Animafest Zagreb 2015!

I’ve been dreaming about attending the World Festival of Animated Film – Zagreb (better known as Animafest Zagreb) for many years, and this month it finally happened. Animafest Zagreb is one of four largest and oldest international festivals dedicated to animation (the other three are in Annecy, Ottawa, and Hiroshima), and in my opinion it’s been the most influential festival in promoting the global exchange and circulation of animated films. But more on that another time.

Inside the festival's main theatre, Kino Europa, before the beginning of the opening ceremonies.
Inside the festival’s main theatre, Kino Europa, before the beginning of the opening ceremonies.

Zagreb is also unique among its fellow festivals in supporting and involving animation scholars and historians, which it does by including an official two-day symposium, Animafest Scanner, as part of the overall program. In fact, this is the reason I was able to attend — by receiving an invitation to give a talk at the festival, I could get some time off from work and some travel funding to cover part of the flight. All of the talk titles and brief summaries (“abstracts” in academic lingo) are going to be published online soon, and I’ll link to them when they’ve available. As a guest of the festival, I was able to attend all the screenings, meet filmmakers, and participate in some of the most thoughtful conversations between scholars and artists I’ve ever heard. I wish more film and animation festivals adopted this approach…

Animafest Zagreb 2015
My festival badge and beautifully designed catalogue.

Anyway, in the coming days I’ll post about some of my favourite programs and films from the festival. In the meantime, just wanted to thank the festival organizers, symposium organizers, and the wonderful city of Zagreb for a wonderful week.

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