There’s a sort of sleepy atmosphere right now in Teplice. But if the sun won’t exhaust you completely, there are still screenings going on…the best comes in the end, so don’t miss our last projection in the open air cinema. A real treasure on a big screen under the open sky, that’s Jiří Trnka’s „Midsummer Night’s Dream“ tonight.
If you’re not in mood for the classic after this week full of puppets, you can watch non-narrative films from 18:00 in Cinema Květen.
Century of Jiří Trnka: Old Czech Legends (Culture House – Cinema Květen, 10.00 a.m.)
The programme „Century of Jiříh Trnka“ will continue with stories of Czech Mythology according to book of the same name “Old Czech Legends” written by Alois Jirásek. Visitors can expect lyrical and allegorical scenes in combination with dramatic action.
World of Czech animated film lost one of its greatest representatives. Zdeněk Miler devoted majority of his work mainly to the child audience. He was author of legendary stories about “The Mole”, which since the year 1957 has been fascinating not only Czech Children. The selection will present also his films for adults.
Juror´s program: Ülo Pikkov (Culture House – Cinema Květen, 6.00 p.m.)
One of the representatives participating in our Baltic mission is a famous pupil of a famous teacher Priit Parn – Ülo Pikkov. His works are varied when it comes to topics as well as to the techniques – he uses scratching, drawing and in his last film Body Memory (2011) also puppet animation. He gained fame with his filmsBermuda(1988) or the year of the Monkey (2003)
Studio Presentation: Mackinnon & Saunders (Culture House – Estrada Hall, 4.30 p.m.)
Director and co-founder of the Studio Ian Mackinnon will present his company together with Victor, the main character of The Corpse. The Academy Award-winning Mackinnon & Saunders have been making puppet films for more than 25 years. The company built its name on the exceptional quality of the complicated puppets that appear in films and TV shows all over the world.
Alois Nebel (Open Air Cinema, 10.00 a.m.)
A film adaptation of the first comic novel of modern Czech history, Alois Nebel, was made by director Tomáš Luňák in 2011. The art design and script were created by artist Jaromír 99 and writer Jaroslav Rudiš. The filmmakers used a technique that is unique to Czech films and combined live action and drawing.
Closing Ceremony (Krušnohorské theatre – Grand Hall Czech TV, 8.30 p.m.) and Awarded Films of AniFest 2012 (Culture House – Cinema Květen, 10:00 p.m.)
AniFest is about to end with ceremonial prize-giving of all categories in the Grand Hall of the theatre. But the festival is not at the end yet, the ceremony is continuing with projection of all awarded films in the Cinema Květen and the next day we invite visitors to more interesting screenings…
Tonight, we’ll celebrate the French esprit. Cinema Květen as well as the open air cinema will offer feature films of French provenience.
In Květen, it’s „The painting“ by classic Jean – François Laguionie. Original story (about the figures of an unfinished painting, who are trying to find their creator) is reflected also in the artistic concept of the film, deeply and brightly coloured. Another French feature avoiding Czech distribution – so don’t miss it tonight at AniFest! (9:30 p.m.).
If you prefer fresh air, you can visit Paris tonight. The competition feature „A Cat in Paris“ is situated in the streets as well as on the roofs of this magical metropolis. Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol from the legendary Folimage studio used classical hand-drawn animation to tell a thrilling story about a cat named Dino, who’s leading a double life. Artistically elaborated tribute to the genre of film noir awarded with an Oscar nomination will please audience of all ages. Tonight at 9:30 in the open air cinema right next to the Culture house – and for free!
Visegrad Forum is in the middle right now, but Thursday is the first „official“ festival day. The jury is here (Sulafa Hijazi was the last to land in Prague) and other guest are also arriving…and the Culture House, Krušnohorské theatre and Duchcov castle are ready for the great event.
So, what programmes you shouldn’t miss tomorrow?
„The Century of Jiří Trnka“ starts with The Emperor’s Nightingale (8:30 a.m., Cinema Květen). In the same screening hall also the competition feature A Cat in Paris (5 p.m.) and the – the event of the day – the premiere of Aardman’s The Pirates! Band of Misfits (9:30 p.m.). In Estrada hall, competition shorts are screened: Short Film A at11 a.m. and Short Film B at 2:30 p.m. In Social club (located on the 4th floor of Culture House), Michael Frierson will talk about clay animation (starts at 4 p.m.). And finally, at 8 p.m., it all officialy starst with the opening ceremony in the Grand Hall of Krušnohorské theatre (this year the Czech TV Hall). And this is just the beginning!
P.S: In case you‘ll really miss something after all, don’t worry – just click on Media/Live to watch videostream from Social club and other places.
