Anita Chernykh from Almaty won the grand prize at Tashkent Animation Forum held on April 18-22. Her animation film called “Without rights” (the literal Russian translation of ‘На птичьих правах’ is “With bird’s rights”) was presented alongside works from Central Asian animators. The non-competition section of the event included animated films from Germany, Georgia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, China, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and the Czech Republic.
Anita’s work is still unavailable to the public, so read Anita’s interview with QazMonitor for some exclusive film footage and commentary from the director herself.
Anita shared that her passion for animation started in school years when she was studying at School of Art and Design named after A. Kasteyev. Now, the 22-year-old director is studying for her master’s in animation at Kazakh National Academy of Arts named after T.K.Zhurgenov.
What is the story?
“Originally, I intended to base it on a short story by Maxim Gorky called ‘Granddad Arkhip and Lyonka’. But the final result more so reflects my impressions and emotions. The story is about an old beggar and a boy who is trying to earn a living through his art. The old man gets arrested by the police for theft, and the boy turns into a little bird and flies away, which sets him free. I didn't intend to convey any specific message with my work [laughs]. I just wanted to recreate the story.”
Screenings of works by some directors were cancelled at the forum. Did you have any difficulties with censorship at the event?
“The qualification for the festival program was not difficult to pass, so the censorship did not affect my film in any way. I sent the cartoon to the organizer Dante Rustav. He is an absolute hero – despite all the obstacles and interferences from the national security service, he survived everything with his dignity intact and organized a successful festival.”
When will the public see your film?
Viewers will probably be able to see it towards the end of fall on all social platforms. I plan to send the picture to several festivals, so I can't put the film out yet. Also, I'm working on a new animated film, which will be made using a hybrid technique of stop motion [frame by frame animation with physical objects as in Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson] and classic animation.
Are you considering monetizing your creations? Many animators collaborate with artists on music videos.
“The issue of monetization is a delicate topic since most of the work by animators in Kazakhstan are sponsored by the State Center for the Support of National Cinema. There are many of works; they are interesting and cool. Yet when you work with the state, there is less freedom. Not in terms of censorship – state support likes things that are understandable, thus familiar. I want to make a mess, though [laughs]. I want to experiment with new techniques and themes.
Music videos allow the maximum level of freedom in this regard. They are like sketches in a short movie format where you can let loose. My favorite Kazakh music artist is 'maslo chernogo tmina' whom I just adore. I hope one day I can offer him something cool together with the guys I'm working with now. Other than that, I have more interest in festivals and commercial projects of different kinds.”