Helena Bulaja

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Helena Bulaja
Helena Madunić

(1971-12-06) 6 December 1971 (age 50)
OccupationDirector, multimedia artist, animator, designer, producer, screenwriter
Years active1995–present
Regoch, Mehanical Figures, "The Cat Time Stories"

Helena Bulaja (pronounced [buˈlaja]; born 6 December 1971) is a Croatian multimedia artist, film director, scriptwriter, designer and film producer.


Helena Bulaja was born in Split, Croatia. She was educated in art history and comparative literature at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb. She lives in Zagreb, Croatia.


Bulaja is active in digital art, design, art and film since 1994. In the early days of her career she worked as art director, designer and illustrator in several Croatian computer magazines (Computerworld Croatia, Net, Vidi), and in 1995 she started her digital artist career. In 1990s her interactive art projects, mostly occupied with metaphors, tele-presence and relation of the real world and cyber-space, were featured in magazines such as Hotwired, and presented at Ars Electronica arts and technology festival's Net Art selection in Linz, Austria in 1997.[1]

In 2000 Helena Bulaja started an animated and interactive adaptation of fairytales from the book Priče iz davnine (Croatian Tales of Long Ago) written by Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, a Croatian writer for children ("the Slavic Tolkien"), and based on the Slavic mythology. Bulaja was the originator, editor-in-chief, manager, director and designer of the project. The project was presented at more than 30 international conferences and festivals dedicated to the interactive media, animation and film, and won several awards, including FlashForward Festival 2002 in San Francisco (category story), best multimedia award at Lucca Comics and Games in 2004, at International Family Film Festival in 2007 in Hollywood,[2] and Zagreb City Award. The interactive animated project Croatian Tales of Long Ago was a new step in exploring the relation of the digital media and classical literature and was created by eight independent teams authors from all around the world (Australia, Germany, France, USA, Canada, England, Scotland...), whose work was coordinated on the Internet. Some of the animators, directors, musicians and other authors that contributed to the project are Nathan Jurevicius, Christian Biegai, Alistair Keddie, Laurence Arcadias, Ellen McAuslan, Mirek and Paulina Nisenbaum, Sabina Hahn, Edgar Beals, Katrin Rothe, Brenda Hutchinson, Leon Lučev, Sabina Hahn, Erik Adigard and many others. Each of eight teams transferred one of the eight fairy tales from the original Brlić's book to the digital media, with the complete artistic and creative freedom.

With an international team of authors, since 2006 Helena Bulaja is developing her new project, experimental interactive documentary Mechanical Figures, inspired by the Serbian-American scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla. The film will be released in different media: as a linear theatric and TV documentary, a series of short films, as well as an interactive film for the Web and mobile devices such as iPhone and iPad. In the film, stories and thoughts about Tesla and creativity are told by some of the most intriguing and inspiring artists, thinkers, writers and scientists, like the film director Terry Gilliam, musician and artist Laurie Anderson, performance artist Marina Abramović, writer Christopher Priest, new media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, actor Andy Serkis, scientist and president of Kyoto University Hiroshi Matsumoto and others. The project is also questioning film as an art form in the time of technological development and the new media, and it leads the viewer through the process of creation, following the Tesla's legacy around the world from Zagreb, through London, Paris, Budapest, New York City, to Tokyo and New Zealand, capturing the present, past and the future of technological and social development initiated by some of Tesla's inventions. The project won MEDIA support for development, as first Croatian documentary film project.[citation needed]

Recently Helena Bulaja started the development of a new animated project for TV and interactive media, The Cat Time Stories, that also won MEDIA development support as first Croatian animation project, based on short stories about cats and people written by Croatian writer Nada Horvat. The project was selected and presented at Cartoon Forum in September 2010 in Sopron, Hungary.[3]


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