Paprika

 
Credits
2004, 8 mins. (USC)
Director/Animator: Katalin Nivelt Anguelov
Sound Designer: Juri Hwang
Composer: Patrick Kirst,
Voices: Philip Proctor, Damian Mordano, Caroline Kung
 
About
Generations of schoolchildren have experienced the pill-in-sugar-coating approach of countless well-intentioned short films that try to make science "fun!" With any luck, Paprika, an animated short by Budapest native and resident Katalin Nivelt Anguelov, will give future school kids something they actually can enjoy.

Paprika celebrates the Hungarian scientist Albert Szent-Gy�rgyi, who received the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his work in the isolation of vitamin C. "Being Hungarian," says Anguelov, "I have always known him and he was a sort of cultural icon for us." In Paprika, Anguelov tells Szent-Gy�rgyi's discovery of the benefits of vitamin C as a sort of folktale, giving one of the twentieth century's great scientific discoveries a magical quality. To tell the story, Anguelov worked with another Hungarian Nobel laureate, Professor George Olah, who, it turns out, knew Szent-Gy�rgyi. "He said that Albert would have liked my film a lot," says an understandably pleased Anguelov.

Before tackling the story of one of her country's greatest scientists, Anguelov studied animation at Evergreen State College in Washington. "That is where I got into filmmaking," she says. "Before that I studied fine arts in Europe." The three animated films Anguelov made before Paprika are all abstract: "Paprika is my first character animation for children." For Anguelov, the thread that runs from abstraction to character animation to science is the link between the creative process and scientific discovery. She sees both the creativity in the rigors of science and the logic in the chance occurrences of making art. Much like creating art, scientific discovery is "about using a part of you differently than most people," Anguelov says. "It is all about following your instinct."
 
Online Resources
Nobel Prize Biography of Albert Szent-Györgyi
How vitamin C works