World Festival of Animated Film /
3 to 8 June 2019
World Festival of Animated Film / 3 to 8 June 2019
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Day three of the 31st World Festival of Animated Film at the SC Cinema opens, in accordance with good customs, with World Panorama, this time with new films by Georges Schwizgebel (Darwin’s Notebook) and Sasha Svirsky (Vadim on a Walk), as well as Simone Giampaolo (on the ecological youth movement), Gabriel Böhmer (on experimental surgery and memory processes), Michalina Musialik (on animals trapped in the apartment of a deceased old woman), Chaky Lillini (a queer film of intriguing art and premise), Marina Blin (on children’s mourning) and Arjan Brentjes (an ecological parable).

At 1 pm, love grows into “Passion” in the eighth section of the theme programme with everyone’s favourite Pussy by Renata Gąsiorowska, Teat Beat of Sex Ep. 1-3 by Signe Baumane, always quirky Sawako Kabuki (Don’t Tell Mom), Izabela Plucińska’s Sexy Laundry, but also The Devilish Game, The Black Dog, Private Parts, etc. From 15:30, fans of the Zagreb School of Animation can watch the traditional selection of its masterpieces, curated by Borivoj Dovniković, this time from 1973. Connoisseurs can once again enjoy the episodes of the Maxi Cat series by Zlatko Grgić, Kolar’s Utopia, Ranitović’s Chameleon, Grgić’s Toadstool and Second Class Passenger by Dovniković himself. Particularly interesting, however, is the series of short commissioned films Man the Polluter, a co-production of the National Film Board of Canada and Zagreb film in which authors from ideologically distant backgrounds gather around a common environmental message. This lesser-known series can be enjoyed as a rediscovered treasure with the School’s favourite features such as slapstick-based humour and drawings of mild, round caricatures, as well as the charm of the past courtesy of Dr Fred H. Knelman’s narration.

The filmmakers are again with the audience after the screening of the Student Film Competition 2 – Sara Szymanska (Five Minutes Older), Camille Sallan (A Beautiful Afternoon), Hee-yoon Hahm (Memory Theatre) and Lucija Oroz (45’’), hosted by Višnja Vukašinović. Along with their works, the lavish but subtle Ciervo by Pilar Garcia-Fernandezsesma on domestic abuse can also be singled out.

SC’s prime time (20:00) is reserved for the Grand Competition Short Film 3, looking forward to: the waxy, BAFTA-awarded love between The Owl and the Pussycat adapted from the sparkling absurdist poem by Edward Lear; a French puppet film about a school acquaintance of an unpopular girl and boy with autism spectrum difficulties Precious by Paul Mas; an extraordinary blend of realistic, predominantly black-and-white drawings with the most beautiful naturalistic illustrations and unusual, surrealistic proportions and relationships in the philosophical-poetic and mildly humorous parable of happiness and ‘little things’ Prince in a Pastry Shop (dir. Katarzyna Agopsowicz), the Iranian experimental film The Fourth Wall (dir. Mahboobeh Kalaee) whose spaces seem to have escaped from the Zagreb Museum of Illusions, and which manages to speak about family emotions in a very innovative way; Robert Seidel’s abstract Sfumato of seductive transitions between colours; a pointillist-striped, neo-noir autobiographical etude focusing on the relationship between advanced technology and human experience of extremely original appearance achieved using the LiDAR method (Forever, dir. Mitch McGlocklin), an unusual cut out and a metaphor of an independent woman who knows how to overcome male lust and aggression Anna, Cat and Mouse (dir. Varya Yakovleva); a mythopoetic black-and-white fantasy with three-time Goya Award winner Albert Vázquez’s favourite themes of violence and addiction immersed in the powerful social context of Homeless Home. After this screening, a Q&A with the filmmakers is planned, many of whom arrived in Zagreb. The SC will say goodbye to the day with the second and final screening of Cryptozoo at 10pm.

