The 15th edition of Fantoche, an international animation film festival, will be held in Baden, a beautiful spa town in Switzerland, from 5th to 10th September 2017. The festival team uncovered this year’s program, which gives us the opportunity to see selected many good short films for the competitions at Fantoche from Switzerland and the rest of the world, and covers featured film titles you must not miss to follow the trend of the global animation industry, as the same as last year’s program.
The key points of this year
We could hear what will be the highlights of Fantoche from Annette Schindler, the festival director.
Animationweek: Could you please let us know the key points of Fantoche this year?
Annette Schindler: This time around, we are casting a nostalgic eye on British animated films (while the country is still ‘European’) and – perhaps slightly impudent – welcome our UK contemporaries to the offside of Europe. In the city of Baden, which has played as a generous host to Fantoche for many years, three generations of people have selected their favorite films as part of the “Three Generations: Cinema, TV, Internet” program. Our focus is the shift in film socialization they all have experienced via their respective channel: cinema, TV, and the Internet. Guests can also look forward to new 360° and VR experiences as part of the “Animation Goes Multimedia” exhibition, as well as feature film premieres, cool workshops for children and teenagers, leading industry figures such as Michaël Dudok de Wit, and much more.
Animationweek: Could you please let us know your impression and opinion about the selection for this year’s competitions?
Annette Schindler: This year’s International Competition programs are characterized by the high proportion of European films. Traditionally, these countries have always shaped animation filmmaking as it evolved, and undeniably still succeed in doing so – despite mounting competition and worthy entries from countries such as Russia, Japan and, as of late, China. Another distinctive feature this year is the high proportion of stop-motion films in our programs: this technique is indeed extremely complex and time-consuming, but on the other hand undoubtedly conveys most clearly the charm of the tactual in animation films.
Among the attractive programs, which will be run during Fantoche 2017, the two programs “Making-of” and “Coming Soon” are interesting to us. We could hear about the aim and details of the two programs, as well as the program “Masterclass” from Erik van Drunen, the curator and moderator of the two programs.
Animationweek: Could you please let us know how and why you selected the three film titles for the “Making-of” sessions and what will be the highlight of each session?
Erik van Drunen: In the selection of films in both sections, I strive for quality in the first place, and diversity in approaches and techniques so it mirrors the state of contemporary feature animation. In finding a balance in the presented projects, it is interesting to attend more than one presentation as there are so many ways to produce and visualize stories in animation in so many styles and techniques. Animation is well known for big audiences and universal kids stories, but has a rich potential for unusual stories and delicate matters as well. In my selection for Fantoche, I seek diversity in this and look for makers with unique approaches and those who push boundaries as well. Besides that, we are delighted to have Oscar winning Michael Dudok de Wit at Fantoche 2017 for the “Masterclass” program in which he will lead the attending crowd through his way of working and his ideas about visual storytelling in animation in which he is a true master.
Animationweek: Could you please let us know what will be the highlight of each session in the “Making-of” and “Coming Soon” programs?
Erik van Drunen: Firstly, about three films for the “Making-of” program.
LOVING VINCENT: Hugh Welchman and Dorota Kobiela tell the story of one of the most loved and famous painters in history in the style of the artist. It is a painstaking and stunning technique which will charm many. Cinema is about stories of course, but I think the audience wants to know everything about the frame by frame oil paint animation process which makes this film truly unique.
NOTHING HAPPENS / VR installation: Uri and Michelle Kranot are are animators who constantly cross borders in their attempts in telling stories differently, and this successful director duo made the short film NOTHING HAPPENS and an installation in VR simultaneously. The presentation will give insight into the process, possibilities and impossibilities of adapting a short into a VR experience. It leads the audience in new ways of storytelling new technical developments bring.
HAVE A NICE DAY: Jian Liu (China) is a strong independent voice in feature animation since his feature debut Piercing I. Independent animation from China is seldom seen and this presentation will shed light on producing animation in China which becomes more accessible as the contemporary animation director only needs little more than a laptop as Jian Liu says himself.
ZOMBILLENNIUM: The animation crowd is looking out loud towards this film by the award winning filmmaker Arthur de Pins, based on his successful graphic novels. For adapting and directing the film he asked his pal Alexis Ducord on board. Arthur de Pins and Alexis Ducord tell the story about the adaption and co-direction of the animated feature for a large European audience.
About “Coming Soon”
Erik van Drunen: Next are about two film projects for the “Coming Soon” program.
THE BREADWINNER: It’s the latest release of one of the leading European animation studios. Nora Twomey, one of the co-founders of the successful Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, directed the film, which tells an unusual story with a universal and urgent quality. Based on the best-selling children’s novel by Deborah Ellis and set in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, eleven-year-old Parvana becomes a storyteller to support her family.
THE TOWER: Animation and documentary is not a new marriage, but since some years the merge of the two is strongly alive. Animation is a proven and useful tool for telling sad and actual stories. Based on true stories revealed in interviews with Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. As a real author he makes the film with a very small crew and makes it possible to tell the story in a very personal way.