World Festival of Animated Film /
3 to 8 June 2024
World Festival of Animated Film / 3 to 8 June 2024
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Saturday at Animafest Zagreb 2024

The 34th Animafest Zagreb will end tonight with an award ceremony at the SC Cinema from 7:30 p.m. and a screening of award-winning short films at 9:30 p.m. (Best of Animafest 2024), but before that emotional peak there is still plenty more film and side treats, including many matinees aimed at families and children.

Family Matinees and Open Air
The day at Kinoteka opens at 11 a.m. with the family (8+) film
Chicken for Linda!, winner of Annecy, which is on the one hand a real French comedy, and on the other an emotional work about single motherhood and childhood. A better matinee has not been seen in Zagreb cinemas for a long time. Today, the retrospective programme Focus on Czechia is dedicated to younger viewers. In Kinoteka at 2:30 p.m. you can see Cute Creatures – a selection of short films that can compare to the best works of world production. Kateřina Karhánková (The New Species and Fruits of Clouds) has reached stellar status, and there are also charming films from Zlín by Veronika Zacharova (House), Zuzana Čupova and Filip Diviak (Cloudy), or the very fresh work from FAMU by Eva Matejovičova (Writing Home). Funny and refreshing stories are accessible to children, but also interesting for parents. Filip Pošivač’s feature film Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light is screened at MSU at 11:30 a.m., followed by the lavish French fairy tale Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds at 3 p.m., rounding off the animated family outing in New Zagreb. In NS Dubrava at 10 a.m., the Films for Children Competition 1 (3-6 years) is shown, followed by the feature-length Even Mice Belong in Heaven at 11 a.m. In NS Sesvete at 10 o’clock we watch the Films for Children Competition 2 (ages 7-10). In KNAP, on the other hand, in the evening, open-air awaits us – at 8:00 p.m. Films for Children Competition 1 (3-6 years), and then from 8:40 p.m. Even Mice Belong in Heaven.

Contemporary and Classic Croatian Production
At 11:00 a.m. in SC Cinema, an author’s retrospective of Krešimir Zimonić, the great of the 3
rd generation of the Zagreb School of Animation, which in the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s was mostly realised at the intersection of comics (graphic novels) and animation. Along with classics such as Album, The Match and Butterflies, this review of the work of the former artistic director of Animafest offers insight into the later part of his oeuvre, as well as into lesser-known commissioned works.

This is followed by the traditional presentation of contemporary Croatian productions in two blocks of the Croatian Film Competition (1:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., a total of 22 works) with Q&As with the filmmakers. In addition to OZAFIN ALU and foreign companies, local producers are represented: Adriatic Animation, Kinoklub Zagreb, Antitalent, Prime Render studio, 3D2D Animatori, Uprise d.o.o., Bonobostudio, queerANarchive, Warpmedia and independent productions of Hana Tintor and Lucija Mrzljak.

Sunčana Brkulj and her Butterfly, in its vivid combination of claymation and 2D with pastel backgrounds, deviates somewhat from her earlier palette, but not from mass synchronicity and appealing character design. The puppet film Beyond the Face, Anja Resman’s psychological drama of meticulous sets and lighting, seamless analepsis and impeccable command of the camera, and among the large number of Animafest films dedicated to the study of personal memory, stands out for its technical ambition and allegory of ‘education in impersonality’. The new work of the Popović brothers, Žarko, You Will Spoil the Child!, an adaptation of the book U malu je uša đava, is dedicated to Tisja Kljaković Braić’s memory of her childhood in Split in the 1980s. Three Birds by Zarja Menart in a multi-layered combination of collage and oil animation achieves a somewhat dark, folklore-magical atmosphere that touches on the relationship between man and nature and its cycles. Petra Pavetić Kranjčec in Chicks achieves darkly humorous, but also socially critical effects with an unusual perspective on the journey of two hen friends from the poultry farm to the sea. Windows from the South by Eugen Bilankov is an autobiographical contemplation of the break of a long-term romantic relationship, which, along with the dialogue of the protagonist, used surrealistic, associatively connected motifs of vivid colours. Secret Garden by Filip Gašparović Melis is a likable children’s 3D film from the multimedia educational series Cubosee, recognisable by its blocky animal heroes.

