UK: Animate Projects publishes new agenda

Animate Projects has published its agenda for 2015 to 2016. The new programme is designed to support artists in producing their films and to bring artistic animated films to the public on different platforms. Animate Projects thus continues to support artistic endeavours in contemporary animated film.

The current projects include a new international tender for Animate OPEN with the motto “Parts and Labour”. The tender will be published shortly, with the works to appear online and in cinemas from December 2015. The second project, “Move it”, is an initiative for the distribution of animated films. Four tour programmes are to be compiled. There is also a new training programme called DRIVE to promote professional practice in animated film.

Each project is supported by different partners, such as the Jerwood Charitable Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the BFI Film Audience Network. Animate Projects Ltd. (formerly based in London and now in Derby), which has received no institutional funding for the past several years, engages in conjunction with the Animation Alliance UK on behalf of better appreciation for artistic animated films.

More information:

Spain: Associations protest cuts in Spanish short film funding || 17/06/2015

The associations Coordinadora del Cortometraje Español (CCE), Asociación de la Industria del Cortometraje (AIC) and Plataforma Nuevos Realizadores (PNR) published a communiqué in April on the state of short film promotion in Spain. They criticize therein the new policy of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, which was approved in March for the year 2015. According to this policy, the public funding budget for short films is to be cut by 50% to a total of only €500,000.

In a meeting with Lorena González Olivares, director-general of the competent Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA), the associations managed to reduce the funding cuts from 50% to only 30% compared to the previous year. The allocation of resources was also shifted for the benefit of completed short films. It was agreed that project funding of €500,000 and additional funding of €200,000 will be set aside in 2015 for already completed films.

Although they sympathize with the country’s economic situation, the associations take a strong stand against any reductions, particularly as short film funding amounts to only 2% of total public film funding, and the screening of short films in commercial cinemas and on mainstream TV channels has been dropped completely. The associations hope that this year’s funding cut was a one-time lapse.

Source (PNR):
Directive from April 2015:

Denmark: Film Institute restricts funding for short film entries at festivals || 17/06/2015

As of June 2015, the Danish Film Institute will focus its funding for festival entries on short films invited to participate in the major festivals such as Berlin, Cannes, Venice and Sundance, as well as Oscar-nominated films. This means that, while financial support will continue to be provided for travel to festivals, submissions, copies and other measures, participation in festivals not belonging to the defined catalogue will no longer be promoted.

The new priorities in the allocation of funds also mean that short films will no longer be taken into account in the general sales promotion for festivals. The festival department of the Film Institute will therefore no longer select and recommend short films. Services such as registration for festivals, submissions and film shipping will also be discontinued.

Background: Instead of film promotion laws, Denmark has a so-called Film Agreement that is renegotiated every four years by Parliament in a complex procedure. The newly adopted measures include strengthening the film industry, double the previous support budgets for video games and more funding for low-budget films. Another consequence is the restructuring of the DFI itself, including reduced staff and only two rather than the former four main departments – one for film promotion and one for the activities of the Filmhus in Copenhagen. The exact funding provisions will be worked out in the course of the year. Measures that have already been launched are not affected.


Film Box LT: Short film cinema opened at Vilnius Airport || 17/06/2015

In May 2015 opening festivities were held for the FilmBox LT at the departures terminal of Vilnius Airport. FilmBox LT is the first cinema in a northern European airport where passengers can watch films while waiting to board their flights. And it is probably the only airport cinema to show exclusively short films.

The cinema with its modern architecture – equipped with digital projection technology and designer plastic chairs – can be visited at any time via a tunnel that serves as a light trap next to Gate A2. Admission is free of charge. Films are shown in their original language with English subtitles.

Three programmes comprising a total of fifteen Lithuanian short films are currently on view. The films date from the years 2007 to 2015 and include fiction, animation and documentary. The current line-up features for example “Non-Euclidean Geometry” and “The Queen of England Stole My Parents”. The programmes are put together by the short film agency “Lithuanian Shorts” and offered with the support of the Lithuanian Film Centre. Regular changes in the repertoire will ensure that as many Lithuanian films are shown as possible.

