Vassilis Kroustallis reports from the Animarkt Stop Motion Forum event (6-10 October 2020).

What a year! This is one of those instances that your computer screen and your eyes become entangled in all kind of events. The 5th Animartk Stop Motion Forum (6-10 October 2020) has been consistently a hotspot for trying out and getting the first feedback for your stop-motion project. This year they had to re-invent themselves, by restructuring the event online; Both the participants, and the masterclasses this time around felt like be part of a welcoming, online, but still friendly event.

The physicality of the event cannot be excluded, and it is a prerequisite indeed for animation and film-related events in general. Still, the Animarkt Stop Motion Forum as an event has the necessary content and the organization that outlasts any physical shortcomings (due to covid); it's the careful and relevant choice of masters, participants and projects that give the event its unmissable tone.

It has certainly been a year for both Latin American projects, and both socio-politically inspired (if not directly engaged) projects at the 5th Animarkt Stop Motion Forum. Stop-motion artists and filmmakers tended this year to be more grounded in their approach and, sometimes, even go a little bit nostalgic or historical.

It is indeed a great opportunity to be able to pitch your project even at an early development stage (and get the appropriate feedback and networking opportunities), and Animarkt does exactly that for stop-motion projects. Ranging from Daria Kashcheeva's (Daughter) new stop-motion project Electra to the French nostalgic comedy project Carcassone - Acapulco (dir.Marjorie Caup and Olivier Heraud) to a Serbian daring transgender animated procedure in Roxanda (dir. Dragan Jovicevic) there was an invisible link that connected different aspects of reality, variously and inventively conceived.

Here's our detailed projects report -we indicate our own preferences by adding a Zippy Frames Choice mark.

A REDE (THE HAMMOCK), d. Beatriz Lima, p. Ana Luisa Lima / Brazil 15 minutes
The Land wasn’t even called Brazil yet. An old native woman weaves a hammock in the forest. As people in her community are captured as slaves, the hammock begins a journey that it could never imagine. It passes from hand to hand, being used by a lot of people of different nationalities. Research time for the Hammock’s confection process.  Budget (EUR): 38,000

ZF Sneak Preview: This no-dialogue film aims to show history and the indigenous culture through a hemmock as the main 'protagonist', with other puppet characters as the secondary one. With sets from recycled and natural materials, this is a project that wants to infuse authenticity both in its story and in its making. Looking for co-production and financiers.

CARCASSONE – ACAPULCO France  d. Marjorie Caup and Olivier Heraud , p. 12//24 Films / France, 11' 30'' - Zippy Frames Choice
As flight 7836 reaches cruising speed above the Atlantic Ocean, the pilot, co-pilot and flight attendant are startled by unexpected knock at the door!Chaos and confusion ensue as the crew enter a long and meandering de bate regarding the stranger’s fate: should they open the door, or not? Budget (EUR): 252.000

ZF Sneak Preview: McAndrew and Marc-Andre are an odd couple (pilot and co-pilot), with Miss Smith as flight attendant; they all have to face an invisible strange in. The hippy-happy nature of the project, its robotic movements, and its 70s hommage character design lead directly to the (comic) theatre of the absurd -but also a nostalgic look to immediacy. The project looks for co-producers and financiers.


COMMUNICATION LOST d. Pablo Muñoz and Vicente Mallols p. Leticia Montalvá / Spain, 5 minutes
Two space shipwreck survivors from different species, lost in a barren planet, find themselves in a limiting situation because of their incapability to communicate with each other. Budget (EUR): 106.000

ZF Sneak Preview: It has a little bit of the lighting and texture magic you find in Klaus in its backgrounds and textures. The film aiming at young adults and adults rests on the difference (both in narrative and character design) between the two main opponents. Development fund now being secured, the film looks for financing and co-producers.

