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Now in cinemas: 10 Days Without Mom.

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Lassie, the most famous dog in film history, is back on cinema screens!

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Exclusive interview with Iulian Grigoriu!

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Latte and the Magic Waterstone – now in cinemas!

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Paw Patrol is back in cinemas with new adventures!

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Coming soon: After We Collided, the sequel to After!

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in Interviews / 07.02.2020

Exclusive interview with Iulian Grigoriu: “Latte is a feel good movie, about friendship in the first place”

This weekend, Latte and the Magic Waterstone (directed by Mimi Maynard, Regina Welker) arrives in cinemas in Romania. On this occasion, we bring you an exclusive interview with Iulian Grigoriu, the Romanian who was animation director for this film.

How did you get to do what you do now? Working in this area of animation?
I always wanted to make cartoons. When I was a kid, on Saturdays, at the end of school, I was running home to see final minutes from the Gala Desenului Animat  (Cartoon Gala – a famous Romanian show in th '90s). Then they took me to the Doina cinema. (in the past a famous Romanian cinema where they running only family films and animations). It was like I arrived in the cartoon country.

They had wallpapers of animals from the jungle on the walls, it was a small room and somehow intimate, weekly program where you could find full-length movies that you would see on TV only in the parts of a few minutes a week. What can I say? It was fantastic!

I've been drawing since I was little, and even tried to be a serious artist and to focus on things with more weight, respectable but I failed. When I entered the high school of arts and saw that they had the animation section I had no doubt. I didn't have to choose between sections. Things were no longer the same at the academy where there was no animation section.

Animation was not an art there, so I choose graphics and painting which was very useful to me later. But not to dramatize. I had a nice chance to work at Animafilm since I was in high school. That was practically the time when I was really inoculated with the animation virus and I say this because during my student years I tried to do other jobs but I always went back to animation.

A friend of mine, Olimp Bandalac told me: "Once you have got the animation virus you will not escape". And so it is for most of us.

Then I worked through almost all the studios in Bucharest in the '90s. But as I was young, inexperienced, those years were pretty gray. In the late 90's, after finishing college, I went to Hungary and that was it. After a year my girlfriend from then came with me. She became my wife after a few years.

What does the job of animation director and supervisor mean?
This position is a very responsible one and quite difficult from several points of view. Job descriptions can be found on the net but I tell you what it means to me and how I relate to this position. First of all you have to be an animator yourself. Only this way you can help where it is needed.

Every time I start a new movie I try to document myself as much as possible. What is the original story behind the script. Who are my directors, possibly the producers. After that I try to understand as best I can the script and the characters in the film. The deeper I get into the story, the better I realize the subtleties and layers of the film.

From here I start to have discussions with the director (the directors in this case of Latte) and to deepen the story and the characters. What kind of acting we need, as well as in what sense to exaggerate etc. Once it is clear to me what the directors want, I start working on the animation style, find a rhythm of the film, look for references by actors to help the animator understand the character.

Many times I even make a database representing what kind of expressions should be used and the limits of deformations. I can usually select the team after tests or portfolios. Once the team or teams are chosen, I usually do an acting workshop on the characters in the movie. I'm trying to make the animators understand why character X is moving like this and why it has to be different from other characters.

How a character evolves during the film and how important it is to animate as much as needed and where needed. Only then do I begin to talk about each sequence and each scene. If the animation is not correct I send additional drawings to the frame where something needs to be changed. As a simple supervisor the work is a little simpler, having to follow the instructions of the animation director.

How long have you been working as animation director and supervisor?
I think I started in 2009 or 2010 with a famous series in Germany. A production for preschoolers called Kikaninchen, a position assumed by Anca starting with season 2, becoming "kikaninchen's mother" over a few years.That's how they called it in Mitteldeutsche Zeitung in an article about the series. In the meantime, I started working on the first feature film as animation director in Belgium.

There I had the “baptism of fire”. We were working on a big film, produced in Paris and we had to send weekly a fixed number of seconds to a quality that we had not worked before. I learned a lot and realized that I still have a lot of work to do. It was a good school.

