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AniFest 2011

Biggest animations of the year battle it out for prize

Posted: April 20, 2011

By Will Noble - Staff Writer | Comments (0) | Post comment

AniFest 2011

Courtesy Photo

"Autopohádky," or Car Fairytales, is one of two films in competition for the international feature-length category at Teplice's annual animation festival.

The two biggest Czech animated films of 2011 will go head-to-head at the 10th annual AniFest, in the international feature-length competition in the town of Teplice.

Autopohádky (Car Fairytales) and Fimfárum - Do třetice všeho dobrého (Third Time Lucky) were both released in cinemas across the country earlier this year, earning plaudits from the local film community. Autopohádky is a four-part fairytale on wheels, each segment incorporating a different animation technique. Fimfárum features the voice talent of established actors including Jiří Macháček and Miroslav Krobot.

"It's hard to say which of these films was more important," according to Marie Heřmanová, one of AniFest's organizers. "They have both been great for animation in the country."

The two Czech entries will screen alongside four other animations from further afield: Ugly Duckling (Russia), The Mysterious Presages of Leon Prozak (Columbia), Goodbye Mister Christie (UK) and Technotise: Edit & I (Serbia).

AniFest International Festival of Animated Films

When: April 16-May 1
Where: Various venues, Teplice
Tickets: Six days, 590 Kč; three days, 390 Kč; one day 190 Kč, available at the venues

An exhibition about Autopohádky at AniFest meanwhile promises to delight adults and children alike, with 14 sets and dozens of puppets from the movie.

Someone else waving the flag for Czech animation is this year's honorary president of AniFest, Michaela Pavlátová. The artist, animator and director was nominated for an Oscar back in 1993, with her café-based skit Řeči, řeči, řeči... (Words, Words, Words).

"Michaela is one of the big personalities, the big names in the industry," Heřmanová says. "We wanted to celebrate our 10 years with someone who was important in Czech animation."

As part of her presidency, Pavlátová will host a conversation with British animator Joanna Quinn. Screening a selection of their own works, the two will comment on their respective approaches to animation, and discuss sex in animated films.

All in all, only 30 percent of the films at AniFest are from the Czech Republic itself, as the festival organizers are eager to showcase animation from far-flung reaches of the globe.

"Personally, I'm looking forward to the Japanese animé section. We have director Shinichiro Watanabe coming April 26," Heřmanová says.

Watanabe is an eccentric Japanese director, whose credits include Cowboy Bebop and segments of The Matrix spin-off Animatrix, both of which will be screened at the fest. He will appear with his sometime collaborator, animé composer Yoko Kanno.

"It will be a wonderful thing for fans of the genre. It's something that's really growing in popularity here," Heřmanová says.

Other international highlights will include a focus on Latvian cinema (a continuation on last year's Lithuanian theme) and Midnight Animations, which ushers viewers into the "subversive and vulgar" underbelly of animation. Round Da Way, an exploration of a rough French suburb, and biblical porn parody Judas & Jesus will screen as part of this segment.

This being AniFest's 10-year anniversary, a retrospective section will also see the return of the festival's highlights to date.

Adult-themed animations and retrospectives aside, organizers cite AniFest as an ideal springboard for the talent of tomorrow. There will be two dedicated children's competitions and one for students, along with an exchange production forum in which new Central and East European talent will have the opportunity to pitch to foreign producers.

"Actually, a good example of someone who's gone on to be successful after featuring at AniFest is Autopohádky director Michal Malátný," Heřmanová says. "He won a prize here two or three years ago, and now he has a movie in cinemas across the Czech Republic."

All films are in English or feature English subtitles.

Will Noble can be reached at

Tags: animated movies, movie news, movies, prague cinema, films, film festivals, prague, czech republic, czech, anifest, children.

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