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Filmmakers from Eastern Europe have played a crucial role in the history of French animation, which is one of the longest and richest in the world.
From the pioneers who invented techniques and brought the medium popular and critical recognition to the development of film festivals and magazines, state and regional production support and its many prestigious schools, France has become an animation power house.
Although filmmakers from Eastern Europe have been few, their talents brought a fresh and different approach to French animation.
Alexandre Alexeieff, Ladislas Starewitch and Bogdan Zoubowitch moved to France because they couldn't stand the Bolshevik regime in Russia, while Arcady Brachlianoff, Berthold Bartosch and Hajdú Imre (Jean Image) followed their dreams of wanting to become important artists.
Some Polish filmmakers like Walerian Borowczyk, Jan Lenica and Piotr Kamler, Serbian Borislav Šajtinac and Hungarian Péter Földes fleed the Communist system with die-hard artistic motivations.
In the last decade, using national and regional funds, French producers have started co-producing with talented Eastern European artists once again – the first had been in 1973 for René Laloux's cult animated feature Fantastic Planet.
So have a taste of this little sampler of shorts made by these artists from the East to discover their ecclectic artistry.
A programme by Igor Prassel, Animateka International Animated Film Festival