I know that before you settled in Germany you had a period when you also worked in Hungary? How was that experience?
In Hungary were the years of my growing up professionally or at least the beginning of them. We went through some experiences and we had the chance to qualify professionally, being forced to keep the deadlines, doing a large volume of animation and doing many tests. It was a good school.

You have worked on many successful animated films. What project do you keep closely to your heart and why?
I can't say I liked one movie... it's like asking a parent which of the children is dearer to him. I mean a good parent :-) Each production is different, and has its problems and solutions. Teams often differ completely. For example, now we are working on a new film by Enzo Dálo. For me 90-95% of the team is new. We will have first and foremost many young animators who will need a lot of advice. It will be fun and very interesting of course but it will be also a new adventure from which I will learn a lot.

Who has influenced you the most in your career?
Work in the studio. I learned a lot by watching a lot of movies and here I mention that not only animation and not only American. I read a lot and try to document myself a lot. BUT! I happen to work with people who are really big names in the field and and I can learn a lot from them.

I learned from Tahsin Özgür who animated for Disney in a few big movies. Another name that inspired me through the vitality of work and professionalism is Jesper Moller and in the last year and something I have worked and still work with Daniel St. Pierre from which I learned many details that you can not find in books. Of course, I learned something from each film I worked on and there are several names that influenced my evolution whether or not I was aware of it.

How much does working on a European animation differ from one for a larger studio? The difference is only about money, or also involves more special technology?
This is a good question :-) First and foremost, in Europe, there are increasingly competitive productions, by American standards. The only problem is the budget of the film. The bigger the budget, the more time you have to work on story, design, style, animation, effects, light... etc. The last film I worked on and we hope to release this year is an India-China co-production and is at a high standard. Here I worked hard on the quality of the animation and it will feel.

In 2019 you worked on the animation Latte & the Magic Waterstone as animation director. Can you tell me how you got to work on this project?
I first saw the trailer on the net. It was kind of love at first sight. I knew I could do a lot with a character like Latte. About 7-8 months, when I was approaching the final production of that time (Marnie’s World or Spy Cat) I announced online that I will be free of contract.

Then I received an email from a Belgian colleague from the production company if it is ok to recommend me to the German producer of Latte Igel. Do you realize that I was flying on a cloud and seeing the city from above :-) I said yes, I was contacted and that was it.

How did you work with directors Regina Welker and Nina Wels?
The collaboration with these two beautiful ladies was extraordinary. And I'm not exaggerating. I anchored Latte's acting based on the personality or the way Regina moves. The funny thing is that she says she moves the same way I do but you should see her. He is an animated character full of energy and humor.

After we had our first Skype talk, I was a little scared that we didn't quite understand about the message of the movie. That was my impression and I don't think it was that way, but I'm an emotional guy, so I belived that.

It was only when we met face-to-face in the studio I realized how they are and what they want… we started to know each other and actually worked on the construction of the film. We made many ideas exchanges and sometimes we argued about things, but in a constructive way, and all of that practically served to raise the quality of the film.

Nina helped me a lot with the team from Ludwigsburg and Halle / Saale, I also had to work in India. We had a total of 4 teams and fortunately all were talented and motivated.

Prorom will release on February 7 in Romanian cinemas Latte & the Magic Waterstone. Do you have a special message for the spectators who are going to see it?
Latte
is a feel good movie, about friendship in the first place. You may be surprised that the story will catch you and you won't know when the time has passed. I just hope you like it as much as we liked to create it and bring it to the cinema. I look forward to the reaction of the Romanian audience.

Interview by Emanuel Lăzărescu.




in Hollywood / 12.12.2019

Paw Patrol: Ready, Race, Rescue! released in Romanian and Hungarian cinemas

Join the Paw Patrol as they race into action at the Adventure Bay 500 in this all-new special that will be released in cinemas on January 31, 2020!

For them, no challenge is too big and no puppy is too small...

It’s the Adventure Bay 500! The pups have built an awesome race track and are ready to be the pit crew for their race hero, The Whoosh! But when the legendary racer is unable to drive in the championship race, he calls on his biggest fan-pup Marshall to take the wheel and race in his place!

