20th edition of the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb dedicated to short animated films is held 1-6 June in Europa, Tuškanac and Movieplex cinemas.
Throughout six festival days, more than 450 short animated films from 40 countries will be screened. Out of those, 128 films will compete in four competition programmes – Grand Competition, Student Competition, Special programme and Children’s Competition. In addition, the official programme will include three panoramas – Grand, Student and Croatian – expanding the insight into contemporary animation production.
Aside from the competition programmes and panoramas, this year’s Animafest is preparing a series of side programmes, such as Masters of animation, Focus: Swiss animation, World studios programme and several other special programmes.
The said World studios programme will present the works of three major world animation studios: ACME Filmworks, Folimage and Aardman.
The founders of Aardman, Britons David Sproxton and Peter Lord used to make short animated films in the late 1960s and early 1970s using clay and 16mm camera. Today, 40 years later, their studio is one of the leading world factories of animation. Seven of Aardmans works were nominated for Academy Award, with four winners. The basic qualities of their films are amazing narrative, parodied characters and impressive animation. The previous short edition of Animafest’s Grand Prix winner, The Pearce Sisters by Luis Cook, is a brainchild of this studio. The programme prepared for this edition covers almost 30 years of work in an eclectic combination of short films, commercials, short commissioned animations, music videos and serials. Aardman’s characters Wallace and Gromit achieved worldwide success, presented here in one of their most popular films, Wrong Trousers. A host of other animated characters were also generated by this studio: Morph, Purple and Brown, Angry Kid, Rex the Runt, Shaun the Sheep. Most of them will gather again at this year’s festival.
The French studio Folimage is specialised in frame-by-frame filmmaking, boasting a series of short animated films, TV commercials and TV series, as well as feature films. After more than 25 years of work, Folimage has developed its uniqueness by producing educational children’s serials with worldwide success. At the same time, Folimage has developed production current for short art films by acclaimed authors. The studio thus became a creative meeting point of successful contemporary authors, such as Michaël Dudok de Wit, Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol, Solweig von Kleist, Sarah Roper, Jean-Luc Greco, Catherine Buffat, Konstantin Bronzit, Félix Dufour-Laperrière, Régina Pessoa...
In the last few years, the studio turned to feature film production: their first feature work Raining Cats and Frogs will be screened at the festival. The fact that the film took six years to be completed testifies of the project’s intensity.
The third studio presented at this year’s Animafest is ACME Filmworks. The studio’s initial objective was to gather independent animators and help them make business contracts, but also to co-finance different independent projects. Such altruistic approach resulted in the fact that today it gathers over fifty animators from different corners of the world. The festival will screen a programme of the best commercial videos by independent American animators, produced by ACME Filmworks on the occasion of their 20th birthday.