As every year, Animateka offers a handpicked “best of” independent animation from around the world. The festival welcomes more than 200 filmmakers each year and we are incredibly proud that the author of the 2022 festival identity and usual Animateka flipbook is one of them this year.
As Animateka’s main competition includes films from Central and Eastern Europe, this year’s Best of the World brings you the most innovative and daring award-winning animated gems from filmmakers from Western Europe, America and Asia. We’re also proud of our selection of animated documentaries, a section that year after year gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in fascinating personal or social stories that no traditional documentary film can convey.
This festival edition focuses on French animation. In collaboration with the Annecy Festival, La Poudrière, the French film archive CNC and the Slovenian Kinemathek, we have put together an archive (most films are shown on 35mm prints!) and a recent selection of French animation classics. The icing on the cake is the screening of René Laloux’s restored and digitized Fantastic Planet, a feature classic based on the art of Roland Topor. We also programmed two late-night shows with a French flair. Everyone 18+ are invited to step out of their comfort zone, be amazed, shudder, roar with laughter or cry when they see these 24 little animated WTF gems, chosen with love to fuel the 2022 edition .
Animateka traditionally also shows an exclusive selection of independent feature animations. Dozens of Norths is the highly anticipated debut feature film from Japanese animation legend Koji Yamamura. Made in the aftermath of the 2011 Japan earthquake, the film showcases Yamamura’s existential train of thought and fragmented memories in his signature style of hand-drawn animation and no dialogue. Unicorn Wars is an animated fable with a strong anti-war message. With colourful, often violent imagery, Alberto Vázquez tells the story of a war between an army of bear cubs and unicorns to contemplate the origins of evil. Nayola, José Miguel Ribeiro’s debut feature film based on a play, tells the story of three generations of women in Angola’s 25-year civil war. Blending past and present, this film pays homage to the struggle of brave Angolan women whose lives are marked by the violence of history. Anca Damian’s The Island is an animated reimagining of Robinson Crusoe. After voluntarily isolating himself on an island, Robinson rescues Friday, the sole survivor on a refugee boat, and encounters criminals, guards, and mermaids. With visual poetry and symbolism, the film tells of current affairs in a world where everyone is looking for their own piece of paradise. In No Dogs or Italians Allowed, an animated film about migration in early 20th-century Italy, Alain Ughetto uses charming stop-motion animation as a playful way to tell a bitter story while sharing valuable thoughts about migration today. The protagonist of Signe Baumane’s My Love Affair with Marriage is told from an early age that love would solve all her problems as long as it conforms to society’s expectations of a girl’s behavior. But the older she gets, the more wrong this concept of love is: the more she tries to adjust, the more her body resists. For Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish, director Lei Lei interviews his father and grandfather to look back on a tragic family past marked by the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In this animated film, fueled by pop art and propaganda imagery, he sets out to construct and deconstruct the archives of his own childhood memories.
We also have a treat for children: the wonderful Perlimps by Alê Abreu, author of the world hit Boy and the World. The film follows secret agents who are dispatched to the Enchanted Forest, where they discover they are on the same mission: to save their respective kingdoms from the terrifying giants that have surrounded the forest. The magical adventure takes us on a journey to find the last ray of hope for peace on earth.
From the exquisite Elephant family programme, we highlight the environmental theme The Elephant Goes Green and The Elephant TV Specials – a new addition featuring a selection of French and international animated mid-length TV films, guaranteed to shine at their best on the big screen.
Complementing the strong film offering is AnimatekaPRO with masterclasses and Q&A in daily morning sessions; and new presentations of VR and AR films. During the festival, a selection of international projects and a retrospective of VR films by Michelle and Uri Kranot (don’t miss the screening of their conventional films in a program entitled Home Sick) will be on view for free in the basement of Cukrarna’s gallery.