After yesterday’s official opening of the 29th World Festival of Animated Film, Tuesday at Animafest will be the first real ‘working day’ with a filled schedule of films and other events at all the cinemas and venues.
The day begins with the consecutive line-ups of the Children and Youth Programme at 9:30 at Kinoteka, starting with the Children’s Film Competition (age 4-7, followed by 14+ at 11:30), accompanied by Q&A with authors and film analysis moderated by Višnja Vukašinović. At 15:30 the Family Programme starts with the ‘Holiday Magic’ line-up (age 6+), followed by a real treat at 17:30, the screening of the feature film Buñuel in the Labyrinth of Turtles by Salvador Simo, a biopic about the making of Buñuel’s documentary film Land without Bread. After winning the lottery, the film was funded by anarchist Ramón Acín, forming with Buñuel a sort of buddy-buddy adventure duo. Along with amazing characterisations of the protagonists and many references to the remaining creativity of the surrealist genius, the film mostly leans on the style Fermín Solís’s graphic novel. The film is screened in Grand Competition – Feature Film. The events at Kinoteka continue at 20 h with Grand Competition – Short Film 2, with titles such as the poetic new film by Petra Zlonoga, One of Many, the funny gender miniature of the Oscar-nominated Dutch studio Job, Joris & Marieke, A Double Life, the avant-garde Americana Marfa by Greg and Myles McLeod, the surrealist family drama I’m Going out for Cigarettes by Osman Cefron, the minimalist mass Kids by Michael Frei, the frightening visual treat Chimera and, last but not least, Tomasz Popakul’s latest film Acid Rain. The programme at Kinoteka ends with another feature GC entry – the award-winning Funan about a Cambodian family at the time of the Red Khmers.
The programme at Kaptol Boutique Cinema begins at 17:30 with the anime psychological horror Aragne: Sign of Vermillion by Saku Sakamoto, the acclaimed artist making his debut as a feature director with a title he almost completely made by himself. Crime, ghosts, monsters, shamans in a mystical atmosphere; mythology, body, entomological and medical motifs – all this in this disturbing suspense movie. At 20 h follows the second block of theme films in the programme ‘Animation and Fine Arts’, with an overview of direct inspirations by great classical artists – Rino Stefano Tagliaferro in this Beauty quotes several dozens (mostly Bouguereau and Godward, but also Caravaggio). Philip Scott Johnson provides and overview of 500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art, Da Vinci is favoured by Ali Alkabetz (The Da Vinci Time Code), Vasko Lipovac by Veljko Popović (Cyclists), Hieronymus Bosch by Boris Labbé (La Chute), and Paolo Uccello by Georges Schwizgebel (The Battle of San Romano). Jochen Kuhn went to the Central Museum and Andreas Hykade focuses on Love and Theft. The programme at Kaptol ends with the World Panorama at 22 h.
The central festival venue, Tuškanac, screened the Student Competition 3 for the early birds at 10, with the Croatian film Spaced Out by Stella Hartman, the erotic Happy Ending by EunJu Ara Choi, the absurd humourist Applesauce by Alexander Gratzer, Lust of Hunt by Monta Andzejevska, and the classically beautiful and shocking Hors de l’eau by a group of French authors. the GC – Short Film 6 followed with titles such as Roughhouse by Jonathan Hodgson about Liverpool’s punk students and bullying, the visually attractive The Procession by Pascal Blanchet and Rodolphe Saint-Gelais, and My Trip to Japan by Dante Zaballa. At 14 h the first part of Suzan Pitt’s retrospective is scheduled, with immortal classics like Asparagus, Joy Street, El Doctor and Visitation. The 15:30 slot is a unique chance to see a selection of the finest films from the Gobelins school, the best animation school of Animafest 2019. Among the 16 films made between 2007 and 2018 are the Oscar-nominated Oktapodi, and the line-up will be presented by professor Cécile Blondel.
The late afternoon and evening slots at Tuškanac feature only the best – at 17:30 Student Competition 1, with the hilarious Hors Piste by a group of French filmmakers, the eye candy Concrete, the original Israeli Alef B’Tamuz and the Matrix-like Evol, followed by the GC- Short Film 2 (20:00) and finally at 22:00 the world premiere of the feature film Away by the young Latvian author Gints Zilbalodis (1994). Away is an archetypal tale of homecoming, following the adventures of a boy on a motorcycle, solving different physical and metaphysical barriers with the help of a small feathery friend. Impressive animated long shots and rides across endless forests, deserts, caves or marine landscapes achieve stunning, often contemplative effects in a film undoubtedly inspired by Miyazaki, which might nevertheless remind someone of the artistically refined video games like Journey or Shadow of the Colossus. From directing and screenplay to animation to music – everything in Away is Zilbalodis’s independent work and he will present his experiences to the audience after the film. Also, Zilbalodis is scheduled on Friday at KIC at 14 h to speak about the making of Away.
At 10 h the Sesvete People’s University screened Big Bad Fox and Other Tales and at 21 h the Gradec open air cinema screens the finest films by students and young artists from Central and Eastern Europe made this year. At 17 h the French Institute’s Mediatheque hosts the animation workshop for children ‘Animate!’, mentored by Antonija Veljačić.
The International Symposium Animafest Scanner VI also began on Tuesday at 10 at the Balassi Institute. After the introduction by the invited speaker Jayne Pilling, the discussion will ensue about the connection between animation and history and animation and fine arts. The moderators and speakers include Andrijana Ružić, Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre, João Paulo Schlittler, Velislava Gospodinova, Paola Bristot, Stefan Stratil, Martina Tritthart and Hrvoje Turković.
At 13:30the ULUPUH Gallery hosts the opening of the exhibition Becoming-animal by Boris Labbé, after the concept defined in 1980 by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. The concept chose by Labbé as the focus of his work is defined around the possible transfigurations of a human being into an animal, but not in the sense of a simplified attempt at imitating animal behaviour, but quite the opposite – of integrating the animal within to the molecular level, through our behaviour, thoughts and actions and, finally, to the very artistic expression. Thanks to a specific imagery developed by Labbé along the line of an ever-growing bestiary, he achieves the culmination of his creative expression in the animation medium, although the mentioned ‘becoming-animal’ and the analogue ‘becoming-plant’ and ‘becoming-mineral’ are equally interestingly and powerfully examined and interpreted as a dominant focus in his graphics, sketches and prints as well.
At 18:00 the central exhibition and the most spectacular fashion event of Animafest 2019 follows. The Kranjčar Gallery, with the presence of celebrities, opens the exhibition Painted Coats of one-of-a-kind hand-painted coats by Suzan Pitt, exhibited in her shop on 8th Street in NYC by the famous stylist Patricia Field, best known for her work on the Sex and the City serial. Inspired by popular culture motifs like comics, commercials, original prints and NY graffiti, as well as psychology, sex, surrealism and her animated watercolours, Suzan Pitt’s coats stem from the vibrant street atmosphere of New York and Los Angeles, a must-have in the closets of all generations of fashionistas.
The rich festival programme ends with a party at Supercaffe at 23:00.