By Laman Ismayilova
The third ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival was held in Baku and broadcast online on October 14-18.
The main goal of the festival was to support and educate Azerbaijani kids during difficult times of escalating Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, where Azerbaijan fights for its internationally recognized and historical territories occupied by Armenia.
This year, the program did not include any entertainment (including screening of the competition). However, the educational animation workshops, opening and closing ceremonies, meetings with the International Jury and announcement of the winners took place as usual.
The third ANIMAFILM Festival’s jury for animated films included Olivier Catherin (France), Nancy Denney-Phelps (Belgium), Daria Kashcheeva (Czech Republic), Zurab Diasamidze (Georgia), Shamil Najafzada (Azerbaijan). Members of the jury for screenplays were Aaron Wood (England), Mohammad Zare (Iran), Rana Vaezi (Iran) and Oleg Safaraliyev (Azerbaijan).
The international jury was led by Nancy Denney-Phelps, a well-known journalist writing about European animation and festivals.
The third ANIMAFILM Festival also announced a Kids Jury, made up of 31 members.
Three virtual and live theater trainings on bullying were organized as part of the festival for Kids Jury. The sessions were led by the founder of Ritual Mobile Theatre Laboratory, trainer and coordinator of Children Jury Aynur Zarrintaj.
Golden Boat Award of the third ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival was presented at the opening ceremony. This year's award was given to director Hafiz Akbarov for his contribution to Azerbaijani animation.
The opening ceremony was also attended by the head of the Cinematography Department at the Culture Ministry Rufat Hasanov. In his speech, Hasanov noted that the financial problems related to animated films will be solved soon and new funding will be applied.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Deputy Ambassador of the Czech Republic Daniel Putik, Secretary of the Azerbaijan Union of Film Makers Ali Isa Jabbarov and a member of the Children Jury Nurjahan Mammadli.
With the support of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Azerbaijan, two-day intensive master classes for young animation enthusiasts "Stop motion animation and puppet armature skeleton" were conducted by Daria Kashcheeva, the winner of ANIMAFILM 2019. Notably, her short animated drama film "Daughter" received a Student Academy Award (Student Oscar) last year.
The winners were announced at the closing ceremony on October 18. The winners were awarded a trip to the famous Annecy Festival in France and a valuable photography camera.
The Ambassador of Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas, director of the French Institute in Azerbaijan Jerome Kelle and director of the Film School at Azerbaijan Union of Filmmakers, member of the festival's International Jury Oleg Safaraliyev announced the winners in local categories.
Afterwards, the festival's partners - Chairman of the US-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association Nail Akhundzade and co-founder of Toxum.org Crowdfunding Platform Togrul Ismayilov addressed the closing ceremony.
In conclusion, the founder of ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival and CEO of PERI FILM company Rashid Aghamaliyev thanked all the team, partners and those who supported the festival, especially Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers, Embassy of the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan, Embassy of France in Azerbaijan, French Institute in Azerbaijan, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan, US-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association, MR Chemical LLC, Salaam Cinema, Mujru Publishing, Chinar Yayimlari publishing and 28 supporters, who contributed to the festival through Tokhum.org Crowdfunding Platform.
Winners of animated films categories:
Best Feature Animated Film - GRAND PRIX - The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks, director Andrey Khrzhanovsky. Russia.
Best Short Animated Film - GRAND PRIX – Sororal, directors Frédéric Even and Louise Mercadier. France.
Best Short Animated Film for Children - The Fox and the Tomten, directors Yaprak Morali and Are Austnes. Norway.
Best Short Animated Film Made by Children - The Throne of Saint Sava, director Jakov Popov. Serbia.
Best Short Experimental or Abstract Animated Film – Marbles, director Natalia Spychala. Poland.
Best Short Student Animated Film – The International Jury decided to share this prize with two winners - To the Dusty Sea, by Héloïse Ferlay (France) and S p a c e s by Nora Štrbová (Czech Republic).
Best Animated TV series - The Other Way Wolf, director Ira Elshansky. Russian Federation.
Best Animated Music Video - The Lazy Dragon, directors Fokion Xenos and Joan Zhonga (Greece).
Best Azerbaijani Short Animated Film - The Crow, director Fidan Akhundova. Azerbaijan.
Best Azerbaijani Short Student Animated Film - The International Jury decided to share this prize with two winners - Snow Globe by Sevinj Guliyeva (Azerbaijan) and Snake and Villager by Ayaz Khaliqov (Azerbaijan).
Winners of screenplays categories:
Best Screenplay for a Short Animated Film - GRAND PRIX - Fishing Docks, author Robertas Nevecka. Lithuania.
International Jury decided to award both Best Azerbaijani Screenplay for a Short Animated Film and Best Azerbaijani Screenplay for a Short Animated Film for Children awards to the screenplay named Colorless by Shebnem Hesenelizade. Azerbaijan.
Special Mention of the International Jury for Screenplays – Rope, author Orkhan Behbid. Azerbaijan.
Media partners of the event are Azernews.az, Trend.az
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