Fest Anča 2019 will also bring a fanimated remake of Shrek and a revolutionary film experiment Creak in Time
Feature films are always popular attractions at Fest Anča. And this year we’ll screen some of the best features made in the last two years, but also older productions. The program includes the legendary Coraline, as well as Shrek Retold, This Magnificent Cake! and Seder-masochism.
“All the films in the programme were selected with regards to this year’s central theme of Identity and they reflect this motive in many different ways,” programme director Ivana Sujová explained.
The legendary Coraline is a dark animated fantasy horror about the search of one’s home. The film directed by Henry Selick was produced by the prestigious Laika Studios, based on the equally legendary eponymous novel by Neil Gaiman. This story of an adventurous little girl appeals not only to children, but to all age categories.
This year, Coraline celebrates ten years since its premiere. It has won many prestigious awards (three Annies and Annecy) with Oscars and Golden Globe nominations. A fun fact related to identity: Gaiman originally intended to name the protagonist Caroline, but he made a typo and unintentionally created a unique name for his unique character.
A real curiosity among feature films is the collaborative Shrek Retold created by a community of Shrek`s Internet fans. The film is a scene-by-scene remake of the popular DreamWorks movie that was produced in 2018 as a crowdsourced project involving over 200 amateur artists and professional filmmakers. It is the brainchild of American comedian, filmmaker, and organizer of the annual Shrekfest – Grant Duffrin. His Tweet encouraged project participation and immediately became a huge viral hit.
For almost 20 years now, viewers have loved Shrek for his complex character. He may be a scary ogre on the outside, but on the inside, he represents all the virtues of an epic hero. As the famous quote says: “Ogres are like onions. They both have layers.” Therefore it’s no surprise that the most famous ogre became the focal point of an incredibly active community of fans who have been cloning and transforming Shrek’s story on Youtube and many other online platforms.
That is why besides the feature Shrek Retold, Fest Anča will screen another section dedicated to this hero. Shrek is Love, Shrek is Life will present a selection of the most interesting user-generated films and fanimations that turn the passive consumption of a movie into an active and creative “Shrek Cult”.
Nina Paley’s feature Seder-masochism (2018) is another programme highlight of 12th Fest Anča. It is one of the most remarkable contemporary animated films: an animated comedy musical where Paley offers a revisionist interpretation of the Book of Exodus and of the important Jewish ritual feast Passover Seder. In her film, these are retold by Moses, Jesus and a goat. Nina Paley is an independent animator and she created Seder-masochism with a very limited budget.
Paley decided to make a film about Jewish traditions because she wanted to explore her own religious heritage. She was inspired by the dialogues with her father about his faith. These also appear in the film. The American director is keen on exploring unexpected themes. She first gained visibility with comic strips and established her reputation with her feature-length debut Sita Sings the Blues, based on the ancient Indian epic Ramayana and on episodes from the director’s own life.
Visitors of 12th Fest Anča shouldn’t miss the opening film This Magnificent Cake! by Belgian Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef, which premiered last year in Cannes. It is an unconventional stop-motion film that deals with a serious topic in an entertaining way. Set in colonial Africa in the late 19th century, it tells the stories of 5 different characters: a troubled king, a middle-aged Pygmy working in a luxury hotel, a failed businessman on an expedition, a lost porter and a young army deserter.
With a 44-minute duration, the film is a little too short to be a feature-length one and too long to be a short. At Fest Anča 2019 opening ceremony, it will be screened with another film by the same directors, Oh, Willy… about a fifty-something man returning to the naturist community where he grew up. The multi award-winning Oh, Willy… belongs to the most successful contemporary animated shorts. Both films by Emma and Marc are remarkable for their unique animation technique – all the set was handmade from wool – a material that makes computer post-processing impossible.
Another extraordinary film at 12th Fest Anča is the Creak in Time by Australian born Steven McInerney, currently residing in the UK. McInerey likes to experiment with different materials, lenses, cameras and forceful music. His film is a surprising audiovisual meditation about the expansion and transformation of universe. The soundtrack by British formation Howlround was composed entirely from creaking objects and manipulated on magnetic tape machines.
Fest Anča’s 2019 selection of feature films is completed with Danish-French coproduction movie Long Way North. It follows Sacha, who seeks adventure instead of an easy marriage. She decides to ignore her parents’ wishes and sets out to find her grandfather, whose ship went missing en route to the North Pole. The film won the Audience Award in Annecy International Animation Festival 2015 and it has gained international popularity with children’s audience, as well as mature viewers.
Fest Anča 2019 will be held from 27 to 30 June in Žilina.
Buy your pre-sale ticket here.
2019 Fest Anča International Animation Festival is financially supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and LITA Fund.