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One Night in One City awarded at Anifest and with the Grand Prix at Lisbon

Shortly after the end of the International Festival of Animated Films AniFest held in the spa town of TREBON/CZECH REPUBLIC where Jan Balej´s film One Night in One City (Jedne noci v jednom meste) got the best feature-length animated film award, a very pleasIing piece of news came from Portugal – the movie won the Grand Prix Monstra/RTP.

“I am of coursey very happy”, says the director of the awarded movie Mr. Jan Balej. “I am particularly pleased that after the success at the AniFest festival held in a local friendly atmosphere of Trebon, our film was received so warmly and with so much understanding abroad. It was clear that the poetism of the movie is widely conveyable and can be appreciated worldwide which, frankly speaking, is never a safe bet...For me this Grand Prix is a sort of reassurance that it sometimes pays to follow one´s vision and go one´s own way.”, claims Jan Balej.

Jan Balej
One Night in One City (Jedné noci v jednom meste)
The best feature-length film - AniFest 2007
Grand Prix Monstra /RTP – Lisbon 2007
Film Info:
Designer, director:Jan Balej
Screenplay: Jan Balej and Ivan Arsenjev
Cameraman: Miloslav Spala
Animation: Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly
Music: Tadeas Vercak
Czech Republic, 2007, 1 hour 9 min
Technique: puppets
Producer: MAUR film

One Night in One City is a feature-length film consisting of several stories which combines poetic fantasies and humor but also sorrow and nostalgia. The stories are about solitude, about hidden, and often unrealized desire for secret dreams, friendship, presence of someone close, for finding one´s place in this world... Everybody can find his own theme in the movie since there is enough space left for private fantasy. Black humor, the features of thriller, and gothic gloomy atmosphere unexpectedly alternate with poetism and playfulness. The film is full of turning points, ideas, artistic and animation creativity and original gags and is charecterized by admirable profesionalism. What is particularly impressive is the work of the animator - Alfons Mensdorff Pouilly (co-author of the movie Fimfárum II), special mention goes also to the authors of music and sounds. Foreign viewers will be pleased to learn there are no dialogues but the film sure speaks without words.

And what has the producer to say? „The award made us very happy, the news from Lisbon festival speak about ab-solutely fantastic welcome by the audience. We are particularly hopeful about the fact that owing to this success at various festivals the opportunities open for us to start preparing our brand new feature-length movie again by Jan Balej entitled „The Little One” which is based on Hans Christian Andersen´s fairy tale. While presenting this project and the puppets involved in it at the festival in Cannes, and after the screening of “One Night in One City”, we were addressed by several foreign colleagues wishing to join our team, “ says Martin Vandas, the producer of the movie.

The new project is currently being worked out by both creators -Ivan Arsenjev and Jan Balej and its overall screen-play and artwork is being designed. If things work according to the plan the movie The Little One” could be realized in the second half of 2008 and come into distribution in 2009 already. So the lovers of Czech animation have some-thing to look forward again....

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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