The Animated Film Section: We Have a Taste for Choice - What This Year's Animation Competition for Children Will Bring.

02. May 2024

Imagine the competition section of short, animated films for children as a giant box of candies, bringing the best pieces of current world production. In the narrowest selection, there are 51 animated films from 20 countries around the world, with France and Germany once again dominating in numbers.

Just as it's not easy to make a short animated film, it's also not easy to select the most representative collection worthy of an international prestigious competition at the Zlín Film Festival. This year's pre-selection was somewhat quantitatively poorer, but we tried even harder to select the greatest pearls. As you can see, some countries are represented more than others; the French selection is so rich that we could create a separate competition from it. The festival's program aims to offer children entertainment, education, and above all, a journey into the unique beauty of animated film. The world they will see on the cinema screen is full of fantasy, magic, and amazing stories. Moreover, it abounds with various animation techniques that current cinema distribution does not offer.

This year's frost fortunately didn't destroy the crop of Czech animated films. We have eight of them in the competition. Student Jan B. Piskač revives love letters in his charming film Marie, of which we wrote plenty during adolescence. The talented Daniela Hýbnerová, author of the unforgettable animated documentary Kuku (2020), serves us a very funny one-minute play, Hedgehog. The Czech-Slovak film Everything We Missed, directed by Marta Prokopová, will have its world premiere in Zlín. It's another great work from the production workshop of MAUR Film, which can boast of multiple participation in this year's Annecy festival. We're also delighted with the representation from Zlín in the competition. The local animation workshop of Ateliér Animované Tvorby will enrich this year's showcase with two films featuring heavenly themes – Filip Dobeš's Fly By and Zuzana Matysová's Mr. Slumber.

Educational elements have been brought into the competition by films with both known and unknown history. The Polish film Asiunia by director Tomek Ducki brings the Holocaust to mind, recalling last year's emotional experience from the Swedish film by Stina Wirsén and The Story of Bodri. For older audiences, and to introduce children to the first dog in space, the Italian film Laika, Brave Dog by Francesco Catarinolo will remind them and introduce them to the story. A completely unknown historical figure, the last monarch of Hawaii, is chosen as the theme by American director Ciara Lacy in the film The Queen‘s Flowers.

Audiences can enjoy another exotic experience in the Japanese twenty-minute film Magical Candies, based on a well-known Korean children's book by renowned illustrator and animator Hee-na Baek. This fantasy tale about a boy who, with the help of special candies, can understand animals and their old couch, will surely appeal to all children.

Films like the French Yuck! about the magic of the first kiss and the charming musical tribute to Canadian Montreal titled The Girl with the Red Beret by director Janet Perlman boast funny and original stories.

Director Carolyne Gair, a big fan of Czechoslovak stop-motion animation, brings her film to Zlín from the North American continent. Her captivating puppet film Forage brings long-forgotten objects from the old attic back to life.

Slovak puppet, Spanish cutout, Swiss... About a baker, an octopus, a windmill, a robot, a crab... As promised, this year in cinemas there will be a variety of tastes, colors, and scents to choose from. For those who are not satisfied with the flavors of animated films for children, there is a new treat to look forward to – Animation Nights, which will bring exceptional animated works intended for older viewers.

International Competition of Short Animated Films for Children

#DoudouChallenge (FRA, 2023, dir: Julie Majcher, Alexandra Delaunay-Fernandez, Sixtine Emerat, Marine Benabdallah-Crolais, Scott Pardailhé-Galabrun, Noémie Segalowicz)

After Grandpa (FRA, 2023, dir: Juliette Michel, Axel  Sense, Victoria  Leviaux, Florian  Gomes Freitas, Swann  Valenza)

Asiunia (POL, 2023, dir: Tomek Ducki)

Baking with Boris (FRA/SUI/CRO, 2022, dir: Maša Avramović)

Bobo (SVK, 2023, dir: Veronika Obertová)

