On the Tiger’s Trail

Czech filmmakers Libor Pixa and Marek Berger on their animation film Graffitiger,about a tiger lost in the urban jungle of Prague

Written by Rohan Swamy | Published: April 23, 2013 2:20 am

Czech filmmakers Libor Pixa and Marek Berger on their animation film Graffitiger,about a tiger lost in the urban jungle of Prague

Among the few things that strike one while watching the animated film Graffitiger is the analogy between a tiger wandering through the streets of a giant city and a man. Filmmakers Libor Pixa and Marek Berger admit that this parallel is one of the symbols of the film. While Pixa is a faculty member of the animation department at Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU),Berger is an animation student at the academy.

Though making films is a challenge for filmmakers in the Czech Republic,Graffitiger has been shortlisted for the first National Students Film Awards (NFSA) and Students Film Festival of India (SFFI) at the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).

As the comparison between man and tiger comes up in the conversation,Pixa says,“The whole feeling of contradiction was a driving factor. Back home in Prague,men are usually the head of the family. The tiger,as an animal,has been a representative of men in the Czech Republic. The idea that even an animal as strong and calm as the tiger can get jittery and lost when things go against him was the starting point for Graffitiger,” says Pixa. He adds that they began working with the idea of contrasts. “How can one be strong and weak at the same time? This was a question we asked ourselves before we began work on the film,” he says.

The story deals with a tiger lost in the graffiti-painted streets of Prague,hunting for his missing love. Berger says that they worked with 2D animation and live artistes for the first time on the movie. “We have worked with 3D animation and live artistes but 2D was a new ball game. Drawing the sequences on a storyboard and then explaining it to the cinematographer was not easy. We would differ in our opinions about the shoot so I had to draw it and explain the flow out to the cinematographer. It was challenging but we pulled it off,” says Pixa.

The duo says that they have chosen short films because they are easier to make. “Feature films are expensive and there are few producers. The government says that,since the film industry is a separate entity,it needs to fend for itself. Short films are getting a lot of exposure in Europe and Asia. We are hoping that once these films garner enough international attention,things will change with the government,too,” says Pixa.

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