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72-bashir_03

ANIMAFEST ZAGREB 2009 – GRAND PRIX GOES TO "WALTZ WITH BASHIR"

published: 06/06/2009

Tonight at 8.30 the closing ceremony of the 19th Animafest edition was held. The Grand Prix went to Ari Folman for his film “Waltz with Bashir”

The ASIFA Croatia Award  - “Waltz with Bashir”/the Golden Zagreb Award – “Heart in the Wall” / the Audience Award – “Mary and Max”

Tonight at 8.30, the closing ceremony of the 19th Animafest edition was held. In the course of 6 festival days, the audience had an opportunity to see forty-seven works of animation and participate in the choice of their favourite film. This is the most visited feature edition so far; more than 7,500 people of all ages visited the Europa and Movieplex cinemas!

Michel Ocelot, a French animator and the guest of the festival whose retrospective we had an opportunity to see during the festival week, started the closing ceremony. Michel Ocelot, the winner of the Grand Prix at Animafest in 2007, expressed his delight in visiting Zagreb again, as he has experienced many beautiful things in this city.

The ASIFA Croatia Award for the best film at Animafest 2009 was explained by Margit Antauer-Buba; “We are giving this special award to the film that managed to fuse high-quality animation, functional visuals and majestically well told story, which leaves no one indifferent, with such an ease – “Waltz with Bashir”, directed by Ari Folman. We would also like to single out two other films that were shortlisted by the Jury – “Mary and Max” by Adam Elliot and “Idiots and Angels” by Bill Plympton.” The decision on the award was made by the Jury composed of Margit Antauer-Buba, Sandra Malenica and Matija Pisačić.   
 

Within this year’s Animafest, a special programme intended for the professionals was organised. Six projects from Central and Eastern Europe presented themselves to the international Jury at the regional forum for project development and the best project according to the Jury was granted the Golden Zagreb Award in the amount of 3,000 Euros. The Jury, composed of Luca Raffaeli, Valerie Schermann and Izabela Maria Rieben decided to give the award to the Polish project “Heart in the Wall” (Balbina Bruszewska).

They explained their decision, stating the following: “We are granting this award to the film “Heart in the Wall” because of its originality of the plot and integrality of the whole project that allows a fantastic meeting of the music from the past and the music from the present.”

The special mention of the Animafest Pro Jury went to the Czech project “Tales from Gingerland” by Tomáš Hubáček. “We are giving the special mention to the film “Tales from Gingerland” for an excellent presentation of the project that still needs to be fully developed but which is based on a very powerful idea.” In addition, the Jury pointed out that the level of the presented projects, as well as the presentations themselves, was exceptionally high, and therefore it was very hard to make a decision on which project should get the award.

Later, the Grand Competition Jury made an appearance on stage. Jia Duan, Lotte Geffenblad and Dubravko Mataković announced the winner of the Grand Prix: “We would like to give the Grand Prix to the film “Waltz with Bashir” made by Ari Folman, as we consider it to be of undisputed importance. The film concerns an exceptionally painful subject matter, using animation as the only possible medium for presenting it. The visual is very powerful and it is suitable for both realistic and psychological elements.”

Three Special mentions were also granted, which just proves that the Grand Competition Jury had a very difficult task of choosing the best:

  • The Secret of Kells (Tomm Moore/Nora Twomey, Ireland)

    “The Secret of Kells” is an exciting adventure for all ages. The film offers a great hope in the future as well as an insight into the ancient past. The style is visually beautiful and rich, full of magic which is in perfect harmony with the source of the story.”

  • Life without Gabriella Ferri (Priit Pärn/Olga Pärn, Estonia)

    The film is very powerful, in the sense of its visual and artistic aspect and it uses very compelling symbols in an intriguing and unexpected way. It also shows us what can be expressed by animation.”

  • Mary and Max (Adam Elliot, Australia)

    “Mary and Max is a very touching story. It concerns very difficult issues in an comprehensible and humorous way, using a technique that is as simple and down-to-earth as the story requires.”  
     

The likeable friends, Mary and Max, received another award this year – the Audience Award and tonight’s audience in the Europa cinema gave it a huge round of applause.

After presenting all of the awards, Krešimir Zimonić, the Artistic Director of Animafest, thanked the guests, organisers and visitors of this year’s World Festival of Animated Film and announced the screening of the Danish film “Sunshine Barry and Disco Worms”.