An event devoted to animated film, Animest is the place where the most important international productions released in the last year have a first meeting with the Romanian public.
An event devoted to animated film, Animest is the place where the most important international productions released in the last year have a first meeting with the Romanian public. This year's edition, the 17th, took place in Bucharest between October 7 and 16, and included more than 340 films, among which animated films that won prizes at major international cinematographic events.
Here is Mihai Mitrică, the director of Animest, with details: "It is a come-back edition, after 2 years of pandemic. But the Animest Festival did not stop even during the pandemic. We organised an online-only edition and a hybrid edition. Last year we screened films in one cinema hall, but this year we are screening films in more than 5 locations. It’s not an accident, after these two years of pandemic, that we chose love as the theme of this edition. We have a lot of love stories in the program: animated and very colourful, of course. In this edition, the international feature film competition brings together exceptional stories that will convince even the most hard-to-impress viewers. I’m talking about five films. One of the films is produced in Japan, another one is a Japan-France co-production, we also have, among others, a film from Portugal, which is called Nayola. Portugal is the guest country at this year’s festival, so we will have a lot of Portuguese films. In the international feature film competition, we also have a Lithuanian-American film, a beautiful love story. It is very interesting that two of the five films in the international competition have war as their topic, but the way war is presented or the way the subject is approached is very original. Although they are films about war, they have colour and humour. As a conclusion, I would say that that the pandemic seems to have worked in favour of love, so to speak. As we can see in the Animest festival’s schedule this year, it seems that people had more time to think, to devote more time to their loved ones, and this is indeed reflected in the productions that we have received."
One of the 49 short films selected in the International Competition will go home with the 2022 Animest Trophy, which will automatically give it a place on the list of eligible candidates for an Academy Award nomination, granted by the American Film Academy. Among these films there are two Romanian productions: Suruaika, a film by Vlad Ilicevici and Radu C. Pop, in which a cat ends up having all the power, and Sasha (directed by Serghei Chiviriga), about a teenager who gets to discover the truth about his own sexual identity in a strange way".
Mihai Mitrică: “Romanian films are no exception, in terms of quality and diversity. And this year we’ve received more submissions than ever. This is another conclusion that I have reached, namely that these 2 years of pandemic left a mark on productions, whose number has increased. Another notable thing is that most of the Romanian works submitted and selected this year into the competition are longer. There are 9 or 12-minute films, but there are also 15-minute ones. As a rule, in previous years the average length of a Romanian production was 4 minutes, with just a handful of 9-minute films. This tells me that artists had more time to work on their films and found stories they could tell in 12 minutes or more. As regards quality, it has improved from one year to the next, with few exceptions.”
Those interested in exploring new views in animation will appreciate the short films submitted in the Student Film Competition, and coming from the most prestigious animation schools in the world. Animest International Animated Film Festival is the only one in Romania devoted exclusively to animation. Founded in 2006, the festival screens hundreds of works from around the world in 6 competition categories, special programmes devoted to famous animation schools, to relevant festivals, to major names in the industry. Every October, Bucharest hosts film directors, producers, students, curators and journalists, who take part in Q&A sessions, film premieres, workshops and master-classes.
One of the most important missions of the festival is to revive and promote Romanian animation. The local competition section of the festival has grown since its launch in 2007. The new generation, who took part in the Animest workshops, are already animation professionals in the country or students in leading European universities. In recent years, Romanian animated films have been selected in and awarded at important international festivals. Animest organises screenings in various cities in Romania, curates film selections in international festivals, and Animest Chișinău has been a regular annual event since 2011. (LS&)