URL of FilmBox:
Lithuanian Shorts:

A revival of analogue film: successful kickstart for FILM Ferrania || 09/12/2014

The tradition-steeped Italian company Ferrania was forced to abandon the production of analogue films following the termination of financing by the US company 3M as a result of increasing digitization. The company headquarters were dissolved and the factory site divided up. While individual branches of chemical production were taken over by private equity investors, former staff initially carried on producing film. In 2010 however, Ferrania finally went into bankruptcy and the factory threatened to fall into disrepair. Since 2012 the filmmaker Nicola Baldini and the film dealer Marco Pagni have been trying to save the company and resume the production of analogue films. In 2013, with the support of the Liguria region, they founded FILM Ferrania with the aim of establishing a new factory on the former grounds, working with the old machines.

Baldini and Pagni started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter for the $250,000 needed to repurchase the former production plant and begin production. Their business plan persuaded so many private investors and analogue film enthusiasts that they had successfully completed their campaign by the end of October. FILM Ferrania was able to secure more than $320,000!

Following the purchase of the machines, FILM Ferrania will start out by resuming production of Ferrania Solaris 35mm slide film and the professional colour reversal film Scotch Chrome 100. The Chrome 100 emulsion will be available as Super 8 or 16mm film. In future, FILM Ferrania plans to develop further emulsions, but above all to focus on motion picture films. It would be fantastic to see the legendary P30 film, which is closely connected with the history of Italian Neorealism, make a comeback. The black-and-white emulsion was the favourite film of directors such as Pasolini, De Sica, Rossellini and Fellini. Which films Ferrania will manufacture in future will however be determined by demand, say the founders. A large store of the chemicals and machines necessary for the manufacture of Super 8, Double 8, 16mm and even 70mm is available in any case …

URL Ferrania:
URL Kickstarter campagne:

The newest hype: film drones approaching || 09/12/2014

We may well speculate about what makes miniature drones and filming from great heights so attractive at the moment. Was it the footage from the Iraq war? Is it merely a consequence of the impulse to play, like the fascination with toy railways was in the past? Or is it underpinned by philosophical-artistic aspects, like many recent exhibitions on the topic of the bird’s eye view seem to suggest (see links below)?

In any case, a number of festivals have popped up that focus on films made using camera drones. The New York Drone Film Festival, which will take place in February 2015, claims to be the first of its kind. The festival was founded by the photographer and cameraman Randy Scott Slavin, who specializes in aerial photography. Slavin manages the company Yeah Drones! with his wife and describes himself as a “surrealist photographer”. The festival has issued an international call for films up to five minutes in length made using drones or UAVs (deadline: 28 December 2014). The prizes to be awarded include “Most beautiful aerial cinematography”, “Technical difficulty” and “Most innovative use”.

The Sicily Drone Film Festival too considers itself the first drone film festival. However, it is arguably a rather half-baked attempt, because although it is set to take place on 21 February 2015 in Catania and the deadline for submissions is 30 November, as of mid-November registration forms were still not available. As the festival intends to dedicate itself only “to the Sicilian art of drone cinematography”, it would likely be of minimal supra-regional interest anyway.

As early as 2012, a drone manufacturer organized the competition “AR.Drone 2.0 Film Festival”, which invited ten filmmakers from ten cities to create ten films, and later went on tour. The same drone maker Parrot has now upped the ante: in collaboration with 20th Century Fox it has announced a new competition involving ten teams from ten different countries. The online audience can submit votes for their favourite film until 15 December 2014. Representing Germany is the film “Phonezombies!” by the Israeli director Aviv Kosloff from Team Pit Stop.

A competition for aerial shots was also held in August 2014 at the Mudo Cine Festival Mallorca, which specializes in silent short films.

Furthermore, a number of established festivals have addressed the subject this year in information events, workshops and seminars. In July 2014 the Giffoni Film Festival presented “Drone Experience”, in which “innovative future prospects” for camera drones were introduced. In late October, at the Wild Screen Festival in Bristol, a nature film festival hosted by the eponymous foundation, a “Filming with Drones” workshop was offered. And in Germany the Hamburg Short Film Festival was right on trend as early as June with its professional event on “Aerial Filming from an Octocopter”. 

Drone films have long since made their breakthrough on social media. Twitter drew wider public attention to a new variation at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity by showing so-called “dronies”, selfies made using camera drones. The first dronie was allegedly made by the photographer Amit Gupta (Photojojo), who published it on Vimeo with the title “Bernal Hill selfie”. A female staffer at Vimeo coined for it the now-viral term dronie.

For filmmakers who want to jump on the bandwagon but would rather not invest in an expensive drone, a DIY option has already been invented. In Spain a group of developers who met in 2013 at the Next Things Conference hosted by the LABoral Centro de Arte y Telefónica (Gijon) have developed the flying telephone “Flone”. Flone is a kit consisting of software and hardware that can be used to make smartphones fly, as well as allowing them to be steered. The instructions are available online in wikis and the software is being offered under a Creative Commons license!

New York Drone Film Festival:
Sicily Drone Film Fest:
Parrot & 20th Century Fox MiniDrones Film Festival:
Giffoni Film Festival:
Kurzfilmfestival Hamburg:
Dronie tips:
Flone cooperative:
Flone description on Thingiverse:
Further DIY drones:

Selection of exhibitions with the theme of the bird’s eye view
„Von oben gesehen“, Germanisches Zentralmuseum Nürnberg
„Vues d’en haut “, Centre Pompidou Metz
„Bird’s-Eye View“, Hall Art Foundation New York
„A Bird’s Eye View Exhibition“, Artlink UK
„The Trouble with a Bird’s Eye View“, Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Design
„Bird’s EyE View“, Contemporary Art Platform Kuweit

Japan: Koji Yamamura exhibits works by international animators || 09/12/2014

The Japanese animated film maker Koji Yamamura has been running a retail store and gallery in Tokyo named “Au Praxinoscope” since 2013. While the store offers animated film merchandise such as DVDs, books, original illustrations, prints and optical toys, Yamamura exhibits in his gallery works by international animation artists. Illustrations by Yuri Norstein, Frédéric Back, Michèle Lemieux and other filmmakers are on view until the end of the year. In the past the gallery has hosted solo exhibitions by Igor Kovalyov and Priit Pärn. From January to April 2015, there will be an exhibition dedicated to the Swiss filmmaker Georges Schwizgebel.

Koji Yamamura has been drawing animated films since he was thirteen years old. Among them are many internationally acclaimed works such as “Mt. Head”, “Franz Kafka’s ‘A Country Doctor’” and “Muybridge’s Strings”. Yamamura also teaches at Tokyo Zokei University and the Tokyo University of the Arts. In early November he took part in the Wiesbaden International Weekend of Animation in Germany with a showcase of his and his students’ films and received the Prize of the Cultural Department of the City of Wiesbaden.

URL Au Praxinoscope:
URL Yamamura Animation:

Kinétoscope – educational platform for short films launched || 09/12/2014

In autumn 2014 the online platform Kinétoscope was launched in France. Kinétoscope is a project of the Agence du court métrage for film education (“education à l’image”). The platform supports teachers at schools as well as youth workers and educators. Kinétoscope offers a catalogue of 100 short films that lend themselves particularly well to an educational setting. The catalogue can be searched for specific topics and offers suggestions for lessons as well as the organization of film screenings.

The platform is not merely a film collection but an editorially enhanced source of information for educators, focusing on the most important issues in film design, film aesthetics and film technology. In addition, Kinétoscope serves as a forum for setting up and linking new initiatives. The films on the platform may only be used for preparing lessons, and thus may not be streamed directly in the classroom. An annual subscription for the use of the platform may be purchased for a fee of 290 euros.

Promoted by the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC), Kinétoscope fulfils and augments that organization’s objectives and measures for film education in schools. Kinétoscope’s film catalogue is to be expanded annually.

CNC film education information:

Denmark: new funding for distribution initiatives || 09/12/2014

In July, the Danish Film Institute DFI issued guidelines for new measures intended to support the distribution and exhibition of short and documentary films. Applications can be made for project-based as well as institutional funding. Project funding supports the further development of both new and existing distribution initiatives. Institutional funding focuses mainly on the optimization of existing initiatives. Commercial as well as non-commercial ventures are eligible to apply. This new funding programme can be of assistance in a number of different areas, for example video-on-demand or the organization of film and lecture series. The main aim is to strengthen “umbrella initiatives” that serve to activate synergies in making short and documentary films more accessible to the public.

This recent measure enhances the funding already available for distribution and screening by adding the aspect of dissemination. In general, funding for film in Denmark is not based on one law or decree, but instead on a so-called Film Agreement that is renegotiated every four years in a complex parliamentary process.


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