The Crossing by Florence Miailhe The Crossing by Florence Miailhe credit: Maur Film

    European Children’s Film Association (ECFA) connecting 150 members from 41 countries worldwide announced the nominations in three categories - feature film, documentary and short film. The association members are now voting for the winners of the best European children’s film of 2022. Czech animation was praised for Lucie Sunkova´s short film Suzie in the Garden and a co-production feature film The Crossing. Both films have been made under MAUR film production. The winners of each category will be announced on the 18th of February at the Berlinale International Film Festival.

    After one year, the nomination brings Suzie in the Garden back to Berlinale where it had its world premiere. A poetic story of a little girl who goes with her mother and dad to an allotment outside the city is based on a storybook by Jana Sramkova. A magical story of a little girl who finds a lost key on a path between gardens and eventually also finds the courage to bring it to the garden of a mysterious grandma.

    The Czech-Slovak co-production (MAUR film & Super film) used a unique animation technique of painting with oil paints on glass, a technique in which Lucie Sunkova excels on a global scale. The film travelled to dozens of festivals and it will be distributed in France, Greece and Taiwan amongst others.

    „It might not be obvious as it is a short film, but Suzie had a long and difficult production process. It has been in the making since 2017, we financed the development ourselves thanks to the perseverance of Lucie Sunkova. The happier we are now for its festival and distribution journeys as well as the fact that a children’s animation was nominated by the Czech Film and Television Academy for The Czech Lion Awards, “says Martin Vandas, the producer of MAUR film production company.

    Lucie also took part in the second ECFA nomination, the feature film The Crossing. Almost half the animation was created under her supervision. The film is following the dramatic journey of Kyona and her brother Adriel who are fleeing persecution in a non-specific Eastern European country. A fascinating and visually strong story is showing children a difficult journey to hope for a better life. Both films were supported by the Czech Film Fund.

    More on MAUR film production company: http://www.maurfilm.com/maur-film-en/

    More on Suzie in the Garden: http://www.maurfilm.com/portfolio-items/suzie-in-the-garden/

    More on The Crossing: http://www.maurfilm.com/portfolio-items/the-crossing/

    Nominees for 2023: https://www.ecfaweb.org/ecfa-award/ecfa-award-winners/

    Films coming from the CEE region (not only animation):

    “How I learned to Fly” by Radivoje Andrić (Serbia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, 2022)

    “Too Old For Fairy Tales” directed by Kristoffer Rus (Poland, 2022)

    “The Turnip” directed by Piret Sigus’ and Silja Saarepuu (Estonia, 2022)

    “Orchestra from the Land of Silence” directed by Lucia Kasova (Slovakia and Afghanistan, 2021)