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Czech Animation Day

East Los Angeles College, Cinema Without Borders Foundation and Consulate General of Czech Republic Los Angeles present the Eight Edition of ELAC International Animation Day dedicated to the Czech Animation on Saturday April 15th from 12:30 PM to 4 PM. Screenings will be held at East Los Angeles College, located at 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754., Building S1 Screening Room 112. Free parking will be available in Structure 4. On corner of W Floral Drive and Collegian Avenue.

ELAC Czech Animation Day is open to public based on advance online reservation.

Please reserve your seat and RSVP at rsvpanim@gmail.com

The goal of the ELAC International Animation Festival is to give an in-depth and entertaining introduction to contemporary international animation. Screenings of short animated films from around the world, analyses and Q&A’s with a panel of well-known animation experts, and a tribute to an international animation artist working in the U.S. animation industry are all part of the festival program.

12:30 PM Reception with light refreshments
01:15 PM Opening Remarks by Linda Kallan, Chair of Art Department at ELAC and co-director of the festival, Bijan Tehrani and Editor in Chief of Cinema Without Borders and director of the Festival and Amb. Jaroslav Olša, Jr., Consul General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles.
01:25 PM Screening of Short Animated Films from Czech Republic
02: 25 PM Panel discussion and Q & A. Panel members are Sarah Baisley, Rosa Farre, Ramin Zahed ,and Mike Libonati
03.05 PMTribute to a Legendary Animation Artist: Jorge Gutierrez
03:35 PM – SPOTLIGHT –  ŘEČI, ŘEČI, ŘEČI, / WORDS, WORDS, WORDS by Ms. Michaela Pavlátová
4:00 PM Tribute to a Legendary Czech Animation Artist; Gene Deitch
4:30PM: Closing remarks

More information on this feast are here.

Czech Short Animation Selection:
The Springman and SS (Pérák a SS) (1946) 13 mi, Dir. Jiří Brdečka, Jiří Trnka,
A chimney sweep disguises as a Spring-heeled Jack-like figure during the Nazi occupation. The heroic and mischievous black-clad “Springer,” with a mask fashioned out of a sock and defying the curfew, is capable of performing fantastic leaps due to having couch springs attached to his shoes. He taunts the occupying German army sentries and the Gestapo before escaping in a surrealistic, slapstick chase across the darkened city  The film competed at the 1944 Cannes Film Festival.

Antidarwin (1969) 7 min dir. Břetislav Pojar
A tragicomic paraphrase of Darwin’s theory of evolution. The rain worm evolves into man – Homo Sapiens – and is able to destroy both himself and his fellows in a very perfect way. Later he turns back into a rain worm which happily disappears into its safe hole in the ground.

The Status Report on Civilization (Zpráva o stavu civilizace) (1981) 8 min, dir. Josef Hekrdla, Vladimír Jiránek
A statement on the current state of technology in modern civilization as succinctly expressed by cartoonist Vladimír Jiránek.\


The Vanished World of Gloves (Zaniklý svět rukavic) (1982) 17 min, dir. Jiří Bárta
Winner of several prizes at the 1983 Oberhausen Film Festival, Jiří Barta’s highly original burlesque of film history substitutes gloves for the actors who might wear them. In a suggestive sequence of scenes the glove – actors manage to paraphrase seven film genres in fifteen minutes, starting with a Chaplin-like chase and finishing in a temporary sci-fi horror. The film with its state-of-the-art form and fantasy is representative of the post-Trnka period of the Czech puppet pictures and has been awarded a number of world prizes. This absolutely extraordinary picture is one of the most successful Czech animated pictures and it is a masterpiece of Czech and world animation. Using an array of gloves in different styles and from different historical periods, the film is a short history of the cinema.

Daughter (Dcera) (2019) 15 min – Directed by: Daria Kashcheeva
A girl who was hurt as a child keeps the memory of it alive. Having lacked love and empathy from her father in the past, she is not able to share her feelings with him. She can’t get rid of the painful memories taking her back to the day when she brought home a dead little bird and her father gave her no support. Sometimes it’s too hard to open your feelings and share it with a loved one. Sometimes it’s too late. Let your painful memory fly away like a free little bird.

Panel Discussion – Analyzing the films screened and answering audiences questions
Panel Members:
Sarah Baisley
Sarah Baisley served as editor in chief of AWN, 2003 to 2007. In charge of all content creation for popular monthly professional online magazine, three weekly newsletters and daily online news service serving the animation and visual effects industries worldwide (155 countries). Previously editor in chief of Animation Magazine for five years, she is a specialist in animation publicity and journalism and is freelancing now in the wine industry as a journalist and marketing specialist. She headed publicity at Hanna-Barbara, Ruby-Spears, Southern Star and Film Roman studios during the previous 17 years of her career. She is founding member of Women in Animation. She also is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and participates on panels concerning topics about the animation and visual effects industries. Currently she is a retailer and journalist about wine and spirits.

Rosa Farre
Rosa Farre is a VFX Technical Director, animator and educator with many years of experience in both production and education. She has been at the forefront of the computer graphics industry since its inception. She holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. As a Technical Director, she has supervised a range of projects for such platforms as feature films, park rides, broadcast and games, and has developed technical pipelines, designed software solutions and supervised productions teams. As an educator, she has been a faculty member of several higher-end institutions and has developed well-rounded curriculum for emerging 3D artists preparing to enter the production field. Currently as one of the partners of ElektraShock, she is responsible for developing technical pipelines and supervising the production process.

Mike Libonati
Mike has been an animation and visual effects instructor for over 15 years. His students have had their work presented at Siggraph, CTN Animation Expo and various film festivals throughout the country. In addition to teaching, Mike works in 2D and 3D development in Los Angeles for various clients for both film and television including projects for Disney, Universal and Fox. Mike has also worked on renderings for architectural lighting design on projects such as the Coex Mall in Korea, Asia’s largest underground mall, and Tesla Motor Company in Los Angeles. Mike has a Master’s Degree from CalArts in Experimental Animation. He currently teaches animation at ELAC. Mike Libonati is an advisor to the International Animation events and screenings, working alongside Bijan Tehrani on organizing these series since 2005.

Ramin Zahed is an LA-based author and journalist who specializes in animation, vfx and indie films. He is the Editor in Chief of Animation Magazine and has written for Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, Emmy magazine, Sight and Sound and others. Among his recent books are The Art of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, The Art of My Father’s Dragon, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, The Art of Love, Death + Robots, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Art of the Movie and The Art of Klaus.

TRIBUTE to a Legendary Animation Artist: Jorge Gutierrez
Ramin Zahed, an LA-based author and journalist who specializes in animation, talks about Jorge Gutierrez and his work. This introduction will be followed by screening of a collage of scenes from different films by Jorge Gutierrez. After screening of the film, Ramin Zahedi and Bijan Tehrani present MOZAIK Bridging The Borders award for Life Achievements in the field of Animation to Mr. Jorge Gutierrez.

Jorge R. Gutierrez, the Emmy and Annie Award-winning artist, is a Mexican animator, painter, voice actor, writer and director.  CalArts Experimental Animation BFA & MFA graduate, Gutierrez has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his love affair with Mexican pop and folk culture.

Gutierrez was Director & Co-Writer of the Guillermo del Toro produced animated feature The Book of Life, which earned him a 2014 Golden Globe Award nomination. Along with his wife and muse, Sandra Equihua, they created the multiple Emmy Award-winning animated series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon. Gutierrez most recently created, wrote, and directed the event series Maya and the Three for Netflix which won 2 Annie Awards, and was nominated for 5 Emmys. Gutierrez is currently developing and writing/directing a Netflix animated feature named I, Chihuahua with Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias.