Lucija Mrzljak presents the video Maaimä created in collaboration with the Estonian musician Mari Kalkun, which deals with man’s contradictory relationship with nature. The talented cartoonist Hana Tintor in the video Pan Pan for the band Rana Rana plays with the sea and her characteristic, minimalist, but effective and fluidly metamorphic body motifs in the depiction of summer touches, love and dilemmas. Croatian stop-motion champions Thomas Johnson and Ivana Bošnjak Volda in a new project for the American TED-Ed Does Planting Trees Actually Cool the Planet? combine puppet film, collage animation and drawings to vividly illustrate the lesson of biologist and science journalist Carolyn Beans. Ana Despot reinterprets Stribor’s Forest by Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić with a witty metafilmic parody process, versed voice over (Dragan Despot), ellipses and an unexpected but gratifying narrative deviation in the direction of a horror film. Slovenian multimedia artist Ana Čigon in Catlands uses digital tools to achieve the impression of a collage animation of a strong palette in order to narrate an allegory about migrants ‘at the gate of Europe’ through a seemingly sympathetic constellation of feline neighbours of different socioeconomic statuses. Martin Babić also resorted to digital collage animation in the video for the single Space Snails of the Old Spectric label, characterised by a grotesque-macabre, intriguing design of characters and a concise depiction of the cycle of civilization. Mare Šuljak presents the excellent stop-animated experimental film Evanescence, which, from an anthropological-sociological perspective, adds timeliness to dilapidated corridors. Morana Marija Vulić in the black and white Tower presents a post-apocalyptic film of a state in which the themes of loneliness, loss and reminiscence prevail, but it can also be seen as a review of family relationships and longing for closeness.

Marko Gutić Mižimakov’s inspiration in the field of SF is reflected in the synergistic connection of humane creativity and technology in the work Dragon Hunt – a queer road movie with elements of dance that transforms human and fantastic bodies in the setting of Dalmatian hinterland. Tara Stanić makes her debut with the black-and-white 2D work The Dream of Rage – a record of a dream filled with strong emotions, disturbing sounds and an atmosphere bordering on a nightmare. Ivana Šoljić’s Beast is a dominantly black-and-white, focally intriguing depiction of the attempted rape of a hitchhiker based on the realization of animal instincts and suggestive editing. Behind the Scenes by Monika Mohr is also a black and white, but hybrid rotoscope and 2D work about the night meeting of two young people at the Zagreb bus station. Bruna Ercegovac realizes the 2D work of Defora, on the other hand, on the artistic borders of oil on canvas and pastel, and expands the fictional horizon of expectations from the Mediterranean landscape and the depiction of sailor life and camaraderie with a fantastic plot. In the bright colours of Tufna, Amila Šarić removes the thought of youthful suicide with an imaginative, surrealist journey of separated head and body. Ada-Nele Peharde’s Fish I is an attractive and witty classic animated work with a high level of linguistic and metafilmic awareness, which imagines a fish at a psychiatrist and imaginatively weaves marine metaphors into serious and frivolous conversations about family relationships, self-perception and the environment.

Masterclasses and women in animation
In the MM Centre at 10:30, a masterclass by Malte Stein, Berlin’s king of the grotesque, will focus on his methods of story development in animated films and comics, as well as on achieving authenticity through the abstraction of personal experience. A little later, at 12:00 p.m., Stein will take visitors through the installation of his The Blue Dream Cycle exhibition in the lobby of SC Cinema. Lifetime Achievement Award winner Phil Mulloy will talk about his work at the same place from 11:30 a.m., followed by the panel on representation of women in animation “Who Run the World (of Animation)” at 1 p.m. led by Jakub Spevák, the programme director of the Fest Anča festival. Complementary to that presentation will be a screening of the film programme AFN Presents: That's What She Said, also at the MM Centre from 4 p.m. This selection has never been more relevant, because although in the animation histories of their countries female authors were only an exceptional phenomenon until the end of the last century, modern times offer a completely different picture – women at the forefront of European animated film creation. The programme also includes two outstanding Croatian works, Her Dress for the Finals by Martina Meštrović and Family Portrait by Lea Vidaković, as well as 7 other award-winning works from the Central European region. Animafest in the MM Centre ends at 6 p.m. with the screening of 12 films nominated for the ASIFA Student Award – a competition which Love is a Color! our Nikolina Žabčić won.

SF Anime Based on Tezuka’s Manga and Other Film Treats
Those who missed seeing yesterday’s emotionally intense and visually spectacular full-blooded anime SF
Phoenix: Reminiscence of a Flower by Shojiro Nishimi, based on the life work of the manga god Osamu Tezuka, will have that opportunity again today – at 8 p.m. at Kinoteka. Phoenix will spread its wings in Kordunska Street after two blocks of the Grand Competition Short Film – 3 (4 p.m.) and 4 (6 p.m.). In MSU, Animafest 2024 will be set off by absurdist humour in fond memories. First, the one from the theme programme (5 p.m.), and then the Canadian one, with Beavis and Butt-Head touches (When Adam Changes at 7 p.m.).