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On 23 and 30 August, short animated films Unnatural Habitat by Sonya Gorya and Selfie by Jenny Jokela are to premiere as part of CulturaFest.

Those unique films by Sonya Gorya (Russia) and Jenny Jokela (Finland, UK) were commissioned for CulturaFest digital festival of contemporary culture  during the lockdown. Animated films do not only symbolize but also reflect those immense changes that were brough by 2020. The idea of the films is synonymous to the CulturaFest main topics, the plot is about metamorphoses in the world, society and the author’s life. CulturaFest, its format and the 2020 reality itself have dramatically changed through exposure to pandemic and the global lockdown.

I would say there is no art, where mutations would be as close as to animation, which mostly relies on “morphing”, transformation of an object into another one, which is unavailable to many other art forms - Dina Goder, AnimationSundays curator

Animation films Selfie by Jenny Jokela and Unnatural Habitat by Sonya Gorya reflect the changes. The films have been made vertically, which is typical for the mobile video content but totally new for the modern animation, which is mostly targeted at festival wide screens.

On 23 August, Unnatural Habitat by Sonya Gorya, a Moscow-based animator, teacher, and artist, will be released. The film has been inspired by real events: Sonya had moved to her new place right before the lockdown, and ever since her room was not only her personal space but her workplace, exhibition area, concert venue and protest platform. The filmmaker was amazed at how a relatively small room may be that different and facilitate keeping in touch with people around the world, who were also stuck inside.

I think that mutation is a punk process, something chaotic, not planned but fascinating - Sonya Gorya, Moscow-based animator, teacher, and artist

Watch the trailer for Unnatural Habitat by Sonya Gorya

On 30 August, film Selfie is to premiere. Its author Jenny Jokela, an internationally renowned animation director from Finland, is currently residing in Edinburgh. This is the first indie film over a long period of time, yet, it is such an exciting, inspiring and valuable project. Selfie is a self-therapy Jenny needed so much at the time. Months-long lockdown and isolation could not but affect the mental health of the people around. Over a month, Jenny made selfies recording the emotions and feeling of each day. Those pics provided a basis for her film. Selfie is to be the closing episode of AnimationSundays.

Watch the trailer for Selfie by Jenny Jokela:

The films are to premiere on CulturaFest Facebook and Instagram accounts:

About AnimationSundays:
AnimationSundays is a project commissioned for CulturaFest. Animation shorts are released every Sunday on the festival social media accounts and raise such topics as search for language, gender and age identities, internal changes, as well as the new reality we have all faced in 2020. The program features films from Russia, Poland, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil, Hungary and, of course, Finland. After each screening, there will be video interviews with the filmmakers posted on the festival Facebook and Instagram accounts. Anyone who feels like, may ask a question to the director within three days after the screening and have an answer.

About CulturaFest:
CulturaFest is a summer digital festival of contemporary culture about individuals and society, identity, language and changes. For two months, it has been presenting diverse art projects redefining the contemporary Finnish and European identity in the new reality and the interaction between the language and cultural communities and the society. All activities are cumulated on the festival social media and its official website.

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