Amelia Wichowicz talks to Bogusław Zmudziński, founder and artistic director of the Etiuda&Anima festival.
Amelia Wichowicz: This is the first time that the festival is organised by a new entity – Foundation for Promotion of Artistic, Film and Audiovisual Culture Etiuda&Anima. What does it mean for the event itself?
Bogusław Zmudziński: After all that we have been through, I will not try to give a witty reply. To cut a long story short: since the organization with the same name as the festival took over the festival and became its organizer, it can only be a change for the better. What matters most is that the team that has organized the festival so far, together with Rotunda Association, remains in charge. Despite the earthquake that we faced, we managed to maintain the festival’s programme profile, which is the most imporant to me. I never view a given edition in isolation from the previous and oncoming ones. I think of the festival as an organism that lives for many years and if you can maintain its identity, it is – along with its artistic level – the highest value to me.
AW: What would you particularly recommend to the viewers of this year’s Etiuda&Anima?
BZ: I always try to evade this question, because the whole programme is dear to me as I am its author. But when I do have to answer, I usually recommend events that are related to the visits of our guest artists. This year, I advise everyone to meet the animation authors that will take part in our Self-Portraits: Geza M. Toth from Hungary, Svetlana Filippova from Russia and Claudius Gentinetta from Switzerland. Years ago, in the mid-90s, they participated in our International Animation Film Workshop as the emerging filmmakers. Now that we celebrate the 25th edition of the Workshop, they come back to us as renowned artists. During Self-Portraits, they will discuss their techniques and show their films. These events are always a highlight of the festival.
AW: Who else will show up among the VIPs of the festival?
BZ: We will host Tony Palmer from Great Britain, an excellent director of music documents, who will present his three films rooted in his fascination for popular music, in particular the phenomenon of the Beatles and Leonard Cohen. Koji Yamamura, undoubtedly one of the most distinguished authors of Japanese animation living today, will visit us for the third time. Sławomir Idziak, a worlwide known Polish cinematographer, will receive a Special Golden Dinosaur for his accomplishments as an artist and pedagogue. He will also run a workshop on visual dramaturgy. On the last day, Bodo Kox will meet the audience after the screening of his “Man with the Magic Box”. We will also host other guests, i.a. the representatives of diverse animation film festivals.
AW: Anima.pl is a new part of the program. How did the idea of the third competition come into being?
BZ: I have been thinking about Polish animation competiton for many years, but Kraków alredy had one: OFAFA Festival of Auteur Animation Films that was successfully organized by Janusz Korosadowicz in „Wrzos” Cinema and Theatre. It was the only festival in Poland that summerized, through a competition, the annual national animated production. Unfortunately, it has declined for a number of reasons. So I met Janusz Korosadowicz, whom I know for a long time, and he – having already resigned from running OFAFA – accepted the idea to hand over the organization of the Polish animation competition to Etiuda&Anima. In a way, this shift is represented by this year’s “10”, the traditional part of the festival, during which renowned authorities select 10 films according to the proposed criteria. This year, Janusz picked 10 films awarded at the 20th edition of OFAFA. On Sunday, the last day of Etiuda&Anima, at 2 p.m. in Kijów Centrum, the longest screening – composed of 10 OFAFA award-winning films – will take place.
AW: Could you reveal any plans for the next Etiuda&Anima?
BZ: Undoubtedly, the leitmotiv of the next year’s edition will be an anniversary – 25 years of the festival. A quarter-century is a long time, it is also a huge part of my life. I am an initiator and organizer of this festival from the very beginning. What’s most important, I am also in charge of its programme. For sure, I would like to add a few accents to the next year’s edition that will show, stronger than before, the continuity of the festival. For example, it would be great to check one again on our laureates from the past years, to see what they are doing and creating today.
I will not go into detail, but I can say that I have an idea to prepare an exhibition of the flick books – small books with a series of pictures drawn casually by the animation authors, which are one of the proofs that animation is older than a cinematograph. I would like to call upon to all of our past and present guests to send us their flick books. I dream about a vast exhibition of these little artistic objects. I just do not know how to ensure that some of the particularly attractive pieces do not disappear too quickly, enriching private collections of animation fans. But that is a whole different story.
Tłumaczenie: Kinga Ostapińska