Attracting film buffs, art lovers, filmmakers, and cartoon fans from around the world to the biggest animation fest in Poland. Held in July in Poznań since 2008 the Festival is a broad presentation of artistic achievements.
A scene from the animation "The Book of the Dead" by Kihachiro Kawamoto
Attracting film buffs, art lovers, filmmakers, and cartoon fans from around the world to the biggest animation fest in Poland
Held in July in Poznań since 2008, the Festival offers premieres, concerts,exhibitions, performances,workshops such as "From comics to animation", a review of Japanese animation, film retrospectives of renowned animators such as Moustapha Alassane, meetings with artists including Amy Kravitz, John Svěrákiem, Morton Subotnicki, and a range of special and thematic screenings, including screenings with live music, outdoor screenings, screenings for children and the open international competition for animated films up to 30 minutes.
Chairman ofthe jury, Piotr Dumała celebrates 30 years of creative work. On this occasion, "Retrospectives of the jury" is an overview of the artist's works, screenings of his short films: "Black Riding Hood", "Floating hair", "The Nervous Life of the cosmos", "Freedom of a leg", "Franz Kafka", "Crime and Punishment", "Forest" and "Doctor Character presents". The same film retrospective also presents films by Steven Subotnick and Amy Kravitz (USA).
This year's edition of the "Animator" Film Festival is inaugurated by Jarosław Kapuściński performing his audiovisual work "Where Is Chopin?" in which the composer controls a multichannel video projection by playing piano, an audiovisual composition for Disklavier and multichannel projection. An original composition that Kapuściński based on Chopin's "24 Preludes (Op. 28)" where a programmed MIDI-capable piano plays the pieces, and the notes activate a multichannel video projection showing the faces of rapt listeners. The images are the artist's search for traces of Chopin's music on the faces of people listening to it. To carry out this project, Kapuściński performed a series of concerts in selected cities in countries where Chopin is hugely popular but where he personally never set foot (Tokyo, San Francisco, Wellington, Sydney, Seoul, Beijing, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Helsinki, Buenos Aires, Santiago and Mexico City). "Where is Chopin?" was commissioned by the WRO Media Art Center, the Warsaw Autumn Contemporary Music Festival and co-funded by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Polish Cultural Institute in London.
The Festival in Poznań is a broad presentation of artistic achievements, and not only in the field of animation. Organisers proceed from the assumption that "the animated film is a unique form of art that combines together a great degree of other artistic elements of many disciplines: drama, painting, printmaking, sculpture, music".
A distinguishing feature different from other animated film festivals are the screenings combined with live music concerts. The "Animation and Music" section includes a screening of films accompanied by the music of Zygmunt Konieczny ("A Blue Ball" (1968) and "Harlequin" (1969) by Mirosław Kijowicz, "Fata Morgana" (1981) by Daniel Szczechura and "A Gentle Creature" (1985) by Piotr Dumała). In the same section, Italian group, Compagnia d'Arte Drummatica already well-known to Animator audiences has prepared a new concert of live accompaniment to animated films. The four films selected by Compagna's musicians include works by the masters of early animation: Winsor McCay (1869- 1934), Lotte Reiniger (1989-1981), Alexandre Alexeieff (1901-1982) and Claire Parker (1910-1981). The fifth film, has not been screened for 55 years, is the work of the forgotten Polish amateur filmmaker Franciszek Wypych.
Special guest Morton Subotnick, one of the pioneers in the development of electronic music and multi-media performance and an innovator in works involving instruments and other media, gives a special presentation together with his son, Steven Subotnick, as well as a special lecture on the 4th day of Animator. Other special guests include Alloy Orchestra from Boston which is a three man musical ensemble, writing and performing live accompaniment to classic silent films. Working with an outrageous assemblage of peculiar objects, they thrash and grind soulful music from unlikely sources and their performances have helped revive some of the great masterpieces of the silent era
The festival includes two premieres "Goodbye Mr. Christie" (2011, UK) and "Piercing I" (2011, China). The first is a full-length animation by Phil Mulloy. The second title is considered the first independent Chinese production by Liu Jian.
For lovers of Japanese animation a large number of films has been prepared. Both classics and new works of younger artists are shown such as Kihachirō Kawamoto -"The Book of Dead" by Atsushi Wada and Yoji Kuri. Yoji Kuri is one of the most important figures in the history of independent Japanese animation. He was the unofficial leader of the most influential association - Three Animation Association - the collective which started the creation of independent animated films for adults. Included in the "Animation from Japan" section is "Life to those Shadows: Introducing the Japanese Art of Utsushi-e" a presentation by Artemis Willis (USA) about 'Utsushi-e' which began in 1800 as a traditional Japanese magic lantern show based on back-projection. Throughout the nineteenth century directly influenced by Asian shadow and puppet theatre, utsushi-e was a hybrid performance, which consisted of projections made with furo (wooden lanterns) and taneita (painted glass slides), live narration and musical accompaniment. The presentation introduces utsushi-e through a range of material, from historical images to new video clips from Minwa-za's spectacular recent performances in Chicago.
Fans of animation will not only be able to watch movies, but also learn how they are made. "Workshop with Sharpie - From comics to animation" (15-17 July) is three days of workshops on drawing, comics, animation, led by Bartłomiej Stefanowicz and Paweł Kędzierski, eminent artists and Sharpie brand ambassadors.Participants learn what professional expressions mean, such as screenplay, storyboard, typography, or comic strip.
Master-retrospectives of the works of Moustapha Alassane, Ryszard Czekała, Piotr Dumała, Arthur Lipsett, Amy Kravitz and Steven Subotnick are also screened. The "Stars of Animation" section of the Festival features "Moustapha Alassane, filmmaker of the possible" directed by Maria Silvia Bazzoli and Christian Lelong (France). A film about Moustapha Alassane, the pioneer of Nigerien Cinematography, who is a living legend of African Cinema. The film is about his life and work which brings us back to the beginnings of cinema. Also featured are animations by Ryszard Czekała, the Polish director of animated films and feature films who passed away last year, these include "The Roll-Call", "Bird", "Son", "Day", and "Water". In his animated films Czekała applied the appropriate means of expression for the action film, which has brought amazing results, introducing a psychological depth and exploring new areas, previously unheard of in animation. A screening of famed Canadian experimental filmmaker Arthur Lipsett's, who died prematurely at age 49, a longtime employee of the National Film Board of Canada became famous especially as the author of "Very Nice, Very Nice" (1961), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject.
This year 70 films have been selected for competition from a total entry of over 500. Each is up to 30 minutes long and the Grand Prix of 60 000zł will be decided by a jury including Amy Kravitz, Silvia Bazzoli, Piotr Dumała, Gerben Schermer and Jarosław Kapuściński. Poland is represented by a number of Polish filmmakers, including: "Paths of Hate" (2010) by Damian Nenow, "Good, Beauty and Truth" (2011) by Balbina Bruszewska, "Shivering Trunks" Natalia Brożyńska, "Sleepincord" Marta Pajek or "The Lost Town of Switez" Kamil Polak. In addition, special prizes are awarded for film music and films for children.
Projections at midnight on every festival day are held in the Pasaż Kultury, Stary Rynek with Shane Acker's "9" and Adam Elliot's "Mary and Max".
"Animator" the 4th International Animated Film Festival in Poznań kicks off on the 15th of July and runs through the 21st of July 2011.
For more information and a detailed programme ofthe festival see: www.animator-festival.com.
Source: press materials, www.animator-festival.com