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Our top Belgian animation short picks from the 40th Anima Festival (12-21 Feb 2021).

Vassilis Kroustallis picks up his favorite animation shorts competing at the National Belgian competition (professional and student films) at the 40th Anima Festival online (12-21 February 2021).

(in alphabetical order)

Cherry on the Cake by Chloé Farr (Student Film)

Dani, a young babysitter, has just arrived to babysit twins. Before leaving, the parents show Dani a sumptuous cake with instructions not to touch it. Once the twins are in bed, Dani opens the the refrigerator. He can’t believe his eyes: the cake has disappeared. Dani sets out to find it and begins a surreal quest through the house.

ZF Sneak Review: Structured like a series of non-aligned comic strip panels (or Instagram stories), Cherry on the Cake is as playful and energetic in its image and sound as its characters -both within and outside the panel

Dry Sea, Yves Bex and Bart Bossaert

A fisherman is left alone on the shore of a dried out sea. He is stuck in the past until a sandstorm overtakes him and redefines the meaning of his existence.

ZF Sneak Review: Its dramatic structure, coupled with a crisp sense of editing, make up for a familiar, but still relevant and emotional story of family estrangement

Easter Eggs by Nicolas Keppens

The Chinese restaurant is empty. Mister Ping is gone. The exotic bird’s cage stands wide open. No one knows what happened. Two friends, Jason and Kevin, see this as a great opportunity to catch the birds and sell them for a great amount of money. But catching the birds ain’t as simple as it seems…

ZF Sneak Review: in the universe of Nicolas Keppens, anything can happen, and it is both peculiar and immensely interesting

Hold Me Tight by Mélanie Tourneur 

In the heart of a dark forest two silhouettes come together. The creatures move like predators, attracting and repelling each other. They seduce each other in an explosive mating ritual. "Hold me tight" is a flamboyant bitter romance where the violent attraction of the characters puts them in danger.

ZF Sneak Review: Hold Me Tight has energy, an irresistible color palette and a subject-matter that brings you primal fears all over your comfy armchair. A well-constructed piece.

Mosaic, Imge Özbilge and Sine Özbilge

In the oldest city of the Middle East, a Kurdish student, a Muslim musician and a Christian little girl are part of a cultural mosaic. When vicious noises bring war upon their city, a mysterious sunfish appears to save them.

ZF Sneak Review: It is a lovely mix of disparate elements who are meant to go wrong. Your eye can't stop wandering around the cultural details, and your heart is in the right place all the time.


Polyamory by Emily Worms (Student film)

Two friends talk about their relationship. Between polyamory and politics, they let their love blossom freely.

ZF Sneak Review: Using the animation documentary trope, and with slight, welcome alternations in its character design as the film progresses, Polyamory introduces us to both the experiences and the politics of polyamorous triad relationships.

Un Kilomètre à pied by Mathieu Georis (Student Film)

During a scouting hike, children pee along a river. The presence of the group bothers one of them, nothing comes out. Folded up behind a tree, he sees a slug on the bark of the trunk. Out of sight of the others, he takes advantage of this moment to play one-two-three piano with the slug. 

ZF Sneak review: Immersive and monochromatic, the film takes you into an adventure of interaction and abandonment -slightly offhand, and almost ritual.

The 40th Anima Festival takes place online, 12-21 February 2021.

contributed by: Vassilis Kroustallis

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