The Greek premiere of Nayola by José Miguel Ribeiro, a co-production of four countries (Portugal, Belgium, France, Netherlands) awarded at some of the most important festivals worldwide is opening ANIMASYROS 2023. Three generations of women in the 25-year-long civil war of Angola. Politics and personal experience, past and present interlace. Nayola goes in search of her missing husband at the height of the war. Decades later, the country is finally at peace but Nayola has not returned.
Watch the movie trailer here.
ANIMASYROS, recognizing the important position of the animation industry in the Iberian Peninsula and Latin America, presents a tribute to these countries, entitled La Animaciόn Iberoamericana, which includes 5 feature films for children and adults while also hosting short film programs curated by the Animac Lleida (Spain) and Cinanima (Portugal) partner festivals. These short film programs will also be presented at the Drama International Short Film Festival (September 4 - 10). The La Animaciόn Iberoamericana tribute is completed with a program of representative contemporary short films from Latin America, curated by ANIMASYROS.
As part of the tribute, we will have the opportunity to watch the Alberto Vázquez's Goya award-winning Franco-Spanish film Unicorn Wars in a national premiere, Mironins, a film that brings to life artworks of the famous Spanish painter Joan Miró in the presence of the director Mikel Mas Bilbao, the surrealist La Otra Forma by Diego Felipe Guzman from Colombia and Perlimps, the new film by the Oscar-nominated Alê Abreu, in collaboration with the Olympia International Film Festival for children and young people.
The main focus of this year’s festival, entitled Anima Ancients, is dedicated to Animation and Ancient Greece and presents a program of 20 films through which children and adults will enjoy ancient myths on the big screen and will learn what life in Ancient Greece was like.
ANIMASYROS 2023 also presents a tribute to the Polish animation scene; we will have the opportunity to watch the 17 best student films of recent years, in collaboration with the Krakow Etiuda & Anima Festival.
Among the highlights of this year's feature films screenings, we could not fail to mention the award-winning Titina by Norwegian Kajsa Næss, which describes the adventures of the Italian airship engineer Umberto Nobile and his beloved dog in the North Pole.
During the Open Call for entries for the Competition Sections of the Festival, which began in February 2023 and ended on June 30, a total of more than 3,000 entries from 115 countries were submitted. Again this year, the ANIMASYROS 2023 International Competition Program includes films distinguished at international festivals, as well as timeless works by world-renowned professionals. Regarding the International Student Program, the Festival welcomes the best student films from internationally recognized schools. Original and ground-breaking works from a technical or directorial point of view from every corner of the planet are also included in the International Panorama, while the best Greek films compete, as every year, in the Greek Competition Section with a prize awarded by the Greek Film Center. The rich competition program of ANIMASYROS also includes K.ID.S films with animation for the whole family, as well as the films of the Animapride Section with LGBTQI+ content.
The selection of the Competition Sections will be announced at the beginning of September.
The ANIMASYROS Agora continues its development as one of the most vibrant parts of the Festival by building international collaborations within the framework of the Pitching Forum while presentations, roundtables, panel-discussions, workshops, masterclasses, networking meetings and the speed dating sessions organized for the very first time this year offer the opportunity to professionals as well as animation lovers from all over the world to promote their work, expand their network, meet with established professionals, get in touch with the international community and discover what’s on in the field.
Of course, ANIMASYROS 2023 Agora could not miss this year’s main theme Anima Ancients, it will focus amongst others on female creativity in animated documentary films, masterclasses and talks by internationally acclaimed Spanish producers will also take place, while strategic partners of the Festival, such as the National Center of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME), the Greek Film Center, Enterprise Greece, Creative Europe and the University of the Aegean will be present.
