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The next Anima Festival will celebrate its 25th edition

The next Anima Festival will celebrate its 25th edition in Brussels from Feb. 24 ­ Mar. 5 and this anniversary year promises a veritable box of delightful surprises.

As usual, Anima will present the cream of world animation. Among some others sneak previews, the Festival will open its doors with ŒAsterix and the Vikings¹ by Stefan Fjeldmark and Jesper Møller, a 2D feature based on the famous French comic strip from Goscinny and Uderzo and for the Closing Night, Anima will screen the awaited ŒRenaissance¹, a SciFi 3D feature film directed by Christian Volckman.
In 2006, over 650 films (shorts and features) were viewed by the Festival selection committee and over 200 films will be screened in international competition and other sections, such as the national competition, tributes and retrospectives.

The international competition will include 6 feature films and 80 short films. Among these, 29 student films and 7 shorts for children have been selected. The panorama category will include 2 feature films and 21 short films.
The national competition "Anima Belga" will feature 20 short films and 11 shorts will be in the Belgian panorama out of competition.

The International Jury will consist of Czech filmmaker Michaela Pavlatova, director and cartoonist Picha, French filmmaker, illustrator and author Nicolas de Crecy, French director and producer Georges Lacroix, and the American animator from the Blue Sky ŒIce Aged¹ Studios Galen Chu. The jury will award several prizes including the Anima Grand Prix for Best Short Film. The public will also choose its own prizes, and has exclusive choice in regards to the Anima Grand Prix For Best Animated Feature Film.

The National Jury will consist of Belgian distributor Eliane Du Bois, Belgian Festival Media 10/10 director Jean Boreux, French producer Jean-Pierre Lemouland, Belgian director Vincent Patar and Dutch historian and animation film critic Mette Peters.

Japanese director Isao Takahata, who, with Hayao Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli (³Tombstone of the Fireflies², ³Spirited Away² to cite just two of their well-known films), will be this year¹s guest of honour: the Festival is also privileged to present an extensive panorama of his films, from ŒTombstone of the Fireflies¹ to ŒPompoko¹, including ŒChie the Brat¹, ŒOnly Yesterday¹, ŒPrince of the Sun: The Great Adventure of Horus¹.

Russia will also receive a special spotlight in Anima 2006, as part of Europalia Russie, with a special Russian animation focus: the audience will thus have an opportunity to see two programmes of recent short films including a tribute to the Moscow studio Pilot, a Yuri Norstein retrospective and a special screening of the rarely seen Russian classic ³The New Gulliver² by Ptushko (1935).

Special programmes on: ³Docs / Faux Docs² (with the Clermont-Ferrand Festival), ³Voyages² (a programme thema about travels), startling and intriguing from the ³Onedotzero², a day devoted to the London studio Passion Pictures, tribute to Picha, a retrospective of the Czech filmmaker Michaela Pavlatova (member of the international jury), the Cartoon d¹Or, all must-see events.

Festival goers also have the opportunity to discover recent Belgian animation production, via the national competition and the panorama, a special Picha screening, including the documentary "Mon oncle d'amérique est belge" and preview extracts from his next feature film, a session on "stop motion" and a sneak preview of Daniel Wiroth¹s film ³Elegant², with actor Denis Lavant, who features in this intriguing featurette, in attendance.

The Animated All-Nighter has been re-formulated especially for this 25th anniversary, featuring comedy from the last year alongside selected gems from the last 25 editions of the festival.

Futuranima extends over six days, and is located at the Pathé Palace, with high-profile players in contemporary animation as guests, from Kyle Balda (ex Pixar) to the studio Passion Pictures and aslo the Londoner Onedotzero.
An Aardman Animation (Wallace & Gromit) workshop is also planned.

Children are an important section of the festival audience and are offered a series of special afternoon screenings, which also involve a range of activities, such as voting for the ³Young Audience¹s Prize², for the best short and best feature film, or participating in various hands-on workshops.

Two exhibitions (one on Nicolas de Crecy¹s feature film project, the other featuring puppets from the young and dynamic Brussels studio Beast Animation), lectures and events such as the ³Animated All-Nighter², will make Anima an essential international meeting place for the thousands of viewers that make up the wider general audience, as well as for professionals and overseas visitors.


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