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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic / Slovakia / France / Slovenia

EXCLUSIVE: Stop-motion feature Of Unwanted Things and People secures French funding and support from Czech Television


- The stories of Czech author Arnošt Goldflam will come to life in a four-country collaboration with one director from each country attached to helm a part of the portmanteau film

EXCLUSIVE: Stop-motion feature Of Unwanted Things and People secures French funding and support from Czech Television
Of Unwanted Things and People by David Súkup, Leon Vidmar, Jean-Claude Rozec and Martin Smatana (© MAUR Film)

The puppet stop-motion portmanteau film Of Unwanted Things and People has received production support of €210,000 from the Bretagne Cinéma regional fund (after receiving €30,000 worth of international co-development support last year). In addition, the new local TVR Tempo fund created by Rennes Metropole as part of the recovery plan for cultural economic players has supported the film with a €50,000 pre-purchase by local television station TVR. “This show of confidence by Breton partners underlines their strong attachment to stop-motion animation, a technique that has driven the development of animated cinema in Brittany for 30 years,” says Jean-François Le Corre, CEO of production outfit Vivement Lundi!. Czech Television has also confirmed its participation as a co-producer, and national broadcaster RTV Slovenia has done likewise.

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The story follows an elderly writer who had children at an older age and now wonders: what if he is no longer around when they grow up? He decides to write stories for them – one about a book that can take the reader back in time, one about a hut where monsters used to live, one about two orphans and their aunt who turns into a cat, and one about a man who becomes king of the birds. The film is based on the stories of Czech artist Arnošt Goldflam, which are recognisable for their awkwardness, magical realism and satirical exaggeration.

The four interconnected stories will be directed by a quartet of directors, each hailing from one of the co-production countries. Animator and director David Súkup (Fimfarum – Third Time Lucky) will be directing on the Czech side (see the interview), Leon Vidmar (Farewell) on the Slovenian side, Jean-Claude Rozec (The House of Dust, Specky Four-Eyes) joins the team for France, and Martin Smatana, who rose to prominence with his award-winning short The Kite, will represent Slovakia.

Of Unwanted Things and People will be a film that speaks to children and adult viewers, offering families a shared experience: the ordinary joy of a narrative and the enchantment of this magically miraculous world,” said Czech producer Martin Vandas, of MAUR Film, which is co-producing the Annecy competition title The Crossing [+see also:
film review
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(see the article). The production process in the Czech Republic has already wrapped, while Slovakia and Slovenia are planning to go into production in September 2021. The French part remains at the pre-production stage, with production itself expected to unfold in January 2022.

Of Unwanted Things and People is being produced by MAUR Film (Czech Republic), Artichoke (Slovakia), ZVVIKS (Slovenia) and Vivement Lundi! (France). The film was supported by Creative Europe – MEDIA, the Czech Film Fund, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Slovenian Film Centre, Bretagne Cinéma and TVR Tempo, and received the Eurimages Co-production Development Award at Cartoon Movie 2019 (see the news). The theatrical release is scheduled for 2023, with all co-production territories already secured. The film does not yet have a sales agent.

You can watch the trailer for the movie below:

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