“Self-Portraits of Animation Artists” series at the 26th…

Permanent series “Self-portraits of Animation Artists” is one of the most eagerly awaited parts of each edition of Etiuda&Anima festival.  During interactive meetings with the audience, the greatest personalities of modern artistic animation talk about the tricks of their trade. Guests during this year`s edition of the series are Igor Kovalyov (21.11) and Izabela Plucińska (22.11).

Igor Kovaljov

Our this year`s special guest – Igor Kovalyov – is a world renowned filmmaker, animator and director. His short animations Andrei Svislotski (1992), Hen, His Wife (1990), Flying Nansen (1999), Milch (2005) and Before Love (2015) won numerous awards and honorary mentions gaining recognition in the film circle. [caption id="attachment_16183" align="alignright" width="316"] Kard z animacji / Still from animation"Milch"[/caption] Born in Kiev, in Ukraine, Igor Kovalyov is a co-founder of the legendary studio Pilot School of Animation in Moscow. The studio brought together the most important Russian artists, including the animators from Klasky Csupo. In 1991 Kovalyov accepted the invitation to work at the studio Klasky Csupo in Hollywood and became the director of the first feature film there, The Rugrats Movie (1998). The artists also worked on the TV series Aaahh !!! Real Monsters (1994-1998), and directed commercials as well as short internet films. [caption id="attachment_16180" align="alignleft" width="259"] Kard z animacji / Still from animation "Hen, His Wife"[/caption] In Kovalyov`s films we can find surreal everyday situations, sometimes including fantasy elements. Limited dialogues encourage the viewers to focus on the characters` faces, which cannot be called attractive. The decision to call them ugly, or maybe rather stylized,  the director leaves to the viewer. He does the same with the interpretation of the stories.  

Izabela Plucińska

[caption id="attachment_16179" align="alignright" width="295"] Kard z animacji / Still from animation"7 more minutes"[/caption] Our compatriot Izabela Plucińska, on the other hand, specializes in clay animation. The artist was born in 1974 in Koszalin. She studied animation at the Film School in Lodz, graphics and design at the Academy of Fine Arts in the same city and also studied at the Film &Television Academy (HFF) “Konrad Wolf” in Potsdam. From among numerous clay animations, her greatest success was the film Jam Session (2005), which won numerous awards, including the Silver Bear for a short film at the festival in Berlin. Currently, she resides in Berlin, where she runs her own production company Claytraces.   [caption id="attachment_16184" align="alignleft" width="343"] Kadr z animacji / Still from animation "Sexy Laundry"[/caption] In Plucińska`s productions we will also find neither carefully drawn characters nor neatly rendered landscapes we got used to watching in Disney`s productions. The worlds created by Plucińska in Esterhazy (2009) or Afternoon (2012) are more tangible, like the clay used to make them. The artist`s latest film, Portrait of Suzanne (Portret Suzanne, 2019) – a grotesque love story based on a short story by Roland Topor – will compete in this year`s festival competition in the ANIMA category.

”Farewells” cycle

This year’s edition of the International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima is taking place on 19-24 November in Krakow. November favours the reflection upon evanescence and death and that is why the program of the 26th edition of the festival comprises a unique cycle titled ”Farewells”.  The 26th Etiuda&Anima does not include screenings of short and feature animated films only. This year’s program comprises an in memoriam cycle ”Farewells”, too, which is dedicated to outstanding filmmakers who passed away last year. The cycle will present screenings of documentary films on the creative output of Agnes Varda (Varda by Agnès, 2019, dir. Agnes Varda), Bernardo Bertolucci (Bertolucci: No End Travelling, 2019, dir. Mario Sesti) and Franco Zeffirelli (Franco Zeffirelli – Directing from Life, 2017, dir. Chris Hunt).

