The most colourful section of this year’s World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb was carefully crafted to suit precisely children and young audience. The central part of it is the Films for Children Competition, comprising 41 short animated films suitable for different age groups. The finest among them will be judged by none other than – the children’s jury.
Children’s film competition is an excellent opportunity to be introduced to a lavish opulence of animation techniques – from sand, to drawings on glass, classic drawn animation and 3D, to animated sushi, no less.
Animafest is also preparing a special Family Programme, beckoning you to spend your Saturday mornings ahead of the festival at family picnics and open-air screenings, and during the festival in the cinema in different neighbourhoods across town, along with animation workshops where your young ones can make their first steps in animation.
The youngest, children age four and above, should by all means bring their parents on Saturday, 11 June, to Tuškanac cinema to see the Family Programme’s fabulous animated films at 10 and 12 am.
These include, for example, Snow, about the encounter of little Pearl and Eskimos who happened to settle in her hometown, or Spanneroo & Joe about a lonely deaf boy whose whole world turns upside down when out of the blue, from the universe, a robot falls into his backyard.
In the first block of competition entries media pedagogue Martina Peštaj included the films for the youngest group, age four to seven, scheduled at Tuškanac Cinema, 6 June at 10am, 9 June at 12am, and 10 June at 10am.
Don’t miss the charming Lili Has a Guest, followed by Konigiri-kun in Shopping, showing that even sushi can be animated, or The Wolf Catches a Cold by Croatian author Ivana Guljašević Kuman.
The last year’s Grand Prix winner in the feature category, The Boy and the World, is meant for children over seven years of age. Animafest is showing it on 4 June at a free open-air screening at Ribnjak park, 9:30pm, KUC Travno at 8pm, and by Trešnjevka Centre for Culture at 9pm. The next day, at 11am, the same film is screened at NS Dubrava.
Primary schoolchildren age 7-10 will be most welcome guests at Films for Children Competition 2 on 7 June at Tuškanac Cinema, 10am, 8 June at 12am and 10 June at 12am. Silence! For Pete’s Sake! about Mr Bumble who cannot seem to find a peaceful spot for his afternoon nap will make them laugh, and young princes in Dragon Hunt will give them courage.
Those over nine years of age are another target group. For starters, Saturday 28 May at 9.30pm they are invited to watch the last year’s Animafest Audience Award winner, Song of the Sea.
Another date to be saved is 11 June: at 11am Europa Cinema is showing a Grand Competition Feature Film entry April and the Extraordinary World, about a young Parisian girl in the early 1950s, who accidently becomes part of a bizarre plot.
The same day, Tuškanac is at 5.30pm screening a magnificent Family Programme entry, Phantom Boy, about 11-year-old Leo who can become invisible and save the world whenever he wants.
Phantom Boy is scheduled for 11 June at 11am, NS Dubrava, and 12 June at CeKaTe and KUC Travno, also at 11am.
Young audience age 10 to 14 should look forward to Children’s Competition 3, scheduled for Tuesday, 7 June at 12am, Tuškanac Cinema, and Wednesday, 8 June at 10am.
One particularly exciting entry is Oh Deer! about a massively cute horned cocoa lover who needs to sweep the snow brought to his door by a suspicious earthquake every day, or A Long Holiday about a girl called Louise, whose summer holiday is unexpectedly extended.
Those over 14 are invited to Children’s Competition 4, scheduled for Tuškanac, 6 June at 12am and 9 June at 10am. There is, for instance, M Seeking W, a love story revolving around an artist in a creative crisis, trying to find his better half in a news ad.
Teenagers who think obligatory school read is boring should not miss Extraordinary Tales, a film anthology composed of five tales by Edgar Allan Poe, each in a different graphic style (at Tuškanac, 7 June at 3.30pm, Europa, 10 June at 3.30pm).
For its young audience Animafest is preparing several workshops as well: the first ones are scheduled for 28 and 29 May as part of Animafest’s family cinema and picnic.
Restart’s team is introducing children age 5-10 with elements of film and media creativity at the Film Beginners workshop, twice both days (at 5pm and 7pm). As the number of participants is limited, reservations are accepted by 27 May at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The animation workshop during the festival, 6-10 June, is set in CeKaTe, mentored by animator Antonija Veljačić, and is suitable for children over eight.
The same slot is scheduled for a stop-motion workshop at Tuškanac Cinema’s small hall and mentored by animator Martina Meštrović.
The theme is the Croatian Oscar-winning films The Substitute, and children will get a chance to learn how to animate the characters from the film in stop motion and classic paper technique. Since the number of participants is limited, applications are welcome at email@example.com.
All the programmes intended for children (marked with a smiley emoticon) are most cost-efficient with an Animafest Family Pass at early-bird prices by 3 June, via Entrio (www.entrio.hr), of 80 kuna (one child and one parent), i.e. 120 kuna (one parent and two children).
All those who purchase it this weekend at Animafest’s info point in Flower Square will get a surprise gift!