Furthermore, during the 4-day Pitching Coaching Workshop entitled "How to Pitch", the participants of 6 selected projects are given the opportunity to prepare effectively, in order to present their under development project to the public, an international committee of animation professionals as well as potential investors, within the framework of the Pitching Forum. This year’s Pitching Workshop Tutor is the co-owner and producer of the Studio Pupil animation house, one of the most important personalities of European animation with many years of experience in coaching at major festivals worldwide, Tünde Vollenbroek, while the international committee of the Pitching Forum consists of Viviane Vanfletėren, Bruno Caetano, Agnė Adomėnė, Nancy Denney Phelps and Marineta MAK Kritikou. The winner of the Pitching Forum will be announced on October 1 at the Festival's closing ceremony. The Pitching Forum is supported by Sky Express, the Festival’s air transport sponsor, and the Athens International Airport.
The project submissions for the Agora Pitching Forum through the ANIMASYROS page hosted on the FilmFreeway platform are open until July 31, 2023.
[For the evaluation of the project, it is necessary to submit a short description (Logline, Concept) and a Treatment and to send stills, sketches, moodboard, in case of inability to send a trailer.]
Also, the legendary Disney directors John Musker & Ron Clements, who created The Little Mermaid (1989) and Hercules (1997) present a unique masterclass based on the second and will share their trips to Greece that preceded its making of the film with the participants. The masterclass is moderated by journalist Poly Lykourgou.
Within the framework of the Agora, presentations and discussions with internationally acclaimed directors, producers and animation professionals from around the world will also take place. Among them are:
- Joao Gonzalez (director) and Bruno Caetano (producer) of this year's Oscar-nominated and multi-awarded Portuguese short animation film Ice Merchants, representatives of the international artistic animation collective Cola Animation. The discussion is moderated by the Lithuanian producer Agnė Adomėnė.
- Kajsa Næss (director) and Viviane Vanfletėren (producer) of this year's award-winning animated feature film Titina. The discussion is moderated by Belgian journalist and animation historian Nancy Denney Phelps.
- filmmakers and academics Samantha Moore, Katerina Athanassopoulou and Abigail Addison, who spotlight women's creativity at the "Women and animated documentaries" roundtable. The panel is moderated by the director Dimitra Kouzis (Kinder Docs).
- Spanish stop-motion animator and director Coke Riobóo Cortes, Mexican producer Lourdes Villagómez and Colombian director/animator Juan Concha, who talk about collaborations, co-productions and distribution strategies for Spanish-language animation projects in Europe, Mexico and South America. The discussion is moderated by Carolina López Caballero, director of Animac, the International Animation Festival of Catalonia.
- directors and graduates of four of the most important animation schools in Europe, Claire Matz (Gobelins - France), Daria Kashcheeva (FAMU - Czech Republic), Yael Nudelman (Bezalel - Israel), Simone Pratola (CSC Animazione - Italy). The discussion is moderated by Chiara Magri, director of the Animation Program at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, Italy.
- Amit Gicelter (The Hive Studio), Maria Anestopoulou (ANIMASYROS Productions), Kleopatra Korai (Lokey) and the director Stelios Koupetoris, contributors to the short film "π", a Greek-Israeli co-production.
This year, a new activity is making its appearance at the Agora for the first time: the speed dating sessions, with the support of Enterprise Greece. 15 Greek creators will be selected by ANIMASYROS to participate in 20' meetings with internationally renowned producers and artists from Europe and the United States of America, to discuss with them issues that touch all the production stages of an animation film and to help them pitch their idea with the aim of finding co-productions or professional opportunities at an international level. The way to submit an intention of participation in the speed dating sessions will be announced at the beginning of September.
The educational workshops, one of the main pillars of ANIMASYROS, this year draw inspiration from Ancient Greece, while they are enriched with new techniques, such as sand animation.
Together with recognized artists and professionals, such as Nicolas Fattouh (Lebanon), Remco Polman and Jantiene de Kroon (Netherlands), Margarita Simopoulou, Elena Pavlaki and Agisilaos Robolas, children, adults, adolescents, people with disabilities and elderly bring Cycladic figurines to life, become archaeologists for a while to discover rare finds, deconstruct ancient myths, play around with them, cut them up and re-tell them. Ceramic workshops by Manos Mastorakis where the participants create their own Cycladic figurine will also take place.
The detailed program of the workshops and the participation applications will be announced at the beginning of September.