Oscar and Erotica
The Best Animation Films of the World in Kecskemét
„Let’s be Europeans in Hungary, let’s be Hungarians in Europe” – the 9th animation film festival is organised in Kecskemét between 17-21 June 2009 in the spirit of Zoltán Kodály’s thought. The review with now a 24-year history has an exceptionally good reputation in the international world of animation: the festival of Kecskemét is one of the 12 most important animation festivals of the world. It also stands out from the local, quite rich selection of festivals, as KAFF is not only a review of animated films, but also a festival of the totality of arts. In addition to film screenings musical, theatrical, puppetry programmes and professional events can also be found in its selection, and moreover, this year the city organises the Wine and Pálinka Celebration at the same time with the festival.
During the five days of this year’s festival again the visitors can see close to 400 films. The 9th Kecskemét Animation Film Festival awards the Hungarian animated films prepared in the past two years in various categories, while at the 6th International Festival of Animated Feature Films and TV Specials the European animated feature films and TV specials compete in two genres, in the television and theatrical film categories.
In addition to the competition programme the visitors can see an expansive selection of the award-winning films of the international partner festivals, the works of the world’s animation workshops and schools, as well as numerous artists and jury members – this year for instance Jannik Hastrup and Dennis Tupicoff – are brought closer to the audience by introducing their life achievement.
According to the traditions in the retrospective programme the festival pays homage to the legendary figures of Hungarian animation: this way this year the films of József Gémes animation film director, the film titled Cat Catcher of Béla Ternovszky, as well as the films of the recently passed away Kati Macskássy animation film director and István Imre puppet film director are screened.
A novelty and a true specialty will be the planned 5 screenings of Oscar-winning films, because the audience could not see such a programme anywhere in the world, therefore also not in Hungary, either. The organisers of the festival show a selection of 25-30 films from the works getting the award between 1959 and 2007, naturally also giving a place to the Hungarian award-winners, as well. Actually the Oscar award for best animated short has been given since 1932, the first was given to Walt Disney for his work titled Flowers and Trees. In Hungary the animated short of Marcell Jankovics of 1975 titled “Syshyphus” was nominated for an Oscar, then in 1980 Ferenc Rofusz has won the award with his film titled “The Fly”, while in 2006 the film titled “Maestro” of Géza M. Tóth received a nomination. In the Oscar-programme – which surely will be interesting both to the professionals and the film fans – the organisers compiled the films of Croatian, Polish, Dutch, Norwegian, Canadian, German, English, Australian and American filmmakers. (Not sparing money, time and energy to obtain the permits and the copies.)
From the beginnings the festival of Kecskemét attempted to provide the most introduction opportunities for the young artists still at the beginning of their career, and undertook to give the green light to non-professional filmmakers and all such new, moving picture attempt, which serves the enrichment of the art of animation. The organisation committee finds it especially important that the festival reacts to the generational gap developed in the profession and to the changes developed in the animated film preparation with the development of technologies. In the spirit of this thought this year there will also be an independent and amateur film festival in Kecskemét, moreover in the City Cinema that has been empty for years. With the help of the local government of Kecskemét the enthusiastic members of the local VÁKUM cultural association undertook to be hosts of this festival between 17-21 June, to which non-professional filmmaker youth can nominate their works prepared with Flash and other animation techniques. In addition to the screenings the organisers await the visitors with numerous concerts.
The traditions of the festival include that it provides not only a cross-section in the information programme of the films of a certain period or artist, but it also provides a thematic selection. This year’s theme will surely be interesting, as the programme has the title “Eroticism in animation”. In this programme the organisers show such animated films at a night screening, which deal with erotic themes, or which are about erotica. There has not been an example for such an initiative similar to this at the local festival, therefore expectedly the – otherwise public, so not only for the professionals – night programme will attract many people.
This year also close to 300 local and foreign visitors are expected to the festival, in addition to the main square screenings puppet and street theatrical performances and concerts entertain the residents of the city and the visitors arriving to Kecskemét. According to the traditions all the screening programmes are public, therefore during the 5 days of the festival everyone will find something to watch and listen to in the “famous” city.