Poland’s annual ANIMARKT Stop Motion forum has opted to move its entire program online for 2020. For the last four years, animation industry representatives from all over the world have gathered in Łódź each October to meet, establish new business relationships and compete for prizes. Organizers say it was “a difficult decision,” but are optimistic that the new format will facilitate meetings between the European animation industry and potential partners from across the globe. ANIMARKT 2020 is scheduled for October 6-10.
“After many hours of discussions and risk analyses, in the face of restrictions in place all around the world, we have decided that the safest way to meet will be through preparing an online formula,” organizing body MOMAKIN explained.
The decision to move the Forum to the internet has been inspired by observations of solutions proposed by various cultural institutions and events during the current pandemic. And the welfare of the Forum’s guests, who often come from all over Europe, Canada or Latin America, was a key concern.
“This changed formula will make our event accessible also for people who, due to the pandemic, have had to cancel their participation or been afraid to travel to Łódź,” said forum co-creator Paulina Zacharek of MOMAKIN. “Holding ANIMARKT online will lower barriers between artists from different continents. In this context, the idea of connecting markets of Western and Central and Eastern Europe is especially important, as well as the desire to establish closer relations between the Polish animation industry and Latin America, which is currently one of the fastest developing regions as regards puppet animation production.”
Making the Forum work in its online version is a true organizational challenge for the ANIMARKT team — nevertheless, all program items (workshops, the business section and pitching) will be preserved and transferred to the internet, with their formulas adjusted to online tools.
“The ANIMARKT Stop Motion Forum means almost 50 projects presented in the Pitching section over its 4 editions, 150 guests visiting the event each year or nearly 200 one-on-one business meetings,” said event organizer & head of programming Agnieszka Kowalewska-Skowron.
The Forum’s formal (and less formal) meetings not only allow participants to learn how the stop-motion industry operates in various countries and regions, but above all, provide an opportunity to present their projects individually, develop their professional competencies and start international cooperation.
One of the Forum’s most important events is the pitching competition for stop-motion short films, where each year 15 projects from all over the world are presented (including from Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Hungary, Slovakia, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina or Canada).
Pitching gives an opportunity to present ideas at the project development stage in front of an audience consisting of producers, distributors and many others, and a chance to win for instance a voucher of PLN 60,000 to use a film production studio and facilities — an award funded by Audiovisual Technology Center (CeTA) in Wrocław. Before their presentations, selected finalists participate in training sessions on presentation techniques and consult on their projects’ scripts, production issues and making of stop-motion puppets.
The finalists were recently announced.
“In each project, I have looked for the harmony of form and content: whether the story, the project’s subject correspond with the chosen stop motion technique? Will the film capture the viewer’s attention with its unique visual approach to the story? Will it be something we have never seen before?” said Anna Ida Orosz (co-founder, Primanima World Festival of First Animations), a member of the ANIMARKT Pitching 2020 Selection Committee. “The submissions have included many very interesting projects. I do hope that the selected ones, which have stood out in particular, will be produced in the future.”
ANIMARKT Pitching 2020 Finalists:
- A Rede (The Hammock), dir.: Beatriz Lima, prod.: Ana Luisa Lima | Brazil
- Carcassonne-Acapulco, dir.: Marjorie Caup & Olivier Heraud, prod.: 12//24 FILMS | France
- Communication Lost, dir.: Pablo Muñoz and Vicente Mallols, prod.: Leticia Montalvá – Pangur Animation | Spain
- Electra. A Poem, dir.: Daria Kashcheeva, prod.: FAMU and co-producer MAUR film – Martin Vandas, Zuzana Krivkova | Czech Republic
- Fia dir.: Luciana Martinez & Iván Stur, prod.: María Rosario Carlino | Argentina
- Isolated, dir.: Juan Soto, prod.: Juan Soto | Spain
- Kabuki, dir.: Tiago Minamisawa, prod.: Wag Films and T Minamisawa | Brazil / France
- Labra Cadabra, Klaipeda Jazz, dir.: Olga Ti, Julia Titowa, prod.: Valentas Aškinis | Lithuania
- Roxanda, dir.: Dragan Jovicevic, prod.: Predrag Azdejkovic | Serbia
- Skin, dir.: Gabriel Nunes do Carmo, prod.: Matias Boeing Eastman & A. K. McCallum | Brazil / U.K.
- Steps to Fly, dir.: Nicolás Conte, prod.: María Rosario Carlino | Argentina
- Sweater (working title), dir.: Kinga Gorak, prod.: Kinga Gorak | Poland / South Korea
- The Day Vladimir Died, dir.: Fadi Syriani, prod.: Roland Fischer | Germany
- The Family Portrait, dir.: Lea Vidakovic, prod.: Drasko Ivezic, | Croatia
- Yugen: Open Sky, dir.: Nayelli Ojeda, prod.: Isabel Figueroa | Mexico.