A total of 1,040 animations from 65 countries were registered in this year’s international competitions for feature, short and student films and, for the first time in the festival’s history, two Romanian animators will be in the race for the prize awarded to the best student film. Anim’est increases and, with it, the Romanian animation is becoming a more noticeable presence.
The 2013 Anim’est competition releases, this fall in Bucharest, five fresh feature film titles – the crème de la crème of animation. Short films are second to none, with the latest films from Romanian students abroad or former members of the jury. This year’s competition includes two world premieres.
From Brazil comes Uma história de amor e fúria/Rio 2096: A Story of Love and Fury, winner of the Grand Prize for Feature Film at 2013 Annecy, a love story with a touch of science fiction. An undying hero is in love with Janaína for the past 600 years, and their story goes through four phases of Brazil’s history, the last of which is set in a gloomy future, in a world ravaged by wars for water. The director Luiz Bolognesi, best known as the writer of Brainstorm (2001), Ballroom (2007), Birdwatchers (2009) and The Best Things in the World (2010), took the step to directing through the documentary series Lutas.doc (2011).
The French production Le jour des corneilles/The Day of the Crows, awarded at Namur and selected at the 2012 Annecy, is the third animated feature film by Jean -Christophe Dessaint, a former student of the famous animation school Gobelins, after Tous à l’Ouest and Le chat du rabbin. The film is based on the story of Courge, raised in the woods by a giant father, who never allows him to stand outside the forest’s world, a story that comes to life with famous voices such as Jean Reno, Isabelle Carré and Claude Chabrol.
The 2013 Anim’est brings to Bucharest the first 3D stop-motion animation in Europe – O Apóstolo/The Apostle, directed by Fernando Cortizo. After the Audience Award at 2013 Annecy, the film was nominated for the Goya Awards. Technically perfect, with a gorgeous visual, the film follows a fugitive from prison who makes tracks to Santiago de Compostela in search of a hidden treasure – the story with a dash of horror, full of irony, will certainly be a treat for Tim Burton fans.
Pinocchio is an Italian reinterpretation of the classic tale, directed by Enzo D’Alo, known for La gabbianella e il gatto (awarded at the Montreal Film Festival), Momo alla conquista del tempo, Opopomoz. With colorful designs, Pinocchio took part in the Annecy competition and will delight both children and older animation addicts.
And because Anim’est cannot exist without Japanese animation, the competition is complemented by Ōkami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki/Wolf Children, the second film by Mamoru Hosoda. Awarded at Sitges, Oslo and projected at Animafest Zagreb 2013, Wolf Children combines the 2D animation with the 3D one, in a fantasy about a young woman who falls for the man-wolf Ookami and then fights to defend their hybrid children. Being called by Le Monde „the new master of the anime”, Mamoru Hosoda has also participated in the 2012 Anim’est with Summer Wars, a film projected at the Berlin Film Festival.
For the short film competition, Anim’est brings 44 films from 20 countries. The Spanish animation Canis, a black and white bleak story with expressionist accents, directed by Marc Riba and Anna Solanas, will have its world premiere in Bucharest. The famous Italian director Simone Massi, a former member of the jury at Anim’est, will return to Bucharest with Animo resistente, a 2D animation with highly expressive pencil drawings and deep problems. Brothers Frédéric and Samuel Guillaume, attending in Bucharest with Max & Co as part of the „Animated Switzerland” program dedicated to Swiss animation, are also competing in the short film competition with La nuit de l’ours, an animated documentary about stray animals, selected at Clermont- Ferrand 2013, Solothurner Filmtage 2013 (Audience Award), Aspen Shortsfest 2013 (Animated Eye Award), Genève, Bundesamt für Kultur 2013 (Swiss Film Award, Best Animation Film), Solothurner Filmtage 2013 (Audience Award), Fantoche Baden 2012 (The best Swiss film & Audience Award) and nominated for the Swiss Film Awards. The famous American animator Bill Plympton, nominated twice for Oscar and awarded at Cannes in the Semaine de la Critique, is showing his latest short film, Drunker Than a Skunk, inspired by Walt Curtis’ poem “The Time The Drunk Came To Town And Got Drunker Than A Skunk, or So He Thought”.
Other must-see titles are The People who Never Stop (dir. Florian Piento , Japan – France, 2012), based on the idea of an endless river of pedestrians who do not stop even in the face of tragedy, another favorite of Annecy – Lettres de femmes (dir. Augusto Zanovello), winner of the Audience Award, Le livre des morts (dir. Alain Escalle, France, 2013), projected in the national competition at Clermont-Ferrand and awarded the Prize for Best experimental Film at Rhode Island 2013 or Junkyard (dir. Hisko Hulsing), produced by the Dutch at il.Luster, winner of the grand prize SICAF, Best Short Film at Anifest Czech Republic, Grand Prize in Ottawa and continues to travel the world, on the screens of festivals such as Annecy, Fantoche, Melbourne, Anima Brussels. Do not miss the short film of the Argentinian who won the Anim’est Trophy in 2008 with El empleo! Padre (dir. Santiago Bou Grasso), which will have its world premiere in Bucharest in October. It is a stop-motion story of a former soldier who, after the end of the dictatorship in Argentina, devotes his time to caring for his lonely father.
38 films are competing in the student film competition. Two Romanian animators, students in the UK, Elena Ciolacu and Alexandru Nechifor, are premiering their films in the country – Amintiţi-vă de mine/Remember Me and In Sight.
Natalis is also in this selection, a spectacular 3D film by Daniel Brkovic & Jan Marcel Kühn from the famous Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, winner of the prestigious VES Award for Outstanding Visual Effects in a Student Project, Ab Ovo (dir. Anita Kwiatkowska – Naqvi, Poland, 2012) and Maze King (dir. Hakhyun Kim, Japan, 2013), both in the student competition at Annecy .
The Prize for Best Short Film will be awarded by Opel.
The eighth Anim’est edition will take place from October 4 to 13, at Patria, Studio and Elvira Popescu Cinemas and in Control Club.
The Anim’est International Animation Film Festival, a member of the pan-European Cartoon Network, is organized by the Este’n’est Association, with the support of the Filmmakers Union in Romania, National Center of Cinematography, Media Programme of the European Union and Ogilvy.
Cultural project funded by the National Cultural Fund Administration.
Institutional partners: Embassy of the United States, Center for cultural projects – ArCuB, Swiss Film and Swiss Embassy, Romanian Cultural Institute, Royal Netherlands Embassy, French Institute, Polish Institute, Wallonie -Bruxelles commissio, Embassy of Portugal .