Animafest Zagreb 2017 presents rich programme and distinguished guests 

The KIC Club hosted a press conference ahead of the beginning of the 27th World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb that once again turns the Croatian capital into a global animation hub. Competitions, theme programmes and retrospectives will screen 350 films, with many side events like exhibitions, workshops, lectures, symposium, school presentations, book presentations, site-specific films, open-air events in the city streets and parks.

From recent works to masterpieces of the past, Animafest Zagreb 2017 covers all areas of animation, and its theme programme this year focuses on the connection between comic book and animation.

Jury members and distinguished international guests, Croatian films in international competitions and cinema and open air line-ups were presented by the festival's artistic director Daniel Šuljić, festival producers Paola Orlić and Matea Milić, representative of the City of Zagreb Department of Education, Culture and Sport and Animafest Council member Nikola Stojadinović, head of marketing at Zagrebačka banka Vanja Vaniček, and authors of Grand Competition – Short Film and Student Competition entries Petra Balekić, Chintis Lundgren and Božidar Trkulja.

Daniel Šuljić informed the media that the Grand Competition – Short Film jury would consist of top names of global animation: Michaela Pavlátová, a Czech animation director and an Academy Award nominee for Words, Words, Words (1992) – an Animafest award winner, as well – and a professor of animation at FAMU Prague, the school that won the Animafest 2017 Award for Best Animation School; Rosto, Dutch director, musician, visual artist and comic book author, who is having a retrospective at Animafest 2017 in the Masters of Animation section as one of the most original personalities on the global animation scene, also having a rare masterclass in Zagreb; Amid Amidi, the initiator and editor-in-chief of Cartoon Brew website – the central info point for global animation; Nobuaki Doi , animation critic and curator and head of New Chitose Aisport International Animation Festival; and Marko Tadić, animation director and visual artist, the Croatian representative at this year's Venice Biennale.

The Grand Competition – feature Film jury consists of: Natalia Lukinykh, animation critic and professor with ASIFA Russia, who made a selection of adaptations of Russian fairy tales for the Family Programme; Ben Mitchell, animation director, comic book author and executive producer of Skwigly website (Mitchell will also be moderating a panel on contemporary animation and present a book); Simon Bogojević Narath, director, video artist, comic book author and animation professor, also presenting his latest comic book at Animafest. The same panel of jurors will be judging both the Student and the Croatian Competitions: Alberto Vázquez, one of the most prominent Spanish animators, director and comic book author, a multi award winner of the Spanish national prize Goya, whose latest film Decorado is screened in Grand Competition – Short Film; Jana Jakoubek, the artistic director of International Comic Book Festival Fumetto in Lucerne, in association with which Animafest 2017 is hosting an exhibition of interactive motion comics at ULUPUH Gallery; and Sandra Malenica, managing director of Public Open University Varaždin and programmer at VAFI festival.

Šuljić highlighted that this year's festival would be hosting Michaël Dudok de Wit – an Oscar winner and an Animafest Grand Prix winner (both for Father and Daughter), a Dutch world class director and three times Oscar nominee, the latest of which, The Red Turtle, is screened in Grand Competition – Feature Film, and who is also having a masterclass in Zagreb. Grandmaster of French animation, Jean-François Laguionie, the winner of César, a perfectionist author of lavish features of unique colours is coming to Animafest, whose audience still remembers his Painting from 2013. In Zagreb, Laguionie is presenting his latest film Louise on the Shore.

Open Air Programme

Matea Milić drew attention to Animafest's rich open air programme, which began on 20 May with the first Animacycle (cycling along the city streets with screenings on the move), continued with the competition of site-specific animation under the title Animation goes MSU! on the media façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art on 23 May, and an open air event at Zrinjevac.

This weekend we have another seven open air screenings coming up. At Ribnjak park, Maksimir Centre for Culture and Dubrava Centre for Culture, on 3 June we will be showing April and the Extraordinary World, the winner of Animafest's 2016 Audience Award. On Sunday, 5 June at Gradec Summer Cinema we will be screening the last year's Animafest Grand Prix winners – The Magic Mountain and Endgame, and on Monday, 6 June, we will be watching the most famous comic book sailor Corto Maltese in Siberia. Finally, as part of our new collaboration with Art Park, on 6, 7 and 8 June we will be hosting open air events – a presentation of the American independent animation art collective Late Night Work Club, whose authors also compete in the Grand Competition – Short Film; the Japanese experimental filmmaker Takashi Makino, and Pakito Bolino. The Grič tunnel will mount an exhibition of Marko Tadić's works, as well as two expanded animation video installations – said Milić about Animafest's open air line-up, free of charge for all visitors.

For further information please visit the organizer's official website.

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