Animation for children: shows and workshops at Anim’est 2016

Each and every edition of Anim’est Animation Film Festival brings a selection of animation films for all ages and tastes onto the screens of Bucharest’s cinemas – and on each edition the enthusiasm of the youngest members of the public is rewarded with a festival section dedicated solely to them. In an age of digital boom, the Minimest special programme encourages children’s interest for animation by inviting them to see the best recent films and to take part in workshops and interactive activities with specialists in the animation industry.

This year, for 6 days, during the two weekends of the festival, children are awaited at Cinema Pro and Cinema Elvire Popesco (October 7th to 9th) and at Cinemateca Eforie (October 14th to 16th) with a selection of animation meant to cater to their appetite for storytelling and entertainment.

Three animated features will be shown in premiere in Romania, in the special Minimest section: Ted Sieger’s Molly Monster – The Movie (d. Ted Sieger, Michael Ekbladh, Matthias Bruhn, 2016), nominated for the prize The Crystal Bear for Best Film (Generation Kplus) at the International Film Festival in Berlin, about the little monster Molly, who gets ready for the birth of her younger sister; Trenk, the Little Knight (d. Anthony Power), launched in 2015 by the producers of the series Lilly the Witch – a touching story set in the Middle Ages, about a boy who turns from a serf into a valiant knight; and Raven the Little Rascal – the Big Race (d. Sandor Jesse, Ute von Münchow-Pohl), the second installment of the adventures of the cheeky raven wearing a striped sock.

20 short films for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years old were selected this year to take part in the competition for the Minimest trophy, whose jury is made up of children. These are the best titles among the few hundreds submitted by production houses and directors in the whole world, stories about growing up, friendship, courage or caring for animals, told with the help of various animation techniques.

A highlight of the section dedicated to the youngest viewers is the special advance screening of four short films grouped together under the title „Gruffalo and his friends”, animated versions of the famous books written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

The young viewers will also enjoy screenings from other festival sections, with topics adapted to their age. Two titles not to miss are Robinson Crusoe (r. Ben Stassen, Vincent Kesteloot, 2016), a colourful animation that presents a version of the famous story from the perspective of Tuesday the parrot, and The Secret Life of Pets (r. Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud, 2016), the most recent animation from the producers of the much-loved Despicable Me. We should not forget to mention that the 2016 edition of Anim’est is dedicated to the animated cats that have conquered the big screens – the programme includes a series of short films with famous characters such as Tom, Garfield, Sylvester or Heathcliff, but also well-loved feature films, like Pim and Pom the Big Adventure (d. Gioia Smid, 2013) based on the comic series published in the 1960s by the famous Dutch illustrator Fiep Westendorf, an animation nominated for an Oscar in 2012, directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol. Together with these, a selection of well-known animations will be included in this year’s programme, most of which will make the parents nostalgic and give the children a chance to rewatch the stories on the big screen. A few examples of these are Gay Purr-ee (d. Abe Levitow, 1962), The AristoCats (d. Wolfgang Reitherman, 1970) or Felix the Cat, the famous anthropomorphic black cat drawn by Otto Messmer in the age of the silent films.

All films that contain dialogues will be subtitled in Romanian and English and will also be narrated in Romanian during the projection.

In good festival tradition, the most curious of our young guests will have the opportunity to take part in small demonstration workshops which will offer them access into the backstage of animation. This year, together with the trainers Ion Aramă, Serghei Chiviriga and Ana Dobrescu, the children will discover some of the secrets of animation and will themselves make short animation films which will be shown in cinema, during the festival. The workshops will take place daily at CINETic Center, details on registration will be published soon.

Also, in between film showings, the young viewers will be able to take part in a series of fun workshops, starting from the characters and themes in the animations they have watched. Participation to these workshops does not require registration and it will not be conditioned by access to films.

The eleventh edition of the International Animation Film Festival Anim’est will take place between October 7th and 16th 2016 at Cinema Pro, Cinema Elvire Popesco, Cinemateca Eforie, The Cervantes Institute, CINETic Center, Club Fabrica, DESCHIS Gastrobar and Club Control.

The tickets for projections in the Minimest section, worth 5 lei each, will be available online, on, and will also be available in cinemas throughout the festival. The access to projections Monday to Friday before 16.30 will be free of charge (based on showing ID) for children, school students, university students and retired persons. For groups organized by schools, shows will be free of charge both for the children and for the didactic staff accompanying them, for all the screenings belonging to the Minimest section of the programme.

The International Animation Film Festival Anim’est, a member of the pan-European network Cartoon, is organized by the Este’n’est Association, with support from the National Center for Cinematography, the Ministry of Culture, the Administration of National Cultural Funds and the Cineasts’ Union in Romania.

Partner institutions: Cinetic – the International Center for Research and Education in Creative and Innovative Technologies, the National University of Theatre and Cinema „I.L. Caragiale”, the Delegation Wallonie-Bruxelles, the French Institute, the Cervantes Institute, the Hungarian Institute, the Czech Center, The Romanian Cultural Institute.