Over 50 Swiss animators teamed up to create an animated omnibus film to honor the Swiss animation Association for its 50th
What do you think of when you hear “Swiss Animation”? Perhaps you think of the Swiss classic series “Pingu”. Perhaps you think of “Heidi”, realizing later that it wasn’t, in fact, made in Switzerland at all. But when international animators hear “Swiss Animation”, chances are they think of the dozens of professionals that have been creating award winning short films, arthouse features and animated documentary productions in the past years.
Swiss animation has become well known through international animation festivals for its artistic visions - be they playful, concrete, experimental, classic, elegant, extravagant or minimalistic. In Switzerland’s media landscape, however, it is still a hidden gem left undiscovered by the broader public.
For its 50th anniversary, a core group of animators centered around the organisation GSFA (“Groupement Suisse du Film d’Animation”, the Swiss animation professionals’ union) decided that it’s time for Switzerland itself to get a look into an artistic field that remains mostly hidden to those not inside the profession.
We decided it’s time to bring together the talents at work (sometimes hidden away in their creative oasis, sometimes working in groups in shared atéliers) and show the world what Switzerland has to offer - and so, the 50:50 Project was born!
It all started in the snowy Swiss countryside on a cold weekend of January 2017. Dozens of animation filmmakers flocked together and met in a hut on a hill to do what the Swiss do best: democratically discuss what the 50:50 project should look like, and eat fondue.
As a result of this weekend and against all odds, they decided to dive into something which is rarely attempted in this small, snowy country: create something big, experimental and risky.
Over 100 Swiss artists - animators, directors, sound-designers, musicians, character designers etc - teamed up in small and large groups and went to work. They were given a total “Carte Blanche” with no restrictions on style or content, and only loose recommendations on the duration of each
contribution. The final result - the 50:50 Omnibus! - consists of 15 short films, one of which acting as a frame connecting the other 14 (some made in a homogenic style, some pieced together by various directors much like the 50:50 Omnibus itself). The result of this experiment is a wild ride through the unknown, an eclectic mix of visions from a second-long flash of colour to a minutes-long medley.
The 50:50 project is neither a historical documentation of the past 50 years nor is it laying claim to being a total guide to what’s Swiss about our animation landscape.
Our goal was to create an omnibus film which unites as many Swiss animators as possible to be shown in and outside of
Switzerland to showcase the broad variety of animations being created right here, right now.
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