Kafka In Love, The Cat Princess Win at CEE Animation Forum 2019

Kafka In Love, The Cat Princess Win at CEE Animation Forum 2019

The CEE Animation Forum comes to an end today with the presentation of this year’s awards. There were 32 films in competition this year, and battled for prices in three categories: short film, series / TV Specials and feature films.

Winner: KAFKA IN LOVE (d. Zane Oborenko, p. Sabine Andersone; Latvia) – CEE Animation Workshop WILD CARD

Franz and Milena find each other in letters. Their long-distance relationship soon becomes passionate and honest epistolary love. In letters they care, fear, love,
trust and doubt. Franz – married to his fear and Milena to her husband finally manage to meet in person, but for both of them, the timing is crucial. Letters from being loved, craved and at times feared become hated.

Jury statement: The international jury is pleased to award a project supported by a powerful pitch and beautiful visuals. The choice of technique complements the source material and subject matter represented, generating high hopes.

Winner: THE CAT PRINCESS (d. Iván Tamás, p. Bálint Gelley; Hungary)

A hut stands in the middle of the deep, dark, fairy tale forest. It is the home of Mournful Prince who never got further than this after he set out to try his luck. When unexpected guests arrive, led by a mysterious cat, everything changes

Jury statement: The jury honours the strong sense of humour of this special which is rooted in a unique way of telling fairy tales to children. We really love “the gallery of sadness”. We highlighted the beautiful naive, retro design- classic without being old fashioned.

Special mention: GRANDMA´S POND (d. Friedrich Schäper, p. Ivan Zuber, Antoine Liétout, Friedrich Schäper; Germany)

As Chloe, 12, is supposed to take care of her little brother, he disappears. The young girl and her grandma go looking for him on a mysterious island.

Jury statement: The jury is unanimous on the designer’s talent and visual style and felt for this unique combination of strong but subtle inter-generational family story. We particularly appreciate the special relationship between Grandma and granddaughter, along with your delicate creation of the fantasy world.


Winner: ALLAH IS NOT OBLIGED (d. Zaven Najjar, p. Sébastien Onomo; France)

Birahima, a Guinean orphan of only ten years of age, tells the story of how he became a child soldier when he tried to join his aunt in Liberia with the help of four
dictionaries and heavy irony.

Jury statement: We found the project fascinating due to the use of a child’s perspective. The topic of the film is strong and told in a way that has a very clear development and structure. The characters seem well grounded in reality. The light tone of the film set by the beautiful colours and playful voice of the child – balances out nicely with the cruel and dark topic.

Special mention: PIECE (d. Alan Holly, p. Ciarán Deeney, Carla Vulipiani; Ireland)

The world burns. Somewhere, a group of teenagers has a party.

Jury statement: We felt that the teenage audience is targeted really well in this project. It’s an interesting take on the coming of age genre – and a project that we felt take the conflicts, drama and difficulties of being a teenager seriously with an honest and humble approach. At the same time, the idea for the film is clever, with unique, varied and colourful visuals. It seems to become a dark film but not depressive and we are really looking forward to see an important film about the climate challenges that lay before us told in a way that will reach a wide audience!

TWICE UPON A TIME (d. Vojin Vasovic, p. Vojin Vasovic, Milorad Kocić; Serbia) – CEE Animation Workshop WILD CARD

Lea Vidaković, Adriatic Animation, Croatia
Category short film: THE FAMILY PORTRAIT (d. Lea Vidaković, p. Draško Ivezić; Croatia)
Györgyi Falvai´s statement: For the exceptional and high-quality visual style and the innovative approach to explore new media to create a unique universe for a deeply emotional story.

TWICE UPON A TIME (d. Vojin Vasovic, p. Vojin Vasovic, Milorad Kocić; Serbia) – CEE Animation Workshop WILD CARD
David Toušek´s statement: As clearly seen in the pitch, the artists of the feature film Twice upon a Time have taken already a huge step ahead in development of character design from the original short film to current work in progress, proving solid artistic and talent potential to exploit the awarded opportunity at ANOMALIA Character Design Lab 2019. We grant the full scholarship to the artists of the film in honest hope to help them fight the split personality of their King without splitting theirs.

Vessela Dantcheva, Compote Collective, Bulgaria

Category short film: WHERE TO (d. Asparuh Petrov, p. Vessela Dantcheva; Bulgaria)
Jožko Rutar´s statement: Vessela Dantcheva is a high-profile art-house producer from Bulgaria with significant track record of short animated films. We believe that with the scholarship and the participation on the CEE Animation Workshop she will empower her competences on even more ambitious projects.

Ioana Lascar, deFilm, Romania
Category short film: VISKOVITZ (d. Serghei Chiviriga, p. Ioana Lascar; Romania) – CEE Animation Workshop WILD CARD
Satu Elo´s statement: A versatile producer working with animation, documentaries and fiction, she has developed a keen interest in understanding better how we can make our audiences discover European cinema, by profoundly grasping and cleverly using marketing tools that can make our stories trigger the audiences’ imagination and wish to see them. EAVE would like to offer Ioana the possibility to take one further step on this journey.

PIECE (d. Alan Holly, p. Ciarán Deeney, Carla Vulipiani; Ireland)
Matthieu Darras´s statement: For an extremely promising project, that captures the very particular collective state of mind of today’s youth, and translates it into a stylistically dazzling, sensitive and moving narrative.

THE VERY HAIRY ALPHABET (d. Eliza Plocieniak-Alvarez, p. Laura Messner; Germany)


Full report with editor picks and overall impressions  to follow from CEE Animation Forum (6-8 May 2019).

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