The 6th edition of the traditional ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival for children and adults, organized by the Azerbaijan Animation Association will be held at the Nizami Cinema Center on September 6-10, 2023 with support of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Cinema Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The festival has recently released its comprehensive program and announced ticket sales.
The international jury of the festival includes six foreign professionals: Isabelle Favez (Switzerland), Ismail Iman (Azerbaijan), Ana Chubinidze (Georgia), Oktai Iusibov (Azerbaijan, Finland), Olivier Catherin (France) and Tehzeeb Khurana (India).
The festival will be attended by special guests from Europe and Asia, including directors and animators from Europe and Asia: Masud Panahi (Azerbaijan, Germany), Kireet Khurana (India), Matthew Lyon (Canada), and Michaël Dudok de Wit (The Kingdom of the Netherlands, United Kingdom).
Michaël Dudok de Wit is a renowned Dutch director and illustrator who won an Oscar in 2001 for the Best Animated Short Film category for his movie “Father and Daughter”. He also received BAFTA and Grand Prix awards at the Annecy Festival for the same movie. The director will personally present his latest Oscar-nominated film, “The Red Turtle”, co-produced by the famous Japanese animation company, Studio Ghibli. In addition, the festival will feature two masterclasses led by the famous director: “Creativity” and “Film Language and Storytelling”. These masterclasses are designed for animation professionals, film, and artists, as well as enthusiasts of this field.
Matthew Lyon, a Canadian filmmaker and teacher with 25 years of experience in the film industry, is another foreign guest of the festival. Lyon has won numerous awards and is recognized as one of the leading specialists in the animation industry worldwide. He has worked with big names like “Netflix” and “Apple TV”. During the festival, he will conduct a masterclass on “Animation for Professionals,” offering valuable insights on building a successful career in the field.
The “Classic Azerbaijani Animated Films” event with Masud Panahi will present and discuss his legendary film “Ms. Beetle and Mr. Mouse” (Tik-Tik Khanum).
Kireet Khurana, director of the Indian AniMela Festival, will present the “Best Indian Animation Films Awarded” program to the festival audience.
It should be noted that the revenue obtained from the festival’s ticket sales will be donated to support local young women directors. As part of the festival, a workshop and funding program titled “Women’s Rights through Animated Films” will be organized with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. Five authors have won the opportunity to participate in the program.
Members of the jury, Isabelle Favez, and Olivier Catherin, will provide professional training on how to develop, pitch, and produce short animated film projects. As a result of the workshop, the authors will present their projects to the public at the “ANIMAFILM School: Pitching Competition” event at the festival. The best projects will be awarded a cash prize at the closing ceremony of the festival.
As part of the professional program of the festival, “ANIMAFILM School: Making of Hadis” will be held with the participation of Nazrin Aghamaliyeva, director of the film “Hadis” and Ismayil Iman, screenwriter. Two members of the international jury, Tehzeeb Khurana and Ana Chubinidze, will conduct workshops for children on creating animation examples.
The co-organizer of the festival is “PERI FILM” LLC.
The general sponsors of the festival are the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Cinema Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation as the main sponsor. Other sponsors include the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Republic of Azerbaijan and the TOTD/Tip Of The Day Community Center and Public Relations.
This year the festival’s partners are the Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers, the Azerbaijan Creative Industries Federation, Shahmaran Metaceramica, Gender Hub Azerbaijan, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Embassy of France in Azerbaijan, the French Institute in Azerbaijan, the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Tripsome, XPPen, Mr. Chemical, Bonaqua, and Dynamic Box.
The festival’s media partners are Skwigly Animation Magazine, Madaniyyat TV, Trend News Agency, Day.az, Milli.az, Azernews, the Akinchi, VarYox, KYNO platforms and CityLife.az.