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"L'animazione è un genere molto ampio che occupa una posizione unica tra il cinema e l'arte, e merita un'attenzione particolare"

Rapporto industria: Animazione

Mari Kivi, Priit Tender • Direttori artistici di Animist Tallinn


I direttori artistici del giovane festival di Tallinn ci parlano del programma di quest'anno e dei loro sforzi per promuovere l'animazione indipendente

Mari Kivi, Priit Tender  • Direttori artistici di Animist Tallinn

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We chatted to Mari Kivi and Priit Tender, artistic directors of Animist Tallinn, ahead of the event’s third edition, unspooling in the Estonian capital from 16-19 August. Kivi and Tender talked us through this year’s programme, the audience they aim to intercept, the importance of independent animation and their festival’s mission.

Cineuropa: You’re a very young festival, now celebrating your third edition. Why did you decide to kick off a new animation gathering, and what’s your main mission?
Priit Tender: I was the head of the Animation department at the Estonian Academy of Arts, and in its first year, the festival took place at the academy. The following year, it moved to the city centre, into our main arthouse cinema, Sõprus, and it became much better known and more accessible to the audience. Having been the animation programmer for the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, I felt the need to have an independent event in Estonia which would focus only on animation. Animation is a very broad genre occupying a unique position between film and art, and it deserves special attention – in particular in Estonia, since it has a long history here.

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Mari Kivi: As the interest in arthouse cinema continues to grow, the awareness of contemporary animation should also increase. The festival introduces people to the diversity of animation, and the treatment of difficult and delicate topics in this genre, in order to drag the viewer away from the stereotype that animation is something funny and belongs only to children.

Could you please elaborate on this year’s programme? How did you pick the films?
During the selection process, I collaborated with a good colleague of mine, Silvia Lorenzi, who makes live-action and experimental films. She also set up some special screenings. We made the selection together and organised the films into theme-based strands, such as Untold Stories, Inner Beast and so on. I think it’s really important to arrange short films this way, [in order] to create a coherent experience for the audience, who have to watch between seven and ten films in a row. The screenings are relatively short and intense, and do not exceed 75 minutes.

What type of side events and activities have you planned alongside the screenings? What about your festival venues?
We’ve developed a format called Animist Academy, which includes special screenings and lectures. My own interest lies in combining animation and anthropology, so we’ve invited several outstanding anthropologists to the festival to share interdisciplinary ideas between the two fields. This year, we also have several screenings of animated documentaries that are followed by panel discussions.

MK: The festival venues are located in Tallinn’s Old Town. The main screening venue is the Sõprus arthouse cinema. They’ve been showing arthouse films for years, so their audience can easily transition to animation now. Besides, we are going to screen several special programmes in a legendary old cinema, the Kinomaja, which belongs to the Estonian Filmmakers’ Association. The venues are unique and are enriched by long traditions. We are not going to screen any films in shopping-mall cinemas.

What type of local audiences and industry reps are you planning to attract?
As there are not so many opportunities to view short animation in the cinema, we’d like to be one of the few ones to do it. People connected to or interested in various art forms are our main target; we aim to offer high-quality artistic programmes, rather than cheap entertainment. So far, we haven’t thought of doing any industry event connected to the festival.

MK: The festival is the place for the local studios, producers and filmmakers to show their new productions and get more attention. The New Estonian Animation programme has always been one of the most popular screenings.

Who are the festival’s main partners and backers?
The festival is supported by the Estonian Film Institute, the Estonian Cultural Endowment, the city of Tallinn and the Ministry of Culture. We have some good partners, such as our cinemas, the Estonian Academy of Arts and several animation studios.

What are your long-term plans?
To be small and reactive, and to bring together good people.

MK: To create a festival I would like to attend myself, to enjoy what we are doing and to grow the love towards animation as art.

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