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Azerbaijan’s First International Animation Festival – What to Expect

05.09.2018

There are less than two months left before the first ANIMAFILM Baku International Animation Festival! Here the Organizing Committee reveals the details of the upcoming events.

The uniqueness of Azerbaijan’s first International Animation Festival lies in its inclusion of national animation traditions of neighboring countries, such as Georgia, Iran and Russia. Still, the main theme of the festival will be Azerbaijani animation itself, new and unknown to the world.

Apart of the traditional competition categories, such as Best Short Animated Film and Best Animated Advertising, ANIMAFILM gives participants a unique opportunity to compete in the categories of Best Animated Social Video and Best Original Screenplay for a Short Animated Film.

“We are especially proud of the Screenplays competition,” says Rashid Aghamaliyev, the festival founder. “This competition will allow us to discover young talent and help them attract attention to their projects in the early stage of pre-production. The winner’s screenplay will be printed in the festival catalogue and the author will have the unique opportunity to read it to the audience. We hope that it will help screenwriters and author directors to attract the attention of potential producers and sponsors in the region and beyond.”

Aside from the rich competition program, the audience can look forward to numerous non-competitive and professional events:

  • Retrospectives of Georgian, Egyptian and Iranian animation led by film scholars Ketevan Janelidze (Georgia), Mohamed Gazala (Egypt) and Leila Novruzi (Iran).
  • Masterclasses with well-known directors Jahangir Suleymanov (Russia) and Masud Panachi (Azerbaijan/Germany).
  • Lectures of successful producers Zurab Diasamidze (Georgia) and Elchin Orujov (Turkey/Ukraine).
  • The first-ever presentation of the book Azerbaijani Animation, the joint work of local and foreign authors.
  • The ReAnimation exhibition, which will explore the history of Azerbaijani animation offering the audience several retrospectives of the best Azeri animated films.
  • A full program for our youngest audience members, including a retrospective of animation for children, animation workshops with Georgian teachers, and interactive tours through the ReAnimation exhibition.

The first ANIMAFILM festival has already attracted considerable interest in the international animation community. The festival was presented in June on Annecy’s MIFA market with the kind support of CEE Animation, which contributes to the development of the art of animation in Central and Eastern Europe. Friends of the ANIMAFILM festival include Anibar International Animation Festival (Kosovo), TOFUZI: International Festival of Animated Films (Georgia), Animation-festivals.com, and other supporting festivals and organizations.

The International Jury of ANIMAFILM is composed of professionals from Azerbaijan, Russia, Israel, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, and Slovakia. “The Golden Boat” prize certificate will be assigned by the Festival Jury Panel to the best films in each category.

Moreover, the audience can contribute to the evaluation of animation films by participating in a public vote. “The Audience Award” will be presented to the winner approved by the majority vote.

“The Golden Boat” special prize will be awarded for the contribution to the development of Azerbaijani Animation. The name of the renowned animation director presenting the award must still be kept secret.

ANIMAFILM still welcomes applicants to submit films and screenplays. 250 applications have already been submitted from 30 countries with idiosyncratic film traditions such as France, the USA, Iran, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Canada, Spain, and Japan, among others.

To participate in the Festival, submit your animated films and screenplays by September 15, 2018, via this electronic application form, which is available on the official website of the Festival - www.animafilm.az.