Piccolo Festival dell'Animazione 2022: A Festival That Looks to the Future (Report)

The fifteenth edition of the Piccolo Festival dell'Animazione came to its end celebrating another year with a program full of cultural activities such as workshops, special screenings, concerts, and exhibitions. It is worth celebrating the tenacity of the festival that continues seeking to merge the best visual and animated contemporary art, seeking to build a better and more conscious audience in the northern region of Friuli-Venezia-Giulia.

In a friendly, professional, and intense environment, the PFA managed to offer moments of calm and reflection to its attendees in all the cities where its activities were carried out. The full rooms at the Animakids and Animayoung screenings let us see that the future, despite everything, looks promising because the festival uses art as social cohesion.

The festival opened with a wonderful concert carried out by Banda Rulli Frulli and an emotive ceremony giving the Lifetime Achievement Award to the legendary Francesco Tullio Altan, creator of Pimpa. In a full screening room, the audience gave a well-deserved tribute to the artist.

"Canary" by P-H Dallaire and Benoit Therriault won the award voted as the best film of the Anima Kids I competition. The winner of the Animakids II competition was "Piropiro" by Miyoung Baek. The children were excited and happy about the programs screened.

The young audience of the Animayoung competition voted for "Zaguate" by Elisa Turrin, aka Upata, to win, but the award was very closely disputed with "Matapacos" by Karla Riebartsch and Lion Durst. Both films have canine protagonists and talk about the desire for freedom and social criticism, which demonstrate the political awareness of the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia students region.

The Green competition was a strong program with titles that reflect not only the urgent situation about our environment but also direct metaphors of our destructive way of life. Finally, the winner was "Airborne", a film that captures from the first second and does not let go of the audience. With a brilliant, both visual and narrative, Andrzej Jobczyk's film managed to captivate the jury. The special mention went to Pioneers, a film that in my opinion ended up being tedious despite its original idea of telling what happened to all those sacrificed animal lives so humans could reach the moon one day. Another film worth mentioning was "Clair de Lune" by Fabio Bozzetto and Diego Zucchi, opting for an animistic reflection, they manage to excite the audience and make us think about our relationship with the moon not only materially but also in a spiritual way.

In the charming town of Portogruaro, took place the presentation of the 15+1 exhibition, which was based on the best Italian independent animation short films curated by the director Paola Bristot, the Vivacomix association, and Ottomani collective. Firstly, there was a meeting with the city's mayor Florio Favero and the organizer of the exhibition Marco Pasian. The mayor celebrated art as a way to raise awareness and come to terms before opting for violent solutions. In addition, the mayor encouraged young people to exercise their right to curiosity to expand their thinking. The authors Michele Bernardi, Beatrice Pucci, and Mauro Carraro talked about the importance of memory and animation as constructive curses to express our points of view and feelings. The exhibition in the Gallery of Contemporary Art filled with enthusiasm the students who had a direct approach to the creative processes of the animations that they previously enjoyed.

The Visual&Music competition had a splendid winning film, although I think its plot and narrative are more typical of being in the main competition, I am speaking of the very fresh and fun "Loop" by Argentinian Pablo Polledri. A film sustained in loops of daily activities and that develops its genius when one of the characters decides to break her loop and then unleashes an intense chase for freedom.

Special mentions went to "How Many" by Bianca Scali and "Oh, Whose is the rye" by Anna Shveigolz; two diverse films that the jury decided to award with special mentions thanks to their technical and content proposals.

In the after-dinner sessions with the professionals and the assistants, rumors were made about the possible winner of the main competition, and without a doubt, the winner was always among the unofficial shortlists of animation lovers. On Saturday night we found out that "The Record" by the Swiss-Italian director Jonathan Laskar won the main prize. With impeccable animation, the film delves into the recurring theme of memory. It seeks, despite the limitations, to illustrate the process of forgotten memories, intense ones, and their emotions. Putting all his experience and creativity into this short film, the director achieves a magnificent film.

The musical part of the festival gave us moments of relaxation with great exponents of the nightlife in the region such as Lorenzo Commiso and Eva Poles. The show by the young promise of comics and music, Nygel Panasco closed a festival in which art kept us sane in the face of what seemed to be a world of raucous madness with no horizon.

The Piccolo Festival dell'Animazione thus closed a difficult edition due to the political moment in Italy, but the festival opened a window to use and watch the future where animated art is of the utmost importance for critical and clear thinking.

Contributed by: Kropka

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