TRIBUTE TO ANIMATION LEGEND JIMMY MURAKAMI
|Jimmy Murakami - 5 June, 1933 - 16 February, 2014|
On the 16th of February 2014 the animation community lost another brilliant legend with the passing of 80 year old Teruaki “Jimmy” Murakami. Jimmy leaves such a vast and varied legacy of films and such a complex personal history that it is impossible to sum up his achievements in a few sentences.
Born on 5 June, 1933 in San Jose, California in the United States, Jimmy was a Japanese-American, and at the age of 9 he and his family were interred in a WW II concentration camp along with tens of thousands of other Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast of the United States. This tragic event left lifelong deep scars and changed his life forever, which was often reflected in his films.
He has said “I was very, very bitter to be an American citizen to be treated this way. My older sister died in the camp and the rest of us came out pretty bad.” Jimmy Murakami – Non-Alien, a documentary about this period of Jimmy’s life by Irish film maker Se Merry Doyle premiered at the 2010 Stranger Than Fiction Film Festival in Dublin.
After leaving the camp, the family considered moving to Japan until they found out that the family home there had been bombed to the ground. They moved to Los Angeles instead, where Jimmy enrolled in Chouinard Art Institute in the 1950’s. His teachers included Don Graham and Disney Animator Marc Davis. Chuck Jones was in his night drawing class.
His first professional animation work came when he was hired by UPA Studio to work on The Gerald Boing Boing Show television series and with Fred Crippen on the Ham and Hattie theatrical series. Jimmy went on to design the big-nosed islanders in the Jamaican Daddy sequence of the Oscar nominated Trees and Jamaican Daddy.
Jimmy’s move to New York City in 1958 was the first stop off of what would become an international career. In New York City he worked with his former UPA colleague Ernie Pintoff at Pintoff Productions. Ernie and Jimmy designed the 1959 Oscar nominated short The Violinist.
The next stop on his odyssey was Tokyo to work at Toei Animation. In an interview Jimmy said “I wanted to find my roots as a Japanese. . . I worked at Toei Animation for a time as a consultant and all they did was give me grief because they wanted me to do everything their way, including using paper-clips for registration instead of pegs, so the picture would be jittery”. While in Tokyo he also began his other life long career as an artist, selling his first watercolours even if it was, as he said “for negligible money”. His later watercolours were represented in renowned galleries and exhibitions and painting remained a great pleasure for him.
The next move was to London where Jimmy worked at George Dunning’s TVC studio, directing the 1961 BAFTA winning short Insects. He returned to Los Angeles in 1965 to launch Murakami-Wolf Productions. The studio focused primarily on commercial work but Jimmy did find time to make his own personal films such as the Oscar nominated Magic Pear Tree and Annecy Grand Prix winning Breath.
In 1971 he settled in Ireland which was to become his lifelong home. His first project there was as second unit aerial director on Roger Corman’s The Red Baron. He went on to direct Battle Beyond the Stars and Humanoids From The Deep for Corman before setting up his own commercial studio, Quateru Films in Dublin.
The studio worked on freelance projects such as the opening sequences of Heavy Metal. Jimmy’s ultimate desire, though, was to follow his fiercely independent streak and make films the way he wanted to make them. Murakami’s philosophy is summed up by Irish animation designer and director Paul Bolger, “When I first met Jimmy in 1989 I asked him how best to apply all I had learned about making animation at Don Bluth Studios and he told me “most (people) use film to make animation when it’s better to use animation to make films”.
Jimmy is best remembered for his role as supervising director on the 1982 The Snowman. The film, based on the children’s book by Raymond Briggs, premiered on BBC on December 26th and has become a beloved British classic. The Snowman was nominated for an Oscar.
Briggs and Murakami next collaborated in 1986 on When the Wind Blows based on Briggs’ graphic novel of the same name. The hand drawn stop-motion film depicting an impending nuclear attack through the eyes of an elderly British couple has become an international classic. The film also reflects Jimmy’s desire for world peace which was present in so much of his personal work.
After the closing of Quateru Films, Jimmy opened Murakami Films in Dublin. The studio worked on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Christmas Carol: The Movie as well as the television series Storykeepers.
Jimmy is regarded as the Founding Father of Irish animation and he will be long remembered not only for his impressive body of work but especially by the younger Irish animators as someone who was always happy to help them. Paul Young, Irish producer of the Oscar nominated The Secret of Kells remembers “the highlight for Tomm Moore and myself during the various festival events we were lucky enough to attend with The Secret of Kells was a festival in Morocco where we had Jimmy all to ourselves for nearly a week. We both remember one night under the stars listening to Jimmy – rapt. He was a spellbinding storyteller, his life made is laugh and cry. I’ll never forget that night and how warm he was to us”.
|Jimmy with Nancy at Annecy 2012|
He was indeed a great storyteller who will be missed by so many of us who had the privilege to spend time with him. I can’t believe that I will never share another drink with Jimmy while he entertains me with his stories.
At the time of his passing at his home he was preparing his new feature about Hiroshima. My sympathy goes out to his wife Ethna and their two daughters Dee and Claire on their sudden, unexpected loss.
Animatricks Festival’s Call for Entries
Monday December 16th 2013, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Festivals
COMPETITION FOR ANIMATED SHORT FILMS
16 DECEMBER 2013
Animatricks Festival is launching its 2014 Call for Entries, inviting filmmakers around the world to submit their animated short films. International competition is arranged now for the first time alongside with the traditional competition for the best Finnish animated shorts. The prize for the international winner is 3000 euros. The festival takes place 25–27 April 2014 in Helsinki, Finland. Submission is open until 31 January 2014.
Animatricks is a cozy three-day festival and a meeting point for animation professionals and fans, held in the heart of Helsinki. Animatricks has been presenting new Finnish animation and selections of international tops since the year 2000 and has awarded Finnish animation since 2005. In 2014 Animatricks extends and opens an international competition. The competition is sponsored by Rovio Entertainment, media company and creator of the globally successful Angry Birds.
Qualifications and prizes
Animatricks wants to share the wonders of animation and show stories that cannot be told in any other art form. We are looking for films with unique storytelling, style and technique.
International productions chosen to participate will be screened in the International Shorts Competition Category. Films can be maximum 30 minutes long animated films or music videos completed after 1 February 2013. Educational or commercial films are not accepted. Minimum 70% of the film duration must be animation.
Festival jury chooses the most inspiring international and Finnish short animations of the year from the competition films. The best international animation will be awarded with 3000 euros and the best Finnish with 1000 euros, both prizes are sponsored by Rovio Entertainment . The awards are granted to the directors.
Submission is open until 31 January 2014. In order to submit your film, please read the rules and regulations on www.animatricks.net/festival/submission. You will also find the online entry form there.
P.s. Not familiar with Finnish animation? Take a peek at the previous festival winners and many others at Animatricks Screen, a freshly opened animation online treasury.
KLICKING BACK TO THE FABULOUS ‘50’S AT THE KLIK AMSTERDAM FESTIVAL OF ANIMATION
Tuesday December 10th 2013, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Festivals
12-17 November 2013 - Eye Film Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
|View of the Eye Theater from the ferry|
This year KLIK, the Amsterdam Festival of Animation, took us back to the fabulous Cartoon Modern era and the classic designs of the 1950’s. The retro theme was also seen in the vintage furniture and accessories in the special upstairs KLIK Lobby at the Eye. We sat on the furniture and could play the vintage games and read the magazines as we talked and drank in our ’50 living room.
|Relaxing in the retro lobby|
This year’s guest curator was Amid Amidi whose book Cartoon Modern: Style and Design in Fifties Animation was the inspiration for the theme. Along with writing numerous books, he is also the editor-in-chief at the animation web site Cartoon Brew. Amid introduced Cartoon Modern, The Essentials a program with films by such legends as John Hubley and Tex Avery as well as the Disney “educational music” short Toot, Whistle, Plunk, and Boom animated by the great Ward Kimball. This was the first animated short to be filmed in Cinemascope and stereophonic sound and it won the 1954 Academy Award for Best Animated Short. Every time Nik and I watch the film, Nik points out the numerous musical misinformation that the film contains, such as everyone magically playing their instruments left handed and the backwards trumpet, but I enjoy seeing it over and over and the film always receives lots of laughs from audiences who love all of the sight gags.
|Nancy and Amid Amidi|
In the six Cartoon Modern programs I had the opportunity to see many old favorites. I also learned about the Cartoon Modern movement in the Netherlands in the 1950’s and ‘60’s and the Contemporary Cartoon Modern program showed us that the legacy of the 1950’s is still very much alive.
Far too often when I see a film that I saw and loved years ago it turns out to be a big disappointment, but the UPA feature Gay Pur-ee” was as wonderful as the first time I saw it on the big screen when it was released in 1962. Judy Garland in her only animated film role was the perfect voice for the lovely, pampered house cat Mewsette, and Robert Goulet in his first film role brought the champion mouser Jaune Tom, who is in love with Mewsette, to life. The sequence of paintings of Mewsette in the styles of various famous artists such as Lautrec, Henri Rousseau, and Picasso is a delight for anyone who knows art history. Gay Pur-ee was 85 minutes of purr-fect pleasure for me.
In keeping with this year’s theme a group of HKU (University of the Arts in Utrecht) students created an intermission piece based on the original 1950’s “Let’s All Go to the Lobby” theme which was shown after each screening at the festival. I can remember when every theatre had double features and that cheery little ditty sent the audience out to the lobby to get popcorn, JuJubes, and a Coke. The Klik audiences couldn’t help going out of the screenings singing “Let’s All Go to the Lobby and Get Ourselves a Drink”. The trailer is so well done and popular that even though the theme will change next year I hope that the festival will still end each screening with this little crowd pleaser.
Opening night festivities began on the expansive stair case of the Eye, as Puck van Dijk and Mark Thewessen set the scene for the KLIK theme by taking us back to the All American Family of the ‘50’s and the fear of the Atomic Bomb with their skit Duck and Cover. Then we entered the screening room.
