AniFest Celebrates The Centenary Of Jiří­ Trnka — Magic Of A Film Puppet

As a celebration of the centenary of Czech puppet master Jiří­ Trnka, this year’s AniFest is dedicated to the magic of a film puppet. The magic of Jiří­ Trnka’s film will be reminded in a retrospective of his films as well as in an unique exhibition of puppets, scripts, original designs and photographs from family archives. Estonian films and puppets from Nukufilm studio, presentation of world famous studios like Mackinnon&Saunders or SE-MA-FOR, workshop How to make a film puppet…in short, this year‘s AniFest will look at the life of film puppet in 21st century from all possible points of view.

The organizers are proud to announce that a famous British animator, director, designer and teacher Barry Purves accepted the role of honorary president of the festival. Purves is known as one of the most influential figures of British (not only) stop-motion animation and representantive of the subgenre of queer cinema. He will present in Teplice the best of his films, talk about the his work background and explain the whole proccess of making of his masterpieces. AniFest also invited British theorist, teacher and curator Paul Wells, who’s preparing a selection of British stop-motion animation. The programme will cover whole century of British puppet — beginning in 1908 and ending with Czech release of the long-expected last feature by Peter Lord and Aardman studios Pirates! Band of Misfits.

Puppet animation will be represented also in the jury. Claymation inventor Will Vinton (US), puppet films directors Å pela ÄŒadež (Slovenia) and Michal Žabka (Czech Republic) together with Igor Kovaljov (Ukraine) and Pedro Serazzina (Portugal) will judge feature and short films, while Ãœlo Pikkov (Estonia) will meet Sulafa Hijazi (Syria) and Andrew Kavanagh (Ireland) in the jury for student and TV films and commercials. We received more than 1600 film entries and the selection committee chose 200 to compete for the award in one of the twelve categories. AniFest 2012 will also opens a brand new category for experimental and non-narative animated shorts. “ It’s easy to notice that many of conceptual audivisual works meant for exhbitions and galleries are using animation. We‘ve noticed this tendencies in the work of Czech authors as well as from abroad and one thing is clear — these films do not follow the same paths and aims as narrative films and if anybody wants to judge them, they must use different criteria in comparison with narrative animation. Even though non-narative films has participated in the competition of AniFest in the past, they were never awarded and that only confirms what was said above — that the jury has no means how to judge these works together with classical animation and that’s why they basically „have no chance“. And we decided to create a space which will offer this kind of art what it deserves — a relevant context and a special jury,“ explains Pavel Horáček, a Programme Director of the festival.

The leitmotiv of the festival — „magic of film a puppet“ — is reflected also in the artistic design of festival materials created by MatyáÅ¡ Trnka, talented Czech animator and designer, grandson of Jiří­ Trnka and a student of the Prague Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU). All materials were created with an unique technique of transluminated spirit paints and the puppet is represented through its skeleton, which is usually hidden to the viewer.

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