Seven decades of the animation studio at UMPRUM
September 3rd to October 10th, 2021
Opening: Thursday, September 2nd, 2021 at 6 p.m.
Gallery UM, nám. Jana Palacha 80, Praha 1
Open: Mon - Sat from 10 am to 6 pm
The UMPRUM Studio of Film and TV Graphics is celebrating a big anniversary this autumn, 70 years since its founding. On the occasion of the celebration, the studio has prepared an exhibition, projections, workshops, a conference, and also a book not only about the studio's history. The center of events are moving to the UM Gallery, which will be transformed into a cinema hall during the exhibition ANIMATION 70 / Seven Decades of the Animation Studio at the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague (UMPRUM).
It should be noted from the outset that the local animation studio is the oldest school of its kind in the Czech Republic. The establishment of a specialized film studio began in the summer of 1945, shortly before UMPRUM acquired the status of a university. A prominent founding figure was Adolf Hoffmeister, who in 1951 became the studio's first headteacher. Even in later years, well-known personalities of film and illustration took turns in leading the studio - Miroslav Jágr, Zdeněk, Smetana, Jiří Barta, and Jan Balej. Since the end of 2010, the studio has been run by Jakub Zich, who has now been replaced by Jan Drozda.
"The continuity of the studio is very remarkable and unusual compared to other domestic art colleges and its success can be traced back to the studio's leadership. There has never been a radical turn in the studio's concept, and the main periods of its history were shaped by people who were usually united by the relationship between teacher and student. Most studio heads and assistants also came directly from the ranks of its graduates. It can be said with a bit of exaggeration that Hoffmeister's founding spirit is still present in the direction of the studio, " say the curators of the exhibition.
The program and expositions in the UM Gallery, which map the 70-year history of the studio, are based primarily on its performances - short student films and exercises. During the intensive two-year preparations, more than a thousand of them were mapped. Viewers have the opportunity to get acquainted with most of them in 30 thematically focused projection blocks. They can also look forward to the oldest films, mostly from the 60s and 70s, which were digitized by the National Film Archive. More than thirty of them have not been seen for decades. Each day, two half-day blocks on a selected topic will be screened in a loop. Films not only from the beginnings of the studio will be presented, but also sections of narrative films, puppets "Wires, joints, threads", experimental zone "Laboratory", a block dedicated to UMPRUM "From the gatehouse to the attic", films focused on the city "City focus" contemporary joint student projects, and a special "Voracious Spectator Zone". Among important graduates, whose student and diploma theses will be on display, we can name: Petr Sís, Petr Poš, Andreu Tachezy, Václav Mergl, from the younger generation Filip Pošivač, Lucie Stamfestová, Kakalík or members of the Amanita creative team - Jakub Dvorský, Václav Blín, Jaromír Plachý and Radim Jurda. The film program of the exhibition presents authors from the entire seventy-year history of the studio and covers the widest possible range of techniques, styles, and processes.
The celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Studio of Film and Television Graphics were conceived magnanimously. Film screenings are not the only events planned for the exhibition. Various workshops are prepared for those interested, especially schoolchildren. At the turn of September and October, the thematic conference Congress of Animation is held. In addition, a book dedicated to the studio will be published in the autumn. "During the preparations, we discovered a lot of interesting materials. It was not only about films, but also about various photographs and other materials from various times. That is why we decided to publish a book that maps the history of the studio, it will stand on interviews with graduates, educators, and teachers and will even present other materials. We are also preparing a special website for the studio with a list of all students, graduates, and teachers, and where digitized works will be gradually posted, ” explains curator Michaela Režová's about the ambitious program.
Production team: Michaela Režová, Marie Barešová, Matěj Forejt
In cooperation with the studio leadership: Jan Drozda, Jakub Zich, Zuzana Bukovinská
Dramaturgy zone: Matěj Forejt, Michaela Režová
Graphic design: Josefina Karlíková
Production: Natalie Krausová, Šárka Váňová, Jiří Žák
Architectural design: Jakub Zich
Animation jingle: Vojtěch Kočí
Sound: Karel Jína
Technical assistance: David Pacult
Film archive processing: Zbyšek Semelka, Thanh Mai Tranová, Veronika Klimszová, Laura Hédervári, Matouš Valchář, and Michaela Režová
Archive processing: Zbyšek Semelka, Kateryna Ruzhyna, Prohor Maiserov, Anna Roubalová, Anna Crhová, Ondřej Slavík, and Michaela Režová
We thank the partners of the exhibition: The National Film Archive, Capital City of Prague, NFA Ponrepo Cinema, Anifilm, and Ultrafun.