The anniversary edition of the World Festival of Animated Film Animafest Zagreb, dedicated this year to short films, begins today, Tuesday, 29 May. A rich programme of this extremely important festival characterised by dedication to film d’auteur will acquaint us in detail with the latest animated films made in the last two years, direct special attention to new animation trends and show retrospective programmes of animation masters. A large part of the festival programme will remind us of Animafest’s great 40 years of existence, as well as filmmakers and films that marked them.
In addition to the film programme, the visitors will be able to enjoy valuable workshops (Stereo Expanded and stop-motion), exhibitions, performances and chats with filmmakers. This year’s programme includes almost 400 animated titles screened at Europa, Tuškanac and Cineplexx Kaptol Centre cinemas until Sunday, 3 June. The great treasure of Animafest, in addition to the films, are its guests, this year over 130. They include a strong delegation from Japan, China and South Korea, led by the winner of Animafest’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the pioneer of independent Japanese animation and master of dark humour – Yoji Kuri.
Zagreb will also be visited by a large number of emerging filmmakers, whose films are screened in the Student Competition and Panorama, such as the students of Turku Arts Academy from Finland, as well as many masters of animation, like the triple Animafest Grand Prix winner and this year’s jury member Priit Pärn, the most important German animation filmmaker Andreas Hykade, and young Irish animation star David O’Reilly, also jury members. Animafest’s guests include a record-breaking number of local filmmakers whose films will be presented at the festival. They mainly belong to the middle and young generation of animators, an extremely pleasing fact since it guarantees a fruitful and diverse future of Croatian animation.
Tuesday, the first day of Animafest, starts at 10am at Cineplexx Kaptol Centre cinema with the Films for Children Competition, including two films by local filmmaker Ivana Guljašević: Search and Bu-Tu’s Drum. The afternoon 4pm slot presents a special programme European TV Serials 3, which will bring many people back to their childhood, accompanied by Balthazar and other animated characters from Zagreb Film’s archive. The Grand Panorama 3 at 6pm and Cartoon d’Or, a European animation equivalent of Academy Award, at 8pm, screening all the finalists and winners of this prestigious award in 2011, present outstanding films that do not compete in the official selection.
Tuesday at Cineplexx Kaptol Centre ends with Grand Competition 3, a programme presenting the best of the short animated production made in the last two years. Europa cinema programme begins at 7.30pm with the official opening ceremony awarding Animafest Council awards and screening a programme of Grand Prix winners and works by young filmmakers and masters of animation. Grand Competition 1 begins at 10pm and screens among other films The Monster of Nix, a new work by the cult Dutch filmmaker Rosto, Chinese Grain Coupon, Modern No2 by Japanese Mirai Mizue and Villa Antropoff by Vladimir Leschiov and Kaspar Jancis, the representatives of Zagreb’s beloved Estonian animation. The authors of last two films are coming to Zagreb to present them personally to Animafest’s audience. The same late night slot at 10pm at Tuškanac cinema will screen the first of three blocks of films by the pioneer of independent Japanese animation Yoji Kuri, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award personally at the festival opening ceremony. Some of these films have been screened in Europe before.
The festival’s rich film programme is accompanied interesting events related to the festival: the exhibition 40 Years of Animafest 1972-2012 opens at ULUPUH Gallery, a six-day screening on the facade on the Museum of Contemporary Art begins, Cineplexx Kaptol Centre opens the exhibition Koyaa the Incredible and a five-day workshop for children led by young award-winning animator Petra Zlonoga begins as well.
This year’s festival novelty is an extremely rich and free mobile application Animafest 2012 that will help you keep in touch with all the events at the festival anniversary edition. Animafest 2012 mobile application gives you a chance to browse the film programme, film stills, synopses, screening time and location. Also, with the help of the mobile application you can simply edit your private schedule and add films and events you are interested in or take a picture with Animafest’s mascot, the Little Man, play a game while you are waiting for the screening and so forth. The application is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. It requires iOS 4.3 or later versions and is available in Croatian and English.
Welcome to Animafest and enjoy the animation feast!