7th Athens Animfest: Animated spirit - The Best from Greece

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Posted on: 01/Mar/2012 - More than 300 productions

Plotting its return to Greek Film Archive grounds from March 1 to 7, the Athens Animfest is stronger than ever, boasting a record number of submissions (178) and some very surprising tributes. Apart from the obligatory focus on the much-celebrated Czech animation (curated by Michal Prochazka), the festival, in its seventh year, offers a guided tour of the Indian Eeksaurus Studios, headed by innovative animation designer Suresh Eriyat.
Having run a steady course through advertising and music videos (a very popular genre on Indian television) with more than 300 productions, Eeksaurus is now embarking on a much bigger adventure in the shape of an animated feature. A seasoned musician and talented artist, Eriyat has integrated every aspect of Indian culture into his company’s multifaceted work, from art to street life to religion. 
Less spiritual but equally adventurous, German Thomas Bartels - born in Goettingen in 1960 - has tried his hand at film, sculpture, installation art and teaching, as well as filling the occasional cameraman position when special effects are in order. Screening five of his films - all short in pristine 35mm stock - the festival has managed to secure a sneak peak of his upcoming effort Fragile Esquif, which promises to be just as riveting as his older work. Other than that, you can always check out the international competition section, broken down in seven different programmes, complete with a separate student competition and a homegrown competitive section for locally produced work. 
This year’s master class combines the old and the new, featuring veteran author and educator Sophia Madouvalou, whose long track record already includes 65 children’s books, together with newbie animator/illustrator Aristarchos Papadaniel. The two will elaborate on their joint multimedia educational project One Letter One Story, combining animation with interactive educational environments for children between five and seven years old. 
If you feel animation is terra incognita, despite your cinephile tendencies, we suggest you start with a classic Jiri Trnka film, Archangel Gabriel and Lady Goose, a mirthful tale of deception based on a story from Boccaccio’s Decameron about a philandering monk and a beautiful but dim-witted maiden. His frisky humour and intricate mediaeval settings - the story takes place in Venice - is bound to make everything seem pale in comparison, but that’s how you know you’ve been in the presence of greatness!
  • The Athens Animfest takes place on March 1-7 at the Greek Film Archive (48 Iera Odos & 134-136 Megalou Alexandrou, tel 210-360-9695) animationcenter.gr

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