Ladies and Gentlemen,
the 22nd edition of the International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima 2015 will be inaugurated by an exceptional event. For the first time in history Poland will host the award ceremony for the annual award of the International Animated Film Association (Association Internationale du Film d’Animation), the ASIFA Prize. For the year 2014, the prize will be presented to William Kentridge, a very versatile artist of world renown from the Republic of South Africa. As you see, the festival will start on a very high note and we hope to keep you on your toes until its very last event.
What can you expect during the festival, what events can you participate in? Before inviting you to participate in etude and animation competitions, we will first say farewell to one of the most influential contributors to our festival in its entire 20-year history. The unexpected departure of Marcin Wrona has left the entire Polish film community in sorrow, but also made its painful mark on our festival as Marcin was among those who could say about themselves that ‘the festival Etiuda got stuck very much (…) in my biography; (…) it all began here’.
At the core of our programme there are 7 screenings of etudes and 6 of animated shorts, a total of 100 productions, all competing for awards. These will be judged by two official jury boards, the FICC jury and two separate student juries. This year, as before, we also hope to see the Artistic Director of the Festival give out his special award, the Great (Un)Appreciated. The annual Special Golden Dinosaur Award, whose winners are already known at the opening of our festival, will be presented, yet again, to two pedagogues from the Lodz Film School. This year, the winners are Mirosław Dembiński and Maciej J. Drygas for their international initiatives in the art of documentary filmmaking – World from Dawn till Dusk (Świat od świtu do zmierzchu) and Young People about Themselves (Młodzi o młodych).
The ample selection of fringe events accompanying both competitions will again encompass tried and proven points in the programme. Kaspar Jancis, an animator and musician from Estonia, the frontman of Criminal Elephant (Kriminaalne Elevant), not unfamiliar to the audience of E&A, will tell us more about himself in Self-Portraits of Animation Authors cycle. Self-Portraits will also feature an American artist of Latvian descent, Signe Baumane, whose Rocks in my Pockets were part of last year’s edition of the festival. We will also be presenting a somewhat in absentia appearance of brothers Stephen and Timothy Quay, who were forced to cancel their arrival at the 11th hour. Their work will, however, be presented by a great admirer of theirs, Christopher Nolan (Memento, Inception), who took it upon himself to popularize the Quays’ work in the USA and agreed to screen a set of their films on our festival, as well as a documentary of his making on condition that a 35 mm film is used.
As part of fixed points in our programme, prof. Tadeusz Lubelski will showcase the second 5 best short films from the French New Wave. We will also be presenting the best film school from the previous festival, Nederlandse Filmacademie, and the most exciting animated films from the last season: Little from the Fish Shop (Malá z rybárny) by Jan Balej, Little Houdini by Cédric Babouche and Giovanni’s Island (Giovanni no Shima) by Mizuho Nishikubo. Among the full feature animation films we will also be showing Journey To Melonia (Resan till Melonia) by the Swedish children’s animation classic, Per Ahlin. The screening will be accompanied by a set of Swedish animations compiled by Midhat Ayan Ajanovic to mark the 100th anniversary of this art in Sweden.
Other remarkable events in our programme include: Animation in the World showing films from Europe and South America: countries from the Visegrád Group, as well as from France, Brazil and Columbia, and 5 sets from Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium and Romania all gathered under one banner – Europe in Short Film.
To supplement the off-competition programme, we would like to name two meetings devoted to the success of Baby Bump by Jakub Czekaj, our last year’s laureate, at the Venice International Film Festival; the screening of the Slovakia 2.0 (Slovensko 2.0) series; evening with the commercials of Swedish director Roy Andersson; as well as commercials and propaganda documentaries produced for the famous shoe company, Bata. This year’s music and film events involve the screening of the Spanish silent film Snow White (Blancanieves) by Pablo Berger with live Miss God music, and yet another cosmic and visual exploration brought to you by Andrzej Bronikowski with music by Paweł Kaczmarczyk.
Concluding this edition of the festival will be meetings with the originators and organizers of the International Philosophy Film Festival which has been organized in Krakow for 10 years running and a discussion on the migration issues currently facing Europe. This point will be preceded by the screening of a prophetic film made nearly a quarter century ago, winner of the 1992 Golden Dragon, Europe under Siege (Flugten til Europa) by Poul-Eric Heilbuth and Hans Bülow. To those of you more interested in practical aspects, we recommend the Animation Forum, put together by the Animation Department of the Association of Polish Filmmakers and the Organization Office of IFF Etiuda&Anima, and workshops tailored for children and professionals alike. When welcoming you on the opening of the 22nd International Film Festival Etiuda&Anima 2015, we would like to take this opportunity to express our utmost gratitude to all those who in any way have contributed to this year’s event.
Directors of the festival,