Thursday, Interview of the day

03 | 05

Thursday, Interview of the day

Petra Fundová is a living proof that you can never know what fate has in store for you and that experience in animation can come in handy no matter where life takes you. In late 1980s, after graduating from the Studio of Film and TV Graphic of the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague (AAAD) and working for Krátký film Praha for a little while, she went on a maternity leave and started freelancing. Later, she entered the corporate world and joined the Burda Praha publishing company, which she now manages as its CEO. She says that she still uses much of what she learnt, for example, while directing Sněžný muž (screened at this year’s Anifilm) in her current job.

Do you really believe that animation has something in common with company management?

Yes I do, and I think that what links these two worlds is creativity. You could say that my current job is all about constantly looking for creative solutions, day in day out. I believe that we use our creative minds not only when we’re designing but also when we are, for example, starting a new business project, doing a merger, moving employees, etc. I learnt how to look for various solutions at the AAAD and at Hollarka (the Vaclav Hollar College and Secondary School of Fine Arts), where we got used to working on projects. No matter what they were called, they were still projects. We had to do exactly the same stuff that project managers do, only no one called us that back then (laughs).

Your current job also requires single-mindedness and willingness to work hard. Would you say your animation roots prepared you in this respect as well?

I always put my heart and soul into everything I did, thanks to which, I think, I did well both at Hollarka and the AAAD, to which I was accepted on my first try. Then again, watching my schoolmates (for example, Pavel Koutský or František Skála), it often seemed to me that drawing somehow came more naturally to them, while I had to work harder for it. I think that perhaps the greatest challenge for me was to learn patience, a necessary thing for something as time-consuming as animation, which I was lacking at first.

Anifilm will screen your film Sněžný muž, based on a fairy tale by Alois Mikulka who was a very popular author among AAAD animators at the time …

Yes, I had already made some films based on his short stories (e.g. the film Kos v parku) at school, and later, after I started working for Krátký film, I remembered his text about the abominable snowman. I liked Sněžný muž for its poetic and playful literary style but also because it was very modern for its time and because it was a fairy tale but a really crazy one with a lot of action, which made it easy to visualize in animation. And I think even today’s viewers will still find the subject of Sněžný muž interesting and topical.