Interview with founder of Prague Splash Festival Michal Benda

The 14.th Splash Festival in September will be full of workshops, lectures, and opportunities to meet professionals and studies around the world. Speaking about computer animation, modeling in 3D, storytelling, computer games, visual effects or the concept of art and illustration. Michal Benda is the head of the whole festival and we could not ask ourselves a few questions we were interested in.

What is the Prague Splash Festival and who should not miss it?

The Splash Festival is a two-day marathon of lectures and workshops from the world of computer graphics, and not only that. Another important element is personal encounter with people in the field and the possibility of, for example, establishing a working relationship. Therefore, he should not miss out on any guru who is interested in this field and people.

And what topics will be on the workshops and lectures this time?

This year will be full of topics from film industry, but we will also touch on the game industry and digital illustration.

In Czech festival of animated film Anifilm students and young filmmakers could met with professionals from many animation studios. Will Splash’s visitors have a similar opportunity?

Yes, even at the Splash Festival, there is a similar opportunity to meet professionals and recruiters who will have their “stands” ready to answer questions from visitors, or to assess the presented portfolio and offer an interesting position in their studio. Another option is a Saturday party where everything is easier. 🙂

Students from different countries will travel to Suchdol, where the Splash Festival traditionally takes place. Who can we look forward to?

Splash has long been not only a local affair, and now that it’s all in English, it gives us the opportunity to invite interesting speakers from around the world. This year we will be welcoming names like Josh Parks (UK), Hugo Guerra (UK), Kurt van der Basch (CA) and Alf Lovvold (N). Notable share also represents speakers from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The organization of such a festival certainly takes a lot of time and energy. What are you working on now?

It is true. The organization takes a really big part of the whole year. I am currently trying to confirm all the arrival times of the speakers and finally confirm the last two slots in the program.

How did the idea originate in creating such a specific festival?

Uf, it will be almost 15 years when I told Leos Jank over beer about my idea with graphicconference “dude, it would be something if there was a graphic conference in our country.” At that time as an employee of the CULS, I tried to negotiate the rent of the hall and that was the most part at that time. Then it was all about bringing the familiar in the field. Still today, I look forward to seeing the 2005 photos and shake my head. 🙂

Splash is surely not only for Czechs, where and how do visitors come to Prague in September?

Thanks to the transformation into a purely international format, we are also starting to travel to foreigners from Europe. These are mainly visitors from Poland and Germany. According to my information, these are often people who are just about to interview at the “booths” of studies – for example from Great Britain like MPC, DNEG, FRAMSTORE and others. Of course the Slovaks are such a strong support from the beginning.

What’s the 14th year of the festival different from the previous ones?

It is a difficult question. We try to move Splash every year again and sometimes it’s a format or last year’s complete rebranding of the festival. This year’s edition is mainly due to the fact that Czech, gaming, film and animation studios such as Warhorse studios, Kredenc, Progressive FX and 3Bohemians will be represented in the exhibition this year.

Thank you for the interview! See you soon at Splash 2018!

I also thank you and I look forward to it!

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