This year’s World Festival of Animated Film Animafest Zagreb begins several days later than usual, on Tuesday, 4 June, and closes on Sunday, 9 June. The films will be screened in Europa and Cineplexx Kaptol Centre cinemas and a part of the programme will be displayed on the media facade of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU). Side events take place at several galleries across the city. At the newly furnished Müller hall on the first floor of Europa cinema, the media representatives were acquainted with the film and side programme by the festival’s art director Daniel Šuljić, producers Olinka Vištica and Vjera Matković, children and youth programme coordinator Mia Gvozdić Michl and MSU curator Leila Topić.
NINE OUTSTANDING FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS IN GRAND COMPETITION
“This year’s Grand Competition received a total of 65 submitted entries. Among them, we chose the best representatives of a wide spectrum of creative approaches and themes. We sought intriguing and interesting films which will make us smarter and better people. More than 90 per cent of the programme consists of hand-drawn films, made with a lot of love. In terms of subject matter, two categories stand out: films based on comic books and story books, and documentaries. All nine Grand Competition films are worthy of a trip to the cinema, led by the opening film Ernest and Celestine, chosen precisely because it speaks about overcoming racial differences,” said Daniel Šuljić about the festival competition, including also Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman, about the life of the deceased founding member of the famous Monty Python, Graham Chapman. One of the most successful Japanese animated films will also be presented, the anima Wolf Children, followed by a somewhat different story intended for adult audiences – Tatsumi – a tale about the namesake manga illustrator. The selection also includes the Spanish film Wrinkles, about friendship among old people, based on the award-winning comic by Paco Roca that won the hearts of the audience and critics and was sold in 350 thousand copies. European animation is represented by the Italian visually attractive adaptation of Collodi’s Pinocchio, Jean-François Laguionie’s The Painting, and the French-Belgian autobiography by Korean animator Jung Approved for Adoption. The dark horse of Animafest’s official selection is Consuming Spirits. The best among them will be decided by the three-member jury consisting of Norwegian Gunnar Strøm, associate professor at Volda University, Canadian Chris Robinson, art director of Ottawa International Film Festival and a renowned personality in animation world, and Darko Bakliža from Croatia, professor at the Academy of Fine Arts (Department of Animated Film and New Media) and Faculty of Design, and animation and experimental filmmaker.
THE FIVE PANORAMA FILMS FEATURE SPECIFIC NARRATIVES AND ANIMATION TECHNIQUES
“The World Panorama, one of the audience’s favourite categories, offers a broad insight into the recent global production of specifically narrated films. I would definitely stress It’s Such a Beautiful Day by one of the most interesting American filmmakers and Zagreb audience’s favourite, Don Hertzfeldt, last year’s winner of the Golden Zagreb Award. This dark humoured tale is opposed by the cold-blooded thriller about violence The King of Pigs, while puppet film and horror lovers will enjoy the Spanish Apostle,” said Vjera Matković about some of the Panorama entries.
MASTERS OF ANIMATION CELEBRATES 100 YEARS OF NORWEGIAN ANIMATION WITH THE LARGEST RETROSPECTIVE OF NORWEGIAN FILMS EVER IN CROATIA
“The cycle Masters of Animation this time provides a cross-section of contemporary and classic filmmakers from Norway, celebrating 100 years of Norwegian animation. A real treat is therefore the screening of their oldest preserved film, Roald Amundsen on the South Pole, made in 1913. Norwegian animation blossomed in the 1990s and in 2006 Danish Poet won the Academy Award. Norwegians are also active and successful in TV series, digital animation and computer games, therefore we are very proud to see a part of their contemporary production in Zagreb,” said Olinka Vištica announcing the largest retrospective of Norwegian film in Croatia ever.
TWELVE FEATURE-LENGTH FILMS, WORKSHOPS AND ANIMAFEST’S PČELICA CENTRE AWAIT THEIR MOST FAITHFUL AUDIENCE – CHILDREN
The coordinator of Children and Youth Programme, Mia Gvozdić Michl, informed the guests about as many as 12 feature animated films, marked by the mascot’s hat, including films from all the programme categories and bearing in mind age suitability. “Two types of Family Passes are a novelty – one for one child and an adult and the other for two children and an adult. In addition to the film programme, Animafest’s Pčelica centre organises workshops of optical games and stop motion during the entire festival,” said Mia and invited all the interested parents to register their children for the workshops via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Animafest in Your Neighbourhood hosts free screenings of Lotte and the Moonstone, dubbed in Croatian, on 9 June in Dubrava, Travno nad Trešnjevka.
ANIMAFEST PRO ORGANISES A PITCHING FORUM, LECTURES AND FILM ANALYSES WITH AN ACCENT ON TRANSMEDIA AND ANIMATION
In association with MEDIA desk Croatia, Animafest 2013 once again organises Animafest Pro, a segment dedicated to professionals from the field of film and animation. Olinka Vištica underlined the Regional Pitching Forum, where the international jury of Jasmina Kallay, Martina Petrović and Mike Robinson will select the best project in development.
The award-winning project will be granted 3000 euro by Animafest’s fund and a chance to be directly presented at the co-production forum for feature animated film Cartoon Movie in Lyon. Animafest Pro also features a series of lectures, Q&A’s with the filmmakers and production analyses.
“We wish to underline the importance of animation in transmedia, so we are organising an interactive video games exhibition with 20 recent works by indie representatives – Level Up! Video games, just like animation, can be both entertainment and art, which will be shown in practice by the video games made in a workshop that will connect students from the animation world and developers, taking place at Zagreb’s Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. Animafest Pro uses both theory and practice to portray great changes that are currently happening in the development of animation and its application, which Animafest wishes to keep track of. With this segment Animafest wishes to contribute to the preservation of heritage and to the development of media in the future and contents made specifically for particular types of presentation,” said producers Vištica and Matković.
PROGRAMME ANIMATION GOES MSU BEGINS ON WEDNESDAY, 29 MAY, WITH FILM SCREENINGS ON MSU’S MEDIA FACADE
We heard about the diversity of the animation medium and endless possibilities of interpretation and consumption methods from MSU curator Leila Topić: “Tomorrow, as soon as the night falls, the largest media facade in Zagreb will start screening 16 films selected at the Animation goes MSU competition. They are characterised by a wide range of techniques and an exceptionally creative way of approaching the Museum’s architecture. They will be available to everyone who finds themselves in the Museum proximity. In addition to these specific film screenings, Ivan Marušić Klif prepares his first art project in NO Gallery using a narrative basis, entitled I Love Cartoons!”
PROGRAMME WAS IST EUROPA? CONSISTS OF OUTSTANDING ANIMATED FILMS FROM THE EUROPEAN ANIMATION HISTORY
Daniel Šuljić presented one appropriate programme novelty, Was ist Europa?, celebrating the Croatian accession to the European Union, consisting of magnificent works from the European animation history, dealing with the social and political life in the 20th century Europe until this day. A comic film by Italian filmmaker and winner of Animafest’s 1998 Lifetime Achievement Award Bruno Bozzetto, Italy and Europe, was shown. The audience will be able to see it in the programme Was ist Europa?, as well as a selection of illustrations and caricatures on the subject of Croatian EU accession, which will be on display in Europa cinema’s front hall during the festival.