Marshall has to overcome his lack of confidence and his dastardly competition, The Cheetah, to fulfill his dream of becoming the fastest race-pup ever!

Get ready to race and rescue!

Directed by Charles E. Bastien, Paw Patrol: Ready, Race, Rescue! stars Anya Cooke, Isaac Emberson-Heeks, Lukas Engel and Addison Holley.

Prorom will release Paw Patrol: Ready, Race, Rescue! in Romania and Hungary on January 31, 2020.




in Events / 03.07.2019

Guillermo del Toro & Andre Ovredal Bringing Scary Stories to San Diego Comic-Con

As studios have begun announcing their lineups at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, it has been revealed that Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) and Andre Øvredal (Trollhunter) are bringing their upcoming adaptation of the classic horror novel series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark to the convention.

The duo will team up for a Master Class on scary storytelling on July 20 and will give fans an exclusive look at the upcoming adaptation of the novels, including how they brought Stephen Gammell’s terrifying illustrations to life on the big screen.

The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book series was first published during the 1980s, written / adapted from folklore by Alvin Schwartz and gorily illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The film follows a group of young teens who must solve the mystery surrounding the sudden and macabre deaths in their small town.

San Diego Comic-Con International is a multi-genre entertainment and comic convention held annually in San Diego, California, United States.

Originally showcasing primarily comic books and science fiction/fantasy related film, television, and similar popular arts, the convention has since included a larger range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres, including horror, classic animation, anime, manga, toys, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels.

Along with panels, seminars, and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming feature films.
In 2010 and each year subsequently, it filled the San Diego Convention Center to capacity with more than 130,000 attendees.

In addition to drawing huge crowds, the event holds several Guinness World Records including the largest annual comic and pop culture festival in the world.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark will open on August 9, 2019 in the US, in the Czech Republic and Slovakia on August 16 and Romania on August 23. In Hungary the horror will have its premiere on November 28.

Sources: Deadline, ComingSoon.net.




in Events / 25.06.2019

Playmobil opened Annecy 2019 in the presence of the director Lino DiSalvo

Playmobil: The Movie had its world premiere at Annecy International Animated Film Festival in the presence of its director Lino DiSalvo and producer Aton Soumache.

The event was presented by Marcel Jean – the artistic director of Annecy Film Festival.

Annecy International Animation Film Festival was created in 1960 and takes place at the beginning of June in the town of Annecy, France. Initially occurring every two years, the festival became an annual event in 1998.

The festival is a competition between cartoon films of various techniques (animated drawings, cut-out papers, modelling clay, etc.) classified in various categories: features, shorts, TV and advertising and Student films.

The very first images of Playmobil: The Movie were already unveiled last year at Annecy, while the feature film was still in production.

This year, in its finalized version, and for its world premiere, Lino DiSalvo’s unique creation returned to the Annecy Festival and opened the festivities in the presence of producers and its director!

In Playmobil: The Movie, Marla is forced to abandon her carefully structured life to embark on an epic journey to find her younger brother Charlie who has disappeared into the vast and wondrous animated world of Playmobil toys.

Prorom will release Playmobil: The Movie in Slovakia (August 29th), Czech Republic (September 12th), Bulgaria (September 20th), Hungary (September 26th) and Romania (September 27th).




in Hollywood / 28.05.2019

Prorom launches animated family film Terra Willy in Romania and Hungary

This weekend, Prorom and Ro Image will release theatrically in Romania the 3D animated adventure Terra Willy. The SF comedy for the whole family is directed by Eric Tosti (The Jungle Bunch).

Following the destruction of their ship, young Willy is separated from his parents with whom he traveled through space. His rescue capsule lands on a wild and unexplored planet. With the help of Buck, a survival robot, he will have to hold on until the arrival of a rescue mission. Meanwhile, Willy, Buck and Flash, an alien creature which they befriended, are discovering the planet, its fauna, its flora... but also its dangers.