At the Opening Ceremony the audience was given a preview of what lay ahead for us in the six Competition Programs with the screening of Soeur et frere (Sister and Brother) by French animator Marie Vieillevie. She has created a beautifully paced 2D coming of age story that captures the mystery and complex feelings of growing up. I’ve seen Soeur et frère several times and I appreciate that the film doesn’t wrap everything into a neat ending. Instead she leaves you wondering about what will happen to the two of them next.
Two awards were also handed out at the ceremony. KLIK took another leap toward world domination by Dutch animation with the brand new KLIK! World Domination Award. The trophy honors an individual, organization, or studio that has helped Dutch animation take another critical step toward world domination. The jury of Dutch film industry professionals bestowed the honor on Erik-Jan de Boer. Originally from the Netherlands, de Boer now lives in Los Angeles where he worked for the now sadly defunct Rhythm and Hues Studio. Last year he won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for his amazing work on Life of Pi. He now works at Method Studio in Los Angeles.
The Mopti Audience Award took the audience half way around the world via video to the city of Mopti in the West African country of Mali located near the border of the Sahara. Dutchman Willem Snapper who has lived there for several years, started the Mopti Foundation with the goal to bring relief and aid to the local population. He does this by creating gardens with irrigation systems so fruits and vegetables can be grown in this extremely arid area. KLIK believes that you can do good and have fun at the same time. There is a donation box at the front desk will all of the proceeds going to the Mopti Foundation.
|Mopti opening night crowd shot, shown on the screen on closing night|
Willem also screens a film in his back yard every month. The nearest cinema is hundreds of kilometers away so the monthly event is always a big event attracting as many as 300 people. Each year KLIK puts together a special program for Mopti and a trophy is awarded to the film that the audience votes as their favorite. The 2013 winner was The Solitary Pier by Jack Shih from Taiwan. The film, which also screened in the festival competition program, is about a fisherman who lives alone on a solitary pier with his dog and turtle until his life is changed by a visit from a young lady and the appearance of a massive fish that is devouring the local fish population. The battle between the fisherman and the fish has some excellent special effects.
|MC Roloff De Jeu always loves to play the organ at the opening and closing ceremonies|
KLIK likes to keep things short and sweet with no long, drawn out opening ceremonies. After the film and awards it was time to go to the lobby for a welcoming drink.
|KLIK downstairs decorations|
I did not want to miss the three KLIK for Kids screenings on Sunday morning. Aside from showing such wonderful films as Room on the Broom and Rabbit and Deer the first two programs designed for children aged four to six and six to nine years old respectively featured live Dutch voice overs by professional actors Remco Lee Polman of Mooves Studio and Gio van Vugt.
Members of the KLIK for Kids audience voted Forever Mine winner of the Young Audience Award. The seven minute 3-D film by Dutch animator Michael Visser is about two mimes fighting for the romantic attention of a young Goth girl who runs the House of Horrors at the Fairground. As they begin to try to bluff each other with their creative mime, their performance deteriorates into a fight to the death.
I was charmed by Good Night, Carola from German director Alexandra Schatz. Based on a children’s picture book by Jokob Hein and Kurt Kroener, Carola is a fearless little girl who is not frightened by anything. She isn’t even surprised when she finds a monster hiding under her bed, in fact she is delighted with this new friend, who is upset because he thinks that Carola should be afraid of him. The beautiful hand drawn film has one of my favorite lines, “She who is not afraid has more time to play”. That has become my motto.
For the inner kid in all of us who has fond memories of hours spent in front of the television watching Dexter’s Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, and of course The Powerpuff Girls the Cartoon Network Originals program was a must. Not only could we relive golden television memories on the big screen, there was The Powerpuff Girls cosplay act and a special Q and A with Paul Rudish, director, storyborder, writer, and art director of The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter’s Laboratory. But that’s not all folks - everyone in the audience received a Cartoon Network original T-Shirt.
For Comedy Central fans there was the Comedy Central Battle of the Fans. Fans of South Park, Family Guy, and Futurama joined forces to fight for their series’ running gags, serenade their favorite series most beautifully, and diss the other two series into oblivion to help their series win the Comedy Central Fan Award. For the fan that knew the most during the pub quiz there was a well-stocked goodie bag as a reward.
While others relived their memories with Cartoon Network and Comedy Central I relived my own memories for 90 minutes at Midnight Madness. As a member of the KLIK selection committee this year the golden moments of “What was that person thinking?” came vividly back to life as Mathijs Stegnik and Luuk van Huet hosted some of the weirdest and most baffling, beyond even bad, films that were submitted to KLIK.
|Midnight Madness under the guiding hand of Luuk Van Huët with an assist by Mathijs Stegink|
On Friday there was an opportunity for members of the Dutch animation community to network and attend panel discussions, presentations by professionals who shared their tips and tricks with the audience, and screenings. The sessions ranged from Creating the Feature Film Pim & Pom, based on a Dutch children’s book to five Low Country animators sharing the knowledge they acquired the hard way while getting their series’ started. Ryan Honey, Executive Creative Director of Studio Buck, a design driven production company based in Los Angeles and New York, vented about life in the commercial animation industry. The afternoon culminated with Debutante Ball, a screening of films by the next generation of Dutch animators, where the graduating class of 2013 HBO Studies presented their one minute show reels.
Last year Israeli director Ari Folman, who garnered an Oscar nomination for his critically acclaimed feature film Waltz With Bashir, premiered his latest film The Congress at the Cannes Film Festival. The story, adopted from the legendary sci-fi novel The Futurological Congress by Polish writer Stanislev Lem, revolves around an aging, out of work actress who accepts her final job, preserving her digital image for a Hollywood studio. The feature length film combines live action and psychedelic animation and features Robin Wright, Paul Giamatti, Jon Hamm, and Harvey Keitel. The Congress was so full of visual images that I need to watch it again before I can make up my mind how I feel about it. The film already has a North American distributor, so many of you will soon have the opportunity to make up your own mind about the film.
I was very curious to see Persistence of Vision and The Thief and the Cobbler: Recobbled Cut which followed it. I’m sure that everyone knows the tragic tale of three time Oscar winner Richard Williams’ legendary The Thief and the Cobbler which has become known as the greatest animated film never made. Film maker Kevin Schreck has collected rare archival footage, interviews with animators and artists who worked with Williams, and pieces of animation that were completed to tell the heart breaking story of this ill-fated project. It was particularly fascinating to see the footage of such legends Roy Naisbitt, Art Babbitt and Ken Harris along will Williams himself at work on the film. I am very glad that I was able to see this fascinating slice of film history which should be a must see for any animation fan.
I wasn’t sure how I was going to enjoy The Thief and Cobbler: Recobbled Cut, but I was completely enthralled by the restoration of this unfinished masterpiece. Even though the difference between the beautiful, original work and the recreated sequences is very evident, Garret Gilchrist has cut together many of the old existing scenes with newly created footage to bring the film closer to its original form. Gilchrist, a lifelong Richard Williams fan, has restored the entire film frame by frame in Photoshop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and other programs to recreate scenes that were never animated. He also removed dirt and splices. Garret says that he did not undertake this project for any financial gain but as a labor of love, and when word got out about his project animators who had worked on the film came forward with rare original art work that they had saved. Don’t expect to see Williams’ masterpiece as he intended it to look, but it is definitely worth it to see the beautiful original footage.
Last year I spent an afternoon at the Script Dating session and I felt that it was definitely time well spent so I went back again this year and I was definitely not disappointed that I did. The intensive workshop is designed to give script writers and animators the opportunity to bounce their ideas off the rest of the group and get constructive feedback. Session leader Matthew Curlewis, a professional script advisor, also gave each participant detailed, personal advice. The only strict rule of the session is that what is said in the group stays in the group so I can’t talk about any of the projects but I can say that last year’s session helped me get on track with my personal project and the advice that I received this year has helped me to refine details and fine tune my project. Whether you are still in the formative stage or you think that your project just needs a little fine tuning, I strongly recommend that you spend an afternoon Script Dating next year.
Not all of the excitement took place in the screening rooms. On Saturday afternoon the upstairs Eye Arena came alive with the sock puppet sweatshop where you could create your own personal sock friend at tables piled high with yarn, sequins, and assorted bits and pieces plus hot glue guns and needle and thread. Organized by those fun loving guys from Cardboard.com who brought us Robot Wars last year, the sock puppets were a great hit this year because everyone could join in and there were some wonderful creations indeed. After a busy afternoon of creating there was a sock puppet party which featured sock puppet arm wrestling.
|The sock puppet workshop|
|Nik showing off his sock friend|
|Sock friends waiting for the sock wrestling contest|
|Rebekah Villon, ASIFA Portland Int. Board member with sock friend|
The 6 day festival gave the record number 9139 visitors the opportunity to see more than fifty screening and events. The state of the art Eye Film Institute was transformed into a retro wonderland. Along with adding an extra day, KLIK also included a café and a screening room in the Toren building next door, which extended the growing festival to two buildings this year. At the Fabulous Fifties Party you could dance the night away. KLIK! KLIK! Boom featured loud music and your chance to lose your voice shouting over the noise at your friends.
