ANIMASOPHY by Ulo Pikkov - Theoretical Writings On The Animated Film
Sunday July 31st 2011, 7:53 am
Filed under: Films, Educational
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Estonian animation director and educator Ulo Pikkov has accomplished a remarkable feat in producing a most readable book on animation theory.  For those who do not know about the technical side of animation Animasophy – Theoretical Writings On The Animated Film is a great place to start.  Readers who are already well versed in animation techniques will be reminded about what they already know but don’t always think about.

The first three chapters define animation, outline its history from its beginnings to the present, and analyze the role animation continues to play in modern communication.  The next eight chapters go on to analyze structure, timing, storytelling, sound, characters, and realism as well as the use of space.  Each chapter includes a detailed case study of a specific film by an Estonian animator to illustrate the chapter’s topic.

A discussion of Olga and Priit Parn’s award winning Divers in the Rain illustrates perfectly the concept of the use of space in animation.  Space and spatiality play an important role in this hand drawn film, giving us additional non-spoken information about the characters personalities and emotional states.

Mart Kivi’s 2007 Laika  is an excellent example of a film with a main character that exists beyond the limits of the screen.  Laika is never seen but is constantly present.  All of the action is viewed through the eyes of Laika, the dog who was the first living body to orbit the Earth when the USSR sent her into space in 1957.  The subjective camera of Laika’s eyes suggests the dog’s limited movements.  The action is accompanied by the hound’s huffing and puffing sounds.  As Ulo points out, Laika is still out there orbiting the earth even though her eyes were shut long ago.

Animasophy is full of photos, drawings, and film stills.  A special bonus is a DVD of the eight works that are discussed in detail so that you can follow Pikkov’s train of thought visually as well as in his words.

Along with creating his own films, Ulo has taught at the respected Estonian Academy of Arts since 2006, and the basis of this book was formed in the course of teaching.  The word animasophy was coined by his students from two words, the Latin Anima meaning soul or breath of life and Greek Sophia which means wisdom.

Animasophy –Theoretical writings On The Animated Film should have a place in every animator’s library as well as in the classroom and library of all animation schools.  The DVD is a priceless addition to everyone’s video library.

The book can be ordered at:

The price of the book and DVD is 21,92 Euros

Call for Entries - 15th Japan Media Arts Festival: Application period July 15 - September 22
Wednesday July 13th 2011, 6:56 am
Filed under: Events, Festivals
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This is the 15th year since the Japan Media Arts Festival was first held in 1997. The festival is organized by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, with the aim of promoting the creation and development of media arts (comics, animation, game and media art).

The call is for entries in four divisions, Art, Entertainment, Animation and Manga, and is open to entries from anywhere in the world. The Agency will award a Grand Prize and a number of other awards at the festival, and the winning works will also be exhibited.

Last year saw 1951 entries from Japan and 694 from elsewhere (48 countries and regions) and more than 70,000 visitors attended the exhibition of award-winning works. The festival has grown into an event that attracts wide attention both in Japan and around the world.

The application period has now been officially set.
Applications for entry will be accepted from Friday, July 15th, through Thursday, September 22nd, 2011.
After entries are judged, an exhibition of award-winning works will be held at the National Art Center, Tokyo from, Wednesday, February 22nd through, Sunday, March 4th, 2012.

In addition, a Japan Media Arts Festival exhibition is held outside Japan every year to promote the dissemination of Japans media arts (comics, animation, game, and media art). Since this year is the 150th anniversary of German-Japan exchanges, the festival will be held from Friday, September 9th, through Sunday, October 2nd at Dortmund U.
This event will be called the Dortmund Exhibition 2011 of the Japan Media Arts Festival and details will be announced in due course.

■ Entry Divisions: Art, Entertainment, Animation, Manga

  • Art Division

Artwork created with computers or other electronic devices.

Interactive art, media installations, video works, digital photographs, graphic art, website works, etc.

  • Entertainment Division

Entertainment created with computers or other electronic devices.

Games (including web games and social network games), video works (music videos, publicity films including TV commercials, digital special effects videos), toys (including figures), character merchandise, website works (including advertisements, etc.), application software, etc.

  • Animation Division

Theatrical animation, TV animation, independent animation, animated short films, etc.

  • Manga Division

Manga published in book form, in magazines (including works still being serialized), produced independently and in small private magazines, on websites (PC/mobile), etc.

■ Awards

For each division, one Grand Prize, four Excellence Awards and three New Face Awards will be awarded on the basis of artistic quality and creativity. In addition, a Special Achievement Award will be awarded on the recommendation of the jury to a person having made a special contribution to media art in four specified divisions.

Grand Prize:Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Trophy 600,000 Japanese Yen

Excellence Award: Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Trophy 300,000 Japanese Yen

New Face Award: Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Trophy 200,000 Japanese Yen

Special Achievement Award: Certificate from Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Trophy

Jury Selection Works considered to have special merit will be exhibited or screened along with the award-winning works at international media art and film festivals in Japan and abroad.

