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Contemporary Polish Short Animation, photo: promotional materials

The 20th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) featured a programme of contemporary short animations from Poland. The event provided the Chinese cinema lovers with a great opportunity to see not only the classics of Polish animated film, but also works of the younger generation of Polish animators.

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Still from the animation Czerwone i czarne (The Red and the Black), directed by Witold Giersz, image courtesy Film Miniature Studio

Witold Giersz's animated film from 1963.

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Animated films are the stuff childhoods are made of. These animations, however, aren't targeted at kids but they're not 'adult' animations either. They're experimental and alternative animations which explore hidden meanings, play with stereotypes, and bring life to inanimate objects in curious worlds.

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Still from Jan Lenica's "Labyrinth", photo: Studio Miniatur Filmowych

Animators are many things. They're poets of imagery and comedians, puppet and stop motion masters, illustrators and experts of 3D technology. Poland boasts an impressive array of well-respected and accomplished animators. Here is a (short) guide to Polish animation.

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Renowned animator and creator of nearly 50 films Witold Giersz revolutionised animation films in Poland in the 1960s. Bearer of over 60 awards and honours, New Horizons International Film Festival 2012 holds a retrospective of his work.

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