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Highlights on 15th Holland Animation Film Festival

On Wednesday 28 March 2012 the fifteenth edition of the Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF) takes off. Five days of pure animation highlights in the historic centre of Utrecht: independent and commercial; handmade and 3D CGI. The biggest animation festival of the Netherlands shows all of it. The programming is in progress, but here we’ll raise a corner of the veil.

Competition programmes completed
The official selections of the competitions have been completed. The number of entries this year exceeded 1,300 for the international competitions for features and shorts, the competition for European student films and the competition for Dutch animation. For more information about the competitions and the selection visit haff.nl.

Nine films have been selected for the international competition for features. Together they present a journey around the world, from Iceland to Colombia and from the United Kingdom to Singapore and Japan. Among others the newest hilarious adventures of the well-known Christie family of Phil Mulloy (UK) and the tragicomic Gordo, Calvo y Bajito (Fat, Bald, Short Man) of Garlos Osuna from Colombia. Rainbow Fireflies (Nijiiro Hotaru) of Kounosuke Uda from Japan will have its international premiere at the HAFF.

Out of the generous amount of more than 800 shorts from all over the world HAFF selected 48 films for the international competition for shorts. This ranges from already successful films as A Morning Stroll (BAFTA 2012) of Grant Orchard and The Monster of Nix of Rosto to Double Fikret of Chinese artist and filmmaker Haiyang Wang. This film will have its world premiere at the HAFF.

A lot of upcoming talent has been selected for the competition for European student films. HAFF selected 53 films of the more than 300 entries from film and art academies from Europe. The charm of student films is that they often blithely follow new developments and open-mindedly take untrodden paths. This year’s harvest has a strikingly high quality. With classical craftsmanship and technical fireworks, exceptional lessons in life, grating, moving and exuberant films. Take for instance Fly Mill of Anu-Laura Tuttelberg from Estonia and Swarming of Joni Männistö from Finland.

Several juries will grant a Grand Prix in these competitions, but the audience has the final word and will elect the winner of the competition for Dutch animation. In this competition 48 films bid for the public’s favour. An independent selection committee in collaboration with VERS and VNAP (Dutch association of animation producers) made a choice from the entries for this competition.

Leader
HAFF is known for its surprising leaders. Vinex Productions (of duo Sjeng Schupp and Michiel van Dijk) chose a whole new approach with an opera singer and a little dog - inside the opera singer. Vinex Productions became well-known with their Kijkshock performances, with animation films accompanied by live music. See haff.nl for the HAFF leader.

HAFFTUbe
You can’t wait for the festival? Visit YouTube.com/HAFFTube, the official festival channel within YouTube for the international online competition for web films. The competition is open for entries right now, until March 10. The channel will be filled with an international state of the art selection of contemporary animated films from all over the world with a maximum length of 5 minutes. The best of the web ranges from independent to commissioned and from light-hearted to committed films.

 

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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