Aline Conti, the Short Film Programmer for the Cambridge Film Festival: "People in Cambridge need to see these animations!"
Welcome to the September issue of Croats in London. On September 23/4 the Cambridge Film Festival will be screening two programmes of Croatian animation. We speak to Aline Conti, the Short Film Programmer for the Cambridge Film Festival about it.
Q. How did the idea of the including Croatian animation in the festival come about?
A. While attending the International Short Film Festival in Clermont-Ferrand, France, last February, I saw "Nespavanje Ne Ubija", a black and white Croatian animation that blended dream with reality and which was part of the official Lab selection. I was so impressed with the film that, a few months later, while attending the Cannes Film Festival, I stopped by the Short Film Corner in the hope of finding more
Croatian animations in their catalog. Fortunately, they had selected quite a few and there I watched "Soba", "Ornament Duse", "U Lancima" and "Cvijet Bitke". Once again, the originality and quality of these animations struck me and I thought "People in Cambridge need to see these animations!"
Q. How will the programme be structured?
A. There are actually two programmes. The first programme, which will be screened at the Arts Picturehouse on Friday 23rd at 10:30 am, is a selection of award-winning shorts from Zagreb Film, spanning the 'golden years' of Croatian animations from "Samac" in 1959 to Satiemania in 1978. The second programme will be screened at the Arts Picturehouse on Saturday 24th at 10:30am and consists of the latest Croatian animations coming from Zagreb Film and newly emerging animation studios.
Q. How did you go about selecting the particular animations?
A. For the first programme, I made my selection from the "Balkan Survey", which was a 6 hour retrospective programme on Croatian animation put together by the curator of the Tessaloniki Film Festival and which was supported by the Croatian Audio Visual Center. For the second programme, I selected the Croatian animations that were on the festival circuit in 2010 and 2011.
Q. How does the Zagreb School of Animation fit into the history of animation?
A. Although I am no expert on the subject, I believe that Croatian animations played a revolutionary role in the history of animation especially in the 1950s when the Zagreb Animation School abandoned the Disney-like cartoon style, and introduced visual of avant-garde abstract painting, constructivism and cubism.
Q. How has Croatia been involved in the programme? Will Croatian animators be present?
A. Vanja Sremac at the Croatian Audio Visual Center was really helpful in putting us in touch with the relevant people from Zagreb Film, Bonobostudio and Bold Studio. At Zagreb Film, I mainly dealt with Sanja Borcic, the international relations coordinator, who oversaw the transfer of their archival films on a digital format for us. Sadly, we won't have any Croatian animators attending the Festival but we hope that many Croatians living in the UK will come to the screenings to represent these fantastic films.
Details of the Festival can be found here: http://www.cambridgefilmfestival.org.uk The screenings will be on 23 and 24 September at 10.30AM.
CFF-PG certification Croatia, 2011. 71 mins. Croatian with English subtitles. A series of award-winning shorts from the Zagreb School of Animation, spanning the Golden Years from the 1950s through to the 1970s, presented by animator Elizabeth Hobbs.
Alone (Samac) Mimica uses a dialogue-free animation to explore abstract emotions in this Kafkaesque tale of isolation in a bureaucratic system.
Ersatz (Surogat) On the beach, a tourist inflates and blows up a whole village in plastic. In this painted and inflated ambiance there is an ersatz in plastics for everything, including sentiments.
The Wall (Zid) Two people encounter a wall. One immediately gives up, but the other refuses to admit defeat.
The Cat (Macka) It is based on an old Aesop fable: a young poet is lonesome until Venus provides him with company, transforming his cat into a wonderful girl.
The Fly (Muha) The relationship between a man and bothersome fly, whose aggravating persistence grows into an obsession.
Tup Tup A city dweller in a big apartment is kept awake at night by the constant sounds of two musical beats.
Satiemania An animated short based upon the music of Eric Satie.
Vatroslav Mimica and Aleksandar Marks, Zagreb, 1958, Zagreb Film: Samac - The Lonely, part 1
Vatroslav Mimica and Aleksandar Marks, Zagreb, 1958, Zagreb Film: Samac - The Lonely, part 2
Dušan Vukotić, Zagreb Film, 1961: Surogat - Ersatz (The first nonamerican film to win Oscar)
Ante Zaninović, Zagreb Film, 1966: Zid - Wall
Zdenko Gašparović, 1978, Zagreb Film, Satiemania (excerpts)
Zdenko Gašparović, 1978, Zagreb Film, Satiemania, part 1
Zdenko Gašparović, 1978, Zagreb Film, Satiemania, part 2
New Croatian Animation 2010-11 CFF-15 certification Croatia, 2011. 69 mins. Croatian with English subtitles. The latest crop from Croatia, including titles featured at Cannes and the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival.
My Way (Moj Put) A story about growing up and maturing, about anxiety and ambition illustrated through a tale of shoes.
The Ornament of the Soul (Ornament Duse) The film visualises a phrase often used as a figure of speech, each character's personality and character depicted as diverse pulsating ornaments interwoven with their visible aura.
The Room (Soba) A hotel room. A woman (doll) is waiting for the call from her lover (doll). His arrival and their sexual intercourse are like a ritual.
Dove Sei, Amor Mio Is the comfort of routine and the happiness it provides enough to keep us slaves forever?
In Chains (U Lancima) We observe two monsters insulting each other, a noble weapon auction... Through several interconnected episodes, this film criticizes today's lifestyles.
No Sleep Wont Kill You (Nespavanje Ne Ubija) What happens when the dream takes control over reality?
Flower of Battle (Cvijet Bitke) The Arcadian atmosphere of a hazy underworld hosts unusual characters: an Illusionist, a Civil Entity, a Wooden Puppet and a silent, but dangerous Swordsman.
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