Tampere's Tooned In Festival
The Tampere International Short Film Festival in Finland has always been a place for animation. This year was no exception. Animation is an integral part of the programme. The Tampere Festival, which celebrated its 30th edition March 8-12, 2000, is often regarded as one of the major short film festivals in Europe, even in the world. However, among the general short film festivals it has the clearest emphasis on animation. The festival enjoyed beautiful weather; the sun shone and the ground was completely covered with soft white snow. This bright light formed a complete contrast to the darkness of the cinemas. The festival holds both national and international competitions. The 80 films in international competition were selected from some 2,000 entries. The competition had 20 animations, and the international jury not surprisingly gave the animation category prize to Konstantin Bronzit for his AU BOUT DU MONDE. The quality of animation in Tampere has often been so high, that several times animated films have even taken the Grand Prix. This time, it was given to Canadian Ian Toews for his experimental documentary FOUR CORNERS. The festivals' special guest was Russian veteran animator Fedor Khitruk (born 1917). He tirelessly presented his retrospectives and engaged the audience in discussion. His deeply human Winnie the Pooh films from the 1960s and 70s were screened together with Disney's Winnie the Pooh films. This gave the audience a nice opportunity to compare the content and style. Khitruk was definitely no loser in this comparison. Another retrospective was on FELIX THE CAT, and featured a selection of the silent animations of Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer. More cats came on the screen with Ralph Bakshi's not too impressive animation FRITZ THE CAT (1971), based on Robert Crumb's comics. In Tampere hardly any festival theme goes without animation. In fact, the Third World Films included Gerrit van Dijk's MUSIC FOR THE MILLIONS (1983), a Johann Sebastian Bach-themed film. Of the major programmes only the New South-African Short Films did not include animation. As always, the screenings of the Imagina winners were among the fastest screenings to sell out.