Still from the movie "Varda by Agnès"
The premiere of, as it eventually turned out, farewell work titled Varda by Agnès took place in February 2019 at the international film festival in Berlin, a month before the death of the French artist. Varda treats the film, devised as a kind of visual autobiography, also as a documentation of her diverse activities. The artist linked to the French nouvelle vague always underlined that she was a photographer, director and performer all at once. With a sense of humour typical of her and not getting into unnecessary sentimentalism, a 90-year old Varda invites the viewers to a unique masterclass. She combines a journey through her artistic output with fragments of films, stage plays and gallery exhibitions, as well as interviews with actors and co-workers and her own commentaries.
Still from the movie "Bertolucci: No End Travelling"
Last year the world bid farewell to Bernardo Bertolucci, a master of Italian cinema. The author of a documentary Bertolucci: No End Travelling - Mario Sesti, a film critic and journalist, met with Bertolucci a number of times throughout a period of thirty years. Their discussions were published in ”L’espresso”, and recorded interviews were included in DVD editions of films The Sheltering Sky and The Dreamers. A documentary No End Travelling, which had its premiere during this year`s Cannes festival, presents the last interview Sesti made with Bertolucci. It took place short before the director`s death, and it became a symbolic farewell to him. The Italian filmmaker brings back his nostalgic memories of the most important moments in his film career. He tells about the initial successes among the international critics, the collaboration with Marlon Brando, who played the main character in the controversial The Last Tango in Paris (1972), as well as the night of the Oscar gala when his The Last Emperor received the award for the best film (1987).
Still from the movie "Franco Zeffirelli – Directing from Life"
Franco Zeffirelli – Directing from Life, on the other hand, is an engaging documentary by a British author of television programs Chris Hunt. It is also a film epitaph to another filmmaker from sunny Italy, Franco Zeffirelli and a story of his life, art and inspirations. The Italian director, who died on 15 July, 2019, at the age of 96, became famous mostly for his film adaptations of William Shakespeare’s plays such as The Taming of the Shrew (1967), Romeo and Juliet (1968), Othello (1986) or Hamlet (1990), as well as legendary operas including La Traviata, Don Giovanni, Carmen, Pagliacci.  Two years before Zeffirelli’s death, Hunt visited the director’s house in Rome, where he made numerous interviews with him and such personalities from the world of cinema, theatre and opera who collaborated with him as Placido Domingo, Robert Powell and Judi Dench. The documentary, which was additionally enriched with fragments of interviews, operas, films and stage plays of the Italian artist, portrays a true Reneissance man.

Feature animated films at the 26th IFF Etiuda&Anima

Program of the 26th Etiuda&Anima Festival is filled with film attractions to the brim. Apart from animated shorts included in the competition screenings, there will also be a lot of projections of feature length productions. Having our festival audience in mind, every year we present some extremely interesting, in our opinion, animated films of the last season. There’s something unique and special for everyone!

Still from the movie "Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles"
Etiuda&Anima 2019 will provide our festival audience with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see some unconventional feature animated films. These productions have been presented at some of the most important foreign film festivals where they were praised by both the critics and the jury members granting prestigious film awards to them.
Still from the movie "Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles"
Etiuda&Anima Festival, starting on 19 November, 2019 in Krakow, will be inaugurated with a festive presentation of a film titled Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (directed by Salvador Simo Busom), awarded at, among others, Malaga Film Festival. The animated adaptation of a comic book by Fermín Solís depicts the circumstances in which the Spanish director Luis Buñuel made the only documentary in his whole career – Land Without Bread from 1933. This colourful animation, inlaid with surreal motifs from Salvador Dali’s paintings, includes fragments of Buñuel’s original documentary. The whole constitutes an interesting alternative to the formula of biographical film. It is a must-see for all the experts in the history of cinema as well as the enthusiasts of the Spanish culture.
Still from the movie "The Swallows of Kabul"
This year’s Etiuda&Anima progam also includes The Swallows of Kabul (directed by Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobé Mévellec), presented at the Cannes Festival. The plot of this poetically narrated animation takes place in summer of 1998 in the capital of Afghanistan, soon after the Talib fundamentalists came to power there. It is a melodramatic story of two couples whose fates intertwine in tragic circumstances, told with the use of pastel colours tellingly contrasting with a sad reflection on the subject of an individual’s social and political enslavement.
Still from the movie "Ruben Brandt, Collector"
We also have an ideal animation for all the cinema lovers, admirers of fine arts and enthusiasts of psychoanalysis. Ruben Brandt, Collector (directed by Milorad Krstić) is a crime story taking place in the world of cubistic shapes which cleverly combines postmodern references to mass and the so-called high culture. The greater the knowledge about the above mentioned disciplines is, the more fun it is for a viewer!
Still from the movie "Ruben Brandt, Collector"
The 26th Etiuda&Anima does not only comprise feature films for adults. We remember about the youngest viewers, too. It is for them that we prepare, among others, the screenings of a Danish film Checkered Ninja (directed by Anders Matthesen and Thorbjørn Christoffersen), as well as the third part of children’s beloved film series about titular Lotte - Lotte and the Lost Dragons (directed by Janno Põldma, Heiki Ernits).      