Last year Sahar Demnati created the wonderful blue KLIKBot costume and the roving robot became an instant hit. This year she added a larger than life box of popcorn and a life sized cotton candy costume to join the robot in his wonderings around the Eye. If the costumes make your mouth water for the real thing you could get all of the free cotton candy you could eat from the volunteer manned cotton candy machine in the lobby. I hope that next year the festival will add a popcorn machine because there is no cotton candy in the Let’s All Go To the Lobby trailer but there is definitely popcorn. Let’s face it, we can only eat so much of the gooey pink stuff but I for one count popcorn as one of my basic food groups.
|Cotton Candy handing out Oreos after the Cartoon Modern screening|
|KLIKbot and friend|
Each year I look forward to the KLIK boat trip for guests. Two and a half hours on a beautiful long boat cruising the picturesque Amsterdam canals is my idea of heaven. All of the guests are so busy at the festival so this is always the ideal opportunity to get time to have individual conversations. To add to the fun there was plenty of delicious food and drink proving that the KLIK staff really knows how to treat their guests.
|Guests on the boat trip|
All too soon it was time for the closing ceremony where the juries revealed their decisions. The International Jury was made up of Dutch freelance journalist Kees Driessen, curator at the Tuskanac Cinema in Zagreb, Croation Vanja Hraste, and French author Sylvain Quement. Student, For Hire, Political, and 3-D Films were judged by Kirsten Ruber, director of Go Shorts Festival in the Netherlands, French digital expert Guillaume Castagne, and Ryan Honey, co-founder of Studio Buck. A complete list of the winning films is at the end of this article. After the awards were announced the audience had the chance to relive the highlights of the week with a Best of KLIK 2013 screening.
This year KLIK managing director Yvonne Van Ulder and her partner Paul van Straten had their own project to manage during the festival. A few days before the opening of the festival, Yvonne gave birth to a baby boy. Congratulations to the proud parents and a hearty welcome to Finn van Straten, the newest member of the KLIK staff. Unfortunately I was in a screening when Yvonne and Finn made a brief appearance at the Eye but Nik got to see them and said that Finn is adorable.
|Nancy and Erik van Druen, Interim Festival Co-ordinator|
Erik van Drunen, former programmer at the Holland Animation Festival in Utrecht and a noted animation expert, stepped in as Interim Festival Co-ordinator and he did an outstanding job of filling some very big shoes. The entire KLIK staff also did a marvellous job of making sure the 6 days ran smoothly. A special round of applause must go to programmer Tünde Vollenbrock who came up with the Cartoon Modern theme and worked tirelessly to put together the six special 1950’s screenings. I know that it took Tünde a great deal of work to locate some of the prints. Who would have guessed that finding a 35 mm print of Gay Purr-ee would turn out to be a big problem. Even Warner Bros. who released the UPA film didn’t have a copy in their vault.
|Supergirl Tünde Vollenbrock, Program Head-Cheese|
Last but not least, a big thank-you goes to the tireless KLIK volunteers who did everything from manning the entry desk to taking turns at the cotton candy machine, wearing the robot, cotton candy and popcorn costumes, and handing out ballots at the screenings. Nik and I also owe a special debt of gratitude to Anja Bakker who invited us to stay in her lovely apartment during the festival.
Congratulations to everyone who helped to make KLIK 2013 such a great success. I am already looking forward to what surprises KLIK 2014 will have in store for us.
There was so much packed into the six day festival that I could write pages about this wonderful event and I had to touch what were the highlights for me but to read more, see lots of photos from this year and learn how your film can be submitted to KLIK 2014 go to: www.KLIKAMSTERDAM.nl
|See you next year!|
KLIK! 2013 JURY AWARDS and JURY STATEMENTS
KLIK! AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED SHORT
TOTO, Zbigniew Czapla, Warsztat Filmowy, PL, 2013, 12:00
In a competition of very different animated shorts from all over the world, in a wide variety of styles, mediums and genres, the winner of the KLIK! Award for best animated short hit us with beautiful and extremely original visuals. With a painterly style, a free-moving camera and a narrative which uses color, abstraction and movement to tell a serious story, our winner convinced us in a field of strong contenders. A mother’s loss is an animator’s gain.
Vanja Hraste (CR), Kees Driessen (NL), Guillaume Castagné (FR)
KLIK! AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED STUDENT SHORT
HELPIMAN, Aisha Madu, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, NL, 2011, 2:57
The most original film in the selection had a good balance between narrative approach and shape work. Tempered animation, with a unique look and approach. This piece incorporated several influences but combined them to create a truly original result.
Ryan Honey (US), Kirsten Ruber(NL), Sylvain Quément(FR)
KLIK! AWARD FOR BEST 3-D STEREOSCOPIC ANIMATED SHORT
ENDTRIP, Olivier Ballast, Koen de Mol, Rick Franssen, HKU University of the Arts Utrecht, NL, 2013, 5:10
This was an unique film, that takes the viewer on an abstract journey, using stereoscopic technology to enhance the experience. The only thing we would ask is that the film makers include some penises to counter the journey through the boobs.
Ryan Honey (US), Kirsten Ruber(NL), Sylvain Quément(FR)
KLIK! AWARD FOR BEST POLITICAL ANIMATED SHORT FILM
LIVE // LOVE // LIKE & SHARE, Eno Swinnen, KASK, BE, 2013, 8:06
This is a laboratory film. We appreciate that it talks about the present times, without forcing a certain opinion. Even if the drawing style is not completely original, the combination of all the elements in this film make it unique and engaging.
Ryan Honey (US), Kirsten Ruber(NL), Sylvain Quément(FR
KLIK! AWARD FOR BEST COMMISSIONED ANIMATION
VITRA SILENT WALL, Dustin Rees, CH, 2012, 1:11
A timeless film, well-balanced and elegant. It is classic but with a strong graphic design. A perfectly intricate relationship with the product. This is a smart, unique commercial that respects the viewer’s intellect.
Ryan Honey (US), Kirsten Ruber(NL), Sylvain Quément(FR)
World Domination Award & Mopti Award
KLIK! WORLD DOMINATION AWARD: Erik-Jan de Boer
SOLITARY PIER, Jack Shih, Red Alien Studio, Taiwan, 2013, 13:45
TOON BOOM AUDIENCE AWARD
RABBIT AND DEER, Péter Vacz, Moholy-Nagy University of Arts and Design, HU, 2013, 16:15
TOON BOOM YOUNG AUDIENCE AWARD
FOREVER MIME, Michael Visser, il Luster Films, NL, 2013, 7:00
FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL du COURT METRAGE Lille, France – 9 to 13 October 2013
Sunday November 10th 2013, 5:58 am
Filed under: Festivals
MIXING ANIMATION AND LIVE ACTION FILMS MAKES A TASTY FEAST FOR THE EYES
I was delighted when the Festival International du Court Metrage in Lille, France invited me to be on their jury this year. Nik and I had been to the festival last year to present a program on the history of animation and I had enjoyed the opportunity to see the live action short films in competition as well as the animation competitions which were in separate programs.
This year the festival made the jury’s job interesting and challenging by dividing the competition screenings into 3 International and 2 National (French) programs with live action and animation screened together in both categories. I thought that it was going to be difficult to judge both types of films in one program, like comparing apples and oranges, but good film is good film no matter what format it immediately stands out.
Aside from doing our jury duty together I really enjoyed spending time with my fellow jurors. I already knew British animation director Emma Burch, who I met last year when her first short film Being Bradford Dillman won the L’ Hybride Audience Award at the festival. I had never met our fellow juror Herve Le Phuez, film programmer for the International French Speaking Film Festival in Namur, Belgium. He is very charming and knowledgeable about film. Our jury discussions after each screening were actually a pleasure as the screenings gave us a lot to talk about.
|Nancy, Herve Le Phuez, Emma Burch and festival organizer Julie Charnay|
The quality of programming was very high this year. There were films that I had seen and enjoyed before, such as the delightful Mademoiselle Kiki of Montparnos. When we arrived at our final decision we awarded the Best National Film Award to Mademoiselle Kiki stating that the film completely captured the French spirit and that the richness of the different styles perfectly represents the historic persons who were part of Kiki’s life. She was someone all three of us wanted to know more about.
There were also many new surprises. Les Lezards (The Lizards) by French director Vincent Mariatte was a delightful live action film. I could not help but fall in love with the two loveable losers, Leon and Bruno, who are waiting in a Turkish bath house where Leon has arranged to meet a girl he met on the internet. The use of black and white perfectly captures the expressions on the faces of the two lead characters, played by Vincent Macaigne and Benoit Forgeurd. I was told that Macaigne is the face of the fresh new wave of French cinema and a very popular film star. I don’t want to give away the plot of the film because it is worth seeing. The expression on the two characters faces at the end of the film is priceless. We awarded Les Lezards a Special Mention in the National Competition.
No matter how excellent a live action film is, animation is still my first love and there was a wide variety of entertaining animation. The Mystery of Malakka Mountain (Tajemnica Gory Malakka) by Polish animator Jakub Wronski is about a boy growing up and the need to know the truth about his missing flying father, an aviation hero. What I liked even more than the story was the intriguing stylized look of the film a-la the style of German-American Pop Artist Richard Lindner.
Hungarian animator Peter Vacz’s Rabbit and Deer (Nyuszi Es Oz) brought a smile to my face. It is a charming film about the friendship between two loveable characters whose peculiar dilemma leads to a bittersweet end. The opposition of the simple hand drawn style and the 3-D puppet animation worked perfectly to illustrate the rabbit and deer’s radically changed situation. The film is engaging to both children and adults and we selected it as the award winner of the Young Audience from 5 to 8 years old award. In our jury statement we said that “we chose this film for its clever combination of 2D and 3D animation which helped us find our inner child”.
I am a strong believer in the power of animated docs to tell difficult stories that would be too painful in live action. Swiss animators Sam and Fred Guillaume have given life to the often silent voice of the homeless in La Nuit De L’Ours (The Night of the Bear). The Guillaumes put the voices of homeless people telling their own stories of how they ended up living on the street into the bodies of animals who come to the bear’s home every night for a hot meal and a bed. The film touched me and I am happy to say that the audience shared my feelings. Far too often the Audience Award goes to a short funny film, but the audience in Lille showed their taste and sensitivity by awarding The Night of the Bear the Audience Choice Award.
