Armenia-based OnOff Studio has released the teaser for its upcoming 2D/3DCG animated feature film, Zako, based on a true story and inspired by the graphic novel “Zako – Crude Fruit” by Tigran Mangasryan. The film conveys the events of WW2 through the eyes of a painter – who survived a Nazi camp – and the lens of his relationships with people, himself, and the system, as the latter’s imperfections are being brought to light.
The film has received support from the National Cinema Center of Armenia and was awarded full accreditation for the Annecy Film Festival during the Annecy workshop in Georgia with the support of ReAnimania International Animation Film & Comics Art Festival and the Georgian Animation Association, Saqanima.
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Source: OnOff Studio
“Our aim is to produce an innovative piece, that would push artistic boundaries by engaging with modern VR technologies using Quill capacities combined with classical CG rendering tools to create a unique visual language verging to a graphic novel,” shared Arakelyan.
Directed by Tigran Arakelyan, the story’s message is communicated with an innovative technique, which he developed experimenting in the early stages of production.
Zako is produced by Susanna Khachatryan, directed by Arakelyan, with screenwriter Edgar Baghdasaryan. Mangasaryan serves as art director. Currently in development the movie is slated for released by 2025.
Zako is how the Germans referred to the Soviet Armenian painter Sargis Mangasaryan, who survived a Nazi death camp by drawing portraits of his tormentors. In 1956, Zako visited a Picasso exhibition and was struck by the artist’s pinnacle work “Guernica.” For Mangasaryn, it was an eye-opening and impactful experience that made him realize his artistic growth had been limited by the system that had imprisoned him.

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