Jan Šrámek and Martin Búřil are filmmakers who have been independently oscillating between narrative and experimental animation for some time. In their joint projects, they search for the deepest connection between the two forms, whether in films, videos or gallery exhibitions. The collection for the Duchcov Chateau called Laputoidy (Laputoids) is an audio-visual response to the troubled history of the landscape and the surroundings of this north Bohemian town. Through a significant exaggeration that simulates two views of the chateau garden, they provide visitors insight into Duchcov architecture, show changes in the environment and outline alternatives of possible future transformations to Duchcov’s surroundings. Jan Šrámek’s distinctive illustrative design is first time ever fully manipulated and animated by Martin Búřil.
Great Britain is lately being considered as a sort of super-power when it comes to stop-motion, so it’s not surprising that we will pay a lot attention to this country in our special puppet programme.
It is our pleasure (and honour) to present this year’s honorary president Barry Purves, one of the most outstanding personalities of British puppet animation, animator, director, scriptwriter, who dedicated his talent to theatre as well as to the art of animation films. Barry started in theatre, occassionaly also as actor in theatres all around Britain. He then started with animation, but it took him seven years to become an independent animator. His films, which are inspired by opera, balet and theatre scenography, were awarded with more than 60 international prizes including an Oscar nomination. He’s also a theorist and author of the book Stop Motion: Passion, Process and Performance. AniFest will bring a retrospective of Barry’s films, followed by a lecture. At the meeting with Giannalberto Bendazzi, he will talk about the new books on animation together with Ülo Pikkov and Paul Wells.
Barry Purves might be the most outstanding representative of the contemporary British puppet animation, but he’s definitely not the only one. A very detailed and thoughtfully curated selection of British stop-motion production is being prepared specially for AniFest by Paul Wells, famous teacher and theorist. In three programmes, Paul will present you the most important milestones of British puppet, including such films like „The Sandman“ (1991, dir. Paul Berry) or „Peter and The Wolf“ (2006, Academy Award for Suzie Templeton). The programme will be completed with the Czech release of the latest Aardman feature „The Pirates! Band of Misfits“ (hopefully with personal presence of its authors).
„Sandman“ is also an example of the production of the studio Mackinnon&Saunders. Famous for animated films for public of all ages, from „Bob the Builder“ to „Fantastic Mr Fox“ and Tim Burton’s „Corpse Bride“, the studio will present its unique know-how in Teplice. Ian Mackinnon will be accompanied by Viktor, the betrothed of the above mentioned Tim Burton’s heroine.
AniFest 2012 is going to commemorate two very important Japanese authors who were strongly connected to Czech Republic. Both of them passed away recently and we felt the necessity to remind their work, which is moreover interestingly linked to Czech animation.
Kihachiro Kawamoto (1925 – 2010), first author we’re going to remind, was a Japanese puppet designer and maker, indepedent film director and animator. Mr. Kawamoto was interested in Jiří Trnka´s work from early 50´s and he spent more then one year in Trnka´s atelier in Prague during the 60´s. When he returned from Prague to Japan, he shoot his most famous film, in which he combined Trnka´s style with Japanese influences. He drew on traditional theatre forms Bunraku nad Kabuki and adapted the classic legends. At the 40th International film festival in Karlovy Vary He was awarded with Artis Bohemiae Amicis prize for spreading good name of Czech Republic ut the 40th Karlovy Vary IFF.
Nobuhiro Aihara (1944 – 2011)is another great creator of Japanese animation connected with Czech culture. He was an animation filmmaker, professor at the department of Kyoto university of Art and Design and member of ASIFA Japan. Mr. Aihara started his career in the field of TV animation around 1965. While being in charge of animation and key animation in production company, he started to create his own independent works. He was deeply interested in Czech animation and a frequent guest at Faculty of Film Arts in Prague together with his students. He had many friends and art colleagues in Prague, for example famous Czech director Michaela Pavlátová.
Professor Jiří Kubíček, the famous dramaturgist and historician of Czech animation and also personal friend of both director is in charge this programme. AniFest plans to invite special guest, founder of Hirosima International Animation Festival Mrs. Sayoko Kinoshita, author of many documents about Japanese animation and close friend of both authors. Together with Jiří Kubíček, she will prepare complete historic overview of Kihachiro Kawamoto’s and Nobuhiro Aihara’s work.
