The Embassy is proud to support the 5th Kyiv International Short Film Festival, in bringing to the festival Belgian filmmaker Jan Bultheel with a worshop on “motion cap” animation techniques and screening of the film “Cafard” .
The animated movie Cafard by Jan Bultheel has been screening in Ukraine for the first time. Premiere screening took place in cinema “Lira” (40, Velyka Zhytomyrska Street) one of the oldest movie theaters in Kyiv on Friday April 22nd , 2016.
More than 50 participants came to see the movie. At last 30 attended the worshop. The Ambassador of Belgium to Ukraine, Mr. Luc Jacobs and Attaché of the Embassy Mr. Jean de Lannoy visited film screening. In his opening remarks the Ambassador expressed gratitude to the Kyiv International Short Film Festival for their cooperation and welcomed participants. Mr. Luc Jacobs introduced the film director Jan Bultheel and gave him a word. Jan Bultheel emphasized the importance of remembrance and set a topics to be discussed based on fresh impressions after the film screening.
Jan Bultheel worked for 16 years directing and producing mainly commercials in his own production company ‘Pix & Motion’, which brought him international recognition with numerous awards. Cafard is his first animated feature film.
Cafard is completely author driven composition. Jan Bultheel wrote the script, designed the graphic style, directed the actors, edited and staged the scenes, guided the animation team and he even textured all the models and sets himself.
“For me, ‘Cafard’ is also an artistic challenge, to generate maximum impact with very limited resources. Sometimes a well-chosen color says more than a long dialogue. Sometimes one pencil line can suggest a setting better than a thousand props. ‘Cafard’ wants to shine through its simplicity. Say more with less” – Jan Bultheel notes.
«Cafard» – this art fiction story based on real history events – the adventures of the Belgian Armored Division in the turbulent years of World War I, in particular, in Ukraine.
Despite that the film was released not lon ago he has already been selected on a series of international film festivals. International recognition of the film potential was provided by winning the Grand Prize for Best Animation Feature at the 19th edition of the Holland Animation Film Festival in Utrecht (HAFF, 16-20 March).
The soundtrack was written by Hans Helewaut and recorded by BrusselsPhilharmonic in Galaxy Studios Mol.
Synopsis: August 1914. While Jean Mordant is away winning the title of World Wrestling Champion in Buenos Aires, his daughter Mimi is raped by German occupiers in Ostend. Jean swears he will avenge this immoral disgrace. With his coach Victor and young nephew Guido, he enrolls in the prestigious ACM, the first Armored Car Division ever. But the heavily-built armored vehicles keep getting stuck in the mud of Flanders. The battalion is hastily transferred to the Eastern front. Jean is devastated by frustration for he has just learned that Mimi is pregnant. But war conditions are ruthless and he and his friends embark on a dramatic journey that ultimately will drag them around the world.
In Russia, boredom and vodka sap the troops’ morale. The armored vehicle is named “Cafard”: as indestructible as a cockroach but also a symbol of nostalgia and melancholy. Jean’s only twinkle of hope is Jelena, a Russian nurse. But she cannot prevent his downward moral spiral. At the end of a disastrous military operation, Jean finally takes his revenge by cowardly shooting a German soldier in the back.
But revenge is bitter. Jean’s romantic 19th century vision falls apart. When Bolshevik revolution breaks out in October 1917, there is random killing, raping and pillaging. Confronted with so much social injustice, the young Guido is drawn to communism. On his initiative, the ACM makes a deal with the Bolsheviks and the armored vehicles are traded for a train heading East.
In the wild landscapes of Siberia, Mongolia and China, Jean comes to terms with himself. Victor is attacked by a bear and when they arrive in Vladivostok, his arm has to be amputated. Physically destroyed and eaten away by remorse, Victor commits suicide.
The Brave Little Belgians receive a triumphant welcome in the pro-war United States. But four years of deprivation
and hardship have left their mark. Jean distances himself from his would-be communist nephew. At last he receives catastrophic news about Mimi. Spanish flu in Europe has taken her too.
Jelena offers him to start a new life with her in America, but Jean heads back to the old world where a surprise awaits him.
* * *
After watching the movie Jan described his work on the movie. Jan explain the advantages of storyboard animation film using technology “motion capture”. The director speech also concern the technical features of recording movements, settings, lighting, special effects and final compositing.
In conclusion, Mr. Bultheel gave answers to questions from the audience.