The annual retrospective dedicated to countries with a strong presence on the international map of animated film is already a tradition at Animest. On our 18th edition, we are celebrating Latvian cinema alongside Atom Art, our Latvian guest animation studio, and renowned Latvian creators who will take part in Animest screenings and artist talks during October 6-15, offering audiences of all ages a unique perspective on Baltic cinema, whose contributions to films d’auteur are making a name for themselves internationally.
The special program Latvia – Animest 2023 Guest Country is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia.
Relatively young yet incredibly fast-growing, Latvian animation stands out today at major festivals with films that mix diverse styles in surprising ways, bringing their creators awards worldwide. Two of these industry-shaping female filmmakers will be on our juries this year.
Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen will review films in the International Feature Film and Romanian Short Film Competitions, and participate in the screening of her most recent film, My Favorite War – awarded with the Annecy Contrechamp Award and French Critics Prize.
Sabīne Andersone will be on the Short Film Competition jury designating the winner of the Animest Trophy. She’s one of the most active film producers in Latvia and the director of the Atom Art animation studio, our guest studio at Animest.18.
Anna Zača, director of the Latvian Animation Association and curator of the Short Riga program presented at the Riga International Film Festival, is also a central figure in Latvian animation. Anna will join renowned Romanian animators to discuss the importance of professional associations in animated film production during Animest.18 industry-focused events. Last but not least, Anna teamed up with Agnese Zapāne (The National Film Centre of Latvia) to curate two delightful programs offering a taste of Latvian cinematography to both kids and adults.
The auteur shorts program includes eight animated gems produced from 1993 to 2023, following diverse unexpected stories about ridiculous accidents, princes, princesses, difficult choices, and new beginnings. The kids’ program also features eight short films spanning the last 50 years, depicting stories inspired by Latvian folklore, where characters from nature bring forth educational messages.
Atom Art – Animest.18 Guest Studio
We’re continuing our tradition of showcasing the work of a specific international animation studio in our section dedicated to industry professionals. This year, we’re excited to learn all about Atom Art, an independent animation studio in Riga, that in recent years has produced short films presented and awarded in festival competitions around the world, as well as feature films such as Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs. The film’s director, Edmunds Jansons, was described by the international platform Zippy Frames as “the most prominent of his generation,” and is actually one of the founders of Atom Art. The filmmaker will be joined in Bucharest by the studio’s producer and director, Sabīne Andersone.
Specialists – and future specialists – in the world of Romanian animation will meet Edmunds and Sabīne during an event dedicated to their studio and its productions, as well as during the Q&A sessions at the special dedicated screenings. You’ll get to watch the feature film Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs during Animest.18, as well as a selection of the most awarded recent Atom Art short films, including Choir Tour, Guard of Honor, and International Father's Day, all by Edmunds Jansons, Ursus (directed by Reinis Pētersons), and It's About Time (by Ivo Briedis).
The Animest Festival is a project of the Animest Association, co-financed by the MEDIA Program of the European Union and AFCN–the Administration of the National Cultural Fund.
The Animest.18 project is co-financed by the Bucharest Municipality through ARCUB. The project does not necessarily represent the official position of the Bucharest Municipality or of ARCUB.
Institutional partners: The French Institute and the Embassy of France, Instituto Cervantes, The Austrian Cultural Forum, Goethe-Institut, The Embassy of Japan, Japan Foundation, Liszt Institute – The Hungarian Cultural Centre, The Czech Centre, The National Film Centre of Latvia, CNDB – The National Centre for Dance Bucharest.
Main media partner: Radio Guerrilla.
Media partners: Radio Romania Cultural, Itsy Bitsy FM, IQads, Zile și Nopți, Elle, Vice, Scena9, Agerpres, Ziarul Metropolis, Mindcraft Stories, Happ.ro, LiterNet, MovieNews, Cinefan, Cinefilia, AaRC.ro, AIVImedia.hub, Munteanu.
Monitoring partner: mediaTRUST.