World Festival of Animated Film /
3 to 8 June 2019
World Festival of Animated Film / 3 to 8 June 2019
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Animafest Friday: Lessons From the Past and the Future

The penultimate day of the 30th World Festival of Animated Film is also the first day of Animafest’s weekend, when the festival is traditionally frequented by the largest number of Zagreb’s citizens eager for new and classical animated adventures. Friday couldn’t come soon enough this year for Animafest’s youngest audience – today and tomorrow the Children and Youth Programme reaches its peak. The Children’s Film Competition (age 10-14) opens the day at Kinoteka at 10am, and the 14+ age group follows immediately afterwards. Many entertaining and educational audiovisual treat, selected by media psychologist Martina Peštaj, are there. For the older schoolchildren, for example, there is a trip to the space (Crunch by a group of authors), the zoo (the Iranian The Eleventh Step), Lisbon (028) and the beach (Heatwave), as well as a chubby boy’s exercise with a dog (My Exercise by Atsushi Wada). Along with the diversity of animation techniques in both programmes, young adults in their section had a decent number of films competing in other Animafest’s competitions, such as the student Oscar winning Beauty about ocean plastic pollution issues, the masterfully directed Daughter by Daria Kashcheva about a father-daughter relationship, and Ties by Dina Velikovskaya about leaving home. They will be entertained by Planet Mobile, a mockumnetary about the relationship between animals and smartphones, a visually attractive and melancholy Sledge and Echo in the Clouds, a factory worker’s mystery in Liliana, and the typhoon in the Hong Kong Survival HK. The schoolchildren whose teachers registered on time for this programme will be able to watch it online in their classrooms.

The programme at the SC Cinema begins at 11am with World Panorama 3 and continues at 1pm with the female characters of Hungarian animation (Focus on Hungary 3). The central retrospective event, free of charge with previously booked tickets, is scheduled for 3.30pm with a selection of Pavao Štalter’s films. A treat for all the lovers of the Zagreb School of animation will be able to see this great filmmaker’s solo works, as well as the works he directed with other School authors. We are hence looking forward to rewatching The Fifth, The Mask of the Red Death, Seven Little Flames, Vacuum Cleaner, House No. 42, The Last Station and the more recent Wiener Blut.

At 5.30pm we move to the future with the Student Film Competition 4 and the titles like Cockpera, Blieschow, One Slimy Story and again Daughter. At 8pm in Grand Competition 5, followed by a Q&A with the authors after the screening, we will be watching the Annecy winner The Physics of Sorrow, the emotional metaleptic gif Betty, the psychological horror Mekakure, the dreamy Tadpole, the funny Washing Machine, the experimental 4:3 and Freeze Frame. The day ends with Grand Competition 6, with another Q&A session after the screening of the Claymation documentary Just a Guy by Shoko Hara, the essayist How to Disappear, made in the Battlefield video game drive, the ink illustrated song by Glen Hansard The Closing Door by Lucija Mrzljak etc.

On Friday and Saturday the &TD Theatre in the morning hours becomes the venue of Animafest’s this year’s masterclasses in the Animafest PRO section, giving a chance to professionals in the local film industry to gain insight and knowledge and experiences from their globally successful colleagues. Friday at 10am they will hear from Hefang Wei, the Chinese art director and director based in France, a jury member of the Student and Croatian Film Competition. Wei is not only an award-winning filmmaker, today related to the famous Folimage studio, but also the supervisor of Chinese feature film, a teacher at many animation schools and a successful producer speaking about how to shape a story in the context of both artistic and commercial creativity and producers’ and investors’ imperatives.

At 11.30am Milivoj and Veljko Popović, the members of the award-winning Prime Render Studio, joined by Pedro Rivero, will present their projects, including VR and AR and feature animation. Finally, at 1pm, a masterclass on video game design and their position in European and global education will be given by Emmanuel Guardiola, a professor at the Institute of Video Game Research and Development – Game Lab in Cologne. Guardiola is an industry veteran, the author of over 30 big titles, and his masterclass will be available online on this link.

&TD’s projectors are turning on again at 4.30pm for the Student Film Competition 2 (with the outstanding and demanding Little Soul by Barbara Rupik) and Grand Competition 2 at 6.30pm (the spectacular Leaking Life and Opera, the funny Iron Me, and Toomas Beneath the Valley of Wild Wolves, the grotesque transgressive ecological revenge film Wood Child and the Hidden Forest Mother and an addiction anidoc Bright Lights).

Focus on Hungary 4 follows (8pm), screening György Kovásznai’s Bubble Bath, a stylistically daring experimental documentary, also a love story, taking us to the raving 70s. As introduction to yet another must see of this Hungarian retrospective is a short film by the same author, Wavelengths. Kovásznai was one of the central personas of the famous Pannonia Film and the key representative of the 20th century Hungarian art, but (too) long censored and omitted as an artist. The evening at &TD concludes with World Panorama 2.

In the SC Cinema lobby, on Friday Thomas Johnson performs a day-long animation performance under the titles Voices Between Frames. While Johnson is animating puppets, Adam Butcher is writing down the words the visitors speak live. The visitors are thus encouraged to talk to the performers so that they could integrate their voices into the performance.