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‘Airborne’ Projects Hope and Rebirth in a Surreal World of Living, Flying Machines

Andrzej Jobczyk’s 7-minute 2D animated short, produced by the Warsaw-based studio, Letko, tells a compelling story of passion and the power of nature amidst the destructive forces of war.

For your consideration, Airborne, Andrzej Jobczyk’s 7-minute 2D animated short, captures the imagination with fantasy hybrids of machines and nature in a story about unavoidable metamorphoses, climate changes, destructive forces of war, and the strength of hope.

Produced by Warsaw studio Letko, and co-produced by the Polish Film Institute, Airborne is set in a surreal world of living, flying machines. As a result of a crash, they start to change into plants and insects. What seems to be the end starts a new chapter, and at the place of the catastrophe life awakens. It’s a story about passion, the power of nature and destructive force of war.

Letko is known for co-producing the 2019 animated horror film, Kill It and Leave This Town, directed by Mariusz Wilczyński, as well as the preschool series Odo, which has been distributed in almost 160 countries to date.

According to Airborne producer Piotr Szczepanowicz, the short’s compelling story is more than matched by its dynamic visuals and depiction of nature’s elements. “For direction, screenplay and the whole visual side of the film, Andrzej Jobczyk’s work deftly connects natural sciences and minimalist surrealism.”

“The film was inspired by my childhood memories,” Jobczyk shares. “I grew up surrounded by nature and as a child I loved planes and everything regarding aviation. Connecting these two symbolisms and their permeation was beginning of a story about evanescence and rebirth.”

The story develops across parallel plotlines, with intersecting ecological themes crowned with hope that nature will find a way to transform the disastrous results of human war machines’ interference into space available for the blossoming of a new life.

Work on the short began in 2019, although the first animation combining flying machines and nature was created by Jobczyk back in 2007 as part of his film school project about an airplane that, like a butterfly, hatches from a cocoon. Airborne took about two years to complete. Before thinking of the project as a film, Jobczyk wanted to screen-print the images, which is why the color range of the actual film is limited to three colors, and there are no tonal transitions. The film has been selected in competition and won numerous awards on the international festival circuit, including Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand, Brussels, and SPARK Animation.

Check out the trailer; you can find the full film and a behind-the-scenes spotlight here:

Airborne’s captivating visual layer of animation is complemented by a thrilling music score by Jakub Słomkowski and Rafał Smoliński, created in the style of a music video. The sound effects made it possible for the short’s conceptual graphics to become sensual and alive.

Audio effects were produced by Michał Fojcik, whose work brought a sensual realism and voice to the machine / nature hybrids. Nikodem Chabior served as editor, with Martyna Siwińska serving as executive producer.

Letko is 2D animation studio specializing in creation, production and promotion of animated movie projects. It was founded in Warsaw by a team of artists with skills and experience in animation, film, and art, with the goal of creating appealing and exceptional animated films and series.

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.