"Natasha" by Roman Klochkov.
“Natasha” by Roman Klochkov.

Tonight and tomorrow, the Hungarian Cultural Center will present “Animated Spirits: New Animation from Europe,” a series of screenings in Manhattan offering a rare chance to see a festival-quality selection of new animation from across the Atlantic.

Tonight’s screening takes place at the Austrian Cultural Forum (11 East 52nd Street, New York, NY 10022), and the screening on Thursday, April 9, will be at the School of Visual Arts Theater (333 West 23 Street, New York NY 10011). The first screening will be followed by a reception.

Both screenings are FREE and open to the public, although rsvps are suggested. (If the rsvp period has passed, you can show up and they’ll allow attendees in as long as there are seats available.)

The curator of the programs, Anna Ida Orosz, who is also the co-founder of Budapest’s Primanima Short Film Festival, explains the selection of films:

European animation traditionally has been a field of experimentation with graphic styles, the mixing of media formats and addressing a wide variety of themes and subject matters…Being able to display a whole array of moods and genres, comic or tragic, absurd or dramatic, these recent award-winning European animations both can call attention to current global issues and engage the viewer with timeless, universal questions of human existence. Among these subject matters are environmental degradation (Symphony No. 42), the zones of in distinction inhabited by transnational migrants (Natasha), the everyday struggles of being a single mom (Mythopolis), coming-of-age (Sunstroke, Age of Curious, Nina), loneliness (Leftover) and the transitory nature of human life (Baths). Yet thanks to the exceptionally broad grammar and lexicon of animation, these global issues and universal subject matters can take highly individual and surprising, yet universally intelligible forms, which anyone can easily relate to.

Each screening includes a discussion on the transatlantic state of animation. Tonight’s speaker is Tom Brown, the co-director of Teeth, which premiered at Sundance in January and picked up a prize at SXSW last month. On Thursday, I’ll be the guest speaker, in my capacity as editor of Cartoon Brew.

For more info and a film lineup, visit the Hungarian Cultural Center website. The Animated Spirits event is presented by the Hungarian Cultural Center in partnership with the Austrian Cultural Forum and other European national cultural institutes.

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Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi

Amid Amidi is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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