The anniversary edition of the World Festival of Animated Films Animafest Zagreb, which this year celebrates its 40th birthday, will dedicate special attention to its most cheerful audience – children. Animafest and the Children’s Programme partner, Zagrebačka banka’s children savings programme Pčelica, will turn Kaptol Centre’s Cinplexx during the six festival days into a children’s movie theatre and inevitable place of entertainment and animation experience for the youngest population. Throughout the day, from 1am to 6pm, films suitable for children will be screened. In addition to the films, the children will get the chance to discover the magic and pleasure of creativity in Animafest’s special Pčelica centre. All day long they can learn about animation through play, workshops and special exhibitions.
The subject of this year’s workshop will reflect the anniversary spirit of Animafest’s 40th birthday, and will be led by young and successful animator Petra Zlonoga, whose two films will be screened in Animafest’s programme. The exhibition Koyaa the Extraordinary, open throughout the festival, will provide a first-hand insight into the puppet-animation film by Animafest’s dear friend, filmmaker Kolja Saksida. Puppets, sets and images will be displayed and once you see how the pros do it, you can also try to create simple stop-motions. Parents with children can look forward to Animafest family pass at the price of 100 kuna for the entire programme. The pass is valid for one parent and a child.
Competition films were selected by media psychologist Martina Peštaj; a children’s jury chooses the winner
With the help of media psychologist Martina Peštaj, children’s films were divided by age groups. For a family film watching pleasure – children accompanied by parents – a special Family Programme was designed. Film for Children Competition this year amounts to 33 films divided in four categories: preschool (4-7 years), elementary school low grades (7-10 years), elementary school high grades (10-14 years) and high school (14+ years). Each programme consists of five to ten short animated films selected out of submitted entries. All competition films will be seen by the children’s jury, consisting of five members who decide on the programme winner. Three films by Croatian filmmakers will be screened in the Children’s Programme, two of which were directed by the extremely prolific animator and illustrator Ivana Guljašević: Bu-Tu’s Drum and Search. The film is targeting children age 4-7. Among 33 competition films, there is also a work by Zagreb Academy’s student Mia Murat, Park.
The acclaimed National Film Board of Canada will present four of its films in the 10-14 years programme category: Big Drive, a new film by Anita Lebeau, Johannes Weiland’s The Gruffalo’s Child the mother squirrel is the voice of the famous British actress Helena Bonham Carter, while the short film The Bear Fact charmingly and wittingly describes the first contact between Eskimos and Europeans. The Monster of Nix, a new film by Dutch artist Rosto will also to be screened in the Grand Competition. Dark animated musical about Willy, a tormented boy fighting against Nix monster’s destructive powers takes place in Rosto’s typical surreal world. The main characters’ voices are those by famous singer and actor Tom Waits and director Terry Gilliam.
Weekend family programme
In addition to the Competition and Family Programme, the films marked as suitable for children can be found throughout the week in Animafest’s programme European TV Seriesat Cineplexx Kaptol Centre and Tušakanc cinema. Balthazar, a funny scientist and the most successful character of the Zagreb School of Animation, who solves problems of his fellow citizens with the help of imagination and positive energy, will have a chance to win new generations of fans at Cineplexx. Incredible situations experienced by Pat and Mat from the Czech animated series A je to will put a smile on many faces, just like the adventures of funny Polish brother Lolek and Bolek, who became a legend all over the world. These famous European animated serials will be screened at Tuškanac cinema.
Even though Animafest 2012 primarily screens short films, the Children’s Programme will present the first feature-length 3D animated film that competed in the official selection of Berlinale, Tales of the Night. Directed by Michel Ocelot, the legend of French animation, it will undoubtedly impress children with a combination of new technologies ad traditional silhouette-animation. On Saturday, 2 June at 11am, Kaptol Centre’s terrace will host Animafest’s 40th birthday party for children, with children’s choirs, dance groups and costume characters. For those families who live further off Kaptol Centre’s Cineplexx, Animafest traditionally organises free weekend screenings of animated films at cultural centres around Zagreb.