29th Brussels Animation Film Festival
from 12th to 20th February
Feeling a little off-colour this winter?
A bit stressed out with listening to what is going wrong with the world?
Anima is offering some light relief for the head and desire for the heart with a little cure of animation. There’s nothing like it for putting the neurons back in phase with the zygomatics and vice versa.
So take a deep breath and come along to Flagey, from 12th to 20th February. The incredibly optimistic team there has concocted a festival just for you.
Mary and Max, the feature by Australian filmmaker Adam Eliot will be opening the Festival. This unusual, hilarious and very tender film featuring the voices of Eric Bana, Toni Collette and Philip Seymour Hoffman tied for the Grand Prix with Henry Selick’s Coraline at the last Annecy Festival.
Anima is first and foremost an international competition for animated features made during the previous 18 months. Ten features, 5 for children and 5 for adults, have been selected and will be chosen by the public.
There are two competitions for short films, one national the other international, along with the rest of the selection of sneak preview shorts offering 128 short films in all to appreciate in 9 international and 3 Belgian programmes, and not forgetting the Animated Night too. International music videos and commercials will also be in competition. Twenty five thousand Euros in cash or material prizes are to be shared out between the different prize winners who will also receive prizes from Festival partners.
Choosing these happy winners is the job of two juries:
Guy Delisle (Canada), Lotta Geffenblad (Sweden) and Shelley Page (Great Britain) for the international short films and Jacques-Rémy Girerd (France), Nicolas Crousse (Belgium) and Judith Vanistendael (Belgium) for the short Belgian films. As part of the Europalia Arts Festival and its special guest China, Anima is offering a carte blanche to the Animation School of the Communication University of China, based in Beijing, the CICDAF, the major international animation festival in China and 14 MHZ, a French association that distributes Chinese independent films, including work by contemporary artist Sun Xun, which can also be seen in a retrospective at Anima. A feature in competition (Piercing I) and another in retrospective (Little Soldier Zhang Ga) complete this Chinese focus. Other retrospectives and special guests are also on the bill, looking into animation in Sweden today and the animation department of the Moholy Nagy University in Budapest.
Screenings concentrating on a particular subject will give everyone the chance to discover or rediscover both dark and comic sides of animation, with programmes like Humour and Fresh Bones (guaranteed to cause a shiver), Acides Animés showing off the young generation with films from the innovating Autour de minuit production company, and all the films of Adam Elliot (Mary and Max). Another programme spotlights the work of French director Florence Miailhe, there’s a focus on Greek animation from the 40s to the present, and the Canadian documentary A Thorn in the Mind, where masters of animation like Pjotr Sapejin, Georges Schwizgebel or Raoul Servais talk about their art. Mr Servais will also be in attendance this year for the DVD release of his feature Taxandria, co-produced by Cinéart and Folioscope. The afternoons are set aside for the kids at Anima with programmes of new shorts and features including Kurt Turns Evil, The Bear and the Magician and Panda Go Panda. There will be workshops too, in collaboration with the ABC association, and the Animatins will give a wide audience the opportunity to enjoy the Festival. There’s also a very Animated Night at Anima (from 10 pm to 4 in the morning), a special VJ party with the Meaksuma collective, the Open Screenings, for all out of competition Belgian filmmakers, conferences with international guests… In short, enough to give the eyes a real treat from ten in the morning till midnight, every single day! The Futuranima professional meetings for students and professionals will shed light on Belgian skills that export, Pieter Van Houte will talk about Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and Kommer Kleijn will be presenting his Animoko, an incredible live demonstration of Motion control for animation.
International guests will be well represented: apart from the members of the jury, there will be the talented artist and filmmaker Florence Miailhe, or Carlye Archibeque who will be presenting the prize winners of the recent SIGGRAPH, Computer Animation Festival, the best in digital creation and latest trends. Finally, from the 15th to 17th, Robert Bennett will be here to give his Corporeal Acting Master class, a three-day training course specific to animation that he has already presented at different studios including Walt Disney Feature Film France, Warner Brothers Feature Film U.S.A. and the A Studio in Copenhagen.
As well as this rich programme, Anima is also offering free access to its exhibitions, its children’s workshops (an ABC production), numerous concerts and for the second year running a big Cosplay competition organized by the Belgian Cosplay Team.
The Festival poster was entrusted to designer and scenographer François Schuiten. The Anima 2010 Grand prix trophy is the work of illustrator and animator Eric Blésin.