Stop-motion fans from around the world have converged upon the city of Lodz, in Poland, for the fourth annual Se-ma-for Stop Motion Film Festival, held this year October 9-13.
The first its type within Europe, the festival is a feast of stop-motion animated films organized under the name of Poland’s Oscar-winning Se-ma-for studio.
This year’s edition boasts almost 250 animations from dozens of countries, as well as speakers from Aardman, Pixar and Tim Burton’s filmmaking team. In celebration of the first anniversary of Se-ma-for Museum of Animation, a separate, free children’s festival has also been organized.
This year, the Festival leitmotif is France and animation of French-speaking countries. It is here where the roots of world animations reach. Prepare for a journey through French stop motion from The Archive of Masters to Modern France, pearls of Belgian animation and a stop motion review of last few years at the most important European festivals, such as Anima Belgia -- a noble event, which has just celebrated its 30th edition or European Film Festival. Se-ma-for will reach also to animations from Canada (set prepared by National Film Board of Canada -- producers of famous Madame Tutli Putli, a film that almost snatched Oscar from Polish Peter and the Wolf). As a tidbit, we’ve also prepared a set of African films selected by ASIFA Egypt, as well as animated music videos.
Each festival day gives a chance to watch an animated feature realized fully or partially in stop motion. Among them is a Polish premiere of French documentary made in clay animation by Alain Ughetto, awarded with Cesar and BAFTA. Ughetto will be a festival guest, so will be his fellow countryman Jean-Louis Bompoint, a Director of Photography collaborator with director Michele Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Bompoint will present a set of animations based on classical music and jazz. Also, during a meeting, viewers will have a chance to hear a bit about his cooperation with Natalie Portman, George Clooney or Paul McCartney.
-- Head over to the AWN Facebook page to view a selection of images from the Festival --
But there will be even more renowned guests, including Anthony Christov, an Artistic Director in Pixar studio, who worked on films such as Finding Nemo or WALL-E. Then we have Jens Jonathan Gulliksen and Tim Allen who are among the world top animators – working on such productions as Frankenweenie and Corpse Bride by Tim Burton or Fantastic Mr. Fox. Among guests will be also Marc Silk – voice actor who dubbed such characters as Johnny Bravo or Aks Moe in Star Wars: Episode I, accompanied by BAFTA nominated director Chris Randall. Together they created first interactive stop motion animation Globbert.
A real heart of the Festival is International Competition for the Best Stop Motion Animation and Competition for the Best Polish Animation. There will be over 80 animations in several sections screened -- professional, student and children. Films will be assessed by international jury with Rene Chéniér from National Film Board of Canada as its chairman. Winners will be awarded with Little Peters -- statuettes modeled on the character from Oscar-winning Polish stop motion animation Peter and the Wolf.
For the first time among Festival events there will be also Junior Se-ma-for Film Festival, dedicated especially for children spectators. There will be also Children Jury that will award its own prize in all the competitions.
All the awarded films will be announced on Saturday, October 12.
The Se-ma-for Film Festival is co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the City of Lodz and the Polish Film Institute. For more information, visit www.se-ma-for.com.
Source: Se-ma-for Stop Motion Film Festival