The 33rd Animafest Zagreb ends tonight with the award ceremony, but until that moment of solemn farewell with the promise of meeting again next year, there is still plenty of film and accompanying excitement left.
First of all, Saturday is traditionally the day when the largest number of children, young people and families attend Animafest. Accordingly, the Tuškanac Cinema at 11, 12, and 1 p.m. consecutively screens Films for Children Competition 1 (3-6 years), 2 (7-10 years) and a selection of the best films from the VAFI & RAFI festival. A selection from the Films for Children Competition for all ages will be shown at CKI Maksimir from 11 a.m., and at 8 p.m. at KNAP. NS Sesvete and NS Dubrava host the Family Programme at 7 p.m. The best of all – admission to all the mentioned programs is free. The extremely successful Croatian feature film Cricket and Antoinette is shown at the SC Cinema at 11:30 a.m. with a popular ticket price (2 euros).
From 10 a.m., a retrospective of the master of the Zagreb School of Animation, Aleksandar Marks, takes place at the SC Cinema, including the films he made with his constant collaborator Vladimir Jutriša, as well as the films by Vatroslav Mimica to which he made a noticeable contribution. Among the seven classic works, the landmark The Fly, which introduces horror into the domestic animated film, and Mimica’s brilliant collage classic The Inspector Returned Home, stand out.
Saturday is also the day of the premiere of a new Croatian production before the eyes of the world. At 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at two screenings at the SC Cinema, domestic authors reveal the fruits of their many years of work – many of them, after Zagreb, travel to the world’s largest festival in Annecy and other important global addresses. Kreativni sindikat introduces two extraordinary works – Martina Meštrović’s Her Dress for the Final, a work of unique hybrid appearance (stop-motion of the backgrounds and most of the set design and 2D animation of the heroine and what she touches) inspired by the memory of her grandmother, and Remember how I Used to Ride a White Horse by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson, a puppet-film of exceptional audiovisual quality and intoxicating stream of consciousness. Adriatic Animation has a new dark-humoured absurdist grotesque Eeva by Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tšinakov, an observation of the invasion and destruction of a family home in the twilight of Austria-Hungary Family portrait by Lea Vidaković, and the shamanic-alchemical post-apocalyptic SF by David Lovrić Holy Men. Ustanova Zagreb film features the philosophical-symbolic, satirical stop-motion carnivalesque Republic by Antonija Begušić, the erotic metafilm Y by Matea Kovač and Slobodan Tomić’s original adaptation of Borges’ Aleph. Kino Klub Split has one film (a poetic work of painterly beauty depicting winter coastal metamorphoses, Natko Stipaničev’s The Following Season), as well as Elestra (experimental video Thirteen by Helena Schultheis Edgeler and Richard Edgeler, which questions aspects of human consciousness and creativity in the context of the accelerated development of information technologies).
By far the most films are made by the Academy of Fine Arts. Sara Tomas created the unique tour of Zagreb Foreign Side, Dorotea Radušić the visceral grotesque Peacock Inn, Darian Bakliža the adaptation of a short story of autobiographical mode about peer violence Under Cover, Dora Klanac the cyberpunk Second Skin, Morana Marija Vulić the melancholic post-apocalypse Horizon, Nikolina Žabčić Love Is a Color! about the emotional state as a botanical-photographic alternative to contemporary alienation, Petra Pavetić Kranjčec Birdhouse, a gentle meditation on romantic projections, breakup and personal growth, Antonijo Klasić the endearing posthumous humour Cat Food about the spirit, and Dean Hamer a macabre queer fairy tale Babuška Has a New Boyfriend. As befits the World Festival of Animated Film, the largest number of authors will personally present their works in a conversation after the screenings.
Before this celebration of domestic film, in the lobby of the SC Cinema at 12 p.m. Irena Jukić Pranjić will give a guided tour of her exhibition Strip-mobiles, an innovation that combines comics, animation and optical and mechanical toy experiences.
The award ceremony for the best films will take place at the SC Cinema from 7:30 p.m., after which the short film winners will be shown at 9:30 p.m. in the Best of Animafest Zagreb 2023 line-up.
At the &TD Theatre at 10 a.m., a masterclass is held by jury member Hisko Hulsing, famous for the award-winning films Seventeen and Junkyard, the documentary about Kurt Cobain and the series The Sandman, Undone and Tornante. He will talk about his breakthrough on the international stage. At noon in &TD there will be a conversation with the authors of the works from the Grand Competition Feature Film , Pierre Földes (Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman) and Saku Sakamoto (Feast of Amrita), i.e. the producers of White Plastic Sky Orsolya Sipos and Feast of Amrita Osamu Fukutani. From 1:30 p.m., classics of Polish animation can be seen in the same cinema, including the works of Borowczyk, Lenica, Giersz, Szczechura and others, with an opening speech by curator Katarzyna Surmacz. At 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. is the last chance for the Grand Competition Short Film 3 and 4. The &TD closes its doors at 8 p.m. with the screening of SF 5 "Speculative Animation".
The second block of Polish classics can be seen from 3:30 p.m. at the Tuškanac Cinema (Kucia, Dumała, Rybczyński and others), also with useful notes from curator Surmacz. From 5:30 p.m. we are still in Poland, this time with films by the legendary Walerian Borowczyk and an introductory letter from curator Daniel Bird. The Tuškanac Cinema closes at 7:30 p.m. with the sweet-brutal anti-war satire Unicorn Wars by Albert Vázquez.
The Tuškanac Summer Stage will be the last stage of Animafest 2023. Today, from 9:30 p.m., there is a central screening of the monumental-intimate feature-length Hungarian dystopian SF White Plastic Sky, and tomorrow, Sunday 6/11, at the same time, we’ll have a unique opportunity to watch the iconic cyberpunk, Mamoru Oshii’s anime Ghost in the Shell.