Czech film My Sunny Maad seeks Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature

'My Sunny Maad'

My Sunny Maad, an animated film by Czech director Michaela Pavlátová, will seek a nomination for the Animated Feature Oscar. The Czech-French-Slovak coproduction film about a Czech woman married to an Afghan man has already won the Jury Prize at the Annecy Festival in France and the main prize in Mexico’s Guadalajara.

My Sunny Maad tells the story of a Czech woman who falls in love with an Afghan man and then follows him to post-Taliban Afghanistan, where she has no idea of the life that awaits her or the family she is about to join. The story was adapted by Ivan Arsenjev and Yaël Levy from the novel Frišta by Czech journalist and humanitarian worker Petra Procházková.

It is the first feature-length animated film by Michaela Pavlátová, who has already received an Oscar nomination for her student animated grotesque Speech, Speech, Speech and won Annecy’s Cristal award for best short film for Tram in 2012.

Petr Oukropec, one of the Czech producers from Negativ Film, says that one of the main conditions for receiving a nomination is to secure the film’s distribution in the United States:

“There are several criteria and the main one is that we have to make the so-called qualification run by the end of the year. That means a limited distribution in US cinemas, so that academics can see the film.

“This has already been agreed with the international sales company, Totem Film, and distributors on US territory. If the film proves to be successful, than it will likely be distributed more broadly.”

My Sunny Maad has received critical acclaim by the press and audiences alike. According to the animation news website Cartoon Brew, it is one of the six films that are most likely to win the nomination, along with the Danish film Flee about an Afghan refugee living as a gay man in Denmark or Where is Anne Frank by the Israeli director Ari Folman.

'My Sunny Maad' | Photo: Aerofilms

Petr Oukropec agrees that the media buzz can definitely help increase the Czech film’s chances for an Oscar nomination:

“The attention of the media can certainly help us. The film also tackles women’s issues, a topic that is being discussed all over the world, not just in the US. But of course we currently focus on that territory, and we know the topic could resonate there.

“The story is universal and timeless, it has very striking visuals and a director who has a strong reputation and following. So we are hoping that all this will help us to promote it with an intensity required for the nomination.”

The Czech Republic has already selected the film Zátopek about the legendary Czech runner to compete for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

The nominees for Best Animated Feature Film will be announced on February 8, 2022, with the awards to follow on March 27.

'My Sunny Maad' | Photo: Aerofilms