Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF) and KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival (KLIK), which have been representing the current state of animation in the Netherlands, made the big decision to unite with each other a year ago. From 9th to 17th November 2019, “Kaboom Animation Festival”, the new international animation film festival from the fusion of the two leading festivals in the Netherlands, will be held across Utrecht and Amsterdam. The program of the festival will be separated into two blocks, categorized by age of the target audience: kids programs in Utrecht from 9th to 13thNovember, and programs for adults in Amsterdam from 13th to 17th November.

We could hear from Aneta Ozorek, the Artistic Director of Kaboom Animation Festival, about highlights of the first year of Kaboom Animation Festival. We also summarized the highlights of the festival from our point of view. We hope that this article could help you catch a glimpse of what Kaboom Animation Festival 2019 has to offer and prepare to get the best out of the festival. (You can find the details on the festival program from the official website.)

10 highlights of the festival by Aneta Ozorek

This year’s festival is growing more than ever. We take place in two cities, screen around 500 films, have 11 locations, and thrice the programs. From the variety of films, exhibitions, workshops, performances, and programs you can see, I prepared a golden list of 10 things you can’t miss:

1. “Scratch’n Sniff – Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit“, because animation can also have a smell…

2. 100 years of Dutch Animation: screenings, symposium, and exhibition “Everything’s different, nothing has changed – an homage to Rosto”, to celebrate artists from the rich history of Dutch animation.

3. “Something Is No Yes – A Janek Koza Exhibition” to meet an exceptional artist, Polish animator, director, comic artist, and painter Janek Koza. Not afraid of provoking a storm of controversy with his work, Koza is a condemned as well as a beloved member of the Polish alternative art scene.

4. The king of pigs – Animated drama film, directed by Yeon Sang-ho (one of my favorite directors), with a story of bullying within Korea’s social hierarchies. The film is part of a big retrospective of Focus on South Korea, prepared together with Korean Independent Animation Film Distributie AniSEED.

5. Let’s Binge: Candide and Undone. Two marathons of the fascinating universe.

  • Candide is a free adaptation of Voltaire’s philosophic novel in a contemporary setting. In the 13 episodes, we screen, “Candide and Cunegonde travel through wars”, “Endangered rainforest”, “Immigration zones”, “Hidden genetic labs”, and “Apocalypse space missions”. One of the most fascinating and profound political and religious satire I’ve seen in recent times.
  • Undone, the ground-breaking animated series co-produced by Dutch studio Submarine and starring Rosa Salazar and Bob Odenkirk. It’s a half-hour genre-bending animation series that explores the elastic nature of reality. It’s the first of its kind, pairing rotoscope animation with CG visual effects and real oil-painted backgrounds. The series features stunning visuals from the director and friend of a festival Hisko Hulsing.

6. FIGHT: Augmented Reality Performance – results of the Kaboom+ workshops we organized a month before the festival. Participants are working with the story of a unique fighter and creating AR animation, to show her story.

7. CartoonsComedyChaos! with Mike Hollingsworth – BoJack Horseman director with 4 talented Amsterdam Stand-up comedians will make this evening unforgettable.

8. Women Watching Porn Live – All you wanted to know about woman sexuality and was too afraid to ask. During this live show Cris, Maxi, and Laura (hosts of the podcast Women Watching Porn) and their guests, Aisha and Tosca, share their experiences and chat about female pleasure, masturbation and how exploring yourself can change how you explore the world. You’re invited to watch animated porn and erotica with them and to chat about the good, the bad and the orgiastic that presents itself on-screen.

9. David Sproxton masterclass – For all fans of AMAZING animation straight outta Bristol. During the masterclass with co-founder and executive chairman of the legendary Aardman Studios, we will hear about the development of the company, 40 years of film making, inside story and behind the scenes of the studio’s latest production.

10. Our fantastic competition. Choosing from 1,700 films is a challenge, many darlings have to be killed on the way, but I believe we built a complex program, representing different techniques, topics, styles, sense of humor and narration styles. I’m always looking for films which captivate you from the first second and keep you watching till the end, and our competition is full of these diamonds. So you can expect, energetic, passionate, journey into the depth of human nature. You definitely need guts to watch some part of the program, but I promise it’s worth it. You will be taken to the boundaries of animation, you will discover many new talents and old masters, you will be heartbroken, you will feel love and hate, you will feel passion, you will be mind-blown.

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