Piccolo Festival dell’Animazione 2023: The Endurance and Evolution of A Festival
Although past years, like this one, have been deplorable due to natural disasters and armed conflicts. Animation festivals continue to be a refuge to rethink the current moment and find the aspirations that we as a society want for the future. In this harsh context, the PFA has not only managed to resist but also evolve, expand, and remain solid with a very particular festival format covering the main towns in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region.
This year the official opening of the PFA took place in a full room with an audience happy to attend a new edition. After a brief introduction by the artistic director Paola Bistrot, the mayor of San Vito al Tagliamento, Alberto Bernava, talked about the determination of Paola and her team to make the growth of the festival. The mayor also mentioned the need to celebrate art, reflection, and the deepening of thought.
Right away began the interview between Davide Toffolo and Andrea Lorenzon, creator of the popular Italian series: 'Cartoni Morti'. In this interview, the content creator detailed his beginnings to nowadays where he has managed to add over a million followers on his YouTube channel. Even though the interviewer showed little preparation for the interview, Lorenzo gave a great talk explaining his point of view from which he took humor to make his animated series and managed to excite the audience. At the end of the conversation, the public queued to get an autograph from Andrea Lorenzon.
This year's exhibition was very well curated with different works and proposals but all of them were of very high quality. It is worth highlighting the exhibited designs of the book 'Il Barone Rampante' by Sara Colaone, based on the text by Italo Calvino. Each design shows the mastery she handles. From concept, color palette, and details, the designs immediately get into the heart.
'Ιl Baronte Rampante' Exhibition
The number-one program of the main competition was held at the Visionario in Udine where the program the short films to highlight are:
'Aaaah!' by Osman Cefron, although it is entertaining and reflective, after her great last film 'I am Going for Cigarettes', this new short film didn't convince me in its entirety.
'27' by Anna Buda, this year's winner of the 'Palme d’Or' for the short film. The film lacks a certain elegance that Anna Buda has accustomed us to, but one might think that she allows herself precisely this freedom to give us one of the best short films of the year. Here the approach is simple, but it goes to the depths. The best portrait I have seen of the drama of the generation that can't afford a place to live. 27 is direct, funny, delusional, and sad. Also, the film gives us a great dance scene within independent animation.
'Our Uniform' by Iranian author Yegane Moghaddam. The girl narrator tells the story of how discovers that people have different textures, colors, and shapes. She tells how the hijab is part of the uniform of the girls, and she does it humorously, with a very interesting technique of drawing on the textures of pants. A valuable film.
This year the edition of the festival was full of new proposals such as the augmented reality workshop, where the children learn what this new technology is and how to use it in the field of animated art. In addition, the stop-motion animation workshops were a success in every edition. The masterclass with the brothers Alice and Stefano Tambellini had great success in Udine, Pordenone, and San Vito al Tagliamento.
The emotional show 'Anestesia' by the comic artist Josephine Yole Signorelli aka Fumettibrutti, in which she narrates part of her comic book, the path taken to achieve her sex change, and the structural problems she suffered to achieve it. People from San Vito, Pordenone, Udine, and nearby towns attended the show and waited to get their books signed by the author.
'Anestesia' by Josephine Yole Signorelli aka Fumettibrutti
The festival organized a getaway for all its guests to Villa Manin, a monumental architectural complex built in the sixteenth century at the behest of the noble Friulian Antonio Manin. The villa has the Chapel of San Andrea and the so-called 'Chamber of Napoleon', where the famous emperor slept, who here signed the Treaty of Campoformio in 1797.
The musical events also had a very good response from the public. The DJ set at the San Lorenzo church was highly celebrated for the quality of the musical program. This set was illustrated with popular animations from the beginning of the last century, giving a vintage but very modern atmosphere due to the nature of the music and the sound games made with different objects by the artist Enrico Sist.
The 'Cumbia Minimal', the musical event that gave way to the revelation of the winners, filled the auditorium with a slow cumbia rhythm, while the orchestra director handed out a mysterious drink so that everything became a ritual. The audience reacted positively by lining up to try the mysterious drink offered. In the end, the musicians received great applause from the audience that celebrated the performance.
A few minutes later the crucial moment arrived, and the winners were revealed.
The winner of the main competition was the film 'Kharms' by Svetlana Andrianova. The jurors Sara Colaone, Rastko Ćirić, and Slave Lukarov motivated their choice, "The film brings life to the nonsense. Reminds us of the absurd around us. This animation fantasy successfully joins different fields of art".
The special mentions went to 'Aaaah!' by Osman Cerfon and 'Eeva', the last film made by Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak.
The Audience Award went to the film 'Impossible Maladies' by Alice and Stephen Tambellini. This film took more than 10 years from its first idea to its premiere. This film is an achievement of perseverance, will, and love for animation.
Visual and music video competition
The winning film was 'Land of Sorrow' by Shi-Rou Huang, a music video that in the words of the jury "Praised the sensitive symbiosis between music and image creation". The special mention went to 'Oblivion' by Igor Imhoff. The statement of the jury stands out "The chaotic changing and new perspectives on the musical and visual images".
'Land of Sorrow' by Shi-Rou Huang
The Polish film 'Krab' by Piotr Chmielewski was the winner of this category. Jury members Pierre Bourrigault, Manuel Baldassare, and Radostina Neykova particularly appreciated “the iconic and laconic storytelling”. The special mention went to 'La Calesita' by Augusto Schillaci. The jury gave this mention "For a different and deep interpretation of the carrousel as a symbol of passing time".
The winner of Animakids 1, was the film 'Boom' by Gabriel Augerai, Romain Augier, Laurie Pereira De Figueiredo, Charles Di Cicco, and Yannick Jacquin, from ENSI school in Avignon. The winner for the Animakids 2, was 'Entre Deux Sœurs' by Anne-Sophie Gousset and Clément Céard. The film was the most voted film by middle school and late elementary school students.
The winner of this competition was the very well-made and funny film 'La Quête de l'Humain' by Mélina Ienco, Lucie Juric, Caroline Leibel, Faustine Merle, and Claire Pellet from Gobelins school in Paris. The special mention went for the stop-motion film 'From the Top' by Rich Farris, which was highly praised by high school students.
The Piccolo Festival is an event for an entire region, which apart from enduring and resists, always proposes new ways to approach animated art. It is a titanic effort that requires not only an iron will and a capacity for coordination, it requires an audience that loves animation and a team willing to make such artistic and extensive programs as this year. We await the next edition of the Piccolo Festival dell’Animazione.
Piccolo Festival dell’Animazione 2023 Award Ceremony
The Piccolo Festival dell' Animazione took place from 11 to 18 November 2023 in San Vito al Tagliamento.
Contributed by: Kropka
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