The pitching competition was again opened in two categories.
The award for the best animated short film in development was received at the festive ceremony by British director Joseph Wallace for his project “SALVATION HAS NO NAME“, producer Loran Dunn. The jury felt it was a very professional pitch and added: “The project presents contemporary issues in a classical setting with a strong story outline.”
Special mention was awarded to Czech directors Jan Saska and Vojtěch Kiss for their short film “HURIKAN“ , to be produced by Alžběta Janáčková and Kamila Dohnalová. Jan Saska attended already VAF Trebon 2013 where he received a special mention too – then it was for his short film Happy End, one of 10 finalists for an 2016 Academy Award nomination. “This is an exciting new project from proven filmmakers who are running the style and technique forward. This film speaks not only of the hangover of the main character, or the hangover of the city, but the hangover of the world. We hope team will be able to produce the film before the end of the world.” explained the jury.
The Main Prize in the Series / TV Specials category went to the Hungarian project “CASTAWAYS“ , educational animated series about a grandpa’s and his grandson’s adventures on a stranded island (director Péter Szeiler, producers Patricia D’Intino, Gábor Osváth and Peter Csornay). „The main character and his Grandpa made us feel the importance of trans-generation relationship. The project brings us close to nature, has strong visuals, nice colour palette and texture. It’s giving many opportunities for imaginative storytelling and will work very well across all media.“ justified the TV Series jury their choice.
Also, a TV Special got a prize for the first time in the history of VAF Trebon. Special mention went to Christmas TV Special “MIMI & LISA“ by Slovak director Ivana Šebestová, scriptwriter Katarína Moláková and producer Katarína Kerekesová. „This visually rich project has a unique and clear story and its idea is very original. We love two strong female characters reaching out to every single child, with a special tenderness to disabled kids. It wakes imagination and it would travel well all around.“ clarified the jury.
The winning projects in both categories received 2,000 EUR for further development. The winner and the special mention of the category Series / TV Special have direct access to Cartoon Forum 2017 without the need to undergo their competitive pre-selection.
Newly at VAF Trebon 2017, the director of Maia Workshops, Graziella Bildesheim followed both categories in order to select the most promising emerging producer. The MAIA Award went to Czech producer Kamila Dohnalová (short film Hurikan) together with a scholarship and an automatic selection to take part in next year’s Maia Workshops.
Last but not least, the official launch of the VAF New Talents 2017 took 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. In 2016, New Talents have been successfully screened on more than 20 festivals and in 2017, it is also adding additional activities including cinema distribution in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.