One other live action film really deserves a mention. The Mass of Men by British director Gabriel Gauchet was inspired by the 2011 London riots and the government’s response to the frustration and disillusionment of the masses of unemployed trapped in the rules of the uncaring system. In this dark comedy, Richard arrives three minutes late for his job center appointment and his case worker, trapped in the rigid rules of the system, has no choice but to penalize him with a week’s suspension of his benefit check. A frustrated Richard gets help from an unexpected event and in the end he decides to take matters into his own hands. All during the festival this powerful portrayal of a terrible indignity suffered by people throughout the world kept coming back to mind. My fellow jurors were also moved by the film and we awarded it the International Grand Prix.
One of the highlights of the festival each year is Animation Night. For nine hours from 9 PM to 6 AM the historic Sebastopol Theatre floor and two balconies were packed with over 1,200 animation fans that were treated to a wide selection of shorts and video clips ranging from the sublime to the absurd. Throughout the night three feature films were screened, Frankenweenie, the beautifully done Spanish puppet animation O Apostolo, and to finish off the night Amer Beton, Michael Arias’ 2006 adaptation of the Japanese comic by Taiyo Matsumoto. This year Anima’est in Bucarest, who also presents a similar night of animation at their festival, was invited to program three hours of Animated Nights.
People arrived with their pillows and blankets ready for a night of fun viewing. Breakfast was served to the hardy survivors at dawn. For the price of 15 Euros (10 Euros for students) nine hours of animation and breakfast is a great bargain and worth a trip to the festival even if you didn’t see any other program. It is also an excellent way for the festival to build audiences for their competition programs.
|Midnight outside the San Sebastopol theater between Night of Animation shows|
On Friday morning there was the Innovative Tools for Visual and Media Literacy. The half day event of talks and demonstrations featured European designers of visual literacy tools such as serious games, web platforms, software, touch tablets, etc. as well as university professors, consultants, and representatives of French and European public organizations such as the British Film Institute. The event attracted a large crowd and gave professionals and students an opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas.
The festival wasn’t all about watching and listening. The 48 Hour short film marathon gave teams of students the opportunity to be creative. This year’s theme Laws of Gravity was randomly picked out of a hat at 6:30 Friday evening. Each team had two days to make a short film of no less than four minutes. The films were screened for the public on Sunday evening. The winning film was selected by a panel of professionals from various branches of the animation world.
Last year I thought that it was a shame that we were not given an opportunity to meet the film makers who were at the festival. This year The Brunch solved that problem. Sunday morning over a lovely selection of fruit, cheese, a croissant, and delicious paté the film makers were interviewed and the audience was given the opportunity to ask them questions. I was particularly interested to hear what French film maker Caroline Poggi had to say about her live action film Chiens (Dogs).
When I saw Caroline’s 24 minute film set in the mountains of Corsica in the National Competition program I thought that the film was visually stunning. It’s a fascinating picture about a young man living alone with his dogs in a remote mountain cabin, however I still don’t understand the shocking ending of the film and I’m sorry to say that Caroline’s interview didn’t shed any light on the ending nor did I have a chance to talk to her privately. I don’t want to give the ending away but, I am still thinking about the film and am as confused as when I saw it.
At the awards ceremony I was amazed to hear the Young Jury announce that their special mention award went to Chiens. I am sorry that I did not have the opportunity to talk to them about their choice after the ceremony. The young jury was made up of school students from Lille and its twin city Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg and I heard that they had quite heated discussions about the films and it took quite a while for them to reach a decision.
After the evening screenings at L’Hybride the comfy couches that are the theatre seats were replaced with canvas reclining chairs for an interactive project created by the Collective/1 Minute 69 during their spring residency at L’Hybride. The audience was given laser pointers which we aimed at various points around the room while a video streamed on two walls. There was also an installation in an alcove on the third wall. When a laser beam hit a correct point it would change the action on the video or reveal hidden things in the alcove installation. It was great fun to sit in the beach chairs and be part of the experience bringing hidden images to life.
|L’Hybride screening room|
|Digital Stories interactive presentation|
The main part of the festival takes place in two locations. L’Hybride is a music, art, and film venue with a homey feel and friendly bartenders. Gare Saint Savuers is a former train station that has been converted into an arts and events space. The renovated complex is also home to a trendy hotel, café, and exhibition space. Although Gare Saint Savuers lacks the cozy charm of L’Hybride, it does have an excellent screening room.
|The professional jury on the grounds of Gare Saint Sauveur. L to R - Nancy, Herve Le Phuez and Emma Burch|
Last year the Closing Ceremony was held at the Sebastopol Theatre and was immediately followed by Animated Nights. This year the all night event was held on a separate evening at the Gare Saint Savuers theater. This was much better because last year even though the winners were presented their awards on the stage of the beautiful theatre and a film clip was screened, they were lost in the shuffle of a theatre full of people who were waiting for the “main event”. Unfortunately, unlike last year, none of the winning filmmakers were physically present this year but they all sent video thank-yous and the ceremony felt like the standalone event it deserves to be. A full list of the award winners appears at the end of the article.
|The young jury at the Gare Saint Suaveur theater|
The International Short Film Festival is organized by Les Rencotres Audiovisuelles which is dedicated to show-casing independent film, visual creations, and digital arts. They also develop educational projects in schools. CineSoup is their short film traveling program. They also have Thursday through Sunday screenings at L’Hybride year round as well as offering digital residencies. In addition to the short film festival they also put on Animation Fest held both in Lille and in the nearby city of Tourcoing which brings professionals in the animation and digital arts together with animation students from throughout Europe.
I cannot thank Festival director Julie Charnay enough for inviting me to be part of the festival this year. She and her fantastic staff were so kind and the hospitality was so generous. A special thank you goes to Cyril Mouthier who made sure that the jury was always on time and arranged for us to have a driver whenever we needed one. Last but not least was the large army of volunteers who were always there to help in any way they could. I have served on many juries and this festival gave me one of the clearest, easy to follow schedules of when and where I had to be along with an easy to use jury book which I appreciated. I have served on some juries where they give you a pad of paper, and that’s it.
I came home with such lovely memories of the festival and urge anyone who is invited to accept. You will have a wonderful time at an exciting festival in a beautiful town. You can visit the festival’s website for more information at:
Professional Jury: Emma Burch, Herve La Phuez, and Nancy Denney-Phelps
GRAND PRIX NATIONAL – 3 days of sound post production provided by Le Fresnoy
Mademoiselle Kiki et les Montparnasse (Madam Kiki of Montparnasse) - Amelie Harrault, France
SPECIAL MENTION (NATIONAL)
Les Lezards (The Lizards) –Vincent Mariette, France
GRAND PRIX INTERNATIONAL -3.000 Euros in material rental (cameras and machinery) provided by Next Shot
The Mass of Men (La masse des homes) – Gabriel Gauchet, Great Britian
SPECIAL MENTIONS (International)
Sevilla – Bram Schouw, The Netherlands
GRAND PRIX JUNENE PUBLIC (Films for the Young Audience) – Funding worth 1.000 Euros provided by Pictanovo
Nyuszi es Oz (Rabbit and Deer) – Peter Vacz, Hungary
SPECIAL MENTION IN FILMS FOR THE YOUNG AUDIENCE
Merci mon chien (A Dog’s Life) – Julie Rembauville and Nicolas Bianco-Levrin, France
PRIX DU PUBLIC – 1.500 Euros in equipment provided by Key Grip Systems
La Nuit de l’Ours (The Night of the Bear) – Sam snd Fred Guillaume, Switzerland
Young Jury: Made up of young people from Lille and its twin city Esch-sur-Alzette
PRIX DU JURY JEUNE (Young Jury Award) – 3.000 euros of equipment rental provided by CinePL
Penny Dreadful – Shane Atkinson, United States
SPECIAL MENTION DU JURY JEUNE (Special Mention of the Young Jury)
Chiens (Dogs) – Philippe Gamer, France
PRIX DU JEUNE PUBLIC (PRIZE OF THE YOUNG AUDIENCE0
Der Klein Vogel und das Blatt (The Little Bird and the Leaf) – Lena von Dohren, Switzerland
PRIX DES TRES COURTS (BEST VERY SHORT FILM)
The Chase –Philippe Gamer, France
LE CHOIX DU PUBLIC DE L’HYBRIDE (AWARD FROM THE L’HYBRIDE AUDIENCE)
Memorable Moi (Remember Me) Jean-Francois Asselin, Canada
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF KROKING DOWN THE RIVER: KROK International Animation Film Festival 1 - 10 September, 2013 - Odessa to Kiev, Ukraine on the MS Dnieper Star
Monday October 21st 2013, 9:49 am
Filed under: Festivals
KROK International Animated Film Festival celebrated its 20th birthday this year and oh what a nine-day birthday party it was! Breaking with the usual festival tradition of showing the first competition program at a theatre followed by a welcome dinner on the ship on opening night, we were taken to a beach club overlooking the Black Sea in Odessa. From the moment we arrived at the opening ceremony at the beautiful Otrada Beach Club, I knew that it was going to be a special year.
|The KROK banner on our boat|
There were welcome speeches and a special salute by Yuri Norshtein to Edward Nazarov, Russian president of the festival who was sadly unable to sail with us this year. Then came a live demonstration of the unique art of Hungarian sand animator Ferenc Cako, a member of the jury this year. This was followed by a screening of the French feature film The Day of the Crows directed by Jean-Christopher Dessaint, and a sumptuous feast served under the stars on the club’s lawn.
KROK was not the only one celebrating a birthday this year. The renowned Pilot Studio, the first independent Soviet Film Studio, is 25 years old this year. The retrospective screening “Pilot Studio is 25 Years Old — A story of success, struggle, and creation . . .” paid tribute to the legion of films that the studio has produced and the man whose vision and stubborn determination created this great studio again all odds, Alexander Tatarsky.
Alexander brought together a group of talented, like-minded animators to create Pilot’s first film Lift 1 as well as Igor Kovalev’s classic Kafkaesque Hen His Wife. Working in a dilapidated church under very difficult conditions, the studio fostered young talent and built up a stunning body of post-perestroika films.
