Gunnar Strøm, professor at Norwegian Volda University, Canadian Chris Robinson, art director of Ottawa International Film Festival, and Darko Bakliža from Croatia, professor and animated and experimental film author, were members of this year’s Animafest jury. The main festival award, the Grand Prix, they decided to present to the Belgian-French film Approved for Adoption by Laurent Boileau and Jung. The Special Mention went to the French film The Painting by Jean-Francois Laguionie. The audience shared the jury’s opinion and also awarded Approved for Adoption. The international committee of the Regional Pitching Forum consisting of Jasmina Kallay, Martina Petrović and Mike Robinson chose as the best pitching project the Croatian-Swiss animated documentary Chris the Swiss by Anja Kofmel. After Rijeka’s Art cinema Croatia screens a selection of films from this year’s Animafest 14-16 June, the next batch of creative animation is scheduled for 3-8 June 2014.
“For its innovative use of animation to fill in the blanks of personal history while creating a powerful, authentic and loving autobiography, we award the Grand Prize to Approved for Adoption,” explained the jury their decision on the winner of Animafest Zagreb 2013 Grand Prix winner. Zagreb’s audience once again showed they like and understand contemporary animation and, just like the jury, awarded Jung’s film Approved for Adoption. Surprised and sincerely touched, the author thanked the audience, the jury and Animafest and concluded that the search for identity finally – paid off.
Approved for Adoption is an autobiographic tale of the South Korean animator Jung, one of 200 thousand children adopted after the Korean War. Jung, 42, was found by the police on the streets of Seoul at the age of five, after which he was adopted by a Belgian family. Many years later Jung decided to return to Seoul to breathe the air of his country once again and perhaps find his birth mother. We follow his journey of reconciliation with his roots, making him once again, in animation, remember the child he used to be. Approved for Adoption is graced with very original animation, all the drawings were made by Jung, while the film was co-directed by Laurent Boileau.
Among nine Grand Competition films, another pearl thrilled the jury members. The Painting by French director Jean-Francois Laguionie is the winner of the jury’s Special Mention, earned for “its use of the language of animation to explain and explore the possibilities and riches of visual art.”
The Painting by famous French filmmaker Jean-Francois Laguionie is his fourth feature animated film. Laguionie is best known for his short film, now already a classic, The Maid and the Cellist, the winner of 1965 Annecy Grand Prix, while Rowing Across the Atlantic won 1979 Palme d’Or in Cannes. The Painting is a wonderful and innovative fairy tale taking place in an unfinished painting hanging in an abandoned studio. The protagonists are – characters in the painting.
The International Committee of the Regional Pitching Forum consisting of Jasmina Kallay, Martina Petrović and Mike Robinson chose the animated documentary Chriss the Swiss by Anja Kofmel the best project in development. In production of Chriss the Swiss participates Croatian production company Nukleus. In addition to the Golden Zagreb award, Animafest’s fund ensured the author financial support amounting to €3000 for further project development and presentation at Cartoon Movie co-production forum in Lyon in March next year. The author whose film was selected among six other projects from Central and Eastern Europe will tell a true biographic story through drawing about the meeting of two countries, Croatia and Switzerland, as well as through documentary and animated sequences.
“During this year’s Animafest Regional pitching forum, we have had the privilege of being introduced to six projects that have ranged from ambitious and compelling to colourful and moving. . What we got was a story that not only touched us at an emotional level but it also asks important questions and reflects a tumultuous time in history,” said Mike Robinson on behalf of the committee consisting of Jasmina Kallay, Martina Petrović and himself.
Animafest Zagreb 2013 in Rijeka
A selection from the programme of the World Festival of Animated Film Animafest Zagreb will be presented in Rijeka’s Art cinema Croatia 14-16 June. The opening film of Rijeka’s programme will be the Belgian-French Grand Competition entry Ernest and Celestine by Stephane Aubier, Benjamin Renner and Vincent Patar. In addition to the charming story about a friendship between a bear and a mouse, the Children and Youth Programme presents one of the most popular animated films in Estonian history Lotte and the Moonstone Secret and Japanese film From Up On Poppy Hill, whose screenplay was written by the greatest living manga artist and one of the most important world animators Hayao Miyazaki, directed by his son Goro Miyazaki. World Panorama at Art Cinema Croatia screens It’s Such a Beautiful Day, by Don Hertzfeldt, the winner of last year’s festival award.
Animafest in Rijeka celebrates 100 years of Norwegian animation in the Contemporaries section, screening the best of the short Norwegian production from 1913 until today. The feature programme in Rijeka will screen two films: Free Jimmy and Kurt Turns Evil from 2008. The Cartoon d’Or segment presents the best of fresh European short animated production, including the last year’s Animafest winner Oh Willy....