MAUR film, a leading Czech production company specializing in animated films, announces the selection of three of its works for the Annecy Festival 2024, which attracted a record 3,277 entries from 108 countries, making it the world’s largest animation film festival in Annecy, France.

Jan Saska makes his professional debut with Hurikán, a romance with comedy elements and the 90’s vibe. Joining the lineup is Martin Smatana and Veronika Zacharová’s holiday slapstick Hello Summer set to charm audiences in the Young Audience section. Additionally, debuting Ukrainian director Anastasiia Falileieva presents her intimate documentary diary I died in Irpin in the Official Selection Perspective category.

This hattrick of films showcases the vast array of animation techniques and the boundless creativity of authors. It is also a discipline of endurance – if we add the development and production of these three films together, it is more than 12 years,” say producers Kamila Dohnalová and Martin Vandas and add: “We are proud of such a successful festival participation, each of our films brings something unique to the audience. One is a close and intimate look at an ongoing war, the other a black and white romantic slapstick with challenging 2D animation, and the third a comedy about a family’s troubles on a holiday. In all cases, however, we make films for a wide audience, for lovers of animation and original documentaries.

Hello Summer takes audiences on a family vacation filled with unexpected twists and turns. Martin Smatana and Veronika Zacharová’s direction blends stop-motion and hand-drawn animation, delivering an enchanting 11-minute tale. The film promises to delight audiences with its charming characters and imaginative storytelling.

Hurikán, a black-and-white romance with comedy elements directed by Jan Saska, takes the viewer back to the 90s in Prague. Here, the title character embarks on an odyssey in an attempt to win a new keg of beer for Bára, the barmaid he has a crush on. A seemingly simple mission if it didn’t take place in this wild Prague neighbourhood. The film was created by 2D animation using 3D references and involved dozens of animators from the Czech Republic, France, Slovakia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a professional debut for the director and follows the genre of his last short Happy End (2015), for which he collected a number of festival awards, including the Oscar shortlist.

I Died in Irpin is a poignant exploration of survival during the Ukrainian conflict, told through the lens of personal experience. Anastasiia Falileieva’s direction offers a raw and emotional journey, supported by Petr Marek’s evocative music. The film is a testament to resilience, capturing the harrowing experiences of those caught in the turmoil of war.