ZAGREB, 6 June 2014 - Day three at the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2014 was marked by the peak and wrap-up part of the symposium Animafest Scanner with speeches by Paul Wells and Giannalberto Bendazzi – leading names of global animation studies, a presentation of the Austrian festival, museum and media arts research centre Ars Electronica, and a visit to the exhibition Sisters by Lea Vidaković at Matica hrvatska Gallery. Meet the Filmmakers followed at the French Institute Mediatheque, with Theodore Ushev, the author of Gloria Victoria, and Tunisian Lotfi Mahfoudh, whose first film Berber Wedding earned him a place in Grand Competition.
- Being selected for the Grand Competition of such a world-acclaimed festival like Animafest Zagreb is for me a great success and motivation for further work - said Mahfoudh.
Numerous Student Competition participants, Michel Frei, Luiz Stockler, Bo-kyoung Kim, Christian Schlaeffer, Hakhyun Kim, Sylwia Szkiladz, Sophie Racine, Na-ri Jang and Ji-won Oh have concluded that Asian animation gets more and more inspired with Europe, whereas future western animators are still thrilled with Japanese and Korean school of animation. These authors’ film were shown today in Student Competitions 2 and 3 at Cineplexx Kaptol Centre at 1pm and 5.30pm. In the meantime, a panorama was screened between the two student selections. At 8pm there was ’chair dancing’ along the music videos section Cinema for the Ear, and the evening part in Kaptol finished with Grand Competition 4.
Lea Vidaković explained to the audience at the Mediatheque the concept of her film Sisters, pointing out that it was originally meant for a gallery. This was proved at 1pm at Matica hrvatska Gallery at the namesake exhibition. The book Visual Music was presented by Mirai Mizue, Marina Kožul and Sanja Grbin from 25 FPS Association. A brilliant theoretical read, Visual Music is a collection of essays representing an overview of artists’ continuous longing to create an all-encompassing work of art. A continuation of the video game workshop, presentation of Adriatic Game Jam, a competition for professional video game developers, and Anidox Adriatic, a programme connecting documentary and animation filmmakers from the region highlighted Animafest’s focus on the creative connection between animation and digital entertainment initiated at the last year’s edition of the festival.
The category 3x3 hosted Roberto Catani, Špela Čadež and Tomek Ducki who spoke before the screening at Europa theatre. Joan Ashworth ‘monitored’ the screening of best films made at her Royal College of Art, after which the festival continued at the central location with selections Puppet Masters 2, Grand Competition 3 and Grand Panorama 2, with the presence of famous Georges Schwizgebel, Petra Zlonoga and Wei Keong Tan whose film Pifuskin had its world premiere, and Paulo d’Alva.
The first part of the day at Tuškanac cinema was again scheduled for the fierce Films for Children Competition. The children’s jury consisting of Marta Bregeš, Noah Maričak, Nina Mileta, Marea Vodopija and Nika Vundać discussed their favourites during a break from the screenings at the festival centre.
Numerous animation devotees took the last chance to see the best works of Yuri Norstein, one of the greatest living animators, at 4pm at Tuškanac. Who knows when we will get another chance to see The Tale of Tales, Hedgehog in the Fog and other works by this Russian master on 35 mm. Evening at Tuškanac brought first the films by Nick Park, Quay Brothers, Jan Švankmajer and other ‘puppet masters’, followed by the long-awaited presentation of Ars Electronica. Juergen Hagler, the curator of this respected Austrian project, presented the unlimited achievements of expanded animation through a dozen films. Even though it was primarily meant for film professionals, Ars Electronica presentation attracted numerous lovers of the connection between contemporary technology and visual arts.
Animafest Scanner symposium ended with a reception hosted by the Austrian Cultural Forum at Velvet café. The day was filled with friendly but intense discussions about puppet film and the directions animated film is taking. In addition to professionals, numerous Animafest visitors and audience also enjoyed the presentations of the greatest minds with a scientific interest in this art. Paul Wells, and Giannalberto Bendazzi attracted most attention with their speeches on Mackinnon & Saunders studio and the historiography of animation, but Midhat Ajanović Ajan, Barbara Laborde, Fatemeh Hosseini-Shakib, Madi Piller, Anna Ida Orosz and Tomislav Mikulić also intrigued the listeners. Animafest Scanner in its premiere edition fulfilled the set goal of connecting animation theory and practice in a pleasant festival atmosphere, offering new views of the audience’s favourite works.
In the afternoon we were joined by Adam Wright, a master of animatronics and special effects, scheduled to speak on Friday about his rich career and work for Tim Burton, Harry Potter serial, and fashion designers. On Saturday Wright is also conducting the animatronics workshop for children and other interested participants.
Later in the evening the guests went to the festival club Melin to the Animators Jam Session. Just like two years ago with a spontaneous rap, Lei Lei again thrilled everyone with his musicality, this time VJing with his wife Chai Mi.