World Festival of Animated Film /
28 September to 3 October 2020
World Festival of Animated Film / 28 September to 3 October 2020
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The last day of the 29th World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2019 brings the official award ceremony, but before that (Tuškanac 19 h), equally intense film programmes and side events. At 19h we will find out who won the Grand Prix in the Short and Feature Film Competitions, the Golden Zagreb Award for creativity and innovative artistic accomplishment, the Zlatko Grgić Award for best debut film made outside an educational institution, the Dušak Vukotić Award for best student film and the Best Croatian Film Award. The children’s jury will announce the winners of the Children’s Film Competition and the audience will pick their short and feature favourites, the winners of the Mr M. Award.

The Children and Youth Programme of Animafest 2019 reaches its peak on Saturday at Kinoteka with an explosion of animated joys: ahead of the French feature film The Birdhouse stories (17:30), narrated live by actor Filip Riđički, giving a chance to the youngest ones to enjoy nine fairy tales, the kids will be able to watch almost the entire Animafest programme suitable for them – Competitions 1 (age 4-7, 11 h) and 2 (age 7-10, 12 h), Family Programme 1 Holiday Magic (14 h), 2 That’s Me! (15 h) and 3 Animal Kingdom of Film Bilder (16 h). Animal Kingdom will also be screened at Dubrava People’s University (11 h), and KNAP joins Animafest in Your Neighbourhood at 17h with Big Bad Fox and Other Tales. After this treat for all generations and their parents, the grown-up audience will have a last chance to see the feature films Ville Neuve (20 h) and The Wolf House (22 h).

Afternoon at Kaptol Boutique Cinema brings the 6th block of theme programme Animation and Fine Arts titles, Landscapes and Architecture (17:30 h), another view of Portuguese cinema (20 h), followed by the Japanese feature fantasy Miss Hokusai (22 h). Keiichi Hara’s film is an anime about the life and work of Katsushike Ōi, the daughter of the great master of ukiyo-e, the popular form of Japanese art from the Edo period. Hokusai is remembered for his iconic pieces like The Great Wave off Kanagawa, his daughter, whose talent – her father said – exceeded his own, returned to the focus of contemporary culture only with a series of 1980s mange by Hinako Suguira, on which this film is based. Since she made the biggest part of her work in her father’s studio, often unsigned commissioned pieces, and mysteriously disappeared after the death of her father, Katsushike remained a mostly forgotten painter whose story was never fully told. Eccentric but emotional, the protagonist of this film has a complex relationship with her father and mother, goes through a failed marriage, but fosters warm feelings for her blind younger sister. The episodic structure of this stunning film, which contains scenes from Japanese mythology and religion, teaches us all we know about the obsessive creativity and unusual life of a mostly neglected mid-19th century artist.

The GC – Short Film 4 (10 h) is followed by the most interesting event in the early afternoon at Tuškanac, two blocks of Croatian Competition (12 and 14 h), with a selection of the finest animated films produced in Croatia since the last festival edition, as always followed by Q&A sessions with their authors. At 15:30 the GC – Short Film 3 is scheduled, followed by the traditional ASIFA Croatia cocktail (17 h), this time under the name Hranimation Station ASIFA Croatia Cocktail.

The award ceremony is scheduled at Tuškanac at 19h, followed by a screening of all the award-winning short films. The most persistent audience members can remain for animated music videos Cinema for the Ear (22 h).

KIC continues with the mastercalss programme, this time with lectures by Marc Bertrand and Uri Kranot about animation and virtual reality (10h), Boris Labbé (11 h), Nikita Diakur and Michael Frei (both at 12:30 h) about their filmmaking methods.

At 21:30 Tuškanac open air celebrates the 50th anniversary of man’s landing on the Moon with a special line-up of animated films dedicated to Earth’s only satellite, a celestial body people have been gazing longingly at and inscribed diverse meanings to for centuries, from mythological, to mystical and romantic, to sci-fi and apocalyptic. Under the title Fly Me to the Moon, after Bart Howard’s song made famous by Frank Sinatra, the programme features five animated ‘moonshine sonatas’, opening with a restored, hand-coloured version of one of the most significant film titles of all times – Georges Méliès’s A Trip to the Moon from 1902. This outstanding example of attraction film, inspired by Jules Verne’s prophetic work, as well as Wells, Jarry’s theatre and Jacques Offenbach’s namesake opera, is not only a spectacular, special effect-wise pioneering film about the human drive for exploration, but also a theatrically and scenographically rich allegory about imperialism and meeting the Other in the form of a Selenite. Infinitely quoted, iconic and groundbreaking film in which its director appears, is considered one of the founders of narrative film and sci-fi cinema. Apart from colouring, A Trip to the Moon is akin to animation with a frequent use of trick stop. The favourite to many generations which remember it as their childhood’s title, The Cow on the Moon from the golden period of Zagreb School and the first stage of Oscar winner Dušan Vukotić’s creativity, is perceived first of all as a humour drama about a clever little girl tricking a bully (with Stipica Kalogjera’s unforgettable score), can be read not only as social criticism in line with the rest of Vukotić’s work, but also contains a meta-cinematic element similar to Tex Avery and becomes an extremely pertinent in the context of contemporary conspiracy theories which claim that a trip to the Moon never happened. If this is indeed so, Vukotić seems to be our Stanley Kubrick. In the famous stop-motion four-Oscar-winning Wallace and Gromit by Nick Park there is an episode about the Moon, its identification with cheese in folklore and oral tradition. It is A Grand Day Out, the first in the serial, which didn’t win an Oscar only because Park defeated himself that year. The story follows the protagonists who, like the girl in The Cow on the Moon, create a makeshift rocket for a picnic on the Moon because Wallace is, like every other Englishman, obsessed with cheese crackers. In addition to humour, A Grand Day Out features the frequent sci-fi robot motif and dynamic scenes what make this Claymation classic recognisable. The Danish sci-fi Solar Walk by Hungarian director Réka Bucsi, was originally a commissioned film for a jazz composition (‘performed’ against it live), only to be described by critics in Ottawa and Berlin as a ‘cosmic ode to creation’ and ‘the new era Odyssey’. Infinity and universe and encountering the different and the unknown are here portrayed in a completely new and quirky way using and reverting the existing laws of physics. Space travelling also becomes mind travelling, with unusual characters, melancholia and the beauty of chaotic cosmos. Inspired by astrophysics and evolution biology, Solar Walk depicts a fascination with space through the talent of a new generation of animation artists. The programme concludes with the song Man in the Moon by the German DJ LCAW, directed by Hungarian-Polish director Tomek Ducki. In this film Ducki turns the Moon into a movable object, a ball setting in motion two young people on a bike, something to catch, break or remake as a symbol of love.

Animafest 2019’s goodbye party takes place at 22 h at Jabuka club.