/7.00 p.m. – The Self-Portraits of Animation Authors: Ferenc Rofusz

7.00 p.m. – The Self-Portraits of Animation Authors: Ferenc Rofusz

Rotunda Cinema
ul. Oleandry 1, 30-060 Kraków
Large Screening Room

27th November (Wednesday)
7.00 p.m.

Ferenc Rofusz_s
Born in Hungary in 1946. He started his career in 1963 as an assistant director at Pannonia Studio in Budapest, where he climbed the career ladder from assistant to director, collaborating with, among others, our festival`s last year`s guest Marcell Jankovics. In 1980, Rofusz made The Fly (A Légy), a film awarded an Oscar the following year. This film revealed a constant feature of Rofusz`s work, namely the adoption of a film`s protagonist`s subjective point of view. Sometimes it may be a fly (The Fly), some other time – an apple (Gravitáció/Gravity, 1983), a convict facing the firing squad (Deadlock, 1982) or, finally, the director himself (Ticket, 2011).

The key influence on the artist`s career was exerted by winning universal recognition for his film The Fly. The original version of the film had a very clear political message, (similarly to Deadlock, forbidden by the censorship). Rofusz was denied permission to go to Los Angeles and did not attend the Academy Awards ceremony. He was replaced by István Dósai, the head of Hungarofilm, a government agency. Dósai thanked shortly: “I am not Rofusz, I am terribly sorry. Our director received the invitation too late. I would like to thank you on his behalf. And one more thing: even a short film can be great.” The audience and the Academy members were outraged that they did not know who had been given the award. Rofusz was keeping trace of the ceremony by listening to the Hungarian Radio Free Europe. As he later described it, at that very moment he had been “the saddest and the most disappointed man.” The director received his Oscar only some time later.

In 1984 Rofusz left for West Germany in order to make animations for television. Four years later he was invited to collaborate with the Nelvana Ltd. animation studio – the biggest film studio in Canada. The director moved there with his family. In his new workplace he won recognition and was offered good working conditions. He was creative and learned a lot during that period. Among others, he worked on a Toyota advertisement and on The rad warrior campaign, which was aimed at drawing attention to accidents caused by cyclists. The latter proved to be a huge success and won an award for the advertisement of the year. The artist does not feel regretful about that period, also because those commissions “gave him huge opportunities, and enabled him to make use of various styles and new technical potential which he found exciting.”

With time he established his own studio, Creative Director of Super Fly Films Inc., where within many years more than sixty advertisements and projects have been made, with the help of both traditional technologies as well as computer animation. However, technology was developing very fast and manual work was soon replaced by machines. In mid 1990s his job became so much dominated by computers that he would have been forced to invest at least half a million dollars to stay in the market. In the end he made the decision to close his studio.

His latest works include, among others, Cease Fire ! (Tüzet szüntess!, 2003), A Dog’s Life (2005) and Ticket (2011). Rofusz at present lives in Budapest, where he teaches and collaborates on making animated films.

A LÉGY / MUCHA / THE FLY, scen./sc.: Áron Sipos, reż./dir.: Ferenc Rofusz, zdj./ph.: Zoltán Bacsó, Prod.: Ferenc Rofusz, Węgry/Hungary, 1980, 3’20”, anim.

A story about the last three minutes of an insect`s life from its own perspective. The film opens with the title fly`s flight through a garden, stopping for only a few seconds to look at its own shadow on a tree. The fly enters a house, where it is chased after through the living room, the study and up the stairs. In the last seconds of the film we can see the world through the eyes of the dead fly, pinned and put in an insect display case.

DEADLOCK / MARTWY PUNKT, scen./sc., reż./dir.: Ferenc Rofusz, zdj./ph.: Zoltán Bacsó, József Gujdár, Prod.: Studio Pannonia, Węgry, 1982, 3’26”, anim.

Deadlock combines the elements of feature and animated film. It is about last three minutes of the protagonist`s life before he faces an armed prison squad. Once again Rofusz expresses his fascination for the last moments in one’s life. Before the protagonist is executed, he glances down at his shoes and at a fly, which accompanies him in his last moments. This forbidden film was the last film made by Rofusz for the state Hungarian Pannonia animation studio.

GRAVITÁCIÓ / GRAVITY, scen./sc., reż./dir.: Ferenc Rofusz, zdj./ph.: Zoltán Bacsó, Węgry/Hungary, 1983, 2’54”, anim.

An apple tries to fall down from a tree; its efforts are being observed by its companions. Gravity illustrates a legend behind the discovery of Newton`s law, and focuses on determination and frustration resulting from remaining in one point. The apple can fall as far from the tree as the laws of nature will allow it, however, it does not mean that it has to remain on one and the same branch. Nevertheless, a step towards freedom brings serious risk.

TÜZET SZÜNTESS! / CEASEFIRE, scen./sc.:Elizabeth Richards, reż./dir.: Ferenc Rofusz, muz./mus.: Éry Balázs, Węgry/Hungary, 2003, 8’23”, anim.

Ceasefire presents a tragedy of a young boy living in a war zone, in a place where there is no hope. This film is a warning. Such a story could happen anywhere – in the states of the former Yugoslavia, in Hungary, or in Iraq.

DOG’S LIFE, scen./sc.: Tamás Fehér, reż./dir.: Ferenc Rofusz, zdj./ph.: László Fazekas, muz./mus.: Attila Pacsay, Węgry/Hungary, 2005, 11’25’, anim.

A symbolic story showing to what extent a director`s life is in the hands of film producers.

TICKET / BILET, scen./sc.; reż./dir.: Ferenc Rofusz, muz./mus.: DJ Bootsie, Węgry/Hungary, 2011, 10’, anim.

Ticket is a story about human life, from birth until death, presented from an individual`s own perspective. Our life consists of a sequence of events and activities which make us alive. Rofusz stresses that it is his first film without any political overtones.

HOPPI (zwiastun), scen./sc.; reż./dir.: Ferenc Rofusz, Węgry/Hungary, 45”, anim.

A series of animations about elves responsible for various holidays such as birthdays, Christmas or Easter. The episode about birthdays was the demo film. The animations are designed for children between 6-7, who can learn from them about traditions and the meaning of given holidays. Contrary to modern popular cartoons, this series of films focuses on learning processes and positive models to follow.

SHOWREEL, 2012, 6’22”

A selection of various demo works by Rofusz, presenting a wide scope of his artistic output, talent and extraordinary visual works, from advertisements to the Oscar-winning short animated film.