Skip to main content

28th Animafest presents Grand Competition - Feature Film

Animated feature film will be represented by eight titles from Italy, Belgium, France, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Estonia, and the US at World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2018., which is being held June 4th until 6th 2018. 

A film that will be of interest not only to devoted animation aficionados, but to fans of film in general is Isle of Dogs by the famed American director Wes Anderson. Taking place in a dystopian future, this stop-motion film follows a boy who sets off in search of his dog after the entire species is exiled from the Japanese islands. The film’s voice cast includes Edward Norton, Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and Yoko Ono

Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox was one of the greatest animated box-office hits of the last decade, and he has made use of animation in his acclaimed live-action films as well, like The Grand Budapest Hotel. His long-awaited new feature Isle of Dogs has already been awarded at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it premiered as the opening film. However, Isle of Dogs is not the only film about dogs in the Animafest feature film competition – there is also the anthology A Dog’s Life by Chang Yi, one of the leading figures of the Taiwanese new wave cinema. It is a touching tribute to the man’s faithful companion.

On the other hand, the Italian directorial quartet Alessandro Rak, Ivan Cappiello, Marino Guarnieri, and Dario Sansone are arriving in Zagreb with Cinderella the Cat, a completely modernised version of the classic fairy-tale – dressed up as a dystopian SF and made in a creative style combining traditional and computer techniques with attractive musical numbers and lavish lighting. The film is set on a futuristic ship trapped in a Naples harbour and haunted by holograms of the forgotten past, while the story follows the daughter of a late scientist, who is left at the mercy of her stepmother, sisters, and a Mafia boss.

For animation connoisseurs, the most eagerly awaited event of this year’s animated feature competition will doubtlessly be This Magnificent Cake! by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels. Swaef and Roels are the authors of the Animafest Grand Prix and Cartoon d’Or winner, Oh Willy… – a film that swept the animation world with its touching story and masterful use of materials and textures. The duo returns to Zagreb with a feature film made in the same technique using felt puppets. It will be the first screening of This Magnificent Cake! following its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Those that remember fondly the adventures of Ernest and Celestine, will be delighted to hear that this year’s competition features the new film by Benjamin Renner, The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales. It is an anthology film based on the author’s illustrated books, with a nod to the Old French Le Roman de Renart.

Another stop-motion title in the Grand Competition – Feature Film is Captain Morten and the Spider Queen by Kaspar Jancis, Henry Nicholson and Riho Unt, which will have its world premiere at Animafest. The choice of technique is not surprising, given that Riho Unt – a leading figure of Estonian animation, next to the legendary Priit and Olga Pärn – is the master of this approach and a long-time collaborator of Nukufilm, one of the oldest and most acclaimed stop-motion studios. Jancis, Nicholson and Unt bring us a coming-of-age allegory following an eight-year-old boy who is magically shrunken down to the size of an insect and forced to steer his favourite toy-ship. This year, Riho Unt is competing in the short programme as well, with his film about a creative nun Mary and 7 Dwarfs.

The Man-Woman Case by Joëlle Oosterlinck and Anaïs Caura is on the other end of the genre spectrum. It is a French biographical crime mini-series about Eugene Falleni – a transgender man convicted of cruelly murdering his wife – and his earlier life marked by violence and the search for identity. Made in traditional, mostly black-and-white techniques combined with rotoscoping and some colour, the series won the Jury Award in Annecy.

Finally, the nostalgic Korean The Shower by Jae-huun Ahn focuses on the friendship and innocent love between a girl and a boy in the countryside. Adorned in a truly spectacular colour scheme, the film is an adaptation of a beloved and influential Korean 1959 novella which left a lasting mark on the Korean cinema as well. This melancholy coming-of-age etude doesn’t only offer insight into the poetics of the director – relying on traditional techniques and known for visually attractive films Green Days and The Road Called Life – but into the artistic sensibilities of this Far Eastern nation as well.

Cover photos: scenes from movies Isle of Dogs, A Dog's Life, Cinderella the Cat, The Man-Woman Case

This website uses cookies for the purpose of analysing visitor statistics. No visitor personal data is collected. By using this website you agree to its terms of use.