October 30, Thursday, 4.30 pm / Masterclass: Kaspar Jancis (film screening and Q&A)
Since his childhood Kaspar Jancis has been interested in drawing comic strips and writing stories for which he made illustrations himself. His first moving pictures came into being in the corners of his school notebooks. Later in his school years, his brother’s friend, who was a member of a film club, helped him make a short plasticine puppet animated film. This was followed by a two-year period as a working youth, which was not particularly educational, but was brimming with adventures.  During that time he began working systematically with music.  He has been part of the creative core of several rock groups, written song lyrics, made arrangements and created tunes.  He enrolled at the Tallinn Pedagogical University in 1996.

He completed his first films at that school – the silent film “Dr. Maisarve and the Matshalka Case” (1996) and the cutout puppet film “Flight of the Little White Helicopter” (1996), which was screened at rock concerts and also on television.  He transferred from the Pedagogical University to the Turku Arts and Media School in Finland in 1997 to study animation under the guidance of Priit Pärn.

He made his debut film “Romance” (1999) in Turku, and it has participated in several international film festivals.

Filmography: Villa Antropoff (2012, co-director Vladimir Leschiov); Crocodile (2009); Marathon (2007); Frank and Wendy (with Priit Pärn, Priit Tender, Ülo Pikkov, 2005); Weitzenberg Street (2003)

Mini interview with Kaspar

They say that contemporary Estonian animation has come out from Pärn’s ‘Overcoat’.”? This must be true of you too as you were also his student. You agree with that? What do you think is a special feature of today’s Estonian animation?

Priit has a huge impact on Estonian animation culture, but I think it is a big exaggeration. The beginning of the 80′s had a very special cultural atmosphere in Soviet Estonia with lots of creative people trying to hide their faces under the mask of absurd. So I think the phenomena of Estonian animation was based on protest against soviet regime in the beginning. Priit was probably the best but not the only one. As times went on, the artillery of our animation army turned against any kind of regime in general. Priit is very good in preserving his methods into brain training exercises witch were very useful during the first films I made. If you like to do a short animation with absurd narration, without dialogues, have a twisted design of characters its hard to avoid the parallels with Priit, and its also a bit stupid not to take advantage of the worlds champion living next door to give you advice, especially if you are still inexperienced.

You are making your first full length animated film, which is a puppet film. Can you tell us very briefly what it will be about? How is it different to making short films?

My full length movie Morten on the Ship of Fools is based on a children book and music I wrote 4 years ago. It almost accidentally turned into film project. There was a need for a feature family film at Nukufilm Studio and they chose my story for pitching. It went well and now we are already in the production. This is something completely different to me, almost nothing to do with my previous works. It has dialogues, it is for children, it is a feature, it is stop motion, the main characters are cute (!) – so nothing that I have been dealing with before. I am influenced this time mostly by Lewis Carrol, Wes Anderson, Jean Pierre Jeunet or Henry Selick. Its about a boy traveling in his toy boat with giant insects who want to eat him. This sounds in one sentence bit like “James and the Giant Peach”, but it’s a very different story, and much better by the way.

What do you expect from today’s young animation filmmakers, among them the animation directors competing at Primanima?

I try to not expect anything ’cause I like surprises. Actually I’m probably the worst jury member you have been hosting. I’m usually interested more about the whats around the festival not about the festival itself. But thank you for inviting me, it will be fun for sure!


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