Cafunè (SPA, 2024, dir: Carlos F. de Vigo, Lorena Ares)

Clawlolo: Gramophone (CYP, 2023, dir: Alexey Alexeev)

Coot (NLD, 2023, dir: Marlies van der Wel)

Dhakira (FRA, 2023, dir: Salma Gaoua, Amandine Van Hille, Aïda-Marie Tadevosian, Cyprien Fermaut)

Dormouse (GER, 2022, dir: Julia Ocker)

Everything We Missed (CZE/SVK, 2024, dir: Marta Prokopová)

Fallin´ (SPA, 2023, dir: Carlos Navarro)

Fly By (CZE, 2023, dir: Filip Dobeš)

Forage (USA, 2024, dir: Carolyn Gair)

Forever Seven (GER, 2024, dir: Antje Heyn, Alexander Isert)

Foxtale (POR, 2023, dir: Alexandra Allen)

Go Away, Alfred! (FRA/Bel, 2023, dir: Célia Tisserant, Arnaud Demuynck)

Goodbye Mamejee (FRA, 2023, dir: Taslyne Oumarkatar, Marie Susanyan, Jin-Hyung Park, Antoine Furic, Emma Daillie, Léonardo Girardi)

Head in the Clouds (FRA/BEL, 2023, dir: Remi Durin)

Hoofs on Skates (LIT, 2024, dir: Ignas Meilūnas)

Kids in Winter (CHN, 2022, dir: Maing Caochong)

Laika, the Brave Dog (ITA, 2024, dir: Francesco Catarinolo)

Little Fan (GER, 2023, dir: Sveta Yuferova)

Lucky Four - Mates from Boomsplutter (CZE, 2024, dir: Michal Žabka)

Magic Candies (JAP, 2024, dir: Daisuke NISHIO)

Marie (CZE, 2024, dir: Jan B. Piskač)

Mr. Slumber (CZE, 2023, dir: Zuzana Matysová)

Nina´s Friend (BEL, 2024, dir: Neyrouz Jemour)

Night Market (USA, 2023, dir: Yingyu Zhu, Chenyi Zhu, Xinyu Sun)

OVO (FRA, 2023, dir: Stiv Spasojevic)

Potatoes (POL, 2023, dir: Marcin Podolec)

Pufferfish (GER, 2022, dir: Julia Ocker)

Rhino (GER, 2022, dir: Julia Ocker)

Scrubby (GER, 2023, dir: Paul Vollet)

Shellfish (FRA, 2023, dir: Justine Aubert, Cassandra  Bouton, Gregoire  Callies, Maud  Chesneau, Anna  Danton, Loic  Girault, Gatien  Peyrude, Justine  Raux)

Summer Rain (SUI, 2023, dir: Marlene Low)

The Girl With The Occupied Eyes (POR, 2024, dir: André Carrilho)

The Girl With the Red Beret (CAN, 2023, dir: Janet Perlman)

The Hedgehog (CZE, 2023, dir: Daniela Hýbnerová)

The Missing Spots (AUT, 2023, dir: Astrid Rothaug)

The Queen´s Flowers (USA, 2023, dir: Ciara Lacy)

Three Trees (CAN, 2023, dir: M.R. Horhager, Aaron Hong)

Touching Darkness (CZE, 2024, dir: Jamaica Kindlová)

Tuu Tuu Til (GER, 2024, dir: Veronica Solomon)

Two Apples (CAN, 2023, dir: Bahram  Javahery)

What´s Inside That Crate? (BEL, 2023, dir: Bram Algoed)

What's Up with the Sky? (SPA, 2023, dir: Irene Iborra)

When I Was Scared of the Dark (FRA/BEL, 2023, dir: Célia Tisserant)

Who´s Wrong (SWE, 2024, dir: Linda Hambäck, Stina Wirsén)

Writing Home (CZE, 2024, dir: Eva Matějovičová)

Yuck! (FRA, 2024, dir: Loic Espuche)