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Polish project Astra wins the top prize at ANIMARKT


- The 2018 edition of the Łódź-based stop-motion forum welcomed 15 projects from all over the world

Polish project Astra wins the top prize at ANIMARKT
The winners of the ANIMARKT Stop Motion Forum pitching session (© Tomasz Kałużny)

Astra, directed by Michał Łubiński, has taken home the top prize from the ANIMARKT Stop Motion Forum: €14,000 of in-kind contributions from the Audiovisual Technology Center (CeTa). “The story has a lot of heart, and the pitch was excellent, very complete and well organised. The character design was nicely presented and researched. Fantastic execution,” wrote the jury – comprising Jean Thoren, Edwina Liard and Jacek Spychalski – in their verdict. Second prize (another CeTa in-kind contribution, this time of €9,300) went to Forbidden Love by Cynthia Levitan, co-produced by Lithuania and Portugal.

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“This year’s edition of the ANIMARKT pitching session welcomed projects from almost everywhere around the globe – not only Central and Eastern European countries, but also from Mexico, Argentina and Chile,” says Agnieszka Kowalewska, of Momakin, the Łódź-based company that organises the event. She adds, “I’d like to underline that we are very proud to invite projects from the established studios as well as those by independent artists. They all have equal opportunities.”

Asked about this year’s selection, Kowalewska noted that most of the projects either related to the personal stories of the filmmakers or tackled current social issues. “The pitches wouldn’t have been as impeccable as they were if it weren’t for the help that the presenters got from the tutors, Nancy Denney-Phelps and Wim Vanacker, who worked with them right up to the last minute,” she concluded. 

Here is the full list of award winners at the event:

First Prize (Audiovisual Technology Center in-kind contribution worth €14,000)
Astra - Michał Łubiński (Poland)

Second Prize (Audiovisual Technology Center in-kind contribution worth €9,300)
Forbidden Love - Cynthia Levitan (Lithuania/Portugal) 

Dragonframe 4 Program Licence and Bluetooth Controller
Crab - Piotr Chmielewski (Czech Republic/Poland) 

Industry Accreditation for Mifa 2019 in Annecy
Papo & Pepe - Viktoria Filmako (Ukraine) 

Ale Kino+ Special Award
Astra - Michał Łubiński
Crab - Piotr Chmielewski
Prime Cuts - Marnik Loysen (UK)

Sound Post-production Services at Playade Sound Studio
Incoherence - Quentin Haberham (Netherlands)

Dito Gear Special Award
Prime Cuts - Marnik Loysen 

One-year Subscription to FestivalWhizz
Noah's Tree - Péter Vácz (Hungary)

Special Mention
See You Soon - Jennifer Skarbnik Lopez (Mexico/Poland) 

The programme of the ANIMARKT Stop Motion Forum included, among others, master classes led by Angela Poschet, Alvaro Ceppi and Barry JC Purves, a one-day conference on the presence of stop-motion animation in adverts and video games, as well as networking sessions. The event took place in Łódź from 8-13 October and was organised in partnership with EC1 Łódź – City of Culture and the Łódź Film Commission. It was co-funded by the International Visegrad Fund, the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and the Polish Film Institute.

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