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Martin Vandas

Producer on the Move 2007 – Repubblica Ceca


Martin Vandas

Questo articolo è disponibile in inglese.

Martin Vandas set up his production company MAUR film in 2001 as result of a collaboration with animation director Aurel Klimt. In two years the company made four short animated films using puppets (The Sea, Uncle, Why is it Salty?; Three Sisters and One Ring; The Hunchbacks of Damascus; and Tom Thumb), adapted from the book Fimfarum by Jan Werich.

Cineuropa: What is your background and how did you decide to become a producer?
Martin Vandas: I graduated in Film Science from Charles University in Prague in 1998 and in Film Production from FAMU in 2001. During that time I gained experience as the producer of a TV programme and as executive producer of a feature-length film. But my decision to push ahead to be a producer came from my studies.

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In the last two years you produced four animated films using puppets. How did you put the financing together? How many people were involved in the production? Did you do all the animation in-house or did you sub-contract out a part of the work?
The financing of our previous projects was very complicated. The films came before the head of financing from State Fund and Czech Television, which is closer to co-financing to these no-commercial projects. Additionally, we were in a situation when the foreign co-producer with the signed contract stopped all communication and co-operation…and the only solution was to stop production or continue on with the work. Regarding in-house work and the age of some filmmakers (Mrs. Pospisilova is 70 and Mr. Pojar is 80, they have worked with Jiri Trnka furthermore) we decided to continue with production – without any problems in terms of the film’s ultimately quality. The executive production company provided five people divided among four independent studios in the Czech Republic.

What are production conditions like for an animation company in the Czech Republic? Do you work with other countries as a sub-contractor or do you work mainly for your own productions?
As we work we know full well that foreign co-productions are very important for such sizeable projects. We try to find partners from other countries during development. It seems to be the right way based on experiences with Jan Balej’s latest film. Periodically we presented our project at Cartoon Forum. Until now we have gotten only middle European distribution but we are preparing upcoming projects as co-productions with other countries.

Did you participate in the Cartoon Forum? If so, was it a good experience for you?
I have visited the Cartoon Forum every year since 2002 and with each year I pay interest on our experiences. I think it is one of the best platforms for animated film. Therefore, I very much value for MEDIA Programme, which supports these development activities.

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