This year’s edition of Animateka started last Monday on December 8th. The Central and Eastern European Competition programme consisted of 37 films, while there will were 50 films in the European Student competition.
On the last festival’s day – December 14th the jury consisting of Andreas Hykade (Germany), Akinori Oishi (Japan), Tess Martin (USA), Cecilia Traslaviña González (Mexico) and John Canciani (Switzerland) announced the winners. The Grand Prix of the 11th edition went to Ewa Borysewicz’s “To Thy Heart”. On announcing the winner jury gave the following explanation: For the way it weaves a personal story with religious ritual and how the voice-over connects the two worlds. Because the animation matches the reduced and original drawing style, and for the way this style complements the voice-over, allowing us to enter the characters’ world, the Grand-Prix winner is “To Thy Heart” by Ewa Borysewicz.
The animation by Ewa Borysewicz premiered at Belinale Shorts this year and since then was screened at more than 25 film festivals abroad including prestigious Ann Arbor, DOK Leipzig and Grimstad Short Film Festival. Sloveninan award is the second one that is given to the film. In June “To Thy Heart” received a Special Mention of the Slovakian Fest Anca.
Moreover, each of the jury members have chosen one film, which was given a personal Special Mention. Two among the jury members decided to award Polish Films. First it was Cecilia Traslaviña González – a Mexican authour of animated films and a renown pedagogue – who decided to give her Special Mention to the latest film by Jerzy Kucia – "Fuge for trumpet, cello and a landscape". On awarding the film she gave the following verdict: The film achieves new levels of poetic expression in animation through its unique and sophisticated relationship between moving image and sound. As in a synthetic experience, the images on the screen move in such a way that they not only dance with the music, but they become the music. The lines in the drawings and strokes of painting are treated as notes of an exquisite instrument, which we recognize as a landscape.
The second special mention, given by Tess Matin – an American independent animator – went to Tomasz Siwiński’s “A blue room”. During the closing ceremony Tess Martin gave the following explanation: Dreams are notoriously hard to capture accurately in art. But this film depicts a strange, unnerving and surreal environment that convinces us we are in a dream, or a nightmare. But why the nightmare? The story unfolds so that we are given clues to the protagonist's plight without giving too much away, and yet by the end we are given a resolution that explains a lot of what has come before, making it a satisfying, if unsettling experience. Because of its ambitious and challenging storytelling choices, my special mention goes to A Blue Room by Tomasz Siwinski.
Nine Polish animated films were invited to screen as a part of this year’s competitive section of Animateka. Those were among the others – “Hippos” by Piotr Dumała, “Fat and skinny” by Aleksandra Brożyna and “Baths” by Tomek Ducki.
The complete list of laureates as well as more information on the 11th edition can be found at the Animateka website