In Wallonia: Digital Graphics was born again
In a beautiful castle-farm from 1730 near the city of Liège, you’ll find Digital Graphics, one of the most interesting studios in Wallonia that actually came close to disappearing only a few years ago. Created in 1994 by two brothers, the studio gradually established itself locally and internationally with films involving animators from Wallonia. Its productions were nominated for four Oscars, won three Césars and received several selections at the Cannes Film Festival. Scaling up quickly with these successes, however, Digital Graphics started growing too fast and almost failed. Supported at every step by Wallimage, the studio was rescued by two investors from Wallonia and Germany who rebooted the company. They put together an incredible team which, on January 17, after a year of hard work and proven talent, won the "Walloon Anim Gold Provider" label. Digital Graphics is currently working on several projects, including a TV series adaptation (52 x 11') of "Toto's Jokes" by Belgian cartoonist Thierry Coppée.
In Slovakia: the next generation of animation filmmakers get noticed by the greatest
Michaela Mihalyi is currently studying animation in Prague, where she lives. She has a dog called Ela and loves beer and coffee equally. David Štumpf is finishing his MA degree in animation in Prague, where he also lives. Cowboyland, the film he made when he was a student in Brastislava, gained multiple festival selections and awards. Michaela and David both come from Slovakia. Together, they made SH_T HAPPENS, a witty short animated co-production between the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and France. In the film, an exhausted caretaker is tired of his frustrated wife. This is a tale of mutual despair and absurdity “– because sh_t happens all the time”. But good things happen too: SH_T HAPPENS had its world premiere in Venice and in December, and was selected for the Sundance Film Festival, where it just had its US premiere last week.
In Puglia: Matteo Garrone’s Pinocchio won its way to the 70th Berlin Film Festival
Matteo Garrone’s new Pinocchio is the most ambitious film adaptation of Carlo Collodi’s 1883 classic to date. It was shot over seven weeks in the beautiful Puglia region, in the enchanting cities of Ostuni, Fasano, Monopoli, Polignano, Noicattaro, Altamura, Gravina and Spinazzola. In the film, Gepetto is played by Oscar-winning Roberto Benigni, Cat and the Fox are Rocco Papaleo and Massimo Ceccherini and Pinocchio is the young and incredibly talented Federico Ielapi. Released to much audience appreciation in Italian cinemas on 19 December 2019, the film has not only been selected for the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, but is also one of the first movies announced at the Berlinale Special Gala (former “out of competition”) category. Pinocchio is a co-production between Italy and France by Archimede Film, La Pacte and Hanway Film, supported by RAI Cinema, MIBAC – General Direction Cinema and Audiovisual, with the contribution of Puglia Region’s Apulia Film Fund and the support of Apulia Film Commission.
In Catalonia: countless awards for the outstanding Klaus
In 2019, the innovative 2D Santa origin story Klaus, made by animator Sergio Pablos, was the first Spanish animated production released on Netflix. In December, it became the first Netflix Animated Original to be nominated for an Oscar. Last weekend, the film was a surprise winner of seven awards at the Annie Awards, including Best Animated Feature, and prizes for directing, character animation, character design, production design, storyboarding and editorial. While you’re waiting for the film’s results at the upcoming Oscars, you can watch it now on Netflix!
In Hauts de France: packed house at the Kinepolis de Lomme theatre for the premiere of Sam Sam, co-produced by Pictanovo
On Sunday, January 5, an enthusiastic audience of children and parents attended the premiere of the adventures of the little cosmic hero, Sam Sam. Sam Sam’s director and creator Tanguy de Kermel, the regional animation studio Tchack, and film co-producer Pictanovo were there to engage with their young audience, along with balloon sculptors, colouring workshops and Sam Sam branded masks for an entertaining and active film experience. . Tanguy de Kermel comes from the Hauts-de-France region, and was recognised and supported by Pictanovo who invested €150,000 in the production. Since Sam Sam’s successful screening, de Kermel has also been made an official "Kinépolis star" and his name is displayed on the theatre’s walk of fame. We wish him the best for the film's theatrical release on 5 February!