Prague May 4, 2010 – The Lithuanian Retrospective, which has been prepared this year by the program directors of AniFest together with Lithuanian Dagmar Váňova, is in a way, the first of the Baltic harbingers, putting forth its objective as being to map and better get to know the animation work in this Baltic republic, the so-far least known and least explored. It encompasses 16 films dating from 1913 to the present, and representing 14 filmmakers.
Scope of Retrospective
The Retrospective encompases16 films, dating from 1913 to the present. The initial year of the retrospective – 1913 relates to the first, “revolutionary” works begun in Lithuania and completed in Moscow by Vladislav Starevič (we’re presenting the lesser-known works, despite the very interesting, in terms of animation, film Vánoce u obyvatel lesa (Christmas with Residents of the Forest)), and the last film of the retrospective, Synchronization (Synchronizace, dir. Rimas Sakalauskas) is, in contrast, a display of computer animation of the 21st Century.
The Retrospective will present 14 filmmakers overall. The classics, among which are Vladislav Starevič, Zenonas Tarakevičius, Antanas Janauskas, Ilja Bereznickas, Nijole Valadkevičiute, Zenonas Šteinys, Valentas Aškinis and the younger filmmakers, such as Jurate Leikaite, Danas Bereznickas, Antanas Skučas, Rasa Joni, Ieva Miškinyte, Meinardas Valkevičius and Rimas Sakalauskas.
Selection Criteria – what is represented in the retrospective
Period of Creation
Lithuanian animation has gone through several evolutionary phases, whereas the breakthrough year was 1984, when an independent section of animated work was established at the Lithuanian film studios. Up until this time their animation work is generally referred to as amateur. However, post 1984 work is already within the professional realm.
Unmistakable humor and perspective play a significant role in most of the films. The themes range from mythological and fairy tale themes through philosophical and psychological to social themes, that all intertwine together.
The techniques represented include puppet, drawn and paper cutout animation as well as films created using combined techniques even including Shadow Play Theater. During the selection process, our program directors were guided by their effort to cover the broadest scale of varied aspects with the exception of the “formal Disney type” animation, and with the objective of enabling the viewer to get an overall perspective regarding the directions in which Lithuanian animation has taken over the course of the past 100 years. Disney-style work is not represented intentionally (despite the fact that it also is present in ), because the objective was to find originality and invention in processes, not formal perfection. The fact that the Retrospective includes a number of debuting filmmakers was not planned. We feel that the debuting films, in addition to inventiveness and playfulness, are significant as well for their approach to the material and in the given case may even be considered as breakthrough works.
Mini-Retrospective of Antanas Janauskas
This lone filmmaker, characterized by his minimalism and laconic approach (something the Czech viewer might relate to), is represented here by three films from various time periods:
Initiative (1970), Chair (1995) and Short Circuit (2003). As a filmmaker he holds several awards from international festivals (, ), and his films Telegastrovision and Trumpas Sujungimas are listed on IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3671391/, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1536504/
When the retrospective will be presented
The Lithuanian Retrospective is scheduled as part of the AniFest program for May 19, from 2 p.m. at the Kino Květen-Dům kultury, and on May 21, from 4:30 p.m. (Estrádní sál - Dům kultury). The feature-length live-action documentary on the life and work of Vladislav Starevič, Bug Buster, that will be an unfettered part of the Retrospective will be screened on May 19th at 11 o’clock and May 22nd at 12:30 at the small hall of the Krušnohorské Theater (Malý sál Krušnohorského divadla).
The Lithuanian Retrospective will have its first planned repeat presentation as part of the Echoes of AniFest program, June 7, from 6 p.m. at the Moravian Gallery in
Brno (Moravska galerie v Brně).
A special guest of the program will be the most significant Lithuanian animator, Antanas Janauskas.
Detailed information regarding the schedule for AniFest 2010, accreditation and the two-day international conference, Karel Zeman – Cinema of Miracles (May 17. – 18.) can be found on the festival website.
For greater comfort of festival visitors and for the sake of expedience, this year’s AniFest offers the opportunity of Online Accreditation. More at: www.anifest.cz
AniFest is the largest international, specialized competition festival of animated film in the Czech Republic, with a 9-year tradition. Its mission is the expansion of Czech animation within the European and global contexts. The festival gives professionals, as well as the general public, the opportunity to see the best works, top personalities and the latest trends in domestic and global animation. AniFest carries on its activities year-round within the framework of the Institute of Animation, Echoes of AniFest, AniFest at Schools, and Little Schools of Animation.
Photo - "Initative" by Antanas Janauskas