PLANTARIUM - animated short, 2020
In a subterranean world, a gardener faces a surreal challenge: pruning the razor-sharp nails of a boy who has sprouted from a pot, while the boundaries of plant and human life blur in an unsettling and accelerating space.
Script & Directing: Tomek Ducki
Animation: Tomek Ducki, Weronika Banasińska
Editing: Paweł Kamykowski, Tomek Ducki, Katarzyna Zolich
Storyboard: Joanna Wójcik
Sound: Péter Benjámin Lukács
Music: Jean-Marc Petsas
Production: EGoFILM Ewelina Gordziejuk
Production Management: Małgorzata Badowiec
Asystent of Production Manager: Marta Trzmiel
Production Cooperation: Justyna Han, Eugeniusz Gordziejuk
Co-producers: Łukasz Hendzel, Gábor Osváth–Boddah Riotfilm
Animation Grand Prix, Long Story Short Film Festival, Poland, 2022
Golden Unicorn, Alpinale, Austria, 2021
Student Jury Award, KAFF, Hungary, 2021
Krakow Film Festival 2020 – international competition
Animator IAFF Poznan 2020 – international competition
Warsaw Film Festival 2020 
Animateka IAFF Ljubljana 2020 – international competition
BOGOSHORTS, Columbia, 2020 – international competition
Etiuda & Anima, Krakow, 2020 - international competition
Zubroffka 2020 – national competition
Anima Brussels 2021 – international competition
KABOOM, The Netherlands, 2021 – international competition
Animatricks, Finland, 2021 – international competition
Friss Hús, Budapest, Hungary, 2021 – international competition
KAFF Hungary 2021 – national competition
Framed AF, The Netherlands, 2021 – international competition
Alpinale Kurzfilmfestival, Austria, 2021 – international competition
Encounters, UK, 2021 – international competition
Stop Trik IFF, Poland, Slovenia – international competition
Manchester Animation Festival 2021, United Kingdom, 2021 – international competition
Slamdance Film Festival 2022, USA, 2022 – international competition
IFF Febiofest Bratislava 2022, Slovakia, 2022 – international competition
Cinemagic ‘On The Pulse’ Short Film Festival, UK, 2022 – international competition
Primanima , Hungary, 2022 – international competition
"What first strikes the viewer of Tomek Ducki’s Plantarium is the director’s keen ability to build an effective and immersive world with very little by way of materials. Primarily stop-motion, the film is composited as though on planes, infusing the character animation with a rigged 2D sensibility. While visually quite distinct from Ducki’s preceding work such as 2013’s Baths (wherein two swimmers in the autumn of their years recall their youth via a rather ingenious visual motif), there are certain themes that remain present, both visually and thematically; the absence of distinct facial features granting the characters a sense of both anonymity and universal relatability, and the notion of age and youth being at loggerheads.
In the case of Plantarium this dynamic is less introspective and more directly combative, beginning with the almost Lynchian premise of a child birthed from a plant pot, whose existence immediately encroaches on what had seemed to be a peaceful way of life for the lonely gardener who encounters it. The child’s exuberance leads to conflict and codependence, with each stage of its development taking a physical toll on the gardener whose body, composed of loose fabric resembling flayed skin, is torn off in strips. The child’s increasing independence is interwoven with dominance, ultimately leading to a role reversal as he makes to depart the garden for good and leave his ailing parent in the dirt.”
— Ben Mitchell - Encounters
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