World Festival of Animated Film /
World Festival of Animated Film / 1972.
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The Grand opening ceremony of the 19th World Festival of Animated Film - Animafest Zagreb 2009

Olinka Vištica, Dana Budisavljević and Krešimir Zimonić and Vladimir Stojsavljević presented the festival on behalf of the festival organisation, and the Assistant to the Head of the City Office for Education, Culture and Sport opened the festival.

Nikša Sviličić and Alexi Alexeeve, the creator of this year’s Animafest trailers joined them on stage.

The thrilling performance warmed up the audience shortly before the official opening, filling the cinema with laughter, and the Animafest organisation led everyone present into the inspirational world of animated film. The festival producers Olinka Vištica and Dana Budisavljević, “illuminated” by the much-adored characters of KFJG NO. 5, the film that received the Audience Award at last year’s Animafest, presented this year’s programme. They were keen to point out that last year was a very successful one for Croatian animation, mentioning Veljko Popović, Simon Bogojević Narath and Davor Međurečanin, the prize-winning animators at the forefront of the new wave of animation. They also highlighted the success of Animafest, one of the oldest and best renowned animated film festivals in the world, that presented itself in Belgium, France, Slovenia, China and Germany last year.

Krešimir Zimonić, the Artistic Director of Animafest, presented the Grand Competition Programme and singled out Boogie, el aceitoso, by the Argentinian filmmaker Gustavo Cova, who is a guest of this year’s Animafest. The audience had the chance to see the film’s European premiere at the late night screening that evening.

Zimonić presented the members of this year’s Grand Competition Jury – Jia Duan, a Professor at the Beijing Film Academy, Lotta Geffenblad, a Swedish animator, and Dubravko Mataković, a versatile Croatian artist.

The new Director of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Mr Nikša Sviličić also made an appearance on stage. Nikša Sviličić, who took over the position of Director just a day before, pointed out that The Croatian Audiovisual Centre is favourably disposed towards animation. “The Croatian Audiovisual Centre has always invested, is still investing and will continue to invest in animated film. Animation is one of the elements that so powerfully contributes to the Croatian cultural identity.” Mr Sviličić noted the fact that Pixar’s “Up” opened the Cannes Film Festival this year, which is the first such case in the history of major film festivals, and stands in favour of the importance and the rise of animation the world over.

Vladimir Stojsavljević, the Assistant to the Head of the City Office for Education, had the honour of officially opening the festival. Following him on stage were Vjera Matković, Executive Producer of the Festival and a special guest, Mr Alexei Alexeev who is also the creator of two of the festival trailers. The rapturous applause as he ascended the stage wearing a huge black top hat was testament to how popular his mini-hit, KFJG. NO. 5, was with the audience last year. Soon after, the trailers for this year’s World Festival of Animated Film edition were screened, and the festival started strongly with “Life Without Gabriella Ferri”, one of the films in the Grand Competition. The film about a complicated bitter-sweet relationship, between a man and a woman, was presented prior to its screening by the creators – partners in animation and life, Olga i Priit Pärn.