■ Judge, Announcement of Results

October through November: Jury judge

December:1. Notification of winners

2. Announcement of Results on the Japan Media Arts Festival website and in the mass media
(TV, newspapers, magazines)

■ Awards Ceremony: Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Tokyo Midtown

■ Exhibition of Award-winning Works: Wednesday, February 22 through Sunday, March 4, 2012 The National Art Center,Tokyo

■ What is the Japan Media Arts Festival?

The Agency for Cultural Affairs has been organizing the Japan Media Arts Festival annually since 1997 with the aim of promoting the creation and development of the media arts. The Japan Media Arts Festival makes awards for outstanding creative works in the divisions of Arts, Entertainment, Animation and Manga, and provides opportunities to introduce these works through the award announcement, ceremony, and exhibition of the award-winning works.

In addition, the award-winning works will be entered and exhibited in media arts-related festivals and animated film festivals in Japan and overseas. In 2010, the festival’s award-winning works were also exhibited at 17 events in Japan, including the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Okinawa Film Festival and Sapporo International Short Motion Picture Festival, as well as 23 events overseas including the Japan Expo in France, ISEA in Germany and Ars Electronica in Austria.

The website for the festival is:

You can download a pdf Application guide at:

Sunday July 03rd 2011, 5:12 am
Filed under: Events, Festivals, Educational
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I am a big fan of Estonian animation and the Animated Dreams Animation Festival in Tallinn.  Now the festival has launched a new project, AnimaCampus Tallinn, which sounds like it is going to be a wonderful opportunity for young animators.  Even if you can’t attend do take a minute to read about what they are planning for their first edition.


November 15-19, 2011 / Tallinn, Estonia


Deadline for application: August 1, 2011.

AnimaCampus Tallinn is a brand new networking platform and training event for up-and-coming young filmmakers working in the field of animation. The five-day creative summit takes place in parallel with the Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams, the sub-festival of Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

In the frame of several lectures, presentations, discussions, screenings and workshops international animation experts share their experience in making cinéma d’auteur animation films as well as commercial productions. A mix of animation art and industry. A mix of traditional animation techniques and new media technologies. AnimaCampus Tallinn provides young professionals from East and West the opportunity to learn from top animation experts and build international networks in the inspiring European Capital of Culture atmosphere.


The programme of AnimaCampus Tallinn consists of the following activities:

Inspiration talks:

•     Lectures, presentations and panel discussions to address the breaking issues in the animation history and today. * Open to all participants, guests and public.

Hands-on trainings:

•     Practical workshops, case studies and meeting-the-expert sessions in different fields of work promoting direct interaction between young and experienced professionals. * Open to participants and guests.

Mentoring and guidance:

•     Specialized master classes. * Open only to participants.

•     Individual project consultations. * Open only to participants.

Networking and entertainment:

•     Film screenings at the Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams.

•     Excursions to Estonian animation studios and Museum of Puppets.

•     Match-making sessions.

•     Social events and concerts in the evenings.


In 2011 AnimaCampus Tallinn is setting its focus on the following regions: Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland), Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), South Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan). Emerging animation filmmakers from the above mentioned countries are eligible to apply through the open call for entries. However, motivated applicants from the other European countries wishing to explore the animation scene in those regions are also encouraged to send their application.


·         Young animation professionals or advanced students (age up to 35), who are fluent in English.

·         Filmmakers with different professional backgrounds are welcome to apply. It doesn’t matter whether you are a director, producer, animator, sound designer, scriptwriter, cinematographer, production designer, effects designer or multi-talented visual artist – if animation is your passion, you are eligible to apply!



The application consists of two parts:

1) Register and fill in the online application form at:

2) Submit the following materials by regular post:

·   CV & filmography (max 1 page / on CD)

·   Personal motivation letter (max 1 page / on CD)

·   Photo of the applicant (on CD)

·   Sample of work (approx 3 minutes / on DVD).

The work sample can be a short film, excerpt or series of clips from previous work. Please state clearly in the beginning of the clip, which was your input to the chosen piece of work.

Materials should be sent to:

AnimaCampus Tallinn 2011

Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams

Telliskivi 60A

10412 Tallinn


All the application materials must be submitted in English.

The deadline for a complete application is August 1, 2011 (postmark date).


Participation fee is 100€ for students and 150€ for young professionals.

AnimaCampus Tallinn offers 75 selected participants Part Scholarship covering the accommodation and meals. The rest of participants have to cover the costs of accommodation and meals themselves.

A limited number of participants receive Full Scholarship covering the participation fee, accommodation and meals. Applicants with limited financial means and/or from South Caucasus and Central Asia are preferred in this case. To apply for Full Scholarship, please fill in the appropriate field on the online application form and explain shortly in your motivation letter the reason you believe you are eligible.

AnimaCampus Tallinn does not cover travel expenses for the participants.


AnimaCampus Tallinn organisers in co-operation with regional partners will select participants based on their application and work example. The final selection will be made by the end of August and published on AnimaCampus website. All the applicants will be notified by e-mail.


Representatives of animation industry, festivals and schools can apply for Guest Accreditation, which gives the access to AnimaCampus public events as well as the Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams screenings. Accreditation forms will be available in September.


All the AnimaCampus applicants can also submit their recently finished animated short films to Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams. Please see the rules and application details at:

For further information please contact: