04 July 2023
For the third year in a row, a Czech short film will compete in the prestigious Pardi di domani section of the Locarno Film Festival. This year it is the animated film by Pavla Baštanová entitled About a Cow, a Czech Republic-Switzerland co-production.
About a Cow - an imaginative and playful collage of images from the life of cows - pays tribute to these animals who have been part of our civilization for thousands of years, and although humans have not always treated them the best, they have retained their patience and forbearance. The visually rich images portray the cow as a sensitive creature worthy of admiration. The film uses 2D animation technique and collage.
The director, Pavla Baštanová, an animator, book-illustrator, and artist, is involved in both commercial and artistic projects: films, commercials, graphics and illustrations for books and magazines, educational clips for children. She wants her film to be an impulse to think about the life of an animal – in this case a cow – to see each creature as a complex, living being, not just as part of our human economy. However, the film is not only critical, but it also contains optimistic images from the life of cows, who are closely connected to people. With its stylized poetry, playfulness and humor, the film gives hope for a better world.
Produced by Czech producer MAUR film and co-produced by Swiss Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion, About a Cow was supported by the Czech Film Fund in both development and production scheme by 80 000 EUR in total.
Czech cinema in general has done well at recent editions of the prestigious Locarno Film Festival (August 2 – 12, 2023) - Czech documentary Brotherhood by Francesco Montagner in 2021 and Tereza Nvotová's fiction feature Nightsiren last year both won the Golden Leopard in the Cineasti del presente competition, dedicated to emerging directors and their first and second feature films.
The Pardi di domani (Leopards of Tomorrow) section of the festival, on the other hand, focuses on experimental and formally innovative short and medium-length works. The section consists of three competitions: Concorso internazionale, with films by emerging filmmakers from all over the world; Concorso nazionale for Swiss productions, and Concorso Corti d’autore, with short works by established directors. After avant-garde-inspired Asterión by Francesco Monagner last year, and Diana Cam Van Nguyen´s autobiographical short Love, Dad in 2021, which were both competing in Concorso internazionale, About a Cow will be – thanks to its Swiss co-producer – part of the national competition and therefore also eligible for the Best Swiss Newcomer Award providing equipment and services offered by Cinegrell, Freestudios and Taurus Studio.
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