World Festival of Animated Film /
World Festival of Animated Film / 1972.
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Expanded Animation – from Virtual Reality to Live Animation

At the 26th World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb all the pretty faces of animation will not be represented only by the opulent line-up of ca 300 films, but also with an exclusive world premiere of animation in virtual reality, a series of talks, performances and other events interesting to both broad audience and animators.

On Tuesday, 7 June and Wednesday, 8 June, 17.00-20.00, at Oktogon/Zagreb Dance Centre, passers-by will have a chance to take part in creating animation in virtual reality in the experimental interactive installation called PIEdeck.

The system uses the technology of the famous Ars Electronica Futurlab to move in real space and with the help of a laser it turns real space movement into animation in virtual space. The PIEdeck prototype allows participants to walk through an abstract audiovisual world of virtual reality and interact with a dynamic, animated sculpture. All these elements will all be visible to spectators on a public screen.

On Tuesday, the third edition of the Symposium for Contemporary Animation Animafest Scanner III begins. This year’s keynote speaker Marcin Giżycki is the recipient of the Animafest Zagreb Award for Outstanding Contribution to Animation Studies 2016, the only honour of its kind in the world of animation festivals. Panels: Animation Awards, Animation in the Raw, Zagreb School of Animation, Currents and Trends in Contemporary Animation, Animation and Games. It is set at Zagreb Dance Centre, 7 and 8 June 10.10-17.00, with free admission.

A series of interesting lectures is also announced, led by the one by Peter Lord about the leading British studio, Aardman Studio, which is this year celebrating its 40th birthday. Lord, who co-founded the studio with David Sproxton, will give a portrait of the studio known for its Claymation films and characters like Wallace and Gromit. 

Aardman films have been nominated for Academy Award 11 times, garnering three wins for short animations by Nick Park and one for the feature film Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit by Nick Park and Steve Box. Their work is well known to everyone: Pirates! Band of Misfits, Chicken Run and Flushed Away. Peter Lord is also one of Animafest’s short film jury members and his lecture is scheduled for Saturday, 11.00, at Zagreb Dance Centre.

Of sound and music in animation we will hear more on Friday, 10 June at 11.00, Zagreb Dance Centre, from another jury member, Normand Roger, who has in the past 45 years composed over 200 original scores. His films have earned several hundred awards, including 13 nominations and six Oscar wins. Through film excerpts, he will show examples of the variety of roles that music and sound in animated film.

‘Oscar talks’ continues on Saturday, at 12.00 at Zagreb Dance Centre with Marcy Page, a former producer at National Film Board of Canada and a member of Animafest’s feature film jury. She will be speaking about regulations and strategies of nominations for the Academy Award. 

Marcy page worked as a producer on the Oscar-winning short films Ryan by Chris Landreth and The Danish Poet by Torill Kove, as well as other Oscar-nominated films like My Moulton and me (Torill Kove) and Wild Life (Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis). Normand and Marcy have selected the films for the Oscar classics section. 

Another speaker on the secrets of Oscar cartoons will appear on Friday, at 12.00, Zagreb Dance Centre: Olivier Cotte, animation historian, director and graphic novel author. He will focus on the film Father and Daughter, an Oscar-winning masterpiece by Michael Dudok de Wit.

Audience will also meet Christian Desmares, the festival guest whose film April and the Extraordinary World is included in the feature film competition. On Saturday, at 15.30, Zagreb Dance Centre, Desmares will present his film with behind the scenes clips, images and animation process. 

Last year’s guest Gerta Xhelo, TED-Ed producer, is returning and on Friday, 15.30, ZDC, speaking about TED-Ed’s curation and production process and the unique creative challenges filmmakers face when creating animation for educational purposes. TED-Ed will be awarding the lessons to those with the most fitting proposal.

Four book presentations will take place on Wednesday and Thursday at the French Institute’s Mediatheque, 18.00. Giannalberto Bendazzi’s three-volume Animation: A World History, the largest, deepest, most comprehensive text of its kind, based on the idea that animation is an art form that deserves its own place in scholarship.

Olga and MichaŁ Bobrowski will be presenting the book Obsession. Perversion. Rebellion. Twisted Dreams of Central European Animation, dedicated to the subversive and suppressed motifs present in animated auteur films from Central Europe. 

Olivier Cotte is presenting his book, a technical and historical worldwide encyclopaedia of animated film from the origins to the present day, 100 ans de cinéma d’animation, and Corrie Francis Parks, known for sand on glass animation, her Fluid Frames - Experimental Animation with Sand, Clay, Paint, and Pixels.

Live animation in practice will be introduced to everyone on Friday, 10 June, between 10.00 and 20.00 at Europa cinema’s lobby, where five animators (Ivana Bošnjak, Thomas Johnson, Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi, Ryo Orikasa and Emily Neilson) will be making stop-motion live at a pentagon-shaped table.