Some of the highlights of the Swiss Fantoche Festival.
With a total of 188 events at 11 locations from 3rd to 8th of September, the International Animation Film Festival Fantoche will present the complete spectrum of current animation: the international competition; a focus on migration over the last 100 years; an insight into the past and present of animation in the Italian part of Switzerland; VR experiences and current feature films are on the program.
The main attraction, of course, is the Swiss premiere of The Swallows of Kabul (Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec), a love story in the war turmoil of Kabul, in which numerous Swiss participants collaborated. A big presence is of director Ari Folman («Waltz with Bashir», «The Congress») as a guest, who’ll give a masterclass with insights into his work and talk about his experiences.
But there are more important things in the mix for Fantoche 201. In the programme Shoes, a Shirt and 100 Lire, film curator Annegret Richter shows the very diverse facets of migration: When people leave their homeland, they usually do so in pursuit of a better life. Migration is always followed by arrival in a new place. And by living in this new place, a new perspective of the old homeland arises.
Hollow Land, Uri and Michelle Kranot
All these aspects can be found in three short film programs. Furthermore, this year's festival theme is supplemented among other things through the exhibition «Stories of Migration» at Reformierte Kirche Baden, where an original emigrant suitcase from the 19th century, provided by the local museum Mellingen, is on display. As well as Virtual Reality projects on the subject for which local school classes cooperated with professional filmmakers. On Saturday evening literature meets film at Royal: authors wrote texts on short films from the thematic focus. And Pastor Christina Huppenbauer puts the Swiss animated film Au revoir Baltasar at the center of her Sunday sermon.
There is surprisingly little information about the animated film in the Italian part of Switzerland. «Even though the RSI, the smallest of the three regional SRG stations, initiated a local production biotope unique to Switzerland in the 1970s, which also produced personal work» explains curator Rolf Bächler. He watched several hours of films for Fantoche and compiled three short film programs showing works created in the Italian part of Switzerland as well as films made by people born in the Italian region of Switzerland. When this «biotope» dried up in the 1990s, the search for work led many filmmakers into exile.
Vigia, Marcel Barelli
At the Fantoche Industry Day, representatives of the film industry in Italian part of Switzerland also talk about the future of the «Svizzera Italiana Animata».
This year, the Fantoche retrospectives celebrate two independent female protagonists: Joanna Priestley has been animating and producing her own films since 1983, to date 29 short films, an animated feature film ("North of Blue") and an app. Like no other, she shows life events in an ironic way. In addition to these narrative pieces, the retrospective curated by Dominique Marconi also reveals some abstract works of art.
British animator Ruth Lingford is known for her «feel bad films» - films that captivate and stimulate the audience with the seductive power of animation. Eliška Děcká's selection spans from 1992 to the 2017 short film «Trump Dreams» - a short film based on dreams about Donald Trump.
Jericca Cleland (US), Gabriella de Gara (CH), Arba Hatashi (KOS),, Hisko Hulsing (NL), Joni Männistö (FI),
Jury Swiss Competition
Waltraud Grausgruber (AT), Natalia Mirzoyan (RU), Joanna Priestley (US)
The opening film of the 2019 Fantoche International Animation Film Festival is the Hungarian Ruben Brandt, Collector. The award ceremony will take place on the 8th of September starting at 6 pm in the TRAFO in Baden.