The official ceremony and the screening of an animated film about an impossible friendship between a bear and a mouse, Ernest and Celestine, opened the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb at Europa cinema. With short speeches the attending animation lovers were addressed by Animafest art director Daniel Šuljić, producers Vjera Matković and Olinka Vištica, and the newly elected mayor of Zagreb Milan Bandić. The opening ceremony was also attended by many authors of festival films, jury members, officials from the domain of film, city officials and animation lovers in the packed Europa cinema.
‘For forty-one years this festival has been a meeting point of different nations and thanks to its organisers it is today one of half a dozen most important animation festivals in the world. It is upon us to maintain their work with a lot of dedication, effort and love. Our success will be displayed in the upcoming six days in our various programme segments,’ said Daniel Šuljić, Animafest’s art director.
Vjera Matković, Animafest’s producer, took a chance to invite all devotees of film and creative animation to enjoy the entire festival programme: ‘We hope you will stay with us throughout the festival and enjoy Animafest's film programmes at Europa and Cineplexx, seen for the very first time in Croatia, accompanied by masters of animation from across the world. Don't forget to visit our exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art and ULUPUH Gallery. May this Animafest be another wonderful experience.’
Olinka Vištica thanked everyone who supported the festival, friends and partners: Zagreb City Office for Culture, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, MEDIA programme of the EU, Bnet and Pčelica Zagrebačka banka, which are not only examples of social responsibility, contributing to the change of perception of animation as not only a hobby for the idle but as promotion of audiovisual activities as a healthy industry which can definitely contribute to Croatian economy.
The honour to open the festival was bestowed on the newly re-elected mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandić: ‘Dear film lovers, welcome to Animafest 2013. May the best win the Grand Prix and with this wish I open the festival!”
One of the three authors of the Belgian-French-Luxembourger film Ernest and Celestine, Benjamin Renner presented his film briefly: ‘This is my first feature and working on it was hard, but also very entertaining. I tried to convey the artistic, minimalist, but refined style of Gabrielle Vincent, whose books this film is based on.’ An immense applause at the end of the film confirmed the choice of this charming gem of European animation as an excellent introduction to six days of animation ahead of us.
All those who did have the chance to see this charming and irresistible tale of two opposing worlds can make it up on Wednesday and Thursday at Cineplexx Kaptol Centre. Friendship at an elderly age is the subject of the Spanish film Wrinkles, another grand prix candidate, also scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. The film is based on the award-winning comic book by Paco Roca, which won the hearts of both audience and critics and was sold in 350 thousand copies.
On Wednesday the Grand Competition continues with A Liar’s Autobiography: An Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, a must-see for all the fans of the quirky Brits, which will be presented by one the three authors, Jeff Simpson. The motif of interesting biography spans through another two competition entries. The animated homage to the pioneer of Japanese manga Yoshihiro Tatsumi, collaged out of several interesting techniques, will be presented in the film Tatsumi on Wednesday, 9pm, Cineplexx kaptol Centre. Approved for Adoption is an autobiographic tale by the author Jung, taking us on trip of reconciliation with himself as one of 200 thousand Korean adopted children.
An animated bud of the Old Continent takes us back to Europe – the new and extremely lavish version of the legendary fairy tale of the wooden liar – Pinocchio – a film by Enzo D'Alò which also competes for the Grand Prix. A dose of thrilling twists, mystery, terror and dark humour will be available on Wednesday at 10pm with the Apostle at Europa cinema. Aside from the fact that it the brainchild of the creators of Matrix and Lord of the Rings, Philip Glass composed the music.
Hand-drawn lavish animated tale The Day of the Crows, about a father and a boy living isolated in the middle of the forest is scheduled within the Panorama section, ideal for children from the age of eight onwards. A darling of Animafest’s audience, Oscar-nominated Don Hertzfeldt, seamlessly connected three short films about Bill, a man with many problems, in a new feature film It’s Such a Beautiful Day, recommended to lovers of specific, indie, creative animation.
On Tuesday, ULUPUH Gallery opened the exhibition of black and white comic books inspired by cult Czech works by Jaroslav Rudiš and Jaromir 99, while Alois Nebel, a film inspired by the same location, and praised as the Czech Sin City is scheduled for Wednesday. Animafest gives an amazing opportunity to see on the big screen all the beauties of one of the most popular Norwegian films – Pinchcliffe Grand Prix, the film that attracted five million Norwegian viewers, almost the entire population of the country. The film was made by Ivo Caprino, the household name in the history of Norwegian animation, whose 100th birthday we celebrate in a rich retrospective.
The festival’s rich side programme features the acclaimed video artist Ivan Marušić Klif with his work I Love Cartoons!, in which for the first time he uses narrative elements. A video installation in the format of an animated film was inspired by early 20th century animation: classical narratives by Fleischer brothers and abstract films by Oskar Fischinger. Everyone is invited to attend the opening on Wednesday, 5 June 2013, 10pm at MSU’s No Gallery.