At this year’s Annecy Animation Festival, no less than seven Flemish animators were selected to present their work. One of them could not go: Roman Klochkov, who is of Cazach origin, fears he will be evicted from the country, the Belgian daily De Morgen reports. Klochkov, 25, fled from Kasachstan in 1999 together with his family. He was accepted at the Ghent Royal Academy of the Arts (KASK) and studied animation there. One year ago he graduated with an amazing 99% grade, to no less extent thanks to his graduation piece, Administrators.
In this film, Klochkov tells the story of a rabbit whose house catches fire. When he tries to obtain a fire extinguisher, though, he’s sucked into a maelstrom of bureaucracy and absurdity. Klochkov was coached for this project by Luc Degryse, who teaches at the KASK, who suggested he choose a subject that was close to his own life’s experience.Klochkov’s own experience with bureaucracy, which he says started very early on in Kasachstan, got nasty when his family’s asylum application was rejected in 2002, after three years in Belgium. The family appealed on humanitarian grounds, but Klochkov fears he may be evicted from the country every day.
(artwork from “The Administrators” animated by Roman Klochkov)
For a creative person like Klochkov, this is a double disaster. Not only is returning to Kasachstan out of the question, he is also unable to function in the country he’s living in. “It’s hard to start on a new storyboard if you don’t know beforehand whether you’ll be able to finish it.” Klochkov has a MySpace website, while more information on his film is available at Flanders Image and at Flanders Animation.