Horror in animated film: Animafest 2018 programme

Horror in Animated Film is the theme programme of the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2018. Programme, which has been conceived by the festival Artistic Director Daniel Šuljić marking the 200th anniversary of the publication of Gothic novel 'Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus', includes an extensive selection of short and feature films, exhibitions, and open-air screenings. Animafest will take place from 4 to 9 June in cinemas Europa, Tuškanac, Kinoteka, and at many other locations across Zagreb. 

Short films have been arranged into several programmes: one featuring short classics from around the world, three programmes featuring films made after year 2000, one Croatian horror films programme, as well as three 'under the stars' programmes taking place at the Art Park. Feature film selection brings cult films from Japan, Korea, and the US. The horror programme will be complemented by two international exhibitions.

Short classics programme 'Memento Mori' will open with Disney’s short film The Skeleton Dance, the first from the Silly Symphonies series (1929). As part of the same programme, there will be a screening of evergreens by many horror greats – Tim Burton (Vincent), Piotr Dumała (A Nervous Life of Cosmos), Chris Landreth (Bingo), Raoul Servais (Harpya), Paul Berry (The Sandman) and Ruth Lingford (Death and the Mother). Although it doesn’t completely conform to the genre, the programme also features Street of Crocodiles by brothers Quay, due to its grim and unsettling atmosphere, as well as the far-reaching impact it has had on a great number of subsequent puppet-film horrors.

'Dread in Your Head' and 'Blood!!!' segments comprise films made over the last fifteen years. Among others, this selection includes films by Rosto (Splintertime), Einar Baldvin (Baboon), Suzie Templeton (Dog), Jason Carpenter (The Renter), Rune Spaans (The Absence of Eddy Table), Robert Morgan (D Is for Deloused), Lora D’Addazio (Juliette) and Peter Cornwell (Ward 13), as well as the Japanese artists Takena Nagao (Chainsaw Maid) and Yusuke Sakamoto (The Night of the Naporitan). The fourth segment, entitled 'I Know What You Drew Last Summer', is a selection of this year’s entries made in the horror film vein, with the addition of two titles from previous years.

The fifth programme presents a selection of Croatian masterstrokes of the genre under the name 'Croatian Bestiary'. It features works by such authors as Vladimir Jutriša and Aleksandar Marks (The Fly), Pavao Štalter and Branko Ranitović (Mask of the Red Death), and Zlatko Bourek (The Cat), as well as Joško Marušić (Fisheye) and Zlatko Pavlinić (The House of the Plague), and the current frontrunners of Croatian animation, Marko Meštrović and Davor Međurečan (Silencium) and Simon Bogojević Narath (Leviathan).

Feature film programme brings two cult films – the anime Perfect Blue by Satoshi Kon and Korean zombie horror Seoul Station by Yeon Sang-ho. Frankenweenie (2012) by Tim Burton will screen as part of Children and Youth Programme.

Some of the projections and special events related to the horror theme will take place in the open, under the name 'Animafest in Art Park: Three Nights of Total Horror'. The section comprises 'Creepy Animation Night programme' – featuring short films selected by Anim'est Festival Director Mihai Mitrică (Bucharest), as well as 'Claymation Horror programme' – a compilation of stop-motion shorts by the viral star of trash-gore humour, Lee Hardcastle. Frank Sudol’s feature film City of Rott will also screen at Art Park.

The horror programme is concluded by two international exhibitions. Einar Baldvin – award-winning Los Angeles animator from Iceland, will present his drawings and graphic art under the name 'The Crawling King', from the eponymous dark fantasy graphic novel that will also be presented at the Festival. The opening of the exhibition will take place at Kulturni centar Mesnička (KCM), 5th June. 'Morgan’s Organs' exhibition by Robert Morgan opens on the same day, at the ULUPUH Gallery, showing a selection of his macabre works. 

Animafest 2018 theme programme has been conceived by the festival Artistic Director Daniel Šuljić, assisted by advisers Božidar Trkulja, who helped curate the Croatian films programme, Chris Robinson, Franziska Bruckner, Yves Nougarède, Olga Bobrowska, Piotr Kardas, Ornela Čop, and Einar Baldvin.

Animafest Zagreb 2018 will take place from 4 to 9 June in cinemas Europa, Tuškanac, Kinoteka, and at many other locations across Zagreb. All the other details about the festival are available on the official site and on Facebook

Cover photo: scenes from films Seoul Station, Ward 13, Levijatan, Calymation Horror

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