Nominated for the world's best animation festival

Tekst: Per Straume

- Oppdatert

Film Found, made by animation student Claudia Munksgaard-Palmqvist, has been nominated for the world's most prestigious festival for animated films. Yet again, a Volda student set its mark on the international scene.

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France attracts the best of animated films from around the world. Trygve Selnes Nielsen, program manager for the Bachelor of Animation at Volda University College, is full of praise for Munksgaard-Palmqvist's film. He describes the festival for which the film is nominated like this: - It is by far the world's most important animation film festival!

– Proud and happy

Film Found has been selected for the category short exam films made by students. Munksgaard-Palmqvist's contribution is the only one from Scandinavia. 

– I'm so proud! And so incredibly happy that the festival will show my film. It’s great, says the Danish student on the phone from back home in Copenhagen, where she’s completing the theoretical part of her final exam.

She elaborates on it all a bit: - I’m extra happy that a festival with such a name will show a film that challenges people's prejudices about what animation is and who it is for. 

Endre Eidså Larsen
Endre Eidså Larsen

When Claudia first starts to thank people contributing to her achievement, the name Endre Eidså Larsen quickly comes up as someone who clearly has meant a lot through the process. 

– I have had the world's best supervisor in Endre Eidså Larsen. He is super-skilled and it has been a great pleasure to discuss film with him, says the animation student of the university lecturer Eidså Larsen, who is currently working on his doctoral dissertation with the working title: Film as production, deformation and animation: A figural approach to film analysis.

Feel it on your body

The technique the Volda student has used is completely new. It involves, among other things, the use of clay, which is the common material throughout the film. Munksgaard-Palmqvist bought 130 kg of clay to use in the film, which she has received a scholarship from Fritt ord to make.

When we ask her what her film is about, the answer is not straightforward.

Claudia Munksgaard-Palmqvist. Photo: Lasse Lundberg Andreasen

– The common understanding of a film is storytelling with classic characters, but this is not the case here. I have worked as a machinist at cinemas in both Denmark and Volda. In the middle of the 2000s, the large film reels were replaced and everything was digitized. I loved the heavy film reels that were the body of the film. I wanted to make a film where my body and hands challenged concepts such as clarity, control and logic. Every single frame in the film has been in contact with a human being. I have made the film together with the materials, mainly clay, and that means that it has become better than I am, Munksgaard-Palmqvist explains.

Still a little unsure what the movie is about? You may not understand it the first time you watch the movie, maybe not after ten times either, maybe never. At least one thing Munksgaard-Palmqvist is convinced of:

– You must feel it on your body before you understand it.

Music plays an important role in the film. It is Anton Friisgaard who made it. Otherwise, Munksgaard-Palmqvist has had the help of Volda students Astrid Ellensdatter Mork-Knutsen, Christine Tjore Lervåg, Maja Kjellstad Aanonsen and Laure Menard.

Watch the trailer for Film Found below here:

Starting to notice

Due to a climbing accident where Munksgaard-Palmqvist seriously injured her hands, she had to postpone her studies for one year midway through her bachelor's degree, which means that she has lived in Volda for almost four years. She is grateful for everything she has learned, and proud to represent both Norway and Denmark in Annecy.

– What do you think the participation in Annecy can mean for you?

– I hope that it opens some doors, that people become curious and that my work is noticed in the industry. It’s through the summer that most animation film festivals in the world take place, and I hope to be played at as many of them as possible. It will be exciting to follow.

The always cheerful and welcoming Dane has definitely left her mark in Volda. With her characteristic round glasses and a style that sparks a western countryside in Norway, she is now ready to take her whole and what she has learned in Volda to make her own way out into the world. She has already begun to tread that path.

In February and March, she worked in France with two others who have also finished their Bachelor in animation at Volda University College, Margrethe Danielsen and Rory Thompson. Danielsen has done very well with her graduation film Pearl Diver, now she is working on a new project where Munksgaard-Palmqvist and Thompson have contributed. Thompson has recently completed his Master in Media Practices, while Danielsen is undergoing the same master's program in Volda.

– It was two nice months. I got to work as an animator from nine to five a day. Now I am home in Copenhagen again and will pitch a new project for various actors, the Dane smiles through the phone.

Awards and critical acclaim

Munksgaard-Palmqvist has greatly appreciated the study environment, the breadth of people and everyone she has become acquainted with through her studies in Volda. She went to class with Konrad Hjemli, who is currently studying Master in Media Practices in Volda, and Jakob Eiring, who mid-March was informed that their film Pandiculation has been included in the program for the animated film festival in Zagreb. This is the 17th international festival their graduation film from Volda has been presented!

They won the jury's special award during the Big Cartoon Festival in Moscow in 2020, and the award for best Norwegian animated film at the Bergen International Animation Festival the same year.

Film critic Birger Vestmo in NRK praised the film describing it as follows:

– Who has not sat in a drowsy boring meeting and had the same urge to stretch out in a huge yawn? I think Jakob Eiring and Konrad Hjemli show this exemplary with a fun line, good editing and smart choices of sections. The film also has an ingenious final image, which shows how we could all benefit from regular yawning moves!

Important width

The former classmate Munksgaard-Palmqvist also praises the film.

– It's so cool! We have the same education, but really different films. I want to credit Volda University College for allowing the students to cultivate their own expression, and not being led in the same direction.
Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why year after year, animation students take the step from Volda University College to great international careers.  

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival 2021 takes place 14th – 19th of June.

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