19th Animateka starts in just a few days!

    19th Animateka starts in just a few days! credit: Animateka

    The time of year has come when film projectors fall into the festival rhythm, ceaselessly projecting analogue and digital images onto cinema screens. The time has come to celebrate the art of animated cinema.

    Like every year, Animateka offers a hand-picked ‘best of’ of independent animation from around the world. The festival welcomes more than 200 filmmakers each year, and we are proud beyond words that the author of the 2022 festival identity and the customary Animateka flipbook is one of them this year.
    Boris Labbé's work forms a cinema of multiplicity. Repetition, re-presentation, collages, patterns, metamorphoses, perpetual movement, as well as constant citations of art history, literature, and philosophy, have all become essential resources of his audio-visual language. During the festival, the original drawings from his short film The Fall will be on display in the Kinodvor Gallery.

    Since Animateka’s Main Competition features films from Central and Eastern Europe, this year’s Best of the World gives you the most innovative and daring award-winning animated gems by filmmakers from Western Europe, the Americas, and Asia. We are also proud of our selection of Animated Documentaries, a strand that, year after year, gives you a chance to delve into intriguing personal or social stories no conventional documentary can convey.

    This festival edition focuses on French animation. In collaboration with the Annecy festival, La Poudrière, the CNC French Film Archives, and the Slovenian Cinematheque, we have put together an archive (most of the films will be screened from 35mm prints!) and a more recent selection of French animated classics. The cherry on top is the screening of René Laloux’s restored and digitised Fantastic Planet, a feature classic based on the art of Roland Topor. We have also programmed two French-flavoured late-night screenings. Everyone over 18 is kindly invited to step outside their comfort zone, be flabbergasted, shudder, roar with laughter or weep watching these 24 little animated WTF gems selected with love to fire up the 2022 edition.

    Animateka also traditionally shows an exclusive selection of independent feature animations. Dozens of Norths is the much-anticipated feature debut from Koji Yamamura, a legend of Japanese animation. Created in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Japan in 2011, in his signature style using hand-drawn animation and no dialogue, the film depicts Yamamura’s existential train of thought and fragmented memories. Unicorn Wars is an animated fable with a powerful anti-war message. Using colourful, often brutal imagery, Alberto Vázquez tells the story of a war between an army of bear cubs and unicorns to ponder over the origin of evil. Nayola, the feature debut from José Miguel Ribeiro, based on a drama play, tells the story of three generations of women in the 25-year-long Angolan civil war. Interlacing past and present, this film is a tribute to the struggle of brave Angolan women whose lives are imprinted with the violence of history. Anca Damian's The Island is an animated reinterpretation of Robinson Crusoe. After isolating voluntarily on an island, Robinson saves Friday, the sole survivor on a refugee boat, and proceeds to encounter criminals, guards, and mermaids. With visual poetry and symbolism, the film speaks of current affairs in a world where everyone seeks their piece of paradise. In No Dogs or Italians Allowed, a feature animation about migration in early 20th-century Italy, Alain Ughetto employs 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 repeatedly told, from an early age, that love would solve all her problems as long as she abides by societal expectations of how a girl should act. But as she grows older, something doesn't seem right with this concept of love: the more she tries to conform, the more her body resists. For Silver Bird and Rainbow Fish, the director Lei Lei interviews his father and his grandfather to look back at a tragic family past marked by the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In this animation film fuelled by pop art and propaganda images, he sets out to construct and deconstruct the archives of his own childhood memories.

    We also have a treat in store for children: the wonderful Perlimps from Alê Abreu, the author behind the global hit Boy and the World. The film follows secret agents as they are dispatched to the Enchanted Forest, where they discover they are on the same mission: To save their respective kingdoms from the terrible Giants that have surrounded the Forest. The magical adventure will take us on a journey to find the last glimmer of hope for peace on Earth.

    From the exquisite Elephant family programme, we highlight the environmentally-themed The Elephant Goes Green, and The Elephant TV Specials – a new addition featuring a selection of French and international animated medium-length TV films, guaranteed to shine at their very best on the big screen.

    Complementing the strong line-up of films are AnimatekaPRO with masterclasses and Q&As 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 programme titled Home Sick) will be on view, free of charge, in the basement gallery of Cukrarna.

    You can find everything about the programme at https://www.animateka.si/2022/en/.