Tatarsky’s greatest legacy is The Pile of Gems project, a series of short animations based on fairy tales from all of the former Soviet Union’s many diverse regions. Launched in 2004 the films are made in different styles by various top Russian and Ukrainian animators. To date Pilot has released more than 60 of these delightful films that continue to win awards at festivals around the world.
Sadly, Alexander Tatarsky is not here to see the success of his beloved Pile of Gems project because he unexpectedly passed away in 2007, but his spirit and love of life lives on in the films that Pilot Studio continues to create. Tatarsky was known for his immense sense of humor and each year since his passing, the KROK festival presents The Plasticine Crow trophy in his honor to the most humorous film at the festival. The trophy is names after Alexander’s classic 1981 animation The Plasticine Crow, which won numerous awards.
Following the screening of a selection of Pilot short animation’s, film historian Natalia Lukinykh’s moving 2008 documentary Alexander Tatarsky — How to Embrace the Immense was shown. Natalia’s film is part of her The Restless Talents documentary series. Last but not least a group of past and present Pilot studio creators came to the front to say a few words.
|Pilot Studios directors celebrating 25 years of memories with the audience|
For the last two decades the Shar Studio has earned the reputation as the strongest Russian school of animation. The school grew out of the workshop for scriptwriters and directors conducted by such well known animators as Edward Nazarov, Yuriy Norstein, Fedor Khitruk, and Andrey Khrzhanovsky. Current leaders of Russian animation such as Alexander Petrov, Ivan Maximov, and Mikhail Aldashin received their training at the workshop. In the early ‘90’s Shar school-studio was born on the premise of parallel production of new films by experienced professionals and student’s works created during the 2 year course. In the last 2 decades, Shar Studio has earned the reputation as the most important Russian national school of animation and their faculty and students’ films have won more than 50 awards world-wide. One of my favourite films Caution, the Doors Are Opening was created at the school in 2005 by Anastasia Zhuravleva when she was a student of Ivan Maximov, and was included in the school’s retrospective screening. This clever film was made using ordinary things that are found in every home’s sewing basket such as buttons, safety pins and a thimble to tell the story of 24 hours in a Moscow subway station. The 12 films screened were made between 1995 and 2011, and included A Mermaid made in 1996 by Alexander Petrov.
Animated propaganda films have always fascinated me, and I was really looking forward to the Animated Propaganda program of early Ukrainian/Soviet animation. Early avant-garde animated films of the 1920’s were influenced by constructivism and technological experimentation and covered such timely topics as disarmament, social construction, and bureaucracy. Beginning in 1927, animation advertisements, as they were called, were screened prior to a feature film and were often animated in the style of a newsreel, as in The Tale of General Disarmament. The Post paid homage to the organization and perseverance of the Soviet postal service to deliver a letter no matter what obstacles stood in the way and to the valour of the men who delivered the mail.
I was fascinated by Dripreistan, a 1927 propaganda film about the building of the Dnieper Hydroelectric Station. The film used animation to show the flooding of the towns behind the dam when it was built. The flooding resulted in the building of a massive set of three chambered locks almost 2 kilometers long, which made navigation by large boats on the river possible. Our boat passed through these locks on our way up the river and it was a very impressive sight indeed.
This year the festival selection committee did an exceptional job, and there were so many wonderful films to watch that I can’t possibly write about them all. One of my favorites was My Mum Is an Aeroplane, by Russian animator Julia Aronova. The colourful hand drawn celebration of the diversity of mothers is very humorous and touching at the same time. The narrative is told in poetic form and Julia told me that the poem was written by Sasha Nochin, a strolling musician with the band Pakava It, based on a story which Julia wrote. I often find the voice of a very young child narrating a film to be annoying, but the voice of the 5 year old boy who narrates this film fits perfectly. I understand that a different child’s voice was used on the US version and I hope it has the same magic quality that the original voice has. My Mum Is an Aeroplane was awarded the Tatarsky Plasticine Crow award for its original humor.
Dutch animator Kris Genijn’s History of Pets is a black humoured trip down memory lane as the narrator recalls all the childhood pets who met their end under most curious circumstances. The film brought back memories to me of the many four legged and reptilian members in my household that I have known and loved over the years.
One of the things that I appreciate about KROK is the opportunity to see not only Russian and Ukrainian animation but films from countries that are not screened often at other festivals such as Moldova, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. DIJ Death Fails created at Simpals Studio in Moldova by Dmitry Voloshin is about a truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel and ends up in the hospital. The grim reaper arrives immediately but as the computer animated film shows, being the Angel of Death isn’t always easy. The film is a pilot for a planned series.
Ukrainian animator Vladimir Goncharov’s Lita Moi took me into the world of renowned Ukrainian folk artist Maria Primachenko. Maria spent her entire life in a very small village but she transformed her world into a colourful fantasy of naive art. Lita Moi, based on Maria’s vivid images, brought life to her paintings, which I saw several years ago in Kiev at the National Museum of Ukranian Folk Art.
In Sherlock Holmes and the Little Chimney Sweeps Ukraine animator Aleklsandr Boubnov has brought the familiar characters of the great detective, his devoted companion Dr Watson and the whole crew that frequented 221B Baker Street to life in a new case that begins with a mysterious explosion of the Admiralty Office fireplace and the theft of classified documents from the safe. I think that it is always chancy when you try to bring really iconic characters that everyone knows to life and I was a bit sceptical about the 34 minute film, but I ended up being totally charmed by it. The cut out animation gave the characters a unique look rather than trying to make them look lifelike and the story was original and charming. A friend who worked on the project told me that Aleksandr made the film as a pilot for a TV series and I think it would definitely be an entertaining show.
I was enthralled by Youri Tcherenkov’s Father Frismas (Le Pere Frimas). Pere Frimas lives on the very top of the highest mountain in the Alps and he controls when and how much snow will fall. Every year he makes sure that the snow covers everything and then suddenly one year nothing happened as usual. The drawn animation is full of delightful characters, two and four legged, and the intricate back ground art was the perfect touch. The 26 minute film was made for French television and at KROK it won the top award in the Films for Children category.
When we weren’t watching films there were plenty of other programs taking place. Coffee Chats with the directors gave everyone a chance to listen to the creators talk about their film and to ask them questions. The 2 hours I spent in the creative presentation by US producer and script writer Charles Swenson titled “US/International Storytelling for Animated Film and Television” was time well spent. Charles who has received an Oscar nomination and won an Emmy for The Rugrats certainly knows what he is talking about when it comes to scriptwriting. He has the added distinction to have not only worked in Hollywood, but also at Pilot Studio where he was the writer and producer of Bookashkis. The 2002 film, directed by Mikhail Aldashin, won numerous awards internationally. Charles is now primarily spending his time painting and when he showed me photos of a number of his canvases, I was quite impressed. You can check out his paintings on this website: charlesgswenson.com
It was great to spend time with my old friends Marcy Page and Normand Roger. Marcy, a Senior producer at the National Film Board of Canada, has been responsible for so many award winning films such as The Danish Poet, Madam Tutli-Putli, and Ryan to name just a few, so I welcomed the opportunity to hear her presentation “Stories From The NFB: Confessions of a Producer”. Being quite the lady, Marcy didn’t have any really scandalous confessions, but she did tell some amusing stories about her adventures at NFB and showed us some wonderful films. Normand gave a Composer’s Masterclass focusing on sound and music in animation.
|Renowned film composer Normand Roger serenading us|
As always at the festival there were several dogs and children on board. The young people were kept busy at their own workshop where, with the assistance of professional animators, the future animators created a film which was screened at the closing night ceremony.
|Russian artist Gosha Likhovetsky helping young animators in the workshop|
Of course KROK is not all about watching film. There is plenty of time for fun, dancing on the top deck, and just watching the world go by from a deck chair as we drifted up the river. Late at night the action was on the top deck where there was music, dancing and lots of drink. One of the nicest customs at KROK is the tradition of bringing out food to share with everyone late at night, which is important because I have learned that when drinking vodka you need to eat a bite or two after each drink. One night the Swiss contingent threw a fondue party on the top deck complete with fondue pot. Some nights the screening room was turned into the Re-Animation Club where different people performed and every night you could find groups of people gathered in the public areas inside playing music, singing and talking.
|Russian director Ivan Maximov DJ-ing on the top deck|
|French director Bastien Dubois and Nancy|
|Russian director Svetlana Andrianova with Nancy|
|Polish directors Izabela Plucinska and Marcin Gizycki with his wife, Agnieszka Gizycka|
|Ferenc Cako takes a break from jury duty to relax on the top deck in Sebastopol harbor|
|Estonian director Hardi Volmer and Nancy|
When you begin to see groups of people with their heads together and they stop talking when anyone approaches you know that Carnival night is getting near. Carnival is a high point of the social life on the boat when everyone dresses up and performs for each other. Right after dinner on the appointed night people start to scurry all over searching for props and costume material and strange noises come from behind cabin doors as acts are rehearsed. I was a part of a six person group along with Karin Vandenrydt, programmer at Anima Brussels, Noemie Marsily and Carl Roosens from Brussels who were at KROK with their lovely film Around the Lake, Dutch animator Kris Genijn, whose History of Pets made me smile, and Mukund Bhalkeghare from Studio Eeksaurus in India. This year the carnival theme was Noah’s Ark and we brought Noah’s Ark Restaurant to life parading the regulations posted outside our shipboard restaurant such as “No outside beverages in the dining room” and the “do not change your table” rule. Mukund skilfully played a waiter and the rest of us were various unruly animals. To add to the effect the ship’s restaurant kindly loaned us table clothes and plates and the restaurant staff who came to Carnival got a hearty laugh out of our performance. Performances at Carnival are always one of those “you had to be there to see it” events. The audience and Carnival jury thought that we were quite funny and we were lucky enough to win a very fitting prize of a whole watermelon, dried fish, and cans of beer which we took to the top deck to share with everyone later that night.
|Nancy’s Carnival group getting ready to go on stage|
There were group excursions at various ports of call but since I have been on this trip several times I opted for my own adventures. KROK means step in Russian and this year our boat, the MS Dnieper, left from Odessa as we began our steps up to Kiev. No matter how many times I have been there I always have my picture taken on the 192 stairs of the Odessa Steps which Eisenstein made famous in his classic film Battleship Potemkin.
|Karin Vandenrydt, programmer at Anima Brussels with Nancy on the Odessa Steps|
Odessa more than deserves its nickname of The Pearl of the Black Sea. The wide boulevards are lined with sycamore and chestnut trees and the beautiful classic architecture make an elegant impression. Odessa has a massive outdoor market full of all sorts of unexpected treasurers. On every visit I get a pair of thick woollen socks made by the Bubas who sit in their stalls knitting which I use inside my winter slippers. All through the cold months I think of sunny Odessa as I put on my slippers. I was also glad to see that our favorite Mexican restaurant was still there because they make some of the best Mexican food I have eaten in Europe.
