When we started with the East of Eden section, the idea was for this sidebar to represent a bridge between the programme and the fledgling industry section of FeKK by screening films from countries of similar production circumstances and themes to those in the former Yugoslavia. This year we opted for a selection of short films made in one of the four main genres: animation. This form is currently blossoming in our wider region of Central and Eastern Europe, so the programme is also a nod to this welcome development.

The six films in the selection come from diverse geographic locations and animation traditions. We want to give you an exciting ride through a series of films which are not obviously related to each other, but where you can find your own links and discover your own story.

We open with a technically gentle but atmospherically mysterious experiment from Iran, Am I a Wolf? by the singularly talented Amir Houshang Moein. This somewhat ominous opening will stem into the poignant family story Daughter by student filmmaker from Prague’s FAMU Daria Kashcheeva, whose original artistic approach combines paper-mache puppets and Dogma-like camerawork. Then, for another 11 minutes, we stay in Eastern Europe, and in family-themed territory with The Juggler by Lithuanian filmmaker Skirmanta Jakaite, but we completely change the vibe from the narrative Czech arthouse to this, more associative and psychological combination of graphic-novel technique and sci-fi imagery. 

We hope that this first half of the screening will keep you fresh enough for the visceral feast that Splash by probably the most talented Chinese animator Shen Jie is. And if the mass of stimuli that you will accumulate by the time the next film comes around proves that we were right in our estimate of the state it will bring you to, you will be able to rest for a bit with Russian filmmaker’s beautiful and classically animated 5 Minutes to Sea… Before you dive into the epic 26-minute coming-of-age story Acid Rain by Tomek Popakul from Poland. This title in which the unique style of animation goes perfectly hand-in-hand with the bumpy narrative won the Grand Prix and the audience award at Animafest Zagreb, making it a perfect choice for both our goals: education and entertainment. 

Vladan Petković