Michaela Režová, a doctoral student of the UMPRUM Film and Television Graphics Studio, won two prizes in the CEE Animation Forum 2021 international competition. She was awarded the Rising Stars Prize and the Animarkt stop Motion Forum Award for the project Desire to Win and at the same time received financial support for its completion.
Michaela Režová's latest project works with stop motion animation of sports sculptures. They, as silent witnesses of the previous regime, come to life and tell the emotional story of their author, sculptor Zdeněk Němeček.
The jury spoke of Michaela in its evaluation as a real filmmaker, “someone who shows competence and skill in all aspects of the form: the use of interview, archive footage, sound, image, and motion. The director has cleverly chosen animation to tackle this particular subject matter about the renowned but also somewhat controversial artist. Michaela shows great respect and empathy for the subject and passion for the project, which was indeed needed to finalize this ambitious project.”
Zdeněk Němeček created a number of sculptures with sports themes – a peloton of cyclists, swimmers, or hockey players. His sculptures can be seen as phases of a movement frozen in time, moments that capture the human will, perseverance, and the desire to win.
With the help of an art experiment with Němeček's sculptures, the animated documentary examines the life and work of a now-forgotten artist. It reveals the sculptor, his story, but also the difficult period of the previous regime with the help of interviews with his own family, athletes of the time, and art theorists.
The artistic concept is based on Němeček's work and experiments with it. Just as Zdeněk Němeček's personality in the audio track comes to life through memories, so does his work visually. Through technologies such as 3D scanning or 3D printing in combination with classic procedures of puppetry and 3D animation, the art form of a short image is defined. Technology and production are led by Ondřej Slavík, who has already completed several projects, where he successfully experiments with a combination of classic and modern technologies.
The CEE Animation Forum supports animated productions and related activities in more than 20 countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Its aim in these countries is to raise awareness about the craft and to improve access not only to the wider European market. It also focuses on building a strong professional community, supporting partnerships and projects. The competition aims to support and help with the finalization of promising animated projects. The aim is also to help establish new and necessary contacts in the film industry.
The film Desire to Win was made with the support of the UMPRUM Student Grant Competition.
A big thanks go to Zdeněk Němeček's son Jan and his wife Kornelia.