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15th International Film Festival “Etiuda&Anima” report by Maciej Gil

Poland, Kraków, 14.-21.11.2008

Live life in Kraków!

Int’l Film Festival “Etiuda&Anima” (“etiuda” means “etude” or “study”) has been organized by one of the most active film societies in Poland, DKF Rotunda, since 1992 and dedicated to student films (since the very beginning) and animated films (since 2005). In buffs’ opinions (and mine:) it’s one of the best film festivals with this kind of program profile in the world. And for sure the best one in Poland. So, there are 2 competitions (of student films with Dinosaur awards and of animations with Jabberwocky awards), 2 juries and 1 extra award – Special Golden Dinosaur for the Outstanding Artist and Pedagogue. This very special prize is annually given to people who are active filmmakers and pedagogues at the same time. This year’s laureate was Mohsen Makhmalbaf (“Kandahar”, “Gabbeh”) and his one and only home film school Makhmalbaf Film House. Mr. Makhmalbaf together with his wife Marziyeh Meshkini (“The Day I Become a Woman”) and their daughter Hana Makhmalbaf (“Buddist Collapsed out of Shame”) visited Kraków and the festival. There were meetings, discussions and of course a retrospective of their (and second daughter Samira’s) outrageous movies. As Mr. Makhmalbaf said, Kraków’s Dinosaur is their 97th award. Congratulations!
There were more special events like the final part of the Year of Polish Animation with great Polish Animation Parade with a mobile screen and a big orchestra moving through Kraków’s Old Town. Or like the screening of 10 best animations with Norman Roger’s music selected and presented by himself – “his” films were nominated for the Academy Awards 13 times and won 6 times! Or like very popular and interesting “Animator’s Self-portraits” with live animation shows made by Michaela Pavlátová (Czech Rep.), Gerrit van Dijk (Holland) and Aleksandra Korejwo (Poland). Or like... many, many others! You should have seen it! There were over 500 films shown in 7 days... Lots of emotions, impressions, guests, meetings and... fun.
And thanks to Joăo Paulo Macedo (FICC Special Duty Officer in charge of Juries Administration) the festival and the Polish Federation of Film Societies managed to establish FICC Jury in both competitions. So, with this one small move we’re richer of two new FICC Juries! And I’m sure it was a good move.
I was a member of the “Anima” competition Jury together with Lenka Zemánková (Czech Republic) and Ada Guilá Puig (Spain/Catalonia). We’ve watched nearly 80 short films and decided to give the Don Quixote award to a young guy form Israel, Jonathan Pasternak and his “Live Life” for the best combination of animation techniques, sense of humor and probably the most important message in whole competition. You can watch the movie here: http://www.aniboom.com/video/53167/Live-Life/. It’s really great and funny! Ada and Lenka, thanks for nice time and cooperation!
Maybe not everything was perfect in communication and cooperation between the Juries and the festival but OK, it was our first time together;) Still, I think it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship between FICC and “Etiuda&Anima”. So, see you in Kraków in November 2009! Live life!