18 June 2023
Animated feature film Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light was honoured with the Contrechamp Jury Award at the closing ceremony of the 47th Annecy International Animation Film Festival. The feature film debut of director Filip Pošivač made in co-production of Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary was presented at the festival in international premiere at the Contrechamp competition. Moreover, a short film in development titled Period Drama directed by Michaela Mihalyi, presented at this year's Mifa Pitches, was awarded the Open Workshop Prize.
Stop-motion puppet animation feature film debut of director and illustrator Filip Pošivač Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light tells a story of the eleven-year-old Tony, who has a unique feature he was born with - he glows. He spends his days at home in his blanket bunker under the guidance of his controlling parents and dreams about having a friend. Before Christmas, a peculiar girl named Shelly moves into his house and turns his world upside down. Together, they embark on an adventurous search for the origin of the mysterious tufts of darkness which suck the sunshine out of their house. Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light is a film about what it's like to be different, about friendship and imagination, and also about light and darkness.
The film received the Contrechamp Jury Award, which is one of the two prizes awarded in the Contrechamp competition, consisting of 12 feature films this year. The Contrechamp competition in a way complements the Official Competition and it was first introduced in 2018.
Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light is a coproduction of Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary with Pavla Janoušková Kubečková of nutprodukce and Jakub Viktorín of nutprodukcia being the main producers. Czech Television, Gábor Osváth from Filmfabriq, Kouzelná animace and Radio and Television Slovakia are the coproducers. The world sales and festivals are handled by Danish sales company LevelK.
"We are thrilled that a film from the CEE region attracted so much attention in Annecy and resonated not only with the French audience but also with the viewers from other countries including for example Japan. The negotiations about the distribution of the film in several countries are already happening, and so we believe that the film will reach audiences not only in the Czech Republic. The local theatrical release is planned for December of this year", shared after the ceremony producer Pavla Janoušková Kubečková.
The Czech Film Fund provided the support of EUR 622 00 and it was also supported by Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Creative Europe – MEDIA, Eurimages, Zlín Region and National Film Institute Hungary. As a feature film in the making, Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light was presented at various platforms including Cinekid Junior Co-production Forum in 2018, Animarkt Stop Motion Forum 2020 and Cartoon Movie 2022.
Czech animation has been widely present in Annecy this year with six other short films screening in various sections of the festival. Similarly, in 2021 the animated feature film of Michaela Pavlátová called My Sunny Maad also received the Jury Award of the Official Competition.
Moreover, Mifa, the Annecy’s film market, gave floor to the upcoming Czech-Slovak short film project Period Drama within the Mifa Pitches and the professional jury awarded the project with the Open Workshop Prize. The prize consists of 2-6 month residency at The Animation Workshop (Viborg, Denmark) and a 3,000 EUR grant for an animated short film project.
The new short film of director Michaela Mihályi and producer Jakub Rálek of BFILM.cz explores in four chapters the topic of first menstruation, with plot points referencing the biological events that occur during the phases of the menstrual cycle. Menstruation connects the vignettes like a secret thread. Through the humorous gaze of a character, the film analyses menstruation's essential and often baffling presence in life. While commenting on adolescence, gender politics, sexuality, motherhood and Orlando Bloom, the main character takes us on a surreal trip that begins with her first period and continues as she, much like an egg, matures. Michaela Mihályi, together with Dávid Štumpf, stood also behind the successful animated short Sh_t Happens (2019), screened in Venice, Tallinn or Sundance.
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Eleven-year-old Tony has a unique feature he was born with - he glows. His controlling parents try to keep him at home to protect him from the outside world. Before Christmas, a peculiar girl named Shelly moves into his house and…