinemart.cz).