ELECTRA. A POEM d. Daria Kashcheeva p. Martin Vandas and Zuzana Křivková / Czech Republic, 20 minutes - Zippy Frames Choice
The film explores the inner world of a woman, who since childhood has been glorifying her father and revolting against her mother. She is immersed in her own fantasy world which is more attractive to her than real realtionships. Financial support for production, post-production: sound mix – sound effects and music, after effects, color correction, titles and credits, DCP etc. and marketing activities (Public Relations) Budget (EUR): 200.000

ZF Sneak Preview: Daria Kashcheeva (Daughter) moves straightforward from childhood to puberty and adulthood, with Electra.A Poem, a 20-minute pixillation/stop-motion project. Freud's pronouncement of the latent desire of her daughter towards her father here becomes a non-linear, theatrically staged and stylized in the hallucinogenic trailer presented. The film (budgeted at 200,000 EUR) is to be finished autumn 2022, involving a demanding shooting and post-production work. Looking for co-producers.


FIA d. Luciana Martinez and Ivan Stur p. María Rosario Carlino / Argentina, 4 minutes
After a fire, a strange animal walks blindly through a burned forest. Behind her dry mud eyes, she keeps a drop of water, and looks with her hands and her nose for the trace of something alive, whom she can feed.  Budget (EUR): 80.400

ZF Sneak Preview: The debut film by visual artist and sculptor Luciana Martinez visual. Her monstrous creatures are now find their realization in a hybrid animal/human being. FIA looks for its salvation, but it needs to realize that itself is part of the nature. The film in an attempt to reconcile ourselves the cycle of life and death. With all kinds of sound important to the film, the project is open to international cooperation.

ISOLATED d. Juan Soto p. In search of producers / Spain, 10 minutes - Zippy Frames Choice
A mentally unstable man is locked deep in his own nightmare. Budget Budget (EUR): 200.000

ZF Sneak Preview: Ma vie de courgette animator and LAIKA's The Missing Link Juan Soto goes independent with a topic really appropriate for stop-motion, with sets carefully designed to enclose. With nice camera work and crisp movements, the project looks for the main producer.


KABUKI d. Tiago Minamisawa p. Wag Films and Tiago Minamisawa / Brazil, 12 minutes
“KABUKI” narrates the life learnings and transformations of the trans woman character named Kabuki. Inspired by the so many real stories about transgender people annihilated each and every day by intolerance. The film follows Kabuki’s quest for self-acceptance in the face of male chauvinistic world. Budget (EUR): 195.000

ZF Sneak Preview: Based on the sad Brazilian record on transgender rights, the film uses celebrated references (such as Barry Purves' Screenplay and Akira Kurosawa's Dream) to tell a Kabuki story of trans identity. Silicon puppets 3d printed faces, and trans women as references are being used in this poignant but visually rich film project, which now looks for co-producers and financiers.

LABRA CADABRA, KLAIPEDA JAZZ dir. Olga Ti and Julia Titowa p. Valentas Aškinis / Lithuania, 10 minutes
Brave little lab Mouse lives in the Professor’s cabinet and has an ability to survive the experiments. Nutty Professor is ecstatic to have him as a test pet. Poor Mouse just needs to find some tricks in this “battle”. The action is set like Mouse’s vlog. Budget (EUR): 120.000

ZF Sneak Preview: A project aimed at children but with a tongue-of-cheek humour, it substitutes the cat-and-mouse battle with the cat-and-Nutty-professor chase. The project has already secured almost half of its budget from the Lithuanian Film Center; looking for distributors and co-producers.

ROXANDA d. Dragan Jovicevic p. Predrag Azdejkovic / Serbia, 9 minutes - Zippy Frames Choice
Purisha is the only boy in a family of witches where the power of magic belongs only to women. Having no powers, Purisha does not fit in his family norinto the world around him which is cruel to him. But, today is the day when everything in Purisha’s life is going to be changed... Budget (EUR): 90.000

ZF Sneak Preview: Glam-rock, Bowie and Serbian folk costume join forces in a trans adventure, which aims to bring a normal boy to the world of the witches. The above world, the world of queer and the world of straight parade in the appropriately lush film, with an impressive concept art. This fairytale story of identity now looks for co-producers and partners.

