In the morning and early afternoon on Thursday, the projectors of most Animafest halls will rest in anticipation of cheerful animators who will seek a break from artistic excitement on the MSU terrace at the traditional festival picnic, moved there due to unfavourable weather conditions. Along the way, under the guidance of curator Paola Orlić, they will visit five exhibitions of this year’s festival: All Faces of the Festival: Animafest Zagreb 1972-2022, Nedeljko Dragić: The Tamer of the Line, Paul Driessen: The Origin of Sound, Timo Viljakainen: Behind Eyes of the World and Behind the Scenes 4. However, the “children’s week of auteur animation” continues in the Tuškanac cinema from the morning (9:30 and 11:30, ages 11-14 and 7-10) with Q&As with authors who will be a little late for the picnic. The Tuškanac programme continues at 5 pm with the segment Golden Age 2 of the Zagreb School retrospective. The second and last opportunity to watch the excellent genre-experimental, ‘paper’ The Timekeepers of Eternity (7 pm) follows, while from 9 pm in the special programme Animated Documentaries the audience can get an insight into this ubiquitous hybrid genre in recent decades through recent short films from European and Canadian cinema.
A panel “Queer Creative Voices: The Evolution of Diversity and Inclusion within the Animation Industry” will be held at the MM Center at 6 pm, organized by ASIFA Hollywood and Prism Comics, with a live video at the following LINK. Panelists will discuss erspectives on maintaining authenticity, establishing connections and finding a community within the animation industry. Rebecca Sugar, Taneka Stotts, Sam King and Alonso Ramirez Ramos are participating, and the moderator is Cort Lane.
The works from the Student Film Competition 1 will be screened at the &TD Theatre from 5 pm, and the Grand Competition - Short Film 1 is scheduled for 6:30 pm. This is the last screening of this slot of the most prestigious festival competition for the general audience, so don’t miss acclaimed Steakhouse by Špela Čadež, the psychological puppet horror film Skinned, Traveller by Juan Pablo Zaramella whose aesthetics can be reminiscent of the Zagreb School, the magical-realistic Miracasas, the new film by Animafest winner Yumi Joung House of Existence, the autobiographical animated-experimental documentary about Iraq The Shadow of Paradise, and Darko Masnec’s new film Salute to the Sun. The Bonjour Cannes 1958 segment of the Zagreb School retrospective will be repeated from 8 pm, so you can find out exactly why the films by a group of Croatian authors got this famous name. At 10 pm the &TD closes the programme of its location with World Panorama 2, but at the same time in its café Animest: Creepy Nights begins, a programme selected by the Romanian festival (part of the AFN network) which contains wacky, shocking and hilarious films made in the past three year, ideal for relaxed outdoor viewing with a refreshing drink. The programme will be presented by Mihai Mitrică.
The SC Cinema starts at 3:30 pm with an exceptional programme Time for the Masters which shows new films of the biggest stars of animated film who have had a special relationship with the Zagreb Festival over the years – Oscar winner Joan Gratz (Retention Department of Permanent Exhaustion), a practitioner of special animation (clay painting, which is a hybrid of Claymation and cel and collage animation), which in the wartime 1994, two years after receiving the golden statuette, supported Animafest with her arrival, the Oscar nominee and Animafest Lifetime Achievement Award winner Paul Driessen (2 Shoes), pioneer of hilarious animararchy Peter Millard (Guff Maturity), dancer and choreographer among animators Paul Wenninger (O), the forerunner of recent Hungarian animation Réka Bucsi (Intermission), original innovator of Japanese animation Atsushi Wada (Bird in the Peninsula), computer animation researcher Nikita Diakur (Backflip), a legend of Russian animation Ivan Maximov (Oh No!), one of the most respected authors of the women’s animation letter Lynn Smith (What Rhymes with Toxic), professor emeritus of animation at the Paris ENSAD and permanent collaborator of Michel Ocelot Georges Sifianos (The Blind Writer) and masters of stop-motion animation Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña (Bones).
Student Film Competition 3 (from 5.30pm) will feature Achille Thiebaux (Bolognese), Se-young Ok (Floating Memories), Jonathan Schwenk (Zoon), Coline Durtschi-Guillemot (“Oh Babe, It’s a Wild World”), Paola Sorrentino (Girls Talk about Football), Jonas Bienz (Boddissey), Sarai Abergel and Noy Friman (Let Sleeping Dogs Lie). This is followed by the Grand Competition - Short Film 4, which presents some truly exceptional authors and films – the great Polish political satire Fortress (Slawek and Hannah Zalewski are with us), a fascinating combination of acrylic post-impressionist painting and dance art They Dance with Their Heads (directed by Thomas Corriveau), an SF covid allegory The Days That (Never) Were by Pedro Rivero, the symbolist Holocaust drama Letter to a Pig by the talented Tal Kantor that combines animation with playful body parts, a new film by ingenious Japanese artist of touch and pastel colours Yoriko Mizushiri Anxious Body, a Croatian covid film about women body and longing 10 Days of Lovid by Laura Martinović, oneiric noir by Julien Regnard The Night Watch and Samuel Cantin’s witty comic book-style The Turtle Syndrome. Yoriko Mizushiri is the only author among those who did not arrive in Zagreb this year – others are looking forward to your questions and comments.
At 10 pm, the Oscar-nominated winner of the Golden Bear and Annecys Crystal, Czech director Michaela Pavlátová, also presents to us in person her feature film My Sunny Maad, a freer adaptation of Petra Procházkova's novel Frišta. A bittersweet film about devotion, freedom of choice and balancing personal and collective morality follows a Prague student who marries to Kabul and approaches her husband Nazir’s family under the new name of Herra. A couple who cannot have children takes care of a boy Muhammad who suffers from hydrocephalus, but in the new family he becomes a link, a witness and a companion. It is a complex presentation of the Afghan society in 2011 with special reference to the position of women and girls with Pavlatova’s characteristic ‘observation’ and in-depth psychological characterisation that transcends stereotypes, but also records systemic misogyny and fundamentalism.
Due to unfavorable weather conditions, this year’s Animafest’s first open-air, which was scheduled to take place today at the Tuškanac Summer Stage at 9:30 pm with a selection of films awarded with the Festival Audience Award, is postponed to Sunday 12 June at the same time and location. The first two hundred visitors of this screening will receive free popcorn.