On the 9th of December, we offered for our great audience a two-in-one event. The first part of the show was a lecture by Márton Orosz: From the avant-garde to the cartoon industry: Innovation and Hungarians in the early history of animated filmmaking.
Márton Orosz (1979, Budapest) is an art historian–graphic designer and curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts Budapest. He has studied at ELTE and the University of Applied Arts, Budapest. He has held fellowships at universities in Vienna and Bern as well as with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. His research interest is animated film, kinetic and media arts and classical avant-garde. He is currently Kepes Fellow at MIT.
The lecture and screening presented early animated films, including avant-garde experiments with color film stock used for animations, invented by Béla Gáspár. In addition, it shed light on forgotten chapters in the history of animation by introducing Europe's first cartoon producer Dezső Grósz, and other emigré Hungarian filmmakers who made significant contributions to the genre.
The lecture was followed by Animated Spirits: A Kecskemétfilm Artists Showcase and Celebration. For those who could stay with us all night, the Hungarian Cultural Center organized a projection of the best Hungarian animated works.
Kecskemétfilm Ltd, founded in 1971, has been firmly established as one of the leading creative centers of animated filmmaking in Europe for decades. The showcase offered a chance to see the artists behind successful Hungarian and international feature length movies and series from a different angle. The program presented shorts by 9 animated film auteurs and co-owners of the company as they explored the possibilities of the genres, often experimenting with unusual techniques ranging from tattoo animation (!) to computer graphics. At the same time, tried and tested methods (such as coal) were also featured – attesting to the potential of great art to touch and transform us through any media. Much of the work shown had been recognized with various prizes and nominations in festivals such as Cannes, Berlin and Annécy.