Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak on „Eeva“/ interview

Morten Tšinakov: The filmmaker studied animation at the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn where he made two films. Since graduating, he has been working at the Estonian animation studio Joonisfilm where, in collaboration with Lucija Mrzljak, he has co-created A Demonstration of Brilliance in Four Acts, The Stork and Eeva.

Lucija Mrzljak: Born in Zagreb, Croatia in 1990, the director and illustrator completed her master’s in animation as a student of Priit and Olga Pärn in Estonia. Her student films Shuma and Kut screened at festivals around the world. In 2019, she made a music video for the Oscar-winning musician Glen Hansard. She has worked with Morten Tšinakov on short films for the Estonian animation studio Eesti Joonisfilm and the Adriatic Animation Studio in Zagreb. Alongside her work as an animation filmmaker, she is also an illustrator and a guest lecturer in animation and illustration at the Estonian Academy of Fine Arts.

What was the starting point of Eeva?

It all started with a dream Morten had. In this dream, a woodpecker landed on a coffin and delivered a message using morse code before it was killed with an umbrella. This dream appears in the film almost unchanged. The rest of the film followed from there.

Do you have a favourite moment in the film? Which one and why this one?

We are very happy about how the dream sequences turned out. They are not far off from what we had in mind when starting the production. Some scenes are very important just because they were difficult to make and took a very long time. For the people who watch the film they probably wouldn’t jump out but for us they are very dear. One of them is the scene where the woodpecker is flying through the cemetery.

What do you like about the short form?

 The short films are never expected to become commercially successful, so there’s much more room to experiment and play around. If you have to please a certain amount of people, it sets some restrictions that you have to keep in mind (We’re not saying that it’s impossible to make great films that are commercially successful by the way). We don’t really have to think about whether most people would like some absurd idea that we came up with and whether all of them would understand it. This way of making films is much more fun.


„Nous avons été très inspiré.e.s par Wong Kar-Wai. Il a souvent ces rouges et ces verts puissants dans ses films, et on adore l’esthétique de son cinéma. Le procédé était d’une simplicité biblique : on a d’abord utilisé le rouge et le vert, et le reste a découlé de ça. Après quelques essais et quelques erreurs, les couleurs atténuées se sont bien harmonisées – le gris va avec tout.“
Interview with Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak for Le Polyester.

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