Six European titles competing at the Holland Animation Film Festival
by Vitor Pinto
- In parallel with the showcase, the festival is also hosting a seminar on design for animated features supported by the Nederlands Filmfonds
The 2015 edition of the Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF) kicks off on Wednesday 18 March in Utrecht, hosting five days of screenings of animation titles from around the world and several parallel activities, including a Cartoon Art Fair, a master class with directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, and a seminar on design for animation cinema.
Eleven features are in the main competition section, which this year consists exclusively of (co-)productions made in Europe and Asia. They will be judged by Swiss-born, Brussels-based illustrator and animator Gwénola Carrère, Dutch producer Arnoud Rijken, and Bulgarian director Theodore Ushev.
The festival is hosting the international premiere of Borislav Sajtinac’s latest film, 12 Star Hotel, a French production that will be competing against other European titles such as Italy’s The Art of Happiness [+see also:
interview: Alessandro Rak
film profile] by Alessandro Rak, France’s Jack and the Cuckoo-clock Heart [+see also:
film profile] by Stéphane Berla and Mathias Malzieu, Spain’s Pos eso [+see also:
film profile] by Sam, the UK’s Shaun the Sheep Movie [+see also:
film profile] by Mark Burton and Richard Starzak, and the US-Romanian co-production The Stressful Adventures of Boxhead & Roundhead [+see also:
film profile] by Elliot Cowan. The five Asian titles are Song Yuefeng’s Dragon Nest: Warriors' Dawn (China), Mizuho Nishikubo’s Giovanni's Island (Japan), Bum-wook Hur’s On the White Planet (South Korea), Hyung-yun Chang’s The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (South Korea) and Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s When Marnie Was There (Japan).
The HAFF is also presenting a short-film competition, a student-film contest and, among other highlights, a section focused on Dutch animation, which boasts a selection of 55 productions including shorts, adverts, promotional projects, music videos, educational films and industrial films – a blend of genres that serves to demonstrate the growing diversity of the Dutch animation industry.
With four Dutch features released in theatres since 2012, four projects in pre-production and 15 in development, the Dutch animation industry is actually getting stronger. Therefore, the festival is organising a seminar on design for animated features that targets artists, art directors, character designers and set designers, scheduled to be held on 20 March. The Nederlands Filmfonds – which has recently launched the “Animated Features from the Netherlands” catalogue – is supporting the seminar, along with the Association of Dutch Animation Producers (VNAP), the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO) and Roughmen (an agency for designers).