Ahead of the 50th anniversary of its establishment, the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2022 is giving its Children and Youth Programme, which takes place at the Tuškanac cinema on 7-11 June, and in Zagreb’s cultural centres on two weekends (June 4 and 5; June 11 and 12), as a gift to his favourite audience. The programme traditionally consists of the international Films for Children Competition for which the best new films from around the world were selected by a media psychologist and classified into age categories (age 3-6, 7-10, 11-14 and 15+), the Family Programme in four segments ideal for watching with parental accompaniment and mostly in Saturday and Sunday slots, and two animated film workshops. Selected parts of the programme arrive in Zagreb’s cultural centres as part of the free event Animafest in Your Neighbourhood, and tickets are not paid even for the open-air screening of the attractive feature anime Belle at the Tuškanac Summer Stage, suitable for young adults (15+).
The Films for Children Competition consists of 41 films selected by Martina Peštaj, editor of the Children and Youth Segment of RTV Slovenia, and regularly includes Q&As with professional guidance. Stories put children at their centre: they inspire, encourage and challenge them, and these challenges they solve skilfully, wittily and with a lot of effort and resourcefulness. These are fairy tales, legends and musical stories that feature important messages from all over the world, about animals from ancient cultures, but also relevant topics of environmental care and human rights. There are a lot of stories about how children and young people seek their voice and movement, how they think about feelings, relationships in families and among friends, about the ways of coming-of-age and growing up. There are many strong female characters, children who lack parent attention and seek their worlds of happiness and peace, as well as a lot of stop-motion animation that uses different materials: from soft felt to recycled waste material.
The programme for the youngest (3-6) is led by girls who wake up the sun, overcome fears and make strong friendships. Animal stories feature delicious soups, cute teddy bears, elephant-like monsters and travel to a new world. The section for younger schoolchildren (7-10) celebrates relationships that enrich life, so brother and sister discover the meaning of the word ‘please’, a couple of characters fly a plane to a better life, grandfather builds a house for his grandson, two mice cheat on a cat together, a girl finds an old lady’s strange hidden garden, and the story of the birds in love is also very beautiful. In the section for older schoolchildren (11-14), the main characters such as three sisters, a firefighter and a snowman are looking for their way and a place under the sun, while gallery exhibits tell stories from the past and an island full of garbage reminds us of the future. The program for young adults (15+) reveals secrets, some tender and others shocking, and captures the youthful spirit ranging from suspenseful sci-fi to reflective works.
The Family Programme in the two festival weekends features recent European medium-length films and short films from the VAFI / RAFI festival programme. The Swiss-French film Giuseppe (d. Isabelle Favez) tells the story of a little hedgehog who refuses to fall asleep because he wants to see snow, the French-Belgian No-no Goes to Space (d. Wassim Boutaleb Joutei) follows the adventures of heroes on an unknown planet, Bulgarian Anry in the Sky (d. Miroslava Arnaudova) shows the experiences of aviator bunnies, and the French-Belgian Looking for Santa (d. Marc Robinet) deals with the magic of Christmas. All of these films are suitable for ages 5+.
The Films for Children Competition (age 3-6) will be screened at the Dubrava People’s University on Saturday, June 4, at 11 am, Giuseppe and No-no Goes to Space (5+) on Sunday, June 5, at 11 am. On Saturday, June 11 at 11 am the Films for Children Competition (age 7-10), and on Sunday, June 12, at 11 am Anry in the Sky and Looking for Santa (5+) will also be screened in Dubrava. Anry in the Sky and Looking for Santa are scheduled at the Sesvete People’s University on June 12, 11 am. An evening screening of Giuseppe and No-no Goes to Space is scheduled for June 5 at 7:30 pm at the Maksimir Centre for Culture and Information. The Films for Children Competition (age 3-6) will be screened at the Knap Centre in Peščenica on Saturday, June 11, at 8 pm, and Giuseppe and No-no Goes to Space are scheduled for the same day at 11am at KUC Travno.
For young adults (15+), a screening of the feature anime Belle by Mamoru Hosoda, a modern adaptation of Beauty and the Beast about a girl who is a big singing star in the virtual world, is scheduled for Friday, June 10 at 9:30 pm at the Tuškanac Summer Stage.
On Saturday, June 11, in the French Institute Mediatheque, an animated film workshop for children (8–16 years) will be mentored by author Mitchelle Tamariz. The workshop is also the only segment of the Children and Youth Programme with a paid ticket (40 kuna for members of the Media Library, 60 kuna for others), and applications are accepted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For students of the School of Applied Arts and Design in Zagreb, another animation workshop will be organised at the Tuškanac Cinema.