27th November (Wednesday)
Last year, the Animation Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow celebrated 55 years of its operations. This round anniversary was related to the date of its founding by prof. Kazimierz Urbański, a restless experimenter who treated animation as “cineplastics.” Among higher education institutions, the Studio was the first of its kind in Poland – its establishment is considered the beginning of artistic education in the field of animation.
The years 1981-2013 mark the age of prof. Jerzy Kucia and his students.
When he took the helm of the Studio, Kucia had to steer it through a difficult time of martial law and political transformation. Facing the crisis of financing film projects, even numerous professional filmmakers were helpless, and students, deprived of a chance for a début, were doomed for artistic never never land. This had a devastating consequence in two lost generations of promising young animators, including the students of Jerzy Kucia.
In this new situation, the professor deemed it necessary to change the Animation Studio into an independent unit, capable of producing début-quality graduate films.
In 1995, the Studio moved from Humberta street to Karmelicka 16 street, to the centre of the old Krakow, gaining space and freedom for students to work. It was also gradually supplied with new equipment to keep up with new technologies. Today, the Animation Studio is well-equipped, with HD and 4K quality, and all it needs is a sound studio. Its popularity is rising: several dozen people, including foreigners, enrol at the Studio each year.
When in 2003 the IFF Etiuda&Anima introduced the prize for the outstanding artist combining artistic work with teaching activity, its first recipient was prof. Jerzy Kucia, described by critics as the “Bresson of animation.” On the one hand, he is an established artist (just consider the world reception of Tuning of Instruments (Strojenie Instrumentów )), still surprising everyone with his creativity, which is confirmed by his latest work – Fugue for Cello, Trumpet and Landscape (Fuga na wiolonczelę, trąbkę i pejzaż). On the other – he is a devoted and efficient teacher of generations of students. Films made in the Animation Studio have been shown at Polish and international festivals for years, being strong contenders for individual awards, a fact proven by numerous prizes. They have also been presented collectively, in various configurations, in competitions and during retrospectives (e.g. among many other awards, in 2008 the Studio won a prize for the best set of student films at the prestigious Zagreb festival.)
Usually, such presentations led to the question: How can your films be reached? Where can they be seen? Similar requests are voiced by foreign guests – teachers and students who are visiting the Studio.
The idea to make a DVD box – to leave a tangible trace of the efforts of generations of artists from Krakow – was an answer to such demand. 6 DVDs contain a selection of films from a vast archive of the Studio’s library. The films were chosen according to their availability – the collection at the Studio’s disposal contains mainly films from the years 1981-2013.
In “Rotunda” we will see various films – from the first, simple workshop exercises, e.g. Self-Portrait (Autoportret) and Kolarze (Cyclists) from the beginning of 1980s, to short films of recent graduates. The films present a great variety of techniques, styles, “handwriting.” Next to Stupajkop, a pastiche – introvert Hairdresser (Fryzjer) made in spatial animation technique; next to pastel-like, personal impression Shadows (Cienie) – personal interpretation of Jungian concepts in monochromatic Imago.
The screening is only a small sample – one could create similarly valuable collections by reaching into the archives of the Studio.
STUPAJKOP 1, scen./sc., reż./dir.: Andrzej Zaręba, zdj./ph.: Dariusz Tokarczyk, muz./mus.: Marek Wilczyński, prod.: ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 1994, 9′, anim.
KOLARZE, reż./dir.: Wojciech Wrześniak, prod.: ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2’26”, anim.
CAŁY TEN SZMAL, reż./dir.: Tomasz Głuc, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 1999, 2’46”, anim.
AUTOPORTRET, reż./dir.: Tamara Berdowska, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland,1’12”, anim.
FRYZJER, reż./dir.: Robert Sowa , prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 1997, 5’27”, anim.
PŁASZCZ, reż./dir.: Ewa Grzesiak, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2009, 5’29”, anim.
REF, reż./dir.: Łukasz Pazera, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2004, 3’21”, anim.
SUFLER, reż./dir.: Przemysław Świda, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2003, 7’30”, anim.
WIOSNA, reż./dir.: Wojciech Sobczyk, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 1999, 7’27”, anim.
PO JABŁKACH, reż./dir.: Marta Pajek, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2004, 5’23”, anim.
CIENIE, reż./dir.: Edyta Turczanik, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2000, 7’28”, anim.
IMAGO, reż./dir.: Magdalena Piwowarczyk, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2003, 2’56”, anim.
CHARON TAXI, reż./dir.: Joanna Wójcik, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2009, 11’33”, anim.
KTO BY POMYSLAŁ, reż./dir.: Ewa Borysewicz, prod. ASP Kraków, Pracownia Filmu Animowanego, Polska/Poland, 2009, 10;37”, anim.