Hungarian-Icelandic-Polish 3D animation in preproduction

By Gyorgy Karpati

    A Hungarian-Icelandic-Polish 3D animation, Egill: The Last Pagan (http://cine.hu/egill), is in the final stage of pre-production, executive producer Tamas Liszka told FNE. The film will be directed by Aron Gauder, who had international success with his debut animated film District, awarded in Annecy and Ottawa, and a commercial hit in Hungary. Gauder's new project, Egill, is based upon the Icelandic epos Egill Skallagrimsson, the Icelandic Viking.

    "The budget of the animation film is € 3.5 million, and we already have the 85% of the amount," Liszka said. € 1.8 million comes from Hungary (including €200,000 from the national television channel MTV) based on direct and indirect state amounts from the Motion Picture Public Foundation of Hungary (www.mmka.hu), and National Cultural Foundation (www.nka.hu). After recent modifications in the Hungarian film law the Egill is an ideal fit to the new point system, earning points for European cultural impact, adaptation, and EU co-production. The Icelandic contribution to the budget is € 1 million, and the Polish contribution is € 650,000. The film is also applying for funding from Eurimages.

    Production is divided among the three nations. Iceland will furnish the background and the objects (buildings, clothes), and also the English dubbing, the voices, the music and post-production. Poland's strong tradition in puppet animation led to the involvement or the Se-Ma-For Studio, whose credits include the Academy Award winner for short animation Peter and the Wolf. Lizska said that Adam Wyrwas, lead animator of Se-Ma-For, joined the co-production because he was excited about new techniques being employed in Egill. After the Polish animators create the puppets and the stop motion filming, the Hungarian co-production partners, including Tadpole Studio, will take over with new software being specially developed for the film.

    An international release date is planned for 2010.