Weeds by Pola Kazak selected for La Cinef

23 April 2024

Czech Film Short Films

Weeds by Pola Kazak selected for La Cinef

Czech Film Short Films

Weeds by Pola Kazak selected for La Cinef


La Cinef, a segment of the Festival de Cannes Official Selection dedicated to recognizing promising new directors, selected Pola Kazak's animated graduation film Weeds, which imaginatively utilizes the oil painting on glass technique to transport viewers into the colorful world of flowers and plants.

La Cinef (formerly known as La Cinéfondation), founded in 1998 to seek out young film talents and dedicated exclusively to student films, selects short and medium-length films (fiction and animated alike) from over 2,000 entries submitted by film schools worldwide.

Czech films appear regularly in this selection, with the biggest success stories so far being the first prize for Zuzana Kirchnerová's Baba in 2009 and the third prize for Pandas by Matúš Vizár in 2013. Last year's selection, for example, featured two films at once – Eighth Day by Petr Pylypčuk and Electra by Daria Kashcheeva, who is currently among the six international attendees of Cannes' La Résidence, a personalized program for the development of film scripts (more about it here).


In Weeds, a Russian-born animator anddirector Pola Kazak, whose previous short film Toro! (2015) won the main prize at the international animation festival ANIMAcom in Bilbao, Spain, employs a distinctive technique of oil painting on glass to convey an allegorical tale without dialogue (with a great variety of plant life featured in it). The story revolves around a beautifully maintained garden set in a remote area dominated by overgrown weeds. Here, the Gardener battles a severe storm that disperses invasive seeds, challenging nature's overwhelming forces while her fear and resolve push her to extreme measures.

Kazak's film is produced by highly prolific Czech production outfit MAUR film, which boasts a handful of animated films, including Weeds, at the upcoming edition of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival (find out more in the dedicated article here) and co-produced by The Film Academy of Miroslav Ondricek in Pisek (FAMO), Kazak's alma mater. The film also received support from the Czech Film Fund.

The 2024 edition of the Festival de Cannes runs from May 14 to 25.


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A gardener tends a small garden in a field overgrown with weeds. What begins as an innocent encounter turns into a fight for survival and an attempt to preserve the existing world at any cost.


Polina Kazak





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