C:A:H – Contemporary Animation Horizons 1st edition in 2023
In the first edition of C:A:H the focus was on collage animation. Collage itself works great as a collection of different cultures, and art forms (music, animation, moving pictures etc.) Throughout, the direction of experimental filmmaking has been very important in the conceptualisation and realisation. We were building on this to support the empowerment of young talents and to provide a new approach to replace a commercialised film industry.
In the structure of the workshop series our goal was also to provide in Cyprus and Hungary as many different common platforms as possible for participants to think, experiment and share knowledge:
For the first edition of C:A:H the call was addressed only to Hungarian and Cypriots. Our goal for the future is to open the call for more countries. Last year 5 Cypriot and 5 Hungarian selected applicants were participating in a multiple round one-of-a-kind practice oriented experimental collage animation workshop in 2023. The participants could come from various backgrounds and be active in other fields of visual art outside of animation. We believe that the diversity of approaches of all participants created a fertile ground for creative collaborations. Our aim through these events is to encourage the emerging talents to experiment and extend the boundaries of their practice. This is a common goal which was clear from the very beginning of our cooperation and friendship. We decided that we are going to dedicate the entire programme to make more accessible the joy and a value of collective creation in visual arts for the participants with the workshop itself, and to them and also to the wider audience with a rich list of the accompanying programmes in our festivals.' activities throughout the year of 2023.
The very beginning – PART unnumbered
As the very first event of the programme we announced together in Nicosia with following introduction the plan and the detailed schedule of C:A:H. Yiorgos Tsangaris and Tamás Patrovits welcomed all the visitors who were interested in the future workshops in the Hambis Municipal Printmaking Museum, and created an irregular info day. Primanima brought a retrospective film programme of Hungarian collage animations. The selection was curated by Anna Ida Orosz, film historian and co-worker of the Hungarian National Film Archive, Programme Director of Primanima festival. The screening was followed by a masterclass for the Cypriot audience. The inspiration of the presentation was coming from the analysis of the Hungarian artist's works and animation cut-out techniques. It Is held by an animation filmmaker and master teacher, the C:A:H's tutor, Tamás Patrovits. The public also had the opportunity to see an exhibition of original collage works from him at the museum. It was a wonderful opportunity to invade and welcome the young visitors in such an inspiring place like the well known Hambis Municipal Printmaking Museum.
The focus of the workshops was on cut-out technique and collage animation. Collage itself works great as a collection of different cultures, and art forms (music, animation, fine arts, photography, moving pictures etc.) Throughout, the direction of experimental filmmaking has been very important in the conceptualisation and realisation. We are building on this to support the empowerment of young talent and to provide a new approach to replace a commercialised film industry. The selected young artists were experimenting with their professional tutor Tamás Patrovits, an animation film director, graphic artist, master teacher in Cyprus and in Hungary as well. Therefore, participants were offered the opportunity to stay for both festivals. We believe that the festival's programmes and the experience of experimenting together was an extraordinary inspiring experience and it evolved a positive synergy effect on the creators.
Take a deep breath in the ocean of cut-outs in Collamiou! – PART I
"As the sun sets, the whole village comes alive with films, music, exhibitions and impromptu jam sessions." The selected young artists started experimenting with Tamás Patrovits at the noted village of Cyprus, Salamiou where Countryside Animafest Cyprus takes place every year in August. The festival offers more than a regular film festival experience for its public and its hometown. The events, outside screenings, hidden down narrow cobbled streets, camp community, jam sessions, shades of leafy gardens, street parties are smoothly presenting a different way of thinking about visual arts and art community. The Countryside Animafest Cyprus suggests a very different attitude to the spectators, encouraging the festival audience to enjoy "cinema" and participate in it as a communal celebration, a shared ritual at all of its evenings under the Cypriot night sky, rather than consuming films one after the other.
The workshop participants began to work in the film camp before the festival. First Tamás Patrovits held an introduction about the history of collage in fine art and applied arts, and later coordinated a day when all the participants had the chance to present their previous works to each other in a reason of building bonds and see where to start. Some of the group members were already experienced in animation but some of them were just taking their very first steps in this field of visual art. The idea was to give the participants as much freedom as possible to explore and create, while at the same time ensuring that they receive productive criticism and inspirational support from their mentor.
They were working on their individual projects during the days and nights while enjoying the festival's events, screenings and concerts. Also dedicated events were provided only for them like exploring the island with the Cypriot team, getting a guided presentation in printmaking at the Hambis Municipal Printmaking Museum from Yiorgos Tsangaris, the well known Cypriot graphic artist and the director of the museum, and getting a private lecture at the film camp by Chris Robinson, Canadian animation film historian, director of Ottawa International Animation Festival about the history of collage animation following his freshly published book, “Earmarked for Collision – A Highly Biased Tour of Collage Animation”. The festival also presented very up beating performances of video-music performances on the night streets of Salamiou where they could get into touch with different genres of how to use and dedicated animation without thinking about making a film, and they could also easily bump into particular day and night open exhibitions in any corners, and life music in the coffee shops or the grand stage of Animafest Cyprus.
At the end of the festival the C:A:H programme was introduced by Yiorgos Tsangaris, festival director to the audience, and the workshopers’ first steps in collage were debuted on the big screen at the award ceremony.
Marching on paper paths in Dadaörs! – PART II
The team continued its work at Primanima with the mentoring of Tamás Patrovits. At Primanima's festival venue they could dig deep down in the cut-out boxes and start to work together in 3-4 person groups in their pieces. The participants also built an impromptu sound design room in order to be able to work on their films' sound design and get into a deeper level of collective creation. Day by day the participants were sharing the creative space and developing their projects in small groups.
After the preparation they invaded the Major’s exhibition space and made their first steps in putting everything together to install then present an audiovisual installation for the audience of Primanima festival. The aim of the workshop was also to think of animation not just as film, but as "visual art in motion", brought to life in an exhibition space. The installation at the Major was a collective cinema which was focusing on the dynamism of visual and sound effects involving recycled and transformed objects.
Beside the long days in the BABtér’s graphic and animation studio all the participants were more than welcomed to the programmes of Primanima. The festival offered numerous screenings and a wide range of industry programmes in animation and visual arts. Since the beginning the goal of Primanima festival is to provide an international professional platform for young animation filmmakers, visual artists and art students to debut their first or even their very first pieces in the Young Directors Competition Programme. However Primanima is not only this, the festival also aims to add more and more opportunity to its vivid and young professional audience to see inspiring gems of experienced filmmakers in animation in the Masters Competition Programme, and push the boundaries of animation filmmaking in Silhouettes Competition Programme with screening many pieces dedicated to experimentation (experimenting with storytelling, with techniques, with themes, with any aspect of animation). For a workshoper this is something that must interfere and let the most visual experience float in front of their eyes during the festival days.
In the Primanima Academy industry event series they also had access to be a part of extraordinary masterclasses of experts, like Alexander Gratzer’s talk and screening when he shared many details about the process of his works and could enter the audience behind the curtains of his special solo methods in animation filmmaking, and like Joseph Wallace’s thought provoking masterclass about stop-motion animation and his special approach to it in his films. The participants had the chance to be part of all the discussions and broaden their mind in animation filmmaking beside the workshop itself due to Primanima.
At the end of the festival the workshopers presented their works at the award ceremony and shared their thoughts and impressions about the entire programme of C:A:H in an “aftermovie”.