Artek’s Second International Animatika Children’s Animated Cinema Festival ended with the screening of nine animated cartoons and an awards ceremony that declared Camp Khrustalny media team the absolute winner. The cartoon Our Cosmonauts premiered that night as a gift to all children at Artek.
The seven-day Animatika Festival included 82 meet-the-artist events, 45 workshops conducted by animators, producers, directors, artists and cinema critics, as well as over 20 premieres, two of which were full feature films released to the general public earlier this year (both presented by their respective teams).
The festival was attended by over two dozen filmmakers from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, Ufa and Minsk, including Soyuzmultfilm director Boris Mashkovtsev, Petersburg Studio and Smeshariki project leading director Denis Chernov, and animated film director and winner of the Russian State Prize for Culture and NIKA Prize Tatyana Ilyina.
Yury Eelmaa, Artek’s deputy director for methodology, congratulated the participants on getting involved in the world of animation, which came to pass not “in word or through a book,” but owing to their own efforts. “As a child, I believed that animated cartoons were made by people who were not of this world, who lived somewhere high above and you couldn’t touch them. The Animatika Festival at Artek arranged meetings with people who devoted their entire life to animated filmmaking, and you saw that this was a very big and difficult job. Who knows, maybe these meetings will prove to be the central event in your own life,” he said.
To win the main prize, camp media teams participated in the SMM contest, wrote social media posts, compiled big text interviews, and made new soundtracks for animated cartoons. They also made nine short animated masterpieces – using paint, puppets, computer graphics and clay – with the help of professionals from the leading national studios, all of them welcomed with a loud applause.
Though giving high marks to all the films, the professional jury singled out Oleynik – Funny to Feel You Are a Grown-up produced by Camp Yantarny as the best cartoon. The absolute winner was the Camp Khrustalny media team that received the Audience Choice Award and a cup for making a new soundtrack for the Three Strongmen animated cartoon.
The winners were brimming with emotion. They said their film was meant to show other children how to trust, value and love each other. “Although there were just 14 of us on the team, we managed to win the cup,” said Anastasia Demidova of Perm. “We got much experience.” She was backed by Arsen Smerdov of Izhevsk: “We had excellent instructors; we should thank them for the experience and skills which they sought to convey to us. They have taught us new programs and techniques, and gave us a chance to look at our future with different eyes. Making an animated cartoon is a very difficult job that requires both different techniques and a vision.”
Soyuzmultfilm director Boris Mashkovtsev said that the teams had taken different approaches to the assignment and the material: “However, they have demonstrated the most important thing – that they have a creative vision and can do something on their own.” He stressed that Artek was for him “a feedback channel,” a good chance to understand the Soyuzmultfilm audience. “I think this is a very good experience for both my studio and Artek. I hope our cooperation will continue,” he added.
According to Irina Mastusova, director of the Animation Cinema Association, the children have created absolutely incredible projects: “I am absolutely amazed! I’ve given top marks to almost everyone because I just can’t bring myself to offer anything less. The colors, the ideas – it’s very advanced.” She stressed the importance of cooperating with the International Children’s Center: “Artek is a national and maybe even planetary phenomenon. It is the place to present the best projects. Of course, we will do our best to bring here the most interesting directors and interesting new works. The most important thing is to keep up the camp’s high educational level.”