Sailing into Sebastopol’s elegant harbour is always breath taking. During the Soviet era Sebastopol, home to the Soviet navy, was closed to non-residents who had to apply to the authorities for temporary visitor’s permits to enter the city. Now it is a prime holiday destination and as you stroll the broad main street, you hear a wide variety of languages spoken.
|The Ukrainian Naval Band serenaded our boat when we arrived in Sebastopol|
|On the deck, KROKers enjoying the Naval Band|
|David Cherkassky, Ukrainian President of KROK at the Sebastopol harbor|
Once again this year I took the local bus out to the old Greek ruins where my favourite beach is located. As I walk through the ruins of Chersones it always amazes me to realize that the tile work I am walking over is more than 2,500 years old. This year the weather was cool and windy but I did brave the elements for a quick dip in the Black Sea.
Visits to ports are fun but I enjoy it even more when our boat sails out of Sebastopol and we leave the Black Sea to sail up the Dnieper River. The stops at ports are fewer and shorter so we are all together creating our own fun every evening.
Sailing into Kiev was a bittersweet moment. As the giant titanium Motherland statue followed by the golden domes of the Kiev Perchersk Lavra came into view, it meant that another year of KROK was almost over; but a day in the beautiful city of Kiev lay ahead before the closing ceremony that evening. The ceremony was held at the House of Cinema where the Ukrainian office of KROK is located.
The ceremony began with the screening of the young people’s film. Then came a documentary of our 9 day adventure made by videographer Igor Koziyanchuk. Igor seemed to be everywhere on board, catching everything with his camera and it was delightful to relive our adventure there on the screen. The film will be shown again next year at the Opening Ceremony of KROK 2014. Hungarian sand artist Ferenc Cako also gave us another live demonstration of his fascinating art of sand animation.
|KROK bells waiting to be awarded to the winners|
Finally it was time for the jury to take the stage to announce their decisions to the audience full of animators and dignitaries. This year’s jury was composed of Evgueni Delioussine, Russian born director who now lives in the United States; Ukrainian director Stepan Koval; Maria Mouat, Russian Director; Estonian cameraman and scriptwriter Janno Poldma; and Hungarian animator and sand animation master Ferenc Cako. The 2013 Grand Prix was awarded to Feral by Daniel Sousa from the United States. A complete list of all of the winning films is at the end of this article.
|Nancy toasts Swiss director Dustin Reese on his win in the 5 to 10 minute film catagory|
Following the ceremony we returned to the boat for our farewell feast. Amidst all of the delicacies we were served, including the eating of the traditional Chicken Kiev in Kiev and copious amounts of vodka and wine, we partied the night away with no one wanting to remember that it would be our last night together.
It is said that the friends that you make at KROK are your friends for life and after many years sailing on the KROK boat I know that this is very true. I never think of it as goodbye to everyone but just see you soon, and I am already looking forward to KROK 2014 which will be the student year sailing in Russia. You can learn more about KROK International Animation Festival on their website: www.krokfestival.com
The International Jury Committee consisting of Ferenc Cako (Hungary) – The Head of the Jury Committee, Janno Põldma (Estonia), Maria Mouat (Russia), Stepan Koval (Ukraine), Evgueni Delioussine (USA)
In the category “Films up to 5 minutes”:
- Diploma “For the tragic comedy in 3D” – to “Dji. Death Fails”, director Dmitry Voloshin (Moldova);
- Diploma “For the daintiness of the style” to “Choir Tour”, director Edmunds Jansons (Latvia;
- Diploma “For proving that the size doesn’t matter” to “A Different Perspective”, director Chris O’Hara (Ireland);
- Prize in the category – to “I Saw Mice Burying a Cat”, director Dmitry Geller (Russia, China).
In the category “Films of 5 – 10 minutes”:
- Diploma “For the exquisite attention towards the Most Intimate” to “Lay Bare”, director Paul Bush (Great Britain);
- Diploma “For having created her own “Taj Mahal”” to “Chinti”, director Nataliya Mirzoyan (Russia);
- Prize in the category – to “Borderline”, director Dustin Rees (Switzerland).
In the category “Films of 10 – 50 minutes”:
- Diploma “For a new approach to the interpretation of a classical detective story” to “Sherlock Holmes and Little Chimney Sweeps”, director Aleksandr Bubnov (Ukraine);
- Diploma for “For the artistic and airy presentation of the sombre topic” to “One for the Road”, director Lander Ceuppens (Belgium);
- Prize in the category – to “Mother and Son”, director Andrey Ushakov (Russia).
In the category “Films for Children”:
- Diploma “For the non-boring education” to “The Old Piano Fairy-Tails. Bach”, director Elena Petkevich (Russia, Belarus);
- Prize in the category and $4000 - to “Father Frismas”, director Youri Tcherenkov (France).
In the category “Applied and commissioned animation”:
- Diploma “For the ironic look at the contemporary art” to “The Erarta Museum Advertising”, director Dmitriy Vysotskiy (Russia);
- Diploma “For the best presentation of the folk song… “Once when I served my landlord”” to “Once When I Served My Dear Landlord”, director Mikhail Tumelya (Belarus);
- Prize in the category – to “Shape”, directors Katarzyna Kijek, Przemyslaw Adamski (Poland, Japan).
- Special jury prize “For the expressiveness of the cinematic style” to “Palmipedarium”, director Jeremy Clapin (France);
- Special jury prize “For the streetcar called “Desire”” to “Tram”, director Michaela Pavlatova (France);
- Special jury prize “For the First Professional Film” and 5000$ to “To Santiago”, director Mauro Carraro (Switzerland);
- Special Alexander Tatarskiy prize “The Plasticine Crow” – “Virtuoso Pilot” and 8000$ to “My Mum Is an Aeroplane”, director Julia Aronova (Russia).
- Grand Prix and $10,000 to “Feral”, director Daniel Sousa (USA).
CHILEMONOS 2014 - CALL FOR ENTRIES
Wednesday October 09th 2013, 5:04 pm
Filed under: Festivals
CHILEMONOS 2014 – From Arica to the Antarctic, a Festival for Chile
CHILEMONOS 2014 will be held from May 6 to May 11, 2014 and is now announcing a CALL FOR ENTRIES. “We invite animators from around the world to take part in our competition”.
Last year we received more than 400 entries, and we expect to receive more than 600 entries for CHILEMONOS 2014”, adds the eager Wilo.
Rules for Entries can be found at: http://issuu.com/chilemonos/docs/bases_2014_ing
The festival will soon announce its international guests – be prepared to be surprised.
CHILEMONOS is preparing for its 2014 edition with screenings across Chile, with a selection of the best Latin American animated movies oriented for all the family.
This important new animation festival continues to grow in gigantic steps. A few months ago, the second edition of CHILEMONOS festival surprised us, presenting of some of the best animation in the world and highlighted international guests such as Brenda Chapman and Shinichiro Watanabe.
In its third edition, CHILEMONOS won’t stop its surprises and announces its coming to Chile and the world. Festival director Erwin “Wilo” Gómez comments “We want this animation party, CHILEMONOS, to reach all the fans of animation in the country. For this we are preparing to make simultaneous presentations of the festival in Chile’s different regions”.
The festival is not only expanding its reach inside Chile, but is also strengthening its ties with our neighbors. For the next festival 2014, we will present acclaimed movies from our South American neighbors, focusing on film for the family audience, screened in big cinemas.
Wilo adds “We know that children by nature are a massive animation audience, and for this we picked out special movies for them to come to the cinemas with their families”. Among the selected films are the Peruvian production “Rodencia and the Princess’s tooth”, “Foosball” from Argentina and “AninA” from Uruguay, among others.
MONSTRA 2014 - Call for Entries
Tuesday September 17th 2013, 2:06 pm
Filed under: Festivals
MONSTRA 2014 - Call for Entries for Feature Films, Short Films and TV Series, Student Films and Super-Short Films
We are proud to announce that the 13th Edition of MONSTRA – Lisbon Animated Film Festival will take place from 13th to 23rd March 2014.
MONSTRA is a festival where experimentation/research, crossing over new artistic approaches, forms and proposals takes place.
The main aim of Lisbon Animated Film Festival is the presentation and promotion of the world’s best animation. This year’s festival edition includes competition, retrospectives, workshops, master classes, exhibitions and interdisciplinary projects.
We invite you to submit your feature film, short film, TV series, student film or super short film to the International Animated Film Competition until the 15th of November 2013.
The Competition Categories are:
- Feature Films
- Short Films and TV Series
- Student Films
- Super-Short Films
Please submit your film online here.
More information: email@example.com
If you do not submit your film online, download your Entry Form here.
You can check our Regulations here.
