Animafest Zagreb, the second-longest running animation festival in the world, is set to take place this year from June 5-10 in Croatia.

Here is the festival trailer by Goran Radošević:

The festival offers a number of unique elements, including a full-blown animation studies conference and a comprehensive focus on a specific theme. Here are some of 2017’s programming highlights:

  • A major attraction of Zagreb is its world-class animated film competition with 44 shorts vying for the short film grand prix (with a cash award of 2,500€), and nine features aiming to win the feature film grand prix (with a cash award of 2,500€). Additionally, 16 films will be presented in the Croatian Film Competition, while 46 films will participate in the student competition. On a personal note, I’m honored to serve on Zagreb’s grand competition short film jury this year with four other esteemed members of the animation community: Nobuaki Doi (Japan), Michaela Pavlátová (Czech Republic), Rosto (Netherlands), and Marko Tadić (Croatia).
  • A key theme of the festival this year is the intersection of comics and animation, a topic that will be examined through multiple compilations of short films, as well as features like Fritz the Cat, Savage Religions, and Akira. Programs of short films are being curated by Animafest’s artistic director Daniel Šuljić, Berlin-based curator and art historian Jens Meinrenken, and yours truly. Additionally, an exhibition devoted to the history of interactive motion comics, curated by Remco Vlaanderen, will take place at the ULUPUH Gallery.
  • Parallel to the festival will be Animafest Scanner IIII, a symposium for contemporary animation studies that will present new research by participants from Europe, Asia, and North America. The two-day event (June 6-7) will feature a keynote by Maureen Furniss, director of the Calarts experimental animation program and editor of Animation Journal, who is being recognized with Animafest’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to Animation Studies. The festival theme of comics and animation will also be one of Animafest Scanner’s research themes, while other papers will focus on the changing roles of festivals, animation in the mind, and new media animation (VR and the web).
  • Croatian animation legend Borivoj Dovniković Bordo will receive the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The 86-year-old director and animator became a key member of the iconic Zagreb Film starting in late-1950s, directing numerous films including Krek (below). The festival describes him as, “an indefatigable explorer of the freedom of movement in animation; a master of white, extremely powerful, and adaptable background; a man with a profound interest in the fate of the little man in contemporary world.” He will receive the award at the opening ceremony on June 5 at the Europa Cinema, and the festival will also screen a retrospective of his films, present a special exhibition of his artwork, and host a lecture on his work.
  • For more details on the programming line-up and how to attend, visit the festival website.

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