A Festive and Colourful Monday
Opening of the 13th International Animated Film Festival – Animateka
The aquarium-like doors of the 13th edition of the Animateka festival have swung open! The visual design of this year’s festival, made by one of the jury members – Joni Männistö from Finland – is filled with colourful fish, octopuses, and bubbles on a dark background, which have taken over Kinodvor, the Slovenian Cinematheque, and the Old Power Station. Monday night was filled with excitement and anticipation for the opening special screening. The opening remarks by the Programme Director, Igor Prassel, were followed by the screening of Rectangle & Rectangles (Retangle et Retangles) by the legendary Canadian animator and producer René Jodoin from 1984. McLaren’s pupil follows his teacher’s penchant for playing with geometric forms and sets of colours, which appear on the screen following a drumming rhythm. We were then treated to an animated film produced by nonother than Jodoin himself: Hunger (La Faim) by director Peter Foldes (1974) is considered the first example of true computer animation. In Hunger, Foldes expressively takes on capitalism and the consumerism it invokes in people. Both films also served as an overture to the 3D Computer Animated Film retrospective, which you can enjoy every day in the Slovenian Cinematheque. The retrospective presents and catalogues the best examples of this art form, starting from the very beginnings to today.
This was followed by the presentation of this year’s student and international jury. After a brief question-and-answer round, the members presented their own selected works. We had the opportunity to enjoy a traditional piece of animation, tinged with black humour, called Swarming (Kuhina, 2011) by Joni Männistö; an animated museum collection of bugs called While Darwin Sleeps (2004), made by British animator Paula Bush, which – in the author’s own words – is the result of having “too much time on his hands”; we also saw Ryan (2004) an animated documentary film dedicated to Teacher and Artist Ryan Larkin. The Oscar-awarded work was made by Canadian animator Chris Landreth. This was followed by the award-winning French film Beach Flags (2014) by animator Sarah Saidan and the wonderful fusion of morning light (colour, music, and form) over Lake Geneva, Aubade (2014) by Mauro Carraro.
The visitors of the nearly full Kinodvor theatre then proceeded down the hall, where they were able to enjoy the exhibition prepared by the resident artist, Joni Männistö. The exhibition, entitled From an Animation Student to a Professional Filmmaker, brings together his sketches, storyboards, and puppets. The courageously lucky 13th edition of Animateka definitely went off to a flying start, which promises to only get better in the coming days, enveloping the twilight winter evenings in a colourful animated scarf.