The 29th world festival of animated film Animafest Zagreb 2019, which takes place from 3 to 8 June, 2019, announced films that enter Grand Competition – Feature Film, which traditionally presents a crossroads of most lavish and complex pieces of ‘fine art as motion picture’.

Away, d. Gints Zilbalodis

Films whose making requires years of painstaking work mostly include large crews and extensive financial investments, but sometimes they can arise from wondrous diligence and talented obsession of extraordinary individuals. Such is the case with ‘Away, a film by the young Latvian author Gints Zilbalodis (1994) known as ‘animation Wunderkind’ as he made his first film at the age of 15. ‘Away’ focuses on the importance of individual aspirations at a time of global alienation both on the cinematic and non-cinematic level.

Ville Neuve, d. Félix Dufour-Laperrière

Visually much less lavish, but equally poetical Canadian film ‘Ville Neuve’ by Félix Dufour-Laperrière is a black and white family-psychological etude set against the backdrop of social and political context and connecting collective and intimate levels in a characteristic Québécois setting.

Ruben Brandt, Collector, d. Milorad Krstić

The art crime film ‘Ruben Brandt, Collector’ by the Hungarian-based Slovene veteran Milorad Krstić is based on a quirky assumption about psychotherapy by stealing art from world famous museums. Psychoanalytical thriller with elements of noir was computer-hand-drawn over the course of six years by an army of 150 animators, creating a glossary of the director’s painterly, cinematic, drama and musical inspirations, among which Picasso, when character design is concerned, holds the central position.

The Wolf House, d. Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León

The Chilean film ‘The Wolf House’ by Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León is a piece that drags horror, fairy tale and folklore from well-known interpretative frames of ‘the return of the repressed as a monster’ to the domain of engaged film. It is inspired by the German cult Colonia Dignidad, led in Chile by the maniac abuser Paul Schäfer. Spanish-Dutch production film ‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ by Salvador Simó is a biopic about the making of Buñuel’s documentary film Land without Bread. The film reveals how the director nevertheless infused Land without Bread with his famous specific disposition and his modern animation brings, next to outstanding characterization of protagonists, many references to other works of this surrealist genius, as well as images of his dreams, memories and intimacy.


Another Day of Life, d. Raúl de la Fuente, Damian Nenow

‘Another Day of Life’ by Raúl de la Fuente and Damian Nenow, a co-production between five European countries, is another adaptation (of the namesake non-fiction by Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuściński) and a documentary piece about civil war in Angola. Over the course of three months in 1975, the film follows the events in Luanda and on the front lines through the eyes and psyche of the iconic war reporter.

‘Funan’ by Denis Do (France-Luxembourg-Belgium), the winner at Annecy, is another history, Cold War, but primarily family film set in the same year as Another Day of Life, but on other meridians – in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge. Following one woman in search of her forcefully separated four-year-old son through the notorious fields of death, force labour and indoctrination.

Aragne: Sign of Vermillion, d. Saku Sakamoto

Like every year, Animafest 2019 Grand Competition – Feature Film again brings an impressive anime, this time it will be ‘Aragne: Sign of Vermillion’ by Saku Sakamoto. The film will take you on a disturbing journey across a nightmare in which a classical narrative breaks into pieces just like the protagonist’s psyche, while imagination and reality blend into disorienting compounds.

For more information on festival visit Animafest official website.

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