Making of ŘEČI, ŘEČI, ŘEČI, / WORDS, WORDS, WORDS by Ms. Michaela Pavlátova
In this special presentation part of the program, first we screen WORDS, WORDS, WORDS  a short animated film by Ms. Michaela Palatova, then she will address the audience in a video message and goes through the process of making WORDS, WORDS, WORDS

In a cafe, people talk, their words become expresively-shaped balloons. An older waiter tries to connect with a young woman who’s reading. She brushes him off, but gets into an animated and romantic conversation with a young man. A dog goes from table to table drinking beer and wine when people aren’t looking. Older men talk about sexual conquests until one of their wives interrupts them. The young couple argues; he starts to leave, she pleads, he leaves anyway. The waiter tries to help. Old guys talk until they nod off. Women chat. Later, as the waiter cleans up, the finds the young woman’s book. He sighs, the dog sleeps it off.

Michaela Pavlátová is a director of animation films from the Czech Republic. Her short animation films (Words, words, words, Repete, Tram) have received numerous awards at international film festivals including an Oscar nomination, Annecy Cristal, Golden Bear in Berlinale, Grand Prix at the International Animation Festival Hiroshima. In 2021 she finished a feature animation film My Sunny Maad, which won César in 2023, awards in Annecy, Tokyo, Zagreb, Guadalajara, etc. and was nominated for Golden Globes 2022. Besides animation, Michaela also directed live action films Nevěrné hry / Faithless games (2004) and Děti noci /Night owls awarded in San Sebastian and Karlovy Vary. She is a chair of an Animation Department at FAMU Prague.

Tribute to a Legend: Gene Deitch, 
After screening of a short animation by Gene Deitch, John Caulkins  talks about his like and work

Gene Deitch
In a career spanning an incredible 70+ years, Gene Deitch (1924-2020) counts among the most accomplished illustrators, cartoonists and animation directors of all time.

Deitch won an Academy Award for his short animated film Munro in 1961 and was the recipient in 2003 of the Annie Awards Winsor McKay award by ASIFA-Hollywood for lifetime achievement.

Born in Chicago, Deitch spent his youth in Los Angeles where he was influenced by monster movies as well as new technologies in filmmaking. A skilled draftsman, Deitch served in World War ll drawing aircraft blueprints, then applied his talents to artwork in the jazz magazine The Record Changer.

Moving later to New York, Deitch collaborated with the pioneers of American animation at UPA, then later became creative director at Terrytoons.

Among the famous characters Deitch created were Tom Terrific and Clint Clobber. Continuing his work as a comic strip artist, he had syndicated The Real Great Adventures of Terr’ble Thompson. Deitch also created many memorable television ads in this era.

Beloved for his humor, Deitch also had a strong interest in music and made audio recordings of his good friend Pete Seeger and John Lee Hooker.

The great pivot in Deitch’s life came in 1959 when he accepted an assignment for Rembrandt Films to make animated films in Czechoslovakia, for export. He fell in love with the studio manager, and married Zdenka, the subject of his classic memoir For the Love of Prague which recounts his unique status as a working American film director behind the Iron Curtain.

Deitch may be best known for the “secret” series of Tom and Jerry cartoons that he directed with a Czech team at Barrandov Studios. He also directed animated versions of illustrated storybooks by Maurice Sendak, Crockett Johnson, Tomi Ungerer and other famous authors while employed by Weston Woods Scholastic. He made an animated version of The Hobbit and even created storyboards for Charlotte’s Web for its author E.B. White.

With his vast body of work, Deitch continued making films into his 90’s, but died suddenly in 2020.

Greatly admired throughout the animation community worldwide, Deitch remains an important figure in the Czech Republic to this day. The country was made richer by his great artistic influence on so many generations of Czech animators. A true innovator and a true legend.

John Caulkins is an independent producer who has worked in the fields of festivals, documentary, archives, film distribution and publishing. He published the 6th edition of For the Love of Prague memoirs of the legendary animator and director Gene Deitch.

He lived previously in the Czech Republic and his many film credits as producer include the award winning 2011 Czech animation film Alois Nebel directed by Tomas Lunak.