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It's almost AniFest time to gather at this Southern Bohemian town

The 7th edition of the International Festival of Animated Films AniFest will be held in Třeboň between 7 and 13 May 2008. This year’s edition will show the visitors all of animation’s possible forms. Early May will bring 633 films from 59 different countries around the world to this Southern Bohemian town. You will see the top of current animation production as well as African animation; you will be able to peek inside a professional’s workshop and enjoy an exhibition or a concert. For one week, Třeboň will become the town of animated films.

The AniFest week has multiple facets that together create its unique atmosphere. The artist and animator Jaromír Plachý designed this year’s graphics, which is made up of a whirl of fantasy creatures. Needless to say, the festival’s image has deeper foundations. One of the festival’s basic building blocks is its international competition. 320 films will be screened in the theatres this year. All of them will be carefully judged by the jury comprised of Ron Diamond (USA), Břetislav Pojar (Czech Republic), József Fülöp (Hungary), Gabriele Zucchelli (Italy), Lucie Štamfestová (Czech Republic), Moon-saeng Kim (Korea), Phillip Bergson (UK), Rony Oren (Israel) and Krzysztof Rynkiewicz (Poland). The Honorary President of AniFest 2008 is Raimund Krumme (Germany).

As usual, the festival competition is divided into seven categories, which include feature-length films, short films, very short films, television films and serials, music video, advertisements and introductory spots, student films and films made by children. Although as many as 1584 films were registered, only the very best one survived the selection committee’s sieve.

Petr Slavík, Festival Director, says, “AniFest is a place where filmmakers, journalists and animation film lovers from all over the world meet.” And there is no question about it this year. We are still one week ahead of the festival and 311 filmmakers from different parts of the world have already been accredited. These include names such as Miguelanxo Prado (a famous Spanish writer of graphic novels and director of the unique feature-length film De Profundis, which will also be screened at the festival), Vladimír Jiránek, Mohamed Ghazala (an Egyptian director and curator of African animated films) and Michiel Snijders (a Dutch director and producer of animated films from Il Luster Productions). Naturally, these people represent only the very tip of the iceberg of all AniFest participants. The festival’s website provides a more comprehensive list of interesting people you will be able to meet at the festival.

In addition to competition films, AniFest will also screen other films, providing everybody an opportunity to choose what they like. A collection of films by Vladimír Jiránek and Václav Bedřich, presented to celebrate personal milestones, will certainly be interesting. Vladimír Jiránek will celebrate his seventieth birthday and Václav Bedřich will reach the respectable age of ninety years. AniFest will also host a transatlantic visitor, a programme called Drew Carey’s Green Screen Show. You will be able to view the best of Korean animation and enjoy your favourite heroes from Ratatouille, Mr Bee and Shrek 3. In addition, you will also be able to discover the secrets of the first animated films...

The Schools of Animation, a traditional programme for children and young people, allows its participants to try their hands at animation and learn about different animation techniques.

Film professionals can look forward to a rich programme including presentations by major international film studios (Acme Filmworks, Platige Image, Il Luster Productions), workshops (e.g. the British company Animazoo will present a new generation of Motion Capture), presentations by animation studios and film departments from different schools (the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, PWSFTviT Lodz, Moholy-Nagy Budapest, the Bezalel Academy, the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague). New additions to ProfiForum are the CAS Presentation – a selection of current Czech, Slovak and Austrian animated films – and the AniFest Pitching Zone, which will present upcoming Czech, German and Austrian projects.

Another interesting feature is the Symposium of Visegrad Schools, where students in mixed teams will create new animated films and graphic designs throughout the festival.
But AniFest is not only about films. The overall festival’s atmosphere is enhanced by accompanying concerts, exhibitions and theatre performances. This year you can look forward to concerts by Tata Bojs and The Prositutes, James Harries, a night of free jazz featuring George Haslam and a concert by the ensemble Bona Fide. An exhibition presenting all of Vladimír Jiránek’s important moments in animated production will be held in honour of his seventieth birthday. The theatre portion of the festival will be provided by actors and puppets from the “Buchty a Loutky” theatre group, which will not only guide us through the festival’s opening and closing ceremonies, but will also, play a number of performances during the festival.

As every year, you will be able to try to make your own animated films through the unique project entitled “The Schools of Animation”. Workshops will be given by artists and art school students where you can learn several interesting things not only about animated films, but also about other topics such as the world of comics.

The important things that will take place at AniFest will bring you our media partner Imagine Animation.

Imagine Animation is excited to be the Official Media Partner for Europe at Anifest this year. If you are thinking about, or definitely, attending Anifest then please join the Anifest network hosted on www.imaginanimation.net/2059 . It’s the place to find out who’s going, arrange meetings and publicise what you’ll be doing at this year’s event. After Anifest and you can follow up with the people you met or those you didn’t have time to speak to.

The Imagine magazine and website editorial team will be attending this year’s Anifest, to review and interview the hottest animation talent. Plus, they’ll be filming interviews and what’s going on to VODcast live from the event. So look out for coverage on www.imagineanimation.net.

The complete programme of AniFest can be downloaded at www.anifest.cz. We look forward to seeing you in Třeboň!

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