The SC Cinema opens its doors at 11 a.m. with World Panorama 3, followed by one of the central discursive events of Animafest 2023 – William Kentridge’s masterclass – from 1 p.m. The winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award will talk about his creativity in different artistic fields, but a few surprises can be expected from the South African master even on such occasions, as well. At 3:30 p.m., the winner of the Best Animation School Award, the National Film and Television School (NFTS), presents its latest production, and its head of animation, Robert Bradbrook, will give the opening speech. The afternoon and evening are usually reserved first for Students (block 2, from 5:30 p.m.), and then for the Grand Competition Short Film (block 3, from 8 p.m.). The students feature: the masterful Sewing Love (dir. Xu Yuan), which is interested in youthful love, but also its disappearance and violent, ultimately murderous possessiveness in a film of bright colours and incredible metamorphoses; a dog’s perspective on the owner’s journey into space and an olfactory adventure in the snow-covered city of Ascent (dir. Matti Vesanen); a beautiful children’s dance film Follow My Steps (dir. Nils Balleydier); the intimate tourist tour of Zagreb Foreign Side (dir. Sara Tomas), which incorporates city views, but also damaged facades and sidewalks into the fabric of the film, pointing to the problematic nature of the tourist discourse and local urban planning; dark-humoured mockumentary and meta-film about human-doll recycling Ressources Humaines (dir. Trinidad Plass, Titouan Tillier, Isaac Wenzek); the self-reflexive A Taste for Music (dir. Jordan Antonowicz-Behnan) about his father’s vinyl collection that unites and separates; the poetic Wind Whisperer (dir. Fernanda Caicedo); the ‘split’ Roald (group of authors) on different perspectives of a frog’s birthday party. Shiyu Tang (Soaked In), Sara Tomas, David Crisp (A World in Chaos), Matti Vesanen, Jordan Antonowicz-Behnan, Fernanda Caicedo and Xu Yuan will talk with Nino Kovačić after the screening.
Grand Competition Short Film 3 features: a concretisation and figuration in the new film by the experimental animation painter Shunsaku Hayashi Our Pain; a cultural-historical research of the Chinese Cultural Revolution through the unusual case of Mao’s Mango Cult (dir. Kayu Leung); a pre-admission delirium and playful painterly pastiche of the young painter in Olivér Hegyi’s The Garden of the Heart; Hugo Weaving as a Don Ritchie impersonator, the man who talked hundreds of people away from suicide with a simple human conversation over Teacups (dir. Alec Green, Finbar Watson); an adaptation of a Taiwanese folk tale into the unmissable haptic cinema experience of laminated paper Compound Eyes of Tropical (dir. Zhang Xu Zhan); the animated environmental documentary The Waiting (dir. Volker Schlecht) about frogs by biologist Karen Lips; the new miniature ba Atsushi Wada Ikimono-san: Turtle. After the screening, Boško Picula will interviewed: Kayu Leung, Olivér Hegyi, Zhang Xu Zhan and his producer Chan Yu Chu, Muireann Mills and Jessie Lopet (animators of Teacup).
William Kentridge’s visit to Croatia ends triumphantly at the SC Cinema at 10:30 p.m. with the performance of the sound poem Ursonata by Dadaist Kurt Schwitters. To the performance of a peculiar hybrid musical-scenic piece about a poet as a composer (composer of words), an auditory experiment with the acoustic and non-semantic properties of language, Kentridge adds a visual imaginary of his own artistic works (drawings, animations) with VJ projection (Žana Marović) and musical improvisation of a group of musicians on scene (Maja Rivić, Igor Pavlica, Stanislav Kovačić and Daniel Šuljić).
The Tuškanac cinema is also dedicated to Animafest’s favourite audience until the afternoon hours on Wednesday. From 9:30 a.m., Films for Children and Youth Competitions are shown consecutively (at 9:30 a.m. ages 3-6; at 11 a.m. ages 7-10; at 1 p.m. ages 11-14; at 3 p.m. ages 15+) with discussions with the authors. At 5:30 p.m., you should not miss the opportunity to watch the restored feature-length Romanian SF Space Mission Delta, which anticipated fears of AI back in the 1980s. With its episodic structure and seductive classical appearances, Delta in the vastness of the cosmos offers classic science fiction motifs of encounter with the Other and machine rebellion. At 7:30 p.m., the new, monumental and moving ecological Hungarian post-apocalypse White Plastic Sky (dir. Tibor Bánóczki, Sarolta Szabó) follows the Logan-Soylent premise and Lem’s psychological elaboration, but with a unique melancholic atmosphere, emotions and design. This trip to Budapest 2123 is one of the must-see experiences of this year’s Grand Competition Feature Film, a must-see for all the fans of the genre.
