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Visegrad Animation Forum Unveils 2017 Lineup

Jan Saska will pitch his new short ‘Hurikán,’ and Katarina Kerekesova will present her upcoming Christmas TV special which follows a very successful series ‘Mimi & Lisa.’

The fifth edition of the VAF Trebon, a key industry meeting for animation professionals mainly from CEE region, takes place in Trebon, Czech Republic, May 2-4, 2017.

Even if the pitching competition is open to all European animated projects in development, this edition is specific for high number of submitted works from the Central and Eastern Europe (Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia). The guarantee of the quality is indicated by well-known animation professionals in both categories: Jan Saska (CZ), one of 10 finalists for an Academy Award nomination in the Best Animated Short Film category will pitch his new short Hurikán and Katarina Kerekesova (SK) will present her upcoming Christmas TV special which follows a very successful series Mimi & Lisa. The list of all selected projects can be found here.

The VAF Trebon supports filmmakers while helping them to develop their projects with experienced international professionals. In order to prepare a public pitching session, several preparation workshops for the authors and producers are planned. These modules focus on the three key elements of every project: good story assets, consultation of a realistic development plan and structuring a good pitch.

Tutors for the category Short films are Agnieszka Kruk (, scriptewriter), Phil Parker (BCre8ive Ltd, co-founder), Olivier Catherin (Pictanovo, producer), Philip LaZebnik (screenwriter for Disney and DreamWorks) and Thom Palmen (festival director, producer, distributor). The winning project in both categories will receive 2,000 EUR for further development. The winner of the category Series/TV Special will have direct access to Cartoon Forum 2017 without the need to undergo competitive pre-selection. The most suitable lectoring for this prestigious pitching forum will be assured by the couple of representatives directly from Cartoon Forum: Joan Lofts (pitching clinics in Asia for the Asian Animation Summit) and Agnes Bizzaro (content coordinator for Cartoon Springboard).

At VAF this year, the director of Maia Workshops, Graziella Bildesheim will be closely following both categories in order to select the best pitch -- who will receive the Maia Award, consisting of a scholarship and an automatic selection to take part in next year’s Maia Workshops.

Last year saw a truly historic feat. Within the framework of the VAF Trebon 2016, a meeting of the heads of the national film funds from the Visegrad + countries was organized to discuss possible coordination and cooperation to support animation projects from the region. In spite of different legislation in various countries, it is highly encouraging to see that the funds are interested in facilitating animation production and being active in joining forces to support cooperation across our region. The organizers of the VAF have made a further step this year inviting national broadcasters to join the discussion with the funds. Together they will seek ways to establish a sustainable market for animation in our region. Cooperation of media is vital for animation industry, and national broadcasters have a role to play here and benefits to enjoy.

One of the primary objectives of VAF is the regeneration of the Central and East European (CEE) animation industry. Therefore cross-border network of producers is a vital tool. With this in mind, VAF launches a VAF Minority Co-Production Pool where invited producers interested in cooperation and in striking minority coproduction deals in our region will present themselves, their companies and their slate of projects to fellow professionals. A closer look will be also given at one or two highlight projects per country. The broadcasters, decision-makers and producers in the room will have a chance to interact, provide feedback or express potential interest. Meeting each other is the primary ingredient for success in collaboration.

The VAF Trebon will also offer a number of inspiring workshops and lectures opened to the general public. The participants will discover space for co-production opportunities between Korea and the EU, learn how to cooperate with a sales-agent and a distributor or will find out how to finance a short film from local funds. Hands on case studies will feature Zsuzsanna Kreif, director of the successful TV series Candide or the animated studio Cinemon Entertainment.

Last but not least, the official launch of the VAF New Talents 2017 will take place in Trebon. This is the traditional selection of best short films made by young and debuting artists from the Central and Eastern Europe produced in the previous year, which then travels worldwide festivals for the whole coming year.

The Visegrad Animation Forum is held in cooperation with Anifilm (International Festival of Animated Films, Trebon, CZ). The VAF is organized by the ASAF (Association of Czech Animation) in collaboration with SPPA (Polish Animation Producers Association), APAF (Association of Animated Film Producers Slovakia), :D´SAF! (Slovenian Animated Film Association) and MOME (Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Budapest). It cooperates with the Cartoon Forum, MAIA Workshops and is organised with the support of Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

Source: Visegrad Animation Forum

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.