Hiroyuki Okiura needed seven years to finish hist last feature Momo e no Tegami/ A Letter To Momo. The story of Momo, a girl who’s moving from Tokyo to an island with her mother after the death of her father is a brilliant example of classic hand-drawn animation and presents the best in contemporary anime production. Momo meets mysterious little elves on the island and they help her overcome the loss and find out, what the letter to Momo was supossed to say…a moving story about grief, great loss, growing up and finding your own self is full of imagination, sometimes scary, sometimes black-humoured or even absurd. The screening in Teplice might be an unique chance to see it on the big screen – an must-see not just for all anime-fans. We’re curious how will Momo hold up against Parisian cats from Folimage or our Phil Mulloy’s rebel Mr. Christie, who’s coming back after last year’s succes.
Japanese animation is not only about anime, no need to point out. AniFest will also bring a retrospective of two Japanese directors, who were closely connected to Czech animation. Kihachiro Kawamoto (1925 – 2010) was Japanese puppet designer, animator and director. He was deeply interested in Jiří Trnka’s work and he spent one year in his studio in Prague. Nobuhiro Aihara (1944 – 2011) is another great name of Japanese animation, animator and professor at Kyoto University. He was a frequent guest at FAMU (Prague Academy of Performing Arts), where he had many colleagues and friends (Michaela Pavlátová among others).
The programme is curated by prof. Jiří Kubíček from FAMU, who was in close and personal contact with both directors.
Puppet animation, animation of objects, clay animation and other variations from the extensive spectre of stop-motion animation techniques – every each one of them will be the focus of this year’s AniFest. We will look at the magic of film puppet from authorial, technical as well as production point of view.
An unforgettable personality of this animation field is Jiří Trnka – universal artist, who would have celebrated 100.anniversary this year. We will screen his film from original 35 mm copies, the selection of them curated by the historian Michaela Mertová from Czech National Film Archive and accompanied by various lector’s presentations. An exhibition in the Teplice museum will focus on the process of creating of Trnka’s films and their puppet protagonists.
In the contemporary puppet production, one country excells recently – United Kingdom. AniFest thus invited famous historian and theorist Paul Wells and asked him to prepare a special programme dedicated to British stop-motion animation. His selection will be divided into three thematical units mapping the developement of British stop-motion animation from 1908 till today. The actual and contemporary face of British animation will be presented by the expected feature film from the Aardman studios.
An unique part of this year’s puppet AniFest and British animation profile will be the double-programme of the honorary president Barry Purves (Screenplay, Achilles, Hamilton Mattress). A selection of his author puppet films will be accompanied by a lecture on his inspiration sources and Purves will also reveal the „backstage“ of his films by showing some very rare shots documenting the creation of his work.
Also other festival guests will give lectures on the broad possibilities of puppets, for example Will Vinton (Academy Award for „Closed Mondays“), who reached perfection in clay animation and thus created his patented technique of clay-motion. Contemporary Czech puppet will be presented by director and designer Michal Žabka (Mrs. G). Špela Čadež, our Slovenian juror (Lovesick) will also talk about her non-traditionally designed puppets.
Not only puppet films but also their designers and developers will be present at AniFest. Representatives of world famous studios promised to come: Polish SE-MA-FOR (where films of such authors like brothers Quay, Suzie Templeton or Marek Skrobecki are produced), British MacKinnon & Saunders, creators of Tim Buton’s, Barry Purves‘ or Wes Anderson’s puppets, Laika studio, where Selick’s Coraline was born and French company Sophie Roze, responsible for succesfull Joska’s Snails.
Baltic trilogy mapping the not so well known cinematography of this region will come to its end in 2012 with Estonian retrospective. Lithuania was presented in 2010 and represented in person by Antanas Janauskas, while Latvian films were accompanied by the juror Vladimir Leschiov in 2011.
AniFest will dedicate to Estonian animation two cross-selections of shorts, one feature film and one documentary. The main guest of the programme will be Ülo Pikkov, teacher, director and author of original theoretical book called Animasophy (2010), who will present a retrospective of his own animated shorts.
And the gallery in the castle will also host a special exposition of puppets from Nukufilm studio. AniFest cooperates on this programme with Estonian embassy in Prague and with the Animated Dreams festival in Tallinn.
Hundred years has gone since the artist, who evokes magic with the variety, significance and style of his work, was born in Pilsen…but, besides the magical influence he had on the developement of film puppet, the greatest amount of magic is in the enlivened material. Up untill our time, you can find this magic only at a few places…
Great Britain and its puppet magic: Barry Purves, Suzie Templeton, Aardman Animations…no one else can explain this better than Paul Wells (and he´s already used to celebrate Czech masters of animation with us, remember AniFest 2010?)
During our magical journey, we´re going further and further north through the Baltic region and saying hi to Antanas Janauskas, Nijolé Valadkevičiuté, Vladimir Leschiov, Signe Baumane and all other friend we met while traveling there…and no, we´re not heading to Russia. The closer we are, the more we regret that our Baltic mission is about to end this year.