ANIBAR ANIMATION FESTIVAL 9-14 August 2013 Peja, Kosovo
Friday August 30th 2013, 6:16 am
Filed under: Festivals
ANIBAR IS EVEN BETTER THE SECOND TIME AROUND
Sometimes when you attend an animation festival for the second time it isn’t quite as exciting as you remember,but this is certainly not the case with the Anibar Animation Festival in Peja, Kosovo. This year the film programming was excellent and the staff so warm and gracious and I returned home with many happy memories.
|Festival Director Rron Bajri with guests in front of the festival office|
Anibar not only brings excellent animation to the community, the festival also has a strong emphasis on ecology . Peja is located at the edge of a plain with beautiful mountains rising above it. The mountains are a popular rock climbing area in the summer and are known for skiing in the winter. The stream running through the center of the city flows down from pristine springs in the mountains. To educate people to the importance of caring for their beautiful surroundings, promote sustainable living and lower the impact of the festival on the environment, Anibar has inaugurated a series of down to earth programs that festival goers could participate in called Earth. To manage waste and promote local products everyone that brought empty aluminum cans for recycling to the information booth received local organic tea as a reward.
The number of visitors traveling to the festival from outside Peja increases every year. People were encouraged to bicycle to the festival instead of driving to help reduce the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Everyone who peddled from their city to Peja was rewarded with free admission to screenings based on the number of kilometers they biked. Free water was available so that visitors didn’t have to buy bottled water. There was also a daily workshop for kids using a variety of materials that are usually thrown away to create animation. As a lead-in to the festival, the volunteers mounted a campaign to put up graffiti highlighting Anibar all over town.
|Anibar grafitti on a wall|
|Anibar is everywhere; photo by Mohamed Ghazala|
Nik and I were invited to the festival began so that Nik could give a Master Class specifically for the volunteers about the relation between music and animation. It was also Nik’s turn to serve on the International Jury along with our old friend Andrea Martignoni, Italian sound designer and composer, and Albanian graphic artist Ilir Kaso. With ten programs to watch the jury had their work cut out for them because even though the programs were short, the quality of the competition films was very high. Along with films that have already won numerous awards such as Dutch animator Hisko Hulsing’s Junkyard and Feral by Daniel Sousa from the United States there were also many new delights.
|International Jurors Ilir, Nik and Andrea show their impartiality as a recording of their deliberation plays for the closing ceremony; photo by Mohamed Ghazala|
In keeping with the festival theme Earth, Spanish animators Joseph Prim and Fernando Maldonado’s Shave it was screened as part of the opening night ceremony. The five minute film is the story of a monkey in a jungle where bulldozers are destroying all of the trees and vegetation. The monkey finds a razor and uses it to shave his body. With a human appearance, he moves to the city and sets out to conquer the world of business and gain political power. When he is elected President he is ready to make changes. The other two opening night films were the twenty-five second film Performance and Feral.
Capturing a convincing portrait of Alzheimer’s from the afflicted person’s point of view is very difficult. Polish claymation master Izabela Plucinska made a very good portrayal of it with her latest film Liebling (Darling). The film is a close personal view of a person’s descent into a world of fear where your closest love one becomes a stranger and familiar objects turn into a trap. Izabela has created a captivating picture of the feeling of being lost and alienated, as a woman attempts to put the pieces of her life together without success. The jury seems to have agreed with me because Liebling received the Grand Prix.
|Directors Yann Jouette and Izabela Plucinska, from France and Poland; photo by Ilir Kaso|
French animator Augusto Zanovello’s Women’s Letters touched me deeply. Zanovello used stop motion to tell the story of a medic on a World War One battle field who has run out of bandages and uses love letters to patch up shattered bodies. The emotional story is beautifully animated and very fitting this year because the 100th Anniversary of the start of the First World War is being remembered all over Europe. Women’s Letters has been nominated for the 2013 Cartoon D’Or. The Cartoon D’Or winner will be announced on 19 September at Cartoon Forum in Toulouse, France.
Egyptian animator Mohamed Ghazala, Fatmir Gjevukaj , character designer and painter from Prestina, Kosovo, and Serbian animator Krunoslav Jovic did double duty as jurors for the Balkan films and Student animation. This year there was a big improvement in the quality of the Balkan films. Greece, Serbia, Albania, Turkey, Croatia, and Bulgaria were all represented on the screen.
|Student and Balkan Jurors Mohamed, Krunoslav and Fatmir ready for the closing ceremony awards presentation|
The Unfinished Painting by Rositsa Vangelova from Bulgaria stood out from the other films to me. Her student film combines classic animation with live action to tell the story of a young Surrealist artist trying to complete a painting. The eyes are the last missing piece of the women’s face. No matter how many sketches he draws, his attempts to finish the picture are futile.
The style of the film was influenced by the 20th Century Italian artist Giorgio De Chirico’s work. In his art De Chirico evoked the hidden meanings behind everyday life. His scenes of empty cities, mysterious menacing statutes, and strange combinations of everyday objects inspired the artists of the Surrealist movement.
In the Student category German animator Gottfried Mentor’s Oh Sheep is a favourite of mine. You can read my comments about the film in my 2013 Anima Brussels article.
Israeli animators Liran Kapel and Yael Dekel’s film Nyosha is based on the recollections of Liran’s grandmother during World War II. The true story of Naomi (Nyosha) Kapel, a Polish holocaust survivor, is told by Nyosha herself. I felt that mixing the puppets with drawn animation scenes distracted from the story rather than adding to it but I could overlook that as I listened to the elderly lady recall her dream as a ten year old girl to buy a pair of shoes with shiny buckles on them. The 12 minute film was Liran and Yael’s graduation project at Sapir College in Gaza and I look forward to seeing more interesting, advanced work from them.
Along with the competition screenings and three programs for children, there was a tribute to the great pioneer of Serbian animation Nikola Majdak who passed away earlier this year. In 1963 he made the films The Soloist and The Chalk-Man which were the first animated films made in Belgrade. Nikola’s work on over 300 documentary, feature, and animated films as director, scriptwriter, director of photography, and camera man has influenced a generation of young film makers and he had been honoured with numerous awards world wide.
Nikola was Head of the Department of Film and Television Camera at the Faculty of Dramatic Arts and head of the Animation Department at Dunav Film School. He was also my colleague on the ASIFA International Board (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation) representing Serbia for many years, and I considered him a close friend.
Mohamed Ghazala presented a program of African animation. Many people are surprised to discover that animation thrives all over the African continent. As Mohamed’s program proved this culturally diverse continent has been creating animation since the late 1930’s when the Frenkel Brothers made their first film in Egypt. Moustapha Alassane from Nigeria is one of the most widely known African film makers with more than thirty animated, live action, and documentary films to his credit. He has sat on numerous festival juries as well as winning numerous award for his work. Mohamed’s program included Moustapha’s 1963 film Bon Voyage Sim as well as The Tale of How by South Africa’s Blackheart Gang which has won numerous awards worldwide.
Honayn’s Shoe which earned Mohamed the 2009 Animation Award at the African Academy Awards, with music composed and played by my husband Nik Phelps, was also part of the screening. As well as creating animation Mohamed is an assistant professor at Minia University and has recently published Animation in Africa, the only serious study about African animation. Mohamed is also founder and International Board Member of ASIFA Egypt.
|Nancy, Mohamed and Izabela in front of the historic Bajrakli Mosque|
Unfortunately I did not get to see Animated New Wave, the program of contemporary Italian animation present by Andrea Martignoni. I have already seen several of the films and Andrea gave us 2 DVD’s of Italian animation that has all of the films on them so I will be able to enjoy them at home.
Andrea gave a two day work shop. On the first day he showed films, many of which he had worked on as sound designer and composer, and talked about the art of combining sounds with film. On the second day the workshop members had the opportunity to put what they learned the previous day in action as they took to the streets to record sounds to incorporate into an existing short film.
I presented Stories Women Tell tracing the history of women animators from Lillian Friedman, the first woman to animate at a major animation studio down to the present. Lillian animated and directed at least fifteen films at the Fleischer Brothers studio although she was only credited on six of them. I showed her 1936 Betty Boop – Be Human, a lesson about animal cruelty.
Mary Ellen Bute who lived in New York City is another early unsung heroine. She was a pioneer in mixing music and electronic animation to create what she called “visual music” where abstract images moved in sync with music much as Otto Fischinger was experimenting with at the same time. Symphony # 4 – Escape (1937) is the example of her work that I opted to screen. Everyone is familiar with the brilliant films of Joanna Quinn but Elles (1992) is not shown frequently. I think her hand drawn depiction on two of Toulouse Lautrec’s models taking a lively and boisterous break from posing is a classic. I ended my screening with the 2005 Mind the Gap by Russian animator Anastasia Zhuravieva. This creative depiction of a busy twenty-four hours in a Moscow subway station created using ordinary sewing supplies such as buttons, safety pins, and a zipper is a true classic.
With three cinemas, two of them out doors, workshops, master classes, daily director’s chats, and nightly parties there was plenty to see and do every day. There were also a lot of volunteers to answer questions or help at the information booth. Even though Anibar is only four years old it is full of great young energy. None of the organizers are over twenty-five years of age and two are still at university. The seventy-five enthusiastic volunteers chosen from the one hundred fifty that applied ranged in age from thirteen to eighteen years old.
|Volunteers at the Info Booth|
|At work at the Children’s Activity Tent|
Once again this year an open air theater was created by volunteers at the hill top park’s lake. Unfortunately due to the very dry weather this year the lake was too low for us to be able to watch the films from rubber boats this but it was still a lovely setting for film shows.
Following the evening screenings at the lake there was a nightly dance party with live bands ranging from Reggae to Balkan Rock. The bands were followed by DJ’s for late night dancing. The festival provided a camp ground for visitors in the park forest . There was a nightly campfire at the camp which was the perfect place to relax and have conversations under the stars. After the festival, the staff prides itself on taking down the screen they build at the lake, cleaning the camping area thoroughly and leaving the entire park exactly as they found it.
