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Polish Animation Film ‘Zima’ Honored with Silver Conch at Mumbai International Film Festival

[Mumbai, June 2024] – The Polish animated film ‘Zima,’ directed by Kasumi Ozeki and Tomek Popakul, has won the esteemed Silver Conch for Best International Animation at the 18th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF). This award highlights the film’s profound storytelling and groundbreaking animation techniques.

‘Zima’ explores themes of violence and humanity’s relationship with nature, focusing on the exploitation of the natural world and the ways this domination is justified through folklore and religious traditions. Set in a remote town, the film captures the intricate dynamics between people and their environment, offering a powerful reflection on the consequences of human actions.

Renowned Indian filmmaker and MIFF 2024 jury member Bharat Bala commended ‘Zima’ for its originality and narrative. “We had some amazing submissions of documentaries and animations from across the world, but when we looked at ‘Zima,’ it was something very innovative. It was breaking barriers creatively and in a very simplistic way telling a very complex story,” Bala stated.

Jury member Keiko Hagihara Bang also praised the film’s distinctive design and effectiveness. “‘Zima’ was so extraordinary, so brave and effective. It must be very difficult for the makers to come up with a design, the look and feel which was so good. Congratulations to the entire team of ‘Zima.’ I loved this movie and was the first one to vote for the award,” Bang remarked.

Director Tomek Popakul expressed both joy and regret for missing the ceremony. “We are happy and honored that our movie got appreciated in India. This joy has a small shade of sadness as due to our engagement with the current film project, we couldn’t come to the award ceremony. As a child, I loved to browse the illustrated Bhagavad Gita—without understanding, those images got deeply engraved in my soul. I once had the chance to work with a great animator from India while working on my previous movie, ‘Acid Rain.’ I have huge respect for the Indian people, and I hope to visit it one day. Thanks a lot, we really appreciate this award.”

Dr. Magdalena Filipczuk, Acting Director of the Polish Institute, applauded Popakul’s artistic vision and the film’s inventive use of animation techniques. “When telling the story of rebels from a small seaside town, Popakul boldly uses various artistic styles. He draws his characters with a minimalist line, making them look as if they were taken from a sketchbook, but he paints the world around them differently—focusing on the plasticity of colorful spots, not on the detail or realism of the image. By creating his own vision, the director also encourages the viewer to look for associations and inspiration,” Filipczuk explained. She added, “In the story about the settlement submerged in snow, I personally found echoes of my favorite painting of all, ‘Hunters in the Snow’ by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, but also ‘Spoor’ by Agnieszka Holland. Popakul masterfully uses the tools of film animation—combining various artistic techniques and controlling the rhythm, interweaving contemplative images with spectacular sequences like a village sleigh ride. He boldly uses editing possibilities available only in animation: interpenetrations, surreal transformations of image into image, and transformations of detail into a wide plan. I really liked the music and searched for songs after seeing the movie.”

‘Zima’ continues to receive accolades for its profound narrative and innovative animation, setting a high bar for future works in the genre. The film’s success at MIFF 2024 underscores its global acclaim and the compelling message it conveys.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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