13 Animation Features for BIAF 2023

Art College 1994 animation still

13 animation features will compete at the 25th Bucheon International Animation Festival (BIAF2023), held on 20-24 October 2023. Both European, North American and Asian features are here represented, some of which have already participated and won at Annecy Film Festival, Berlinale and elsewhere.

                                                                                         The full lineup:

1. Art College 1994 (Liu Jian)
Xiaojun admires Lili. Lili's friend Hong dreams of being a vocalist but considers singing in a bar for money. Yingjun proposes to Lili, who contemplates leaving school for marriage. What is the meaning of art in lives filled with learning, creativity, arguments, love, and friendship?

2. Chicken for Linda! (Chiara Malta, Sébastien Laudenbach)
One day Paulette's ring disappears, and unfairly punishes her daughter Linda. Paulette tries to make it up by cooking chicken herself. Chicken for Linda! blends vibrant colors into their shared bittersweet memories. The film mixes comedy, music, action, and touching moments, urging them to embrace the past's pain and cherish the present.

3. Kensuke’s Kingdom (Neil Boyle, Kirk Hendry)

Micheal falls off from the cruise with his dog Stella. He wakes up on the beach and meets Kensuke, an old Japanese man living on the island. The animation focuses on adventure and living with nature. Kensuke, a non-English-speaking veteran, communicates with Michael through drawings and gestures, forming a unique bond.

4. Mars Express (Jérémie Périn)
Mars Express is an investigative SF film about Aline and Carlos. Aline fights alcoholism, while Carlos is an outdated android with memory issues. Their strong bond adds up to this serious genre, raising questions about human-robot coexistence and the essence of humanity.

5. Phoenix: Reminiscence of Flower (Shojiro Nishimi)
Romi and George settle on the planet Eden 17 for a new life. George’s death leaves Romi, who goes on a cold sleep and their son Cain. When Romi awakes, she becomes queen of an alien civilization descended from Cain, yet she longs for Earth.

6. Robot Dreams (Pablo Berger)
Robot Dreams starts from a dog's perspective, then starts again in a robot's dream. While no dialogue appears, the shot and sound design turns this story to a dynamic fable. It reaches our desire for a soulmate, yet it is touching because it doesn’t end even when it fails.

7. Sand Land (Toshihisa Yokoshima)
Sand Land portrays a world where humans and monsters coexist, facing desertification and demons with extraordinary powers raiding for food. Sand Land expands the dynamic action that comics could not express by adding new blockbuster actions while keeping its unique style.

8. Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds (Benoît Chieux)
Juliet and Carmen enter an extraordinary world in a mysterious book, turned into cats. Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds is unique in its imaginative style, flowing lines, colorful emotions, and ecological perspectives creating enchanting moments, blending familiar tales to show animation's magical power.

9. Sound! Euphonium: Ensemble Contest (Tatsuya Ishihara)

Kumiko’s first challenge as a new captain of the brass band club is a school competition for the ensemble contest representatives. Kumiko's growth from the new member to caring captain, the club’s development, and approach of characters from Liz and the Bluebird will be pleasing to old fans of the series.

10. The Concierge (Itazu Yoshimi)
Akino wants to be a perfect store concierge. Competent to adapt to strict management, she has one problem: the customers are animals. The Concierge is a story of growth where Akino's unique charm and professionalism soften even the sharpest hearts.

11. The Forest of Miss Tang (Denis Do)
In 1886, blocked shipping routes disrupt Tang Hio's life. This film explores enduring family bonds through choices, old and new, remembering and forgetting, with the forest as a central motif. A rooted tree cannot move easily, yet the bonsai tree shows the family's next generation.

12. The Siren (Sepideh Farsi)

Set during the Iran-Iraq War, The Siren dives into the tragic history through 14-year-old Omid in Abadan. It tells that there is honor in enduring this life. People still live and fight, worry about food, and pray through the sirens.

13. White Plastic Sky (Tibor Bánóczki, Sarolta Szabó)
In 2123 Budapest, people must offer them to the city at the age of 50 due to limited resources. When Nora leaves to be a tree at 30, Stefan follows her. White Plastic Sky portrays humanity's struggles in post-apocalypse.

BIAF2023 will be held for 5 days from October 20 to October 24 in Bucheon, South Korea.

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