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FESTIVALS Czech Republic

Anifest celebrates Jiri Trnka and highlights animation

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- Will Vinton and Igor Kovaljov will judge a selection of animated films from all over the world, with Estonia the country in focus - French animator Michel Ocelot will also be a guest.

Anifest celebrates Jiri Trnka and highlights animation

'The magic of puppets on film' is the motto of the upcoming Anifest, which has been inspired by the 100th anniversary of Jiri Trnka's birth. The world-famous Czech animator, whose style is sometimes labeled as 'anti-Disney', will be honoured by a retrospective of his work as well a seminar. The festival trailer was created by Trnka´s grandson Matyas, currently a student of animation at Prague´s FAMU.

The competitive section of the event will feature the highlights of world animation including Oscar-nominated titles, with films from France, Romania, Hungary, Great Britain and Poland - organizers have said that more than 1,600 films from 66 countries were judged during the selection process.

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Barry Purves, British scholar and director, is the honorary president of the jury, with the organizers choosing him not only because of certain stylistic and ideological resemblances with Trnka. The British focus will continue, with a selection curated by scholar Paul Wells, which will include the Czech release of The Pirates! Band of Misfits by Aardman Animation.

The festival will also introducee a competition of non-narrative and experimental animation for the first time, host a Visegrad pitching forum and will welcome French animator Michel Ocelot, who will not only attend the festival but also hold a masterclass in Prague. The festival, now in its 11th year, runs from April 26 until May 1. In 2009, a new festival called Anifilm was established by part of Anifest’s original team.

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