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ANNECY 2021 MIFA

Two Czech and Slovak animated projects nearing completion to be presented at MIFA

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- The 3D animated feature The Websters and the ambitious adventure flick Heart of a Tower will be seeking distributors and broadcasters at MIFA’s GAP Financing – Meet the Producers event

Two Czech and Slovak animated projects nearing completion to be presented at MIFA
The Websters by Katarína Kerekesová (left) and Heart of a Tower by Peter Budinský (© Full Moon/BFILM)

Czech and Slovak animation is set to be represented in the main competition of the 60th edition of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival (14-19 June) with My Sunny Maad [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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(see the article) and The Crossing [+see also:
trailer
film profile
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(see the article), while the Screen Events section will host the stop-motion puppet road movie Even Mice Belong in Heaven (see the article). In addition to the world premieres of the latest domestic animated features, both countries will be presenting film projects that are nearing completion in the GAP Financing – Meet the Producers strand of the festival’s market, MIFA.

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Slovak animator and producer Katarína Kerekesová is working on a feature-film version of The Websters series (see the article). The film about a family of spiders will feature six new stories, while protagonist Lili will traverse the world of humans. The narrative shift also brings a change in the filmmaking process, as 3D animation will be paired with live-action shooting. The film is being produced by Kerekesová’s company, Full Moon, Czech animation outfit 13ka and PFX, with Czech Television and Radio and Television Slovakia serving as co-producers. The Czech Film Fund and Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported the project. The Websters film is slated for a 2022 premiere. The producers are already developing a sequel, planned for 2025, and they will be seeking partners and funding for it at MIFA in addition to focusing on potential distributors, VoD platforms and broadcasters for both movies. France’s Planet Nemo Animation handles the international rights. You can watch the teaser below:

Meanwhile, producer Peter Badač, of BFILM, will be bringing his ambitious 3D animated adventure Heart of a Tower, directed by Peter Budinský, to MIFA. Made as a co-production involving three countries – the Czech Republic (BFILM), Slovakia (plutoon, Radio and Television Slovakia) and Belgium (Stacka) – the film follows a ten-year-old protagonist as he navigates two worlds: a fantasy one, Yourland, full of dreams and crazy ideas; and the real world, in which the protagonist’s parents are divorcing. Heart of a Tower is being made in the Unity game engine and is thus poised to become one of the first feature-length animations to be made with this technology. The film is in post-production and should be finished by September 2021. The producer will be seeking a sales agent for the film as well as presenting Heart of a Tower to distributors and broadcasters involved in programming for children. The story will cross over to other platforms as well, as the movie will have a tie-in mobile game and VR prequel, entitled Letter from the Heart. Heart of a Tower has been supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Czech Film Fund, screen.brussels, the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, the Flanders Audiovisual Fund, Creative Europe – MEDIA and the Bratislava Self-Governing Region.

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