The &TD Theatre starts on Wednesday at 4 pm with the Student Film Competition 4 in which no film lover, regardless of genre, should miss the fantastic I'm Here by Julia Orlik who looks at the end of a life in a compassionate but analytically penetrating and artistically mature way. Equally macabre in its theme, the Polish film of the classic painterly beauty Good Night, Neighbour (dir. Rozalia Las) is accompanied by a sad folk song. This slot also shows the raw animation Alleswasichberühre by Marion Täschler, one of the films that ‘forced’ the selection committee of this competition to send the Award for the Best Animation School to Lucerne this year.

At 6 pm in the Grand Competition Short Film 6, various sensations await us – from humorous Stories from the Multiverse about God’s computer program that goes awry and turns into a realization of popular conspiracy theories, through hot and metatextual queer films Friend of a Friend by Zachary Zezima and In My Chest of Fire There Is Still Place to Temple Your Dagger by Pablo Ballarín, to the musical-experimental The Raft by Marko Meštrović and the classic but skilfully performed and thematically original German confessional film about the endemic burden of The Train Driver. &TD from 8 pm repeats yesterday’s “Fire of Love” from this year’s theme programme.

The central discursive event of the day is certainly the conversation with Ralph Bakshi, which takes place live from the &TD Theatre from 10 pm via a video link with America. In a discussion with Daniel Šuljić and the festival audience, the legendary artist will talk about the making of his most famous films, his own inspirations and meandering through the winding labyrinths of American independent and mainstream production, as well as bringing countercultural and underground tendencies to mass reception. It is also possible to attend the masterclass via a Zoom meeting with the camera and microphone turned off at the following LINK – questions are asked in the chat section.

The international symposium on animation Animafest Scanner VIII continues and ends today at Tuškanac Cinema from 10 am to 4 pm. The last two panels are dedicated to the depiction of emotions in animated film and animation screenwriting, and the speakers are Irena Paulus, Pedro Serrazina, Hannes Rall, Mina Sablić Papajić, Eliane Gordeeff and Pooja Pottenkulam. Books about Michaël Dudok de Wit by Andrijana Ružić (A Life in Animation), Xavier Kawa-Topor and Ilan Nguyên (Le cinéma d'animation sensible) will be presented at the same location from 5 pm. The second and last chance to see Kill It and Leave This Town follows (19:00).

With “ménage à deux 1”, a segment of the theme programme that brings together films by artists who have intertwined their private and professional lives together creating films, Tuškanac shuts down after the screening at 9 pm. In this theme unit are some of the most famous spouses and partners from the history and present of animation: the inventors of the pinscreen from the 1930s Alexandre Alexeieff and Claire Parker (Night on a Bald Mountain), Olga and Priit Pärn whose human grotesque far surpassed the Estonian borders (Pilots on the Way Home), Michelle and Uri Kranot (Hollow Earth) who today delight in VR projects, Chintis Lundgren and Draško Ivezić (Life with Herman H. Rott), Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter (Negative Space), Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels (Oh Willy).

The official opening of the exhibition Behind the Scenes 3 dedicated to the filmmakers from the Student Film Competition, who will personally present their works, is scheduled for 1:30 pm in the SC Gallery.

The DigiTelling workshop: Bringing a Videogame to the Market / The Wolf of Game Street starts on Wednesday in the Small Hall of the Tuškanac Cinema, where gaming industry insiders take participants from selected independent studios from Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia through the most important points of financial planning in launching their video games and raising studios to their feet. DigiTelling will on Friday (12:00, &TD) present the games created in its mentoring programme and immediately afterwards (13:00) hold a panel on new ways of funding video games at the same place – the participants are prof. Odile Limpach (Spielfabrique & Cologne Games Lab), Christopher Peter Marcich and Andrej Kovačević (HAVC) and Martina Petrović (Creative Europe Desk – Media Office Croatia), hosted by Srđan Laterza.