Berlin Shorts - Easter Eggs
Not such a Good Friday
In the melancholic but bleak animation Easter Eggs*), directed by Belgian filmmaker Nicolas Keppens and co-produced by Rotterdam-based animation house Ka-Ching Cartoons, we observe the toxic relationship between two disillusioned, borderline nihilistic adolescents over the course of a day. The film is selected for Berlin Shorts. Ka-Ching's Joost van den Bosch talks to See NL.
Jason and Kevin are friends, of sorts. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Beavis and Butthead, they are just as cynical about the world and its inhabitants whom they disregard even in moments of direst need. (At one point they feign both incomprehension and indifference as a woman emerges bloodied from a car crash.) Nevertheless they both exhibit emotional states that are all too familiar. Kevin is older and bigger and a bully, while Jason is prone to tears when picked upon. As the film progresses Jason hatches a plan to find the parrots that have escaped from the local Chinese restaurant. If he sells them he can buy a new mountain bike. But the plan can only work with the co-operation of Kevin...
Joost van den Bosch points out how the film represented an entry point into international co-production for his company, which is already very busy as a studio and animation house.
"We wanted to start doing production ourselves and we were looking for a partner and a project," he comments. "Then in Annecy 2019 we had a meeting with Brecht Van Elslande from Animal Tank, the main producer. He liked our work and our profile and wanted to see if we could find a way to collaborate together, and so he started pitching all of the projects that he had. And one of them was Easter Eggs. It was already financed in Belgium and they had started financing in France, so it was one of the more obvious projects to start with."
Van den Bosch was already a big fan of director Keppens after his first animation Wildebeest, and he loved the animation tests he was shown on the new film. Part of the co-pro deal would mean applying one of Ka-Ching's own animators to the project. This was Digna van der Put who had animated the multi award-winning and similarly themed Bloomstreet 11, which was about "two girlfriends growing up and seeing their life in a similar way to this film."
Also, the film very much avoids any sense of proprietorial moralising on teenage matters, Van den Bosch adds. "We liked that nothing really big was happening in this story but still it had enough stuff to be very, very interesting."
Ka-Ching Cartoons is also producer on the 2D animation short INK*), about a "clean-up neat-freak octopus who uses all of his tentacles in trying to reach what he's aiming for." Selected for a slew of animation fests, the film won the Cinekid and KUKI audience awards in 2020.
The company is in pre-production on its stop-motion feature project The GROWcodile, which is supported by The Netherlands Film Fund and for which they are seeking co-production partners. With a mooted delivery date in 2023, the film concerns the little Bridget who manages to rear a crocodile from a tiny egg. But grows and grows, and what's more Bridget's dad has both a shoe store and a love for crocodile leather...
Ka-Ching Cartoons will also co-produce Nicolas Keppens's next short film, titled Beautiful Men, again to be produced by Belgian outfit Animal Tank. The 15-minute 2D animation will be partly made in Rotterdam. In the film, three brothers travel to Istanbul to have a hair transplant but when they arrive they become aware that the operation has a mere 30% success rate . Tensions between the three of them appear when they start to wonder which one of them most deserves the happiness that only a new hairstyle can bring...
*)This film is supported by the Netherlands Film Fund.
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