Computer Animation/Film/VFX

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Nighthawk (Nočna ptica)

Špela Čadež (SI)


A badger lies motionless on a local road. A police patrol approaches the body in the dark. They soon realize that the animal is not dead - the badger is dead drunk! When the police attempt to drag the creature off the road, he wakes up and things take a strange turn.

”It’s like Charles Bukowski and Steve McQueen teamed up with a badger to make a stop motion film about the tragic glaze, craze and daze of alcohol abuse.”
Chris Robinson, artistic director of the Ottawa IAF

Nighthawk is an animated film realized in multiplane camera technique. While multiplane itself was fully invented by Walt Disney studios in 1933, Špela Čadež most often references the Russian animation maestro Yuri Norstein as her inspiration for plunging into a new technique. Her previous work was mostly based in classic puppet animation, so the two dimensional cut-out painted work, animated in multiple layers that create an illusion of depth, presented a challenge. The author stumbled upon an old multiplane construction destined for the dump yard and decided there and then that this is a piece that needs to be salvaged for further usage.

The multiplane technique allows me to play with light, shadow, and undefined space through the specific unsharpness by depth, which significantly expands the space of creative expression. And modern technology and digitalisation of the film medium expand the possibilities of experimentation and design of the protagonist's inner world. This is a fable and as it must be, the main character is an old badger with some human traits. He walks, talks, and drives a car. The igniting spark for the project was a news article about a drunken badger in a German newspaper. It attracted me because it so obviously reflects our relationship to addiction. The story was published under the 'interesting' section. An animal that has gone astray in a human story. We instantly sympathize with such an adventorous badger. But if the badger is replaced by a human, the understanding of the story is substantially modified. Our laughter becomes bitter, and the whole incident is quickly pushed into oblivion. I am interested in the mechanism of denial, which is activated in our society when such issues arise. When is someone an addict? Where is the limit? Saying that "I was a little tipsy" is not a problem , but it is a completely different story to admit that you are or someone close to you is an addict. In the film I approach a situation experienced by many addicts. I wanted to use the specific medium of animated film to portray the inner state of alcoholic intoxication, to enter the world of delusions, the worlds of courage and fear, joy and grief, fragility and strength, lies and truth. The aim of my film is not analysis and didactic moralization but to show the world of intoxication as is. With all its secrets and banalities. Displaying a world of complex issues and impossible answers. (Špela Čadež)


Špela Čadež

Špela Čadež (SI) has been active as an independent animation film director and producer since 2008. After graduating in Graphic Design in Ljubljana in 2002 she continued her studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. Her previous film Boles has been screened worldwide, receiving 50 awards, distinctions, and nominations, and her current film Nighthawk has received several prizes and has been screened in selections, for example at the.Sundance and Clermont Ferrand festivals.

Nighthawk (Nočna ptica)
Written by Gregor Zorc
Animation & drawings: Zarja Menart, Špela Čadež, Matej Lavrenčič
Editing: Iva Kraljević
Music: Tomaž Grom

Production: Finta Film,
Co-production: RTV Slovenia, Bonobostudio

Distribution: Bonobostudio,