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  • Helena Bulaja - Bio
     
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    Helena Bulaja was born in Split, Croatia in 1971, and was educated in History of Art and Comparative Literature at Zagreb University.
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    She worked as an art director, designer and illustrator for various computer magazines, and started her career as a digital artist in 1995. In 1996 on Salon of the Young Artists in Zagreb, together with Petar Grimani and Zvonimir Bulaja, she exhibited the first interactive Internet installation in Croatia entitled "...lOok ... wwwsculpture ... Freedom in the City or Just an Illusion". Web pages of the project were recommended at Geocities.com, Hotwired.com etc.
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    In 1997 the project continued on the Salon of Architecture in Zagreb, where she made an installation ..."lOok"...WWWSCULPTURE ... introducing real space to cyberspace and vice versa - METAPHORS", experimenting with telepresence and urban space improvement through the use of the new technologies. Web pages of the project were presented at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, in Net Art selection.
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    In 1999 with her husband Zvonimir she founded a publishing company 'Alt F4 - Bulaja naklada', which became the leading Croatian multimedia and CD-ROM publishing house. The company had its first success with the edition "Classics of Croatian Literature", a collection of Croatian literature classics in e-book form. The CDs are still national bestsellers.
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    In 2000 she started the most successful Croatian interactive project: a collection of animated and interactive stories "Croatian Tales of Long Ago", based on a fairytale book with the same title written in 1916 by Ivana Brlić Mažuranić, "the Slavic Tolkien", one of the most famous Croatian literature classics.
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    The project won about 30 international awards and recognitions, at the animation and new media festivals worldwide, including the most important ones (San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Montreux, Toronto, Austin, Zagreb, Annecy, Hamburg, Ottawa, Seoul...). Helena gathered together creative teams from Australia, USA, Canada, Germany, France, Russia, England, Denmark and Croatia, and each team transferred one of eight fairy tales from this famous book into the digital world, with complete creative freedom. There were more than hundred people involved in this project: animators, illustrators, musicians, programmers etc. The project was a unique step towards exploring the relation between digital media and traditional, classic literature. It was also done in the unique way, with 8 independent teams of collaborators from all around the world, whose work was coordinated on the Internet.
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    CD-ROMs "Croatian Tales of Long Ago" (Part One and Part Two) were claimed to be the most important project in Croatian animation and cinematography of the decade, of the 21st century etc, by the leading Croatian media.
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    For this project Helena authored, directed and animated the cartoon "Regoch", awarded at International Family Film Festival 2007 in Hollywood (best foreign short animation), and selected and screened at Euroshorts 2006, Warsaw, Reel Women Film Festival 2007, Los Angeles, AFIA 2007 in Aarhus, Denmark, and Interfilm 2007 in Berlin. At Imagining Ourselves Online Film Festival 2007 in San Francisco "Regoch" was voted second best European short film by the Internet audience.
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    From 2007 "Bulaja naklada" started a new series of publications based on the project: each tale is to be published as a special "deluxe" edition that includes a book, DVD, CD and other surprises and activities. Helena's design of the first book/package from the series, "Stribor's Forest" based on the cartoon by the Scottish animator Alistair Keddie, is the only book that won two "Kiklop" awards, which is the most prestigeous Croatian book award given at Pula Book Fair: best children book and best design. At the end of 2008 the second pack from the series was released: "Neva" based on the cartoon by Canadian Edgar Beals, with even more innovative concept and design.
     
    Helena's new project - started in 2005 - experimental interactive film "Mechanical Figures - twentythousandcycles.NET" is inspired by Nikola Tesla. The main focus of the project is exploration of the process of creativity. Helena again gathered an impressive team if international authors. The project moves the boundaries of the digital media, in the space between the Internet, film and performance. Being very multidimensional, the project questions and reinvestigates the film as a form of art which is today more and more consumed through handheld and mobile devices, as well as the Internet. Tesla is the main subject of the film not only because of his interesting and intriguing persona, but also because he was an inspiration to many well known artists. So the starting point of the stories are the interviews with artists and creative individuals like Terry Gilliam, Andy Serkis, Laurie Anderson, Marina Abramovic, Christopher Priest, Douglas Rushkoff and many others, and their thoughts will be the origin for creation of a peculiar and distinctive story about the creativity and technology.
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    From 2005 Helena Bulaja is a member of Zagreb City Council's expert advisory board for new media, urban and alternative culture.
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    Helena, with her husband Zvonimir, organized and directed very successful festival of "digital creativity" DECro in Zagreb, Croatia, in 2003 and 2005, focused on the creative use of new technologies and digital tools. The festival gathered famous panelists and lectures from the fields of new media, animation and Flash, including one of the most famous Web designers today Joshua Davis.
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    She is a member of the jury of the Flash animation storytelling festival "The Greatest Story Never Told" in San Francisco from 2003 on.
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    She was a program director of "Cartoon Night", a special animation program at the fairytale festival Fiabesque in Peccioli, Italy, in January 2007.
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    As a guest speaker or a panelist she was invited to numerous conferences and universities, among others Brookes University's "Dust or Magic" Conference in Oxford, Bologna Book Fair, Dresden Film Festival's "Exchange Forum", Edit Festival in Frankfurt, and New Media School in Auckland, New Zealand.
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    Helena lives in Zagreb and is a mother of 4 children.
     
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  • - Helena's page on Wikipedia... 
    - Helena's personal Web page...
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  • Helena Bulaja
     
  • Photo by Mare Milin, NYC, Jan 2006

     
     
     
       

     
     

 
  • Croatian Tales of Long Ago
  • INTERACTIVE CLASSICS
  • Nikola Tesla
  • CLASSICS of CROATIAN LITERATURE on CD-ROM
  • Biblioteka Click-and-Point
  • DECro - DigitalExchangeCroatia
  • LIVING ARCHIPELAGO IN CROATIA

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