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CEE ANIMATION FORUM 2021

REPORT: CEE Animation Forum 2021

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- Cineuropa profiles some of the winning projects at the CEE Animation Forum, which took place online in May

REPORT: CEE Animation Forum 2021
Birds Don't Look Back by Nadia Nakhlé

Cineuropa profiles some of the winning projects at the CEE Animation Forum, which took place online in May. For the full list of winners, see the news

Main Award in Feature Films category
Birds Don't Look Back (Spain) 

This 2D and 3D animated feature, the first from director-writer-designer Nadia Nakhlé, tells the story of 12 year-old orphan Amal, who has to leave her war-torn country. After losing the family who were accompanying her, she meets Bacem, an army deserter and oud player. Aimed at adult and family audiences, the feature has two storylines: that of the reality experienced by Amel and Bacem, and that of the world of birds, interwoven into the main story. Sébastien Onomo (Annecy 2018 best feature Funan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Denis Do
film profile
]
) produces through Special Touch Studios, and the project is in development. 

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series serie
The Olive Bunch

Main Award in TV Series category
The Olive Bunch (Cyprus)

Created by producer Maria Pavlou and production designer and co-writer Katerina Pantela and directed by Emmy-nominated Magnus Kråvik, The Olive Bunch is a 2D adventure comedy show aimed at children aged 6-11, featuring three best friends embarking on a coming-of-age journey. It is described as an ode to childhood, summertime and friendship mingled with Grandma's folk tales and her secret world of magic. The 26x11' series, produced by Cypriot company Pixel Giants, is looking for streaming services that can fund the show as their original production. 

Dreamworld

Cartoon Movie - direct access, Feature Films special mention, CEE Animation Workshop scholarship
Dreamworld (Croatia) 

With famous Canadian cartoonist Dave Cooper as designer and Pedro Rivero (Netflix's Platform [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
film profile
]
) as co-writer, the directing-producing tandem of Croatian brothers Milivoj and Veljko Popović embark on their first feature after 17 years and 70 awards including an Annecy Jury Award and Animated Eye Award at Aspen Shortfest, through their company Prime Render Studios. Aimed at children aged 8-14, with 2D and 3D animation techniques, the film follows a group of kids who escape the toxic reality of peer pressure and social media bullying, finding refuge in the world of lucid dreaming — the Dreamworld. But the longer they stay there, the harder it gets to leave, until they face-off with the Dreamworld ruler Morpheus. The project is looking for co-producers. 

Vast Blue Antarctica

Audience Award, Cartoon Movie - direct access
Vast Blue Antarctica (Cyprus/Greece)

Directed by Christos Panagos, this 70-minute mixed media animated documentary in French, combining CGI 3D and traditional 2D animation with live action filmed in Antarctica, France and Cyprus, Vast Blue Antarctica follows Alexandre Gautier, a French woodworker who works in the maintenance service for the infrastructure of the French scientific mission. Aimed at adults and teenagers, the co-production between Cyprus' Charalambas Margaritis and Panagos' own Athens-based company Indigo Flicks explores the protagonist's thoughts and reflections about Antarctica, the vast whiteness of the continent and his experience as a worker there. The team is looking for co-producers, financing and sales agents. 

Finding Frida

XR Category Main Award
Finding Frida (Norway)

A 20+ minute VR experience directed by Hilde Kristin Kjøs, Finding Frida explores the strength in humans’ creative power through a virtual encounter between the female artist Frida Hansen and her great-great granddaughter Cecilie Levy, born one hundred years apart. Levy wrote the script, featuring numerous layers and shifts between times and places, and the interactive room-scale CGI is inspired by Hansen's tapestries that come alive in the VR environment made through a combination of techniques. Bjørn-Morten Nerland is producing this project aimed at audiences over 15 years of age through his company Star Gate Media, and is looking for co-producers, financing, sales agents and festivals. 

Senior Crush

Feature Films Special Mention, Cartoon Springboard – direct access
Senior Crush (Hungary)

In the first feature-length animated film by the young Orsolya Richolm, Red, an extravagant Eastern-European millennial high school girl, develops a crush on the school’s awkward IT guy, which prompts her to reevaluate her opinions about fame and personal relationships. The film explores an attraction between two people with a big age difference from a new, female perspective in an art-house style using the analogue rotoscoping technique — with a "rough and insecure style, just like being a teenager," according to the director. Andrea Ausztrics produces through ULab Kft and is looking for co-producers, financing and creative input. The project is aimed at a target audience between 16 and 40 years of age.

Ibis

Short Films Main Award
Ibis (Spain)  

This collaboration between producer-writer-director Maria Burgués and plastic and digital animation artist Enric Sant is a 3D and 2D animated 8-minute short aimed at young adults. Two teenage girls, Alba and Pili, sneak onto the roof of a neighborhood building and discover a very special place in which they feel totally free, thus turning it into their secret shelter. Alba falls asleep and embarks on a dreamlike journey that will change her completely, something that she will only understand thanks to friendship. Produced through Burgués' Barcelona-based company Bliss, the project is in search of co-producer, financing, sales agents, festivals, distributors and buyers. 

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