The success of the Festival of Auteur Animated Film

On New Year's Eve, on December 12, an unimaginable event took place. The pathetic Marriott Radisson Olympic Hotel, which is usually inaccessible for mere creative persons and modest fans of auteur animation, hospitably opened its magnificent halls for the solemn ceremony of rewarding of winners of The 1st International Festival of Auteur Animated Film, or simply FAAF'2013.

According to a new festival tradition all guests were offered fruit, light meals, champagne and others alcoholic and not really alcoholic drinks, and everyone could take memorable pictures in front of the symbolics of FAAF and near its organizers.

Live music of violin and wind instruments added the harmony to the atmosphere of the ceremonial event, emphasized the solemnity of the moment and helped participants get calm while waiting for the final decision of the Grand Jury on winners in four classical categories: best direction, best scenario, best visualization and best sound.

The international jury included such members as: advertising director Michael Sablinski, translator of scenarios Thatcher Mayns, animation director Svetlana Elchaninova, head of teledistribution company and producer Olga Mironova, writer Vadim Levental, executive producer and translator of scenarios Tobin Aubert, who became the jury chairman.


On the initiative of the General Director of TV channel “2х2” Lev Makarov the 5th award was awarded in a special way. The day before the open audience voting for animation works of applicants for the Prize of spectator sympathies had come to the end on the official festival website

Unexpectedly for FAAF organizers there was even a rivalry among admirers of some works. For example, the communities of anime fans were actively supporting film "The Light" of the Japanese director Juta Sukegawa, and other communities in social networks were promoting the films "Fortress" of the Petersburg author Dmitry Fedotov, "Dji. Death Fails" of the Moldavian director Dmitry Voloshin and “Lollipop” of the Belarusian Gennady Buto.

Certainly, such activity was stimulated by registration procedure for voting through popular social networks, which allowed to exclude mass falsification of votes and facilitated voting for everybody.

It’s likely that the influence of social networks on results of audience voting will be growing, so the auditors of the competition chose the resolute approach to counting of votes and rejected doubtful votes coming from fake network profile pages, and "1" was rejected as biased and obviously deliberately underestimating the average score of an award applicant.

As a result, the film "Fortress" of Dmitry Fedotov won by a considerable margin of more than two hundred votes. And Dmitry was the first who went up on stage to receive a well-deserved reward for his years of work, because the whole movie had been made by him alone. For this purpose Dmitry had mastered the skills of work in several professional three-dimensional computer animation programs.


However, the jury and the audience appreciated the high level of all works submitted for competition, which made the public work of FAAF Grand Jury extremely complicated.

The differences of Jury members opinions even necessitated master of ceremony and host of popular programs of TV channel “2х2” Sergey Mezentsev to invite the Jury chairman Tobin Aubert twice on the stage, so that he could use his casting vote for final winners determination.

And still such openness in decision-making was obviously useful for the Festival, and not only made the solemn evening intriguing, but also demonstrated the jury independence and organizers’ desire to provide equal opportunities for all participants of festival competition.

As a result the awards of The 1st International Festival of Auteur Animated Film went to these works: “Lollipop” (Russia-Belarus-France) – best sound; “Between Bears” (Israel) – best visualization; “Flamingo Pride” (Germany) – best scenario; “The Barrens” (Australia) – best direction.


All winners stepping on the stage were extremely glad and proud to get the prizes, but certainly, the most happy ones on the Festival were the audience who got the chance to see the unique program including the best modern works by animation auteurs from Canada, Great Britain, the USA, Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, Israel, Poland, Russia, Belarus, Moldova and other countries. The guests have appreciated the good organization and democratic character of the festival ceremony which is typical of “2х2” TV channel. And the official buffet that followed the ceremony was amazing the guests with its abundance of food and charming atmosphere of the general goodwill that shrouded the company of professionals and animation fans.


So, the Festival was held in new a new international format and turned out to be very successful. Even high festival ratings on TV channel “2х2” and active audience voting for applicants for the Prize of spectator sympathy were just surprising. It’s difficult to believe that such an important event had no support of Ministry of culture and other establishments standing up for development of national animation and international cooperation in movies production.

But as it turned out to be, FAAF organizers, TV channel “2х2” and Non-profit partnership “Animatograf” had decided not to address to anyone and had done all this huge work on creation of a first-ever television festival of auteur animation by themselves. Thereby the organizers proved that the auteur animation itself is in demand on television and has its mass audience, and all the statements of it being "not format" and "unattractive" for wide audience are just the inventions of incompetent bureaucrats.


Everybody likes festivals. Though probably there may be exceptions, it doesn’t much affect the general mood and interest in festival events. Therefore The Festival of Auteur Animated Film has attracted the attention of audience including people of different age and occupations. Many of these people regularly watch TV channel “2х2”, where the first FAAF consisting at that time exclusively of Russian animators’ works was born in 2008.

And so in 2013 the Festival appeared again on the channel “2х2” and took place in a new international format of competitive and out-of-competition showing. But inspired with success, its organizers announced that the next Festival will take place in the nearest 2014 and will be held every year, making happy the most sincere and devoted audience – the auteur animation admirers.


Author: Tasha Karporovich


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