A Report from the I Castelli Animati, the International Festival of Animation in Genzano, Italy
The multi-award winning Au bout du monde (At the End of the World) by Konstantin Bronzit. © and courtesy of Folimage. Jolly Roger keeps pleasing crowds around the world.
© Channel Four Corporation MCMXCVIII.
The prize for the Best Debut Short Film went to Migrations by Costantin Chamsky (France, 1998), while the Best European Short Film award went to 3 Misses (Netherlands, 1999), the latest from the always wonderful Paul Driessen.
The jury for the Italian Competition gave its Grand Prize to Donata Pizzato's Cambi e scambi (Italy, 1998) and a Special Jury Prize to Alessandro Rak's Again (Italy, 1998).
In addition to older material in retrospectives devoted to Rin Taro, Marv Newland, Joanna Quinn, and Roberto Gavioli, there were other worthwhile films that, for one reason or another, screened out of competition. Luigi Liberio Pensuti's Dr. Churkill (Italy, 1940) is a recently rediscovered example of Fascist propaganda, portraying Winston Churchill as a money-grubbing Jekyll-and-Hyde, who needs a special potion to keep from reverting to an ape. Candy Kugel's first episode of Knitwits (U.S., 1999) was funnier and more frenetic than the original short that inspired the prospective series. And, just when you thought fart humor was completely played out, Oscar Grillo's Monsieur Pett, about a poor little man whose life is ruined by his excessive flatulence, was as funny as any film in the festival.
Andy Klein is a film critic for the New Times newspaper chain. He is head of the animation committee for the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).