Handmade: A Tale of Stop Motion

“Handmade” is a documentary film that tells the inspiring story of Nukufilm, the oldest surviving stop-motion animation studio in the world, founded in 1957.

During the Soviet era, Nukufilm was both financed and censored by the USSR government. In the 1980s, a new generation of animators took over. They had a more adventurous approach to stop-motion animation and were given the freedom to experiment with any style they wanted. Despite strict censorship regulations, they were able to conceal messages and layers in their animations without being detected.

When Estonia regained independence in 1991, Nukufilm lost its distribution through Moscow. The studio struggled to survive in a global market. However, they managed to learn the new market and become businessmen, surviving in the new free market economy.

The digital revolution had a profound impact on stop-motion animation, and Nukufilm embraced the change. They used digital techniques to view recorded material more quickly and compare it with the next frame, and nowadays, the use of digital techniques is essential to creating modern stop-motion animation. To date, Nukufilm has produced over 200 stop-motion animation films.

The film offers a glimpse into stop-motion animation production today, as well as rare archive material from stop-motion animation history. This debut film is a tribute to the art of stop-motion animation, and an ode to the perseverance and creativity of the Nukufilm studio.


  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 83 & 58 mins
  • Production: Luckyday Pictures
  • Director: Nikalas Catlow
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: Sweden

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