This September, Baden will play host for the 12th time to Fantoche – Switzerland’s biggest animation film showcase. This international Festival is Switzerland’s biggest festival of animation film, and is among the most popular in the world. For the ‘International Competition’ and the ‘Swiss Competition’, Fantoche is looking for the latest trends in the world of animated film, in all their countless variations.
In 2013, more than 1,000 short films were submitted – and Fantoche is expecting a similarly high number of entries in 2014. The competition is open from today; Swiss and international filmmakers are invited to submit their animated films by 24 May 2014. In addition, Fantoche announces that the Festival’s guest country for 2014 will be Japan.
The international cartoon showcase ranks among the world’s foremost festivals of animated film. It is Switzerland’s biggest and most prestigious cultural event devoted exclusively to animation in all its many facets, in terms of the technology, content and media. Once an underground affair, the Festival is now in equal measure a crowd-puller and a meeting place for industry professionals from Switzerland and the rest of the world.
‘International Competition’ and ‘Swiss Competition’ 2014
The heart of the Festival programme is the ‘International Competition’. This is where trends and current developments in the animation film industry are sniffed out: Festival Director Annette Schindler and her team are looking, on the one hand, for artistically daring ideas, unconventional approaches and new talent, and on the other hand for first-class independent films and the best in new animated films from around the world. The total of twelve different prizes are defined in line with these categories. With awards for ‘Best Film’, ‘High Risk’ and ‘New Talent’, the Festival acknowledges the different qualities that characterise animated film production.
Films by Swiss directors are automatically entered in the ‘Swiss Competition’ as well. This competition premiered at Fantoche 2009, and now rivals the ‘International Competition’ in popularity among the viewing public. An international jury awards three prizes. The competition puts Swiss film in the spotlight, and also presents it in an international context.
In cooperation with the children’s film club ‘Die Zauberlaterne’, the latest films for children in various age brackets are selected from the entries submitted. These films are also judged by a jury – made up of children – and two prizes are awarded, one by the child jury and the other by the child audience.
The online application portal for the International Competition and the Swiss Competition is now open on the Fantoche website. The closing date for registering is 24 May 2014.
Programme key theme Japan
In 2014, we’ll be celebrating 150 years of diplomatic friendship between the Swiss Confederation and Japan. Fantoche is taking this opportunity to examine the art of animation as practiced by the Japanese, as Japan has often led the way in cartoon-making. Fantoche has the great honour of presenting Nobuaki Doi as Curator of the Japanese programme segment. Doi headed the international jury at Fantoche 2013, and is one of the most influential figures on Japan’s contemporary animation scene as a promoter, programme designer and film critic.
Doi was born in Tokyo in 1981 and is a co-founder of CALF, a collective of independent filmmakers and film critics. He has written a number of essays on contemporary animation for international media, and translated Chris Robinson’s ‘The Ballad of a Thin Man: In Search of Ryan Larkin’.
Doi has curated four programmes of short films for Fantoche and selected historical and contemporary Japanese feature-length films. In addition, he’ll be bringing Japanese filmmakers to Baden for presentations at studios and schools, and will also be focusing on the influence of the internet on the Japanese art of animation.
For Festival Director Annette Schindler, it’s like winning the lottery: “The opportunity to look at the entire spectrum of animation art through Japanese eyes is one of the most exciting prospects right now in international animation film. We’ve been engaged in intensive and fruitful discussion for several months now, and I am continually fascinated by the diversity of Japan’s animation film styles, and the cult that has arisen out of this genre among a wide range of people, including in Switzerland.”