Animation film festival Animated Dreams jury
Chris J. Robinson - Canada
Chris J. Robinson is the man behind the by-line Animation Pimp in Animation World Magazine. He rose to wider acclaim as the artistic director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Robinson has called Estonian animation directors "the rock stars of world festival animation". To quote Janno Põldma: "The names Pärn, Raamat, Tuganov and Kütt mean as much to Robinson as do the legendary Ottawa Senators hockey stars." And all this by sheer coincidence -when Robinson as a young festival director saw Priit Pärn and Janno Põldma’s film "1895" for the first time at the 1996 Stuttgart festival and got to know Estonian ironic-surreal animation and its creators better (thanks to Viru Valge), serious consequences were unavoidable. Robinson decided to write down the entire history of Estonian animation, which was published in 2003 as the thick tome "Between Genius & Utter Illiteracy: A Story of Estonian Animation".
Michaela Pavlatova - Czech Republic
Michaela Pavlatova is a Czech director from Prague who has done something that few people in animation have - after directing several short animated films and winning prizes with them at nearly all of the short and animated film festivals - Montreal, Berlin, Hiroshima, Stuttgart… (including the Oscar nomination), she directed a feature-length film, "Faithless Games," which was shown as part of BNFF’s main programme in 2003 and on Estonian Television.
Since 1998, Pavlatova has been dividing her time between Prague and San Francisco, holding down university faculty posts on each side and working in various animation studios. Pavlatova’s films are socially conscious - in addition to the fact that she made the colourful life of her 93-year-old grandmother into an animation, she likes relating stories from everyday routine, love and marriage, none of it all that seriously, but rather through the use of black humour.
Janno Põldma - Estonia
Janno Põldma made what could be termed a "late debut" in animated film. He served 16 years as cinematographer on films by other directors before he directed his first animated film, "Vennad ja õed" ("Brothers and sisters") in 1991. At that point it wasn’t long until Põldma hooked up with well-known cartoonist Heiki Ernits, forming a lasting tandem which has opened up an entirely new direction in Estonian animation-violence-free and cleverly good-natured animated films and series for children such as "Tom and Fluffy" (1997), "Lotte" (2000) and "Ladybird’s Christmas" (2001). The character of Lotte, a combination of a dog and a girl, has even reached kids in China, Israel and Australia, as rights have been sold to more than 20 television stations. The full-length animated "Ladybird’s Christmas" garnered a total audience of 40,000 in Estonian cinemas, beating out the offerings from Hollywood, which usually reigns supreme. Põldma and Ernits are currently working in collaboration with Latvians on a new full-length animated feature, "Lotte from Gadgetville", which has received support from several European funds and has the largest budget of all time for an Estonian picture. Aside from all this, Põldma still finds the time to write stories, books and plays for children and try out, how it is to write a scenario for a full-length live-action feature film.