The adventure of Willy will be peppered with events or "mini-quests", as emotional as they are physical or precarious. And when our heroes think they have finally "domesticated" the planet (symbolically represented by a creature resembling a giant beetle which Willy is going "tame"), nature will reassert its rightful place…

Terra Willy is a coming-of-age tale, one of apprenticeship and even "redemption" through the intimate quest of our little hero's exploratory mission (Willy is partially responsible for his separation from his parents)Eric Tosti.

Over and beyond the vegetation and landscapes, the film will depict a wide variety of creatures, from the funniest to the most fearsome.

Once again the contribution of the graphic artists will be preponderant, and their creations might even directly inspire gags and full-fledged sketches as they become an integral part of the story, thereby enriching it.

Eric Tosti started making animation in 8 mm format at the age of 13. He co-directed his first stop motion short film in 1998 (Mon copain?) with David Alaux. In 2000 they founded their own production company, TAT productions, with their third partner Jean-François Tosti.

Eric Tosti, David Alaux and Jean-François Tosti started working in 3D animation in 2006. Then, they wrote, produced and directed the TV special Spike and started developing The Jungle Bunch licence. Season 3 of the TV series The Jungle Bunch to the Rescue is in production at the moment. Distributed worldwide, the series is a great success.

The first feature film from TAT productions The Jungle Bunch movie, co-authored by Eric Tosti, David Alaux and Jean-François Tosti, garnered admission of 700.000 in France and was the 4th best-selling French film abroad for 2017 (sold in more than 50 countries).

Prorom will release Terra Willy in Romania on May 31 and in Hungary on November 7.




in Events / 03.03.2019

World Premiere of Playmobil: The Movie at The Annecy International Animation Film Festival 2019

This year’s edition of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival (June 10-15) in France will open with the world premiere screening of Playmobil: The Movie, produced by ON Animation Studios in Montreal and based on the globally popular toy brand.

The film will be premiered at the opening ceremony at Annecy, Monday 10th June. An event that will kick off the week’s festivities dedicated to animation!

Playmobil: The Movie, was presented at the Work in Progress during the 2018 Festival, and is directed by Lino DiSalvo, who worked almost 17 years at Disney, known especially for his role as Head of Animation for the Oscar winning feature length film: Frozen.

Playmobil tells the story of Marla, who goes in search of her little brother Charlie when he disappears into the Playmobil® universe.

When her younger brother Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) unexpectedly disappears into the magical, animated universe of PLAYMOBIL®, unprepared Marla (Anya Taylor Joy) must go on a quest of a lifetime to bring him home.

As she sets off on a fantastic journey across stunning new worlds, Marla teams up with some unlikely and heroic new friends - the smooth-talking food truck driver Del (Jim Gaffigan), the dashing and charismatic secret agent Rex Dasher (Daniel Radcliffe), a wholehearted misfit robot, an extravagant fairy-godmother (Meghan Trainor) and many more.

The world premiere screening is Monday 10th June in the presence of the producers and the director Lino DiSalvo.





in Trailers / 14.12.2018

First trailer for Playmobil: The Movie is here!

StudioCanal has unleashed the first official teaser trailer for the upcoming Playmobil: The Movie!

After Charlie (Gabriel Bateman) disappears into the Playmobil universe, his sister, Marla (Anya Taylor-Joy), sets out to find him.

During her adventures, she teams up with some unlikely new friends, including smooth-talking food truck driver Del (Jim Gaffigan), dashing and charismatic secret agent Rex Dasher (Daniel Radcliffe), a wholehearted misfit robot and an extravagant fairy-godmother (Meghan Trainor). Adam Lambert will voice the character of villain Emperor Maximus.

Playmobil toys have become a classic throughout children’s playrooms, and have produced over 2.9 billion figurines in more than 100 countries – making it one of the world’s most successful toy brands.

Lino DiSalvo will make his directorial debut on Playmobil: The Movie after spending 17 years at Disney Animation, where he served as head of animation on Frozen, the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Di Salvo also worked as animation supervisor on Tangled and Bolt.

Playmobil: The Movie will be released in theaters summer of 2019. In Romania will be distributed by Prorom and Ro Image.




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