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Fantoche Festival Announces 2018 Feature Selections

Twenty-one animated features selected to screen at the 2018 edition of the Fantoche International Animation Film Festival.

‘Funan,’ directed by Denis Do (BE/KH/FR/LU).

The Fantoche International Animation Film Festival has announced the feature selections for this year’s edition, running September 4-9 in Baden, Switzerland.

Fantoche 2018 will be presenting 21 of the latest feature films for all ages and tastes, including an exclusive screening of Japanese anime mega-hit Your Name. Other premieres include the film adaptation of the Colombian-Ecuadorian graphic novel Virus Tropical, as well as six decidedly political-historical animated films, including the opening Funan (with the director in attendance), and the Swiss production Chris the Swiss. Some screenings are nearly sold out, including Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, although there are still a few tickets available for the Making of with lead animator Kim Keukeleire and head of painting Roy Bell.

Opening Night

The opening feature film Funan depicts life under the brutal regime of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia through a family that, despite separation, hunger and violence, never loses hope. This dark chapter of Cambodian history is contrasted with color-realistic, clear drawings of the incredibly beautiful landscape. Regular Fantoche visitors have already been able to follow the progress of the film: In 2016, director Dennis Do presented this autobiographically-inspired story as “Coming Soon” at the festival, long before he received several awards for the film at the Annecy Festival. Do will be in attendance at Fantoche and will be hand to take questions from the audience at the opening night screening of his film.

Further political-historical films include the Oscar-nominated book adaptation The Breadwinner, the Swiss production Chris the Swiss, and Another Day of Life, which is about Ryszard Kapuściński and his doubts about the objective journalistic view on the war-torn Angola of the 70s. And the comic adaptation Un homme est mort, about a workers strike in France in the 1950s and the importance of film as an instrument of power.

For Kids

More than a third of the programmed feature films are (also) for children: Captain Morten and the Spider Queen is the first feature film by the Estonian director, musician and screenwriter Kaspar Jancis, who has repeatedly shown short films in the Fantoche competitions. Morten wants to be a sailor -- like his father, to whom the Irish actor Brendan Gleeson lends his voice. One day, this dream comes true as Morten wakes up onboard of his own toy ship. Jancis, to put himself in Morten’s position, designed the storyboard on a ship from Rotterdam to the Antarctic. The result is a carefully made stop-motion movie full of quirky characters who dream and where anything seems possible.

‘Captain Morten and the Spider Queen,’ directed by Kaspar Jancis (Estonia).

In Libro de Lila, there are also no limits to the imagination: the Colombian film is already special, “because it comes from Colombia, a country with no great film tradition and production possibilities,” says festival director Annette Schindler, “and even more so because it was made by a female director, Marcela Rincón.” The film’s protagonist Lila lives happily in a children’s book until a storm tears her from the pages and she suddenly is followed by the vultures of oblivion. Only Ramon could save her, but he hardly seems to remember the heroine of his favorite children’s book.

Also from Colombia comes Virus Tropical, the film adaptation of the autobiographical graphic novel of the artist Power Paola. Paola is the third daughter of an Ecuadorian middle-class family. Her father is a priest, her mother is a “psychic” and her sisters are not what their parents expected. Virus Tropical is a coming-of-age movie about growing up as a Latina, a unique female perspective that cannot be shaken by any crisis.


A festival offers a unique opportunity meet and greet a wide range of filmmakers. If you listen to them, you’ll hear many stories -- sometimes quite adventurous -- which take place behind the scenes of film production. The Swiss filmmaker Anja Kofmel, for example, will be talking about making-of her film Chris the Swiss, which has already been celebrated at major festivals this year, or Jakob Schuh on Revolting Rhymes. In addition, lead animator Kim Keukeleire and head of painting Roy Bell report on the creation of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs.

Source: Fantoche International Animation Film Festival