At the Tuškanac Summer Stage at 21:30, and in case of unfavourable weather at the same time in the Tuškanac Cinema, two excellent Far Eastern works from the Grand Competition Feature Film will be shown. Saku Sakamoto’s Japanese psychological anime body horror Feast of Amrita also has its world premiere, to the delight of fans of his style characterised by an evocation of a handheld camera, lens flare, a specific approach to computer animation of backgrounds and the voices of the big stars of the local industry Maaya Uchida and Kane Hanazawa. The Chinese film No Changes Have Taken in Our Life (dir. Jingwei Xu), about a sousaphonist who returns to his hometown with the instrument ‘wrapped around his body’ after studying, was inspired by the author’s childhood in a sleepy provincial industrial centre. The juxtaposition of the hero’s interests, goals and questions with the prosaic life of the environment in a playful and unemotional, tired-alienated tone is the starting point of the work, in which the perception, dreams and real state of a folk artist in search of work in a dry, tragicomic tone collide with the dullness of the environment and the characters who they arise from it. No Changes Have Taken in Our Life is also a film of interesting framing, cuts and mise-en-scène in which the characters rarely occupy central positions, which indicates their insignificance.
The anniversary edition of Animafest Scanner X, a symposium on contemporary animation, continues and ends today at the &TD Theatre. Presentations on Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling (Ingo Petzke), animated poetry (Diederik Grobler), animation created in collaboration with NASA astronomers (Laurence Arcadias, Robin Corbet), animated graphics and typography (João Paulo Schlittler), animated dystopian worlds (Svjetlana Sumpor), Dušan Vukotić and SF (Midhat Ajanović), science fiction tropes in the films of the 1970s and 1980s (Mikhail Gurevich) and the history of animated SF (Jens Meinrenken) begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until 4:00 p.m.: 4. The &TD program continues with the screenings of Student Film Competition 4 and Grand Competition Short Film 6. Students feature: Premiere (dir. Sara Szymańska) about the passionate meeting of a former couple at the afterparty of the theatrical premiere; Zuman (dir. Honor Price), a humorous inversion of a zoo where humans are exposed to animal visitors; Pipes (dir. Kilian Feusi, Jessica Meier, Sujanth Ravichandran) about a ‘bear’ plumber in a fetish gay club; Carlos Montaña (dir. Itati Romero) about the hero (the director’s father) who escapes from the forces of the military junta in the province of Tucumán in 1976; The Peacock Inn (dir. Dorotea Radušić), a visceral grotesque about a barber, restaurateur and slaughterer who seamlessly integrates the resources and practices of the aforementioned professions into the absurd, and five other excellent titles.
The Grand Competition Short Film 6 features: Love me True about Tinder (dir. Inés Sedan), a colourful playful mix-media creation that sometimes mockingly and sometimes seriously illustrates the lamentations of a woman who is desperately looking for closeness on dating apps; Fragile Love (dir. Xie Li), which weaves an absurd story of a woman who turns into glass at night from AV interference, static and noise, actually depicting an oppressive marriage; Almost Forgotten (dir. Dimitri Mihajlović, Miguel Lima) which, with virtuosic transitions and dynamic variations of leading motifs, draws the viewer into the space of the heroine’s vague but traumatic memories of her grandfather and the house; engaging and poignant, but at the same time considerate and gentle film about police violence and racial injustice It’s Nice in Here (dir. Robert-Jonathan Koeyers); Y (dir. Matea Kovač) about the female body, eros and lesbian relationship, but also about the line as a basic element of fine arts; Blush – An Extraordinary Voyage (dir. Iiti Yli-Harja), a puppet-film about a Finnish Kosovar who goes out in public for the first time with glam makeup and is afraid of visiting his old homeland; a casual Zoomer-hipster apocalypse with an ecological subtext and a commentary on Internet addiction The World’s After (dir. Florentina Gonzalez).
The elite 8 p.m. slot is scheduled for “Science Friction – Collage in Space”, the fourth part of the SF themed programme curated by Chris Robinson, the artistic director of the Ottawa festival. In it you can see films by Chris Marker and Walerian Borowczyk (Astronauts), Stan VanDerBeek (Science Friction), Dalibor Barić (Marienbad First Aid Kit), Marko Tadić (We Used to Call It: Moon), Sándor Reisenbüchler (Flight to the Moon), Run Wrake (The Control Master), Kelly Sears (The Drift) and others. The evening at &TD concludes with World Panorama 2 from 10 p.m., with a conversation with Marta Magnuska (Misaligned) and Chloé Rui Guo (international consultant for Goose Mountain).
In the SC Gallery at 12:00, the official opening of the Behind the Scenes 5 exhibition was held with the presence of many of the 51 authors of the Grand Competition - Short Film and the Student Film Competition whose works were exhibited at the anniversary edition of the project that presents the art of animation in a gallery context. At the National University of Sesvete at 10 a.m., the Children’s Film Competition for ages 7-10 is screened. In the MM Centre from 17:30 new printed editions from the world of animated film are presented, of course with the presence of authors: Freeze Frame – 20 Years of Monstra about the Lisbon animation festival (the book is presented by Fernando Galrito), Secret of the Animator by Julia Peguet, Chinese Animated Film and Ideology, 1940s-1970s by Olga Bobrowska and Earmarked for Collision: A Highly Biased Tour of Collage Animation by Chris Robinson. The presentations are hosted by Nancy Denney-Phelps and Boško Picula.