I was invited to host the director’s chat every afternoon at the Exit Café, the official festival meeting place. I was already friends with many of the guests I interviewed but I had not met Fatmir Gjevukaj prior to Anibar so I was particularly interested to talk to him one on one and hear what questions the audience had to ask him.
Born in Peja, Fatmir lived in Austin, Texas for several years working as a character artist in the video game industry. He is also a very accomplished painter and when he showed us his work I was particularly taken with how expressive the eyes were. It seems to me as if Fatmir looks into the soul of his subject through their eyes.
Gjevukaj told us about the high school he attended in Peja which at the time was the top school in the Balkan’s for the arts. Sadly during the war its quality declined but it is slowly regaining its former prestige. Fatmir and his family returned to Pristina, Kosovo, the capitol city, in 2012 where he is founder and co-owner of the new School of Visual Arts KAP, the first 3D and animation school in Kosovo. There were no short animations at the festival from Kosovo this year but hopefully with Fatmir’s new school this will soon change.
|Fatmir Gjevukaj and Nancy preparing for the director’s chat; photo by Ilir Kaso|
|Interviewing Izabela Plucinska at the Directors’ Chat|
|At the Chat with Ilir Kaso|
After all the talking at the Director’s Chats, many of us stayed at the Exit for a cold beer. A word about the beer, Peja brand beer which is the only beer brewed in Kosovo, is very refreshing and made with the clean, clear water from the mountain springs. August in Peja is extremely hot, sometimes reaching closes to 40 C. (close to 100 degrees) and nothing tastes better that an ice cold beer when it is that hot. Kosovo also has excellent red wine which is perfect for the warm evenings.
One afternoon the festival took the guests up into the mountains to see first-hand the majestic beauty of the Rugova Gorge where the high sheer walls of the gorge are a rock climber’s delight. Anibar Executive Director Vullnet Sanaja is also an avid ecologist and belongs to a group that builds and restores mountain trails. After a drive up the curvy paved mountain road we walked up a dirt road to a trail that Vullnet and his friends are responsible for maintaining. The trail followed a babbling stream up to two waterfalls. Wild life abounds in these mountains and we were told that bears are reported to still live there although no one from Peja in our group had ever seen one. After the walk we were treated to a meal of traditional local specialities at a lovely rustic restaurant in the mountains. The large platters of assorted grilled meat had some of the best goat I have ever eaten on them. Eating at the long tables set outside under a roof covering with open sides and views of the mountains added to the taste of the food and drink.
|Staff and guests on the waterfall trail|
|Izabela Plucinska enjoying the waterfall on our hike in the mountains|
|Mohamed at the waterfall|
The biggest problem with Anibar is that I eat too much. One of my nicest memories from last year was the delicious food that Executive Director Vullnet Sanaja’s mother Nevryze with the help of his cousin Qefsere cooked for the festival guests and staff every evening. It was a special treat to eat home cooking which is quite different from restaurant fare. Once again we were all treated to her special evening meals and it was just as delicious as I remembered.
|One of the fabulous nightly feasts prepared by Nevryze Sanaja|
Nik and I were honored to be invited by Nevryze to lunch at the Sanaja family home. It was so nice to get to know Nevryze and her husband over a delicious, relaxed meal. She is a charming and gracious lady who is a teacher but loves to cook.
Last year Rron Bajri, festival Artistic Director, introduced me to the Qebaptore Te Gega restaurant and I ate lunch there every day. The restaurant serves some of the best grilled meat and peppers that I have ever eaten. The festival staff remembered how much I loved Qebaptore Te Gega so after the hour long drive from Prestina airport Nik and I were taken to the restaurant for a late night welcome feast that we shared with Rron, Fiona, and Vallnet. Rron ordered the largest platter of assorted grilled meat that I have ever seen with cold Peja beer to wash it down and Nik finally got to taste the food I had talked about all year. I introduced my good friend Mohamed to the delights of the restaurant and we ate lunch together almost every day. The restaurant chief even let Mohamed have a go at grilling the meat and I got to grill peppers on the open grill in the front window.
|Peppers and meat ready for the grill at the Qebaptore Te Gega; photo by Mohamed Ghazala|
|Mohamed ready to dig into lunch|
|Nancy at the Qebaptore grill|
Whenever Mohamed and I are at the same festival we make it a point to visit the local market or bazaar together. Peja has a large bazaar surrounding the historic Bajrakli Mosque. The exact date that the mosque was built is unknown but it is believed to date from the first half of the 15th century and the architecture is beautiful. You can find anything at the bazaar where Nik, Mohamed, and I spent many happy hours wondering through the narrow street stalls. Nik and Mohamed bought matching pairs of plaid short pants and I came home with pink high top tennies along with the several extra kilos I gained.
|Mohamed, Nancy and Nik with festival volunteers doing The Walk|
Fiona Beqiri, Rron Bajri, and Vullnet Sanaja were the perfect hosts and I can’t thank them enough for inviting me to Anibar again. I saw a big improvement in attention to detail this year but the staff has a lot more work ahead of them as they are to trying to build a local audience in a community where there is no cinema culture. The only theater closed during the Communist era because the projector and sound system were so terrible that people stopped going. Now it only opens for special screenings such as the festival. Hopefully in the future Anibar will be able to schedule monthly film shows of animated features so that when the yearly festival happens there will be a larger local audience.
|Rron Bajri, Fiona Beqiri and Vullnet Sanaja finally get to relax at the Exit Café after the festival|
I encourage anyone who is invited to Anibar to accept the invitation. You will see a lot of good film, explore a fascinating city, and have an experience that you will never forget. I am already looking forward to next year at Anibar!
I am off to KROK in the Ukraine next and will give you a full account of my adventures when I return.
CALL FOR ENTRIES: 21st Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (April 22-27, 2014)
Thursday August 29th 2013, 1:11 pm
Filed under: Festivals
Submit your animated films!
Dear filmmakers and friends of animated films,
in 2014 Stuttgart will again open up the doors to the great world of animated film. You would like to be a part of it and show your film to an international audience? The Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) will offer a platform to filmmakers, directors and production companies to present their films and give to fans of animated film the chance to watch animated short and feature films of all genres for six days.
The ITFS is one of the biggest and most important international festivals for animated film. It has developed into an essential event within the field of animated film in Germany and worldwide. Around 80,000 visitors and approximately 2,500 accredited professionals attended in 2013. Be a part of it and take the chance to meet well-known filmmakers and young talents, and to participate in numerous workshops, informational events and presentations.
The festival takes into its scope the entire spectrum of current animated film productions, including the intersections between games, architecture, art, design and fashion. Both professionals and friends of animated film appreciate the quality and up-to-date programmes as well as the unique atmosphere at Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz. Information, networking, creativity and professional expertise are major topics at the festival. Together, the ITFS, the Animation Production Day (APD), and the first-class industry conference FMX (Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia) - all taking place concurrently - have developed into a unique and very important platform for the financing and development of animated projects.
Yet it is the art of animation and the promotion of up and coming talent that makes up the core of the ITFS. The various competition categories award cash prizes totalling more than 70,000 Euros.
Be a part of it! You are kindly invited to submit animated films produced after October 01, 2012 to one of the Festival’s following competition categories:
• International Competition (Short film competition)
• AniMovie (Feature-length film competition)
• Young Animation (Student film competition)
• Tricks for Kids – shorts and series (Competition for short films and TV series for children)
• Cartoons for Teens (Competition for short films, series, animes, machinimas and cut scenes from computer games)
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 01, 2013
Information on the terms and conditions, the competition categories and the awards as well as entry forms and regulations can be found on our homepage.
Entry forms and film uploads or DVDs have to be received by the Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH until December 01, 2013. To submit your film, please use your ITFS community account or create one. You can access both the online registration form and upload your film with this account. Films may also be submitted on DVD. Please read the regulations carefully. On submitting a film, the applicant agrees to the regulations and accepts that the film can be selected for any of the competitions or for another programme section.
For further information please contact
Phone: +49 (0) 711-92546-115
There are special entry forms for the competition for applied animation Animated Com Award, the German Screenplay Award (from October 15, 2013), and for the Live Animation Competition Crazy Horse Session – 48 h Animation Jam (from November 01, 2013).
More information on the festival you find on www.itfs.de/en.
We are looking forward to your submissions!
Prof. Ulrich Wegenast
Managing Director Programme
Managing Director Organisation, Finances
The Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), April 22 – 27, 2014, was founded in 1982 and is one of the largest and most important festivals for animated film worldwide. Prize money of 70,000 Euros is awarded in nine competition categories. The Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film works in close co-operation with the FMX, Europe’s biggest Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia, attracting industry professionals. Together with the FMX the ITFS holds the business platform Animation Production Day.
FESA Festival - Belgrade, Serbia 31 Aug & 1 Sept
Wednesday August 21st 2013, 1:35 pm
Filed under: Festivals
Last year I was lucky enough to attend this excellent festival of student animation. Anyone who is anywhere near Belgrade should not miss this wonderful event.
Welcome to the FESA FESTIVAL (Festival of European Student Animation) taking place on 31st August and 1st September 2013 in the Big GunPowder Magazine at the Belgrade Fortress - Kalemegdan.
This year’s FESA festival received 71 animated films from 12 schools and 12 countries, twice more than last year.
As the festival has only two competition programs, the selection had to be extremely limited, so only 28 films were selected for the programs.
The following programs will be presented by the jury members:Prof. Georges Sifianos - PROGRAM OF THE ENSAD ACADEMY from Paris
Prof. Thomas Renoldner - PROGRAM OF THE FINE ARTS ACADEMY from Vienna
and Prof. Rastko Ćirić - PROGRAM 65 YEARS OF THE FACULTY OF APPLIED ARTS from Belgrade
WELCOME to the Big GunPowder Magazine!