The 33rd World Animated Film Festival – Animafest Zagreb 2023, the most important Croatian film festival and one of the leading animation festivals in the world, will begin with the opening ceremony in SC Cinema tonight at 8:30 p.m. This year, Animafest will attract a record-breaking 400 foreign guests to Zagreb, as well as thousands of spectators and visitors to cinemas, exhibition spaces and other venues, eager for more than 300 works of art and other festival excitement.
At the official opening of Animafest 2023 representatives of the City of Zagreb, Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, Croatian Audiovisual Centre, embassies of several countries and International Animated Film Association ASIFA will be present along other distinguished guests. In honour of the winner of the Animafest 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award, William Kentridge, who will attend the opening, his film City Deep will be shown with a musical performance by Alen and Nenad Sinkauz and Maja Rivić. The award for the Best Animation School will be accepted by Robert Bradbrook, head of animation at National Film and Television School (NFTS) from the United Kingdom. The Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Animation Studies will be awarded to British professor Suzanne Buchan.
The opening ceremony is intended exclusively for protocol guests, but the festival’s rich film and exhibition programmes for all visitors are in full swing. Last weekend, films from the Family Programme and the Films for Children Competition were screened at the city’s culture centres in Dubrava, Maksimir and Travno. Today at 1 p.m., an exhibition of undergraduate and graduate films, set designs, puppets, animated sequences and AR sketches by students of the Academy of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica will be officially opened at the Šira Gallery, and Kolja Saksida will address the audience in addition to Animafest’s curator Paola Orlić and artistic director Daniel Šuljić. The exhibition can be visited every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
All other festival exhibitions, whose official openings take place later this week, can also be seen today – Behind the Scenes 5, a traditional exhibition of the works of authors represented in the Grand Competition Short Film and the Student Film Competition has been set up in the SC Gallery (11 a.m.-7 p.m.); in the Kranjčar Gallery (12-7 p.m.) there is a must-see exhibition of William Kentridge’s drawings, graphics, video and AV installation Circulus vitiosus from the Lah Contemporary private collection; in the lobby of the SC Cinema (10 a.m.-10 p.m.) Strip-mobili by Irena Jukić Pranjić are set up, an experimental innovation that combines comics, animation and the experiences of optical and mechanical toys, and in the Sek Hall ALUMapping: Planet Kanca Manca from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. presents set design elements to which the elements of the Animafest 2023 festival trailer are applied by video mapping, a work of MA students of animation at OZAFIN ALU in Zagreb under the mentorship of Ivan Marušić Klif. Entry to all Animafest exhibition events is free of charge.
Today’s film line-up includes the Grand Competition Short Film 1, which is scheduled as part of the opening ceremony. Screening: João Gonzalez's Oscar-nominated The Ice Merchants, a heartwarming father-son film based on an original parachute premise and perspective, Laen Sanchez’s AI-powered ecological PLSTC, Susanne Jirkuff’s ‘charred’ critique of the bourgeois mind Where I Live, the new puppet film by Lea Vidaković Family Portrait – a darkly humorous observation of the invasion of a family home in the twilight of Austro-Hungarian Empire, a poignant Ukrainian film about a child’s experience of the Russian invasion of Mariupol.One Hundred Nights by Sofiia Melnyk, the reference-filled, philosophical landscape Juxtaposed Land by the Japanese artist ALIMO, and the likeable Belgian Marrons Glacés by Delphine Hermans and Michel Vandam about the spicy reminiscences of an old woman lost in hospital corridors. Film critic and political scientist Boško Picula will talk to the authors of the films after the screening. The screening of the Grand Competition Short Film 1 for all Animafest visitors is scheduled for Thursday 6/8 at 6:30 PM at the &TD Theatre.