In anticipation of the first film programmes, Monday at Animafest 2022 brings two events particularly attractive to animation professionals. From 9 am to 4 pm, participants of the new pitching lab for young talents Rise&Shine, organised by Animafest, Animateka and CEE Animation, will gather at the MM Centre. It is a two-part programme for the development of short films, which in the first, Zagreb-based part includes comprehensive, group and individual mentoring, participation in lectures and connecting with the protagonists of the industry, with a special focus on screenwriting. The second part takes place in December in Ljubljana and envisages work on presentation skills and project presentation, and the best among the candidates will exhibit at the CEE Animation Forum 2023.
Mentors are two times Oscar nominees Joanna Quinn and Les Mills, two-time Goya Award winner whose work in addition to animated films, includes the feature Netflix hit Platform Pedro Rivero, former production manager of the famous Barrandov studio and lecturer at FAMU, and now a collaborator of CEE Animation and producer Anna Vášová, and founder of numerous talent development programmes and collaborator at Cannes, Venice and San Sebastian Matthieu Darras. The submitted projects come from Portugal, Denmark, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, Estonia, Bulgaria and Croatia.
After Rise & Shine, Pedro Rivero remains at the MM Centre to hold a masterclass open to all interested visitors from 4 to 5:30 pm.
The beginning of film programmes and the real festival celebration of Animafest 2022 will be marked by the screening of Grand Competition - Short Film 1 with three world premieres in the SC Cinema at 8 pm, in the presence of more than 300 foreign guests, talks with filmmakers, jury members and welcome speeches by the artistic and production management of the festival. After the screening, Špela Čadež and Tina Smrekar (Steakhouse), Juan Pablo Zaramella (Passenger, world premiere), Joachim Hérissé (Skinned, world premiere), Darko Masnec (Salute to the Sun, world premiere), Daniel Bird and Jaroslav Mrázek (Somebody Ask Us) and Raphaëlle Stolz (Miracasas) will speak about their works. The talk will be hosted by Alexis Hunot, a regular Animafest contributor, French populariser and animation critic.
The screening of the spectacular Belle from the Grand Competition - Feature Film category by Japanese anime master Mamoru Hosoda will conclude at 10 pm at the SC Cinema. The themes of youth and coming of age in difficult conditions and unusual situations are constantly characteristic of his work, and are central to Hosoda’s last film, which earned a 14-minute standing ovation at Cannes. A withdrawn girl is a big singing star in the virtual world of the U network where she attracts with a digital patchwork of songs and looks. Problematic, but not condemning the view of social media and the internet, i.e. life at the crossroads of two realities, this film delights equally with the realism of the set design and playful depictions of fantasy with the author’s favourite elements of futurism and surrealism.
Disney animator Jin Kim was involved in shaping the main character while the famous Irish studio Cartoon Saloon worked the backgrounds, so it’s no surprise that the overall result is a truly fascinating sight for eyes and ears, both in the hyperrealist ‘real’ and impossibly multiple virtual worlds. Halfway between pop-music SF and the updated adaptation of Beauty and the Beast and with characteristic anime humour, Belle is the realisation of Hosoda’s thirty-year-old dream of adapting his favourite fairy tale.