ABOUT A COW
An imaginative and playful collage of images from the life of cows. A mosaic of small stories from all over the world, in which cows experience positive and negative moments, depicts the life of an animal in a global world and its relationship with humans. The visually colourful images portray the cow as a sensitive creature worthy of admiration. With its stylized poetry, playfulness and humor, the film gives hope for a better world.
Director, Art Design – Pavla Baštanová
Story – Pavla Baštanová
Script – Eva Prchalová
Editor – Jan Daňhel
Script – Eva Prchalová, Pavla Baštanová
Animation – Bára Halířová, Jénay Vogel
Sound, Music – Peter Bräker
Producer – Mária Môťovská (MAUR film, CZ)
Co-producer – Sereina Gabathuler (Dschoint Ventschr Filmproduktion, CH)
Technique – 2D animation, collage
Length – 12:52 min.
Release – 2023
Financially supported by — Czech Film Fund, Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft Confederation Suisse Bundesamt für Kultur, Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, SRG SSR, Zürcher Filmstiftung, Endowment Fund Film Talent Zlin
PressKit – PDF
| ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
With my film I want to make a positive contribution to the current situation. I would like the film to be an impulse to reflect on the life of an animal – in this case a cow – to draw attention to the need to see each creature as a complex, living being, not just as part of our human economic industry. However, I don’t want the film to come across as radically engaged or purely documentary and critical, although I work freely with facts. I collected these for about a year and a half from the media, books and narratives, gathering a lot of bizarre, common or biological facts about cows.
This information has helped me put together a mosaic of specific cow stories from around the world. I express my feelings indirectly, through animated collage, telling them in a playful and distanced way, so that I look at the “cow’s life” from a broad perspective – the story of a cow can actually be a simplified story of the world.
The development of this story is connected with the deep need to express civilizational anxiety which comes from increasing and irreversible global problems. Hypocrisy and laziness often do not allow people to scale down their comfortable lifestyle and change their attitude. Animals cannot make this decision, they are dependent on people. We witness the extinction of many species, migration and changes of biorhythms of thousands of animals. The world we know is changing. My film aims to contribute positively to the current situation. I would like to make a film which makes people think of the life of an animal – in this case the life of a cow.
It is necessary to have a complex view of animals as living beings, not just a product to be used by industry and the economy. I do not want to be radically activist or strictly documentary and critical, even though I will work with real facts. My feelings are expressed indirectly by using animated collage and playful narration which is looking at a cow‘s life from a wide perspective. The story of a cow can be a simplified story of our world. I chose an animated documentary as the guiding principle, however the final form of the visual style has not been decided yet. Collage in narration will be displayed in the art design by using metamorphosis connecting the individual short cow stories. Episodes will organically flow into each other. It will support the idea of continuity of cows across the world.
The script works with kaleidoscopic narration without dialogues, shortcuts and continuity among stories – that is why the sound design has to be very strong. Art design will work with 2D cut outs, paint and drawn textures and abstract visuals. It should help to avoid too much morality and radicalism. Finding the harmony between cow and man can be an inspiration for everyone.
Pavla Baštanová is an animator and illustrator based in Olomouc. She Graduated From Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague with her film Mukumú (2017). The same story also appears in a children’s book which was illustrated by Pavla and published in 2020. Among other animated films which Pavla created are Among Trees (2015) and I can‘t swim (2016). She also creates illustrations for books and magazines and she likes to work with classical graphic techniques.
Besides animated films and illustrations she works on different animated projects (visual style and jingle for IFF Juniorfest 2018, 2019, 2020, educational clips about art for children in cooperation with University Palacký Olomouc). She also participated in films The Crossing (2020) and The Falling Star (2017) as an animator. The aspect of nature and animals is very important in her artwork.