SKIN dir. Gabriel Nunes Do Carmo p. Matias Eastman and A.K. McCallun / Brazil, 6 - 8 minutes - Zippy Frames Choice
A story told in three stages. Toninho & the death of innocence: a boy’s first conscious experience of racism. Tony & troubled psyche: a teen’s anguish of society’s values and internalised racism. Antonio & Heritage: a man struggling with the ghost of his past and the responsibility of the future.  Budget (EUR): 38.700

ZF Sneak Preview: One black characters at different stage of his life struggle with racism (externalized and internalized) in the setting of a bathroom and a mirror. Self-described as a poetic psychological horror film, the multi-layered film will be produced in Brazil (currently looking for co-production and other partners).

STEPS TO FLY d. Nicolás Conte p. María Rosario Carlino / Argentina, 8 minutes - Zippy Frames Choice
Locked up in a room that has an awning window, a Bird teaches a Little Bird how to fly, even if he has no wings. The appearance of a mysterious suitcase will ruin his plans, and reveal to Little Bird an unexpected possibility to escape. Budget (EUR): 96.800

ZF Sneak Preview: Irresistible character design and contrast in a film that takes children seriously. The passage of time in old room, and the need to learn and surpass your authorities is evident here. Looking for partners, collaborators and financiers.

SWEATER d. Kinga Górak p. Kinga Górak Poland / South Korea, 10 minutes
In Argentina, a young man starts another day like today. But when he reaches for his favorite sweater, he suddenly realizes that today will not be ordinary at all. A studio space with professional equipment for building the set, characters, shooting and lighting a stop-motion movie. Special effects and sound design. Budget (EUR): 200.000

ZF Sneak Preview: Having arthouse cinematic references in mind, the project builds a narrative poetry from the young to the old with the sweater as the driving force. Sweater becomes the memory hold in this 200,000 EUR budgeted film, which now looks for co-production partners and creative talents.

THE DAY VLADIMIR DIED d. Fadi Syriani p. Roland Fischer, Jana Wehbe, Maryam Al Khulaifi / Lebanon / Germany / Qatar, 10 minutes
Vladimir, an old Beirut resident, checks the Obituary page in the local news- paper and attends neighboring funerals daily. Following an unusual encounter on his “mourning” routine, Vladimir finds himself searching for his own notice.  Budget (EUR): 105.000

ZF Sneak Preview: A sunbathed-environment which lights up a poignant story, and project which works like a reminder fable of our fragility. Now armed with a development grant, the project seems eager to combine stop-motion with live-action surroundings. Looking for co-producers, financiers, and creative talents.

THE FAMILY PORTRAIT d. Lea Vidakovic p. Drasko Ivezic /Croatia, 15 minutes - Zippy Frames Choice
A quiet afternoon in an aristocratic home, just before 1st WW. Andras and his daughter are surprised by a visit of his brother and his numerous family members. A poetic, dark, and slightly humorous social observation, in which family ties are dissected and broken down to pieces. Budget (EUR): 230.000)

ZF Sneak Preview: An exquisite attention to details, The Family Portrait (also with an installation version) wants to capture the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire via an intrusion of various guests to a family house. Gentle animation and an equal, almost democratic focus to all the puppet characters makes this project of the aristocratic class disappearance a must to follow through. Now needing help in post-production.

YUGEN. OPEN SKY. d. Nayelli Ojeda p. Isabel Figueroa / México, 10 minutes 45 seconds
Yasén is a potters’ village where everyone is made of red clay. It faces difficult times after the giants, who used to protect them, fled away. Zianya is a young, introverted potter who must overcome her own fears in order to save her sister from the same illness that killed their parents. Budget (EUR): 54.000

ZF Sneak Preview: Here's the power of pottery to transform emotions in a Mexican setting Community. This sensitive project looks for partnerships outside its national setting.

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