26th edition of the International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima

26th International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima is going to take place on 19-24 November 2019 in Krakow. Rich program of this year’s edition offers numerous attractions to the enthusiasts of the seventh art: film screenings, meetings with authors and various accompanying events.

Still from the movie "Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles", dir.: Salvador Simó
The focal points of Etiuda&Anima have invariably been two international competitions: Etiuda, the best short film competition in which its participants vie for the prestigious statuettes of the Golden, Silver and Bronze Dinosaurs, and Anima, in which the authors of animations compete for Golden, Silver and Bronze Jabberwockies.  This year’s competition comprises films by students and professionals made in years 2017-2019. The film screenings will be accompanied by the well-known cycle titled ”Self-portraits of animation authors”. The live interactive performances, during which the greatest personalities of contemporary artistic animation meet with festival audience to tell about the tricks of their trade, are one of the most eagerly awaited program events of each edition. This year we will host a laureate of the Silver Bear Award of the Berlinale for the best short film Jam Session - Izabela Plucińska, and the Ukrainian filmmaker and co-founder of the Moscow-based Pilot School of Animation - Igor Kovaljov. Each year’s Etiuda&Anima festival programme comprises the ceremony of presenting the Special Golden Dinosaur award for the outstanding artist and pedagogue. During the 26th edition of the festival it will be handed over to Hieronim Neumann, a leading representative of the experimental trend in Polish animation film. This year’s Etiuda&Anima’s special guests will also be: Jayne Pilling, an expert who will present a program of the 10 best British animations which she selected herself, and Neil Pymer, a creative director of the British animation film studio Aardman Animations specializing in stop montion  animation (awarded with Oscar for Wallace and Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Shaun the Sheep). The festival will also remind us some of the most outstanding film authors like Mirosław Kijowicz, the already deceased Polish director of animated films, film critic and lecturer, whose film retrospective forms a part of the festival program. We will also reminisce about the filmmakers who passed away last year. The ”Farewell” cycle will comprise screenings of the documentaries dedicated to the creative output of Agnes Varda (Varda by Agnes), Bernardo Bertolucci (Bertolucci e la religione del ciemna, dir. Mario Sesti) and Franco Zeffirelli (Franco Zeffirelli – Directing from Life, dir. Chris Hunt). Apart from short animations, the audience of the 26th Etiuda&Anima will also have a unique opprtunity to see feature animated films of the last season which have been presented at the most important film festivals abroad. The festival will be opened by Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (dir. Salvador Simo Busom), awarded at, among others, the Malaga Film Festival.  In the following days there will be screenings of The Swallows of Kabul (dir. Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobé Mévellec) presented at Cannes, a detective film Ruben Brandt, Collector (dir. Milorad Krstić), as well as presentations of animations for younger viewers including, among others, Danish Checkered Ninja (dir.  Anders Matthesen and Thorbjørn Christoffersen). The festival program also includes workshops: of animation for children led by a laureate of Etiuda&Anima 2018, Lucija Mrzljak, and of smartphone filmmaking, which will be organized in collaboration with AMA Film Academy.  Papaya Young Directors  will persuade us that ”A commercial can be an etude – about non-standard way of story telling”, while Konrad Sierzputowski will hold a lecture titled ”Watch and buy me! Animated film series and toy industry”. Among other accompanying events, it is also worth mentioninig a meeting with Leszek Dawid, who will tell us about his work on the latest film Broad Peak, a trade conference of the rectors of European film and artistic schools titled ”Promotion and distribution of student etudes and graduation films outside film schools and community”, as well as promotion of the second volume of a publication Propaganda, Ideology, Animation. Twisted Dreams of History , edited by Olga and Michał Bobrowscy and the Etiuda&Anima artistic director Bogusław Zmudziński.   26th International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima 2019 ul. Morawskiego 5/220C, 30-102 Krakow, Poland mobile: +48 507 062 615 e-mail: biuro@etiudaandanima.pl www.etiudaandanima.pl