Tied to the country’s centenary celebration of independence, a special retrospective on animation from Estonia is set to inspire and intrigue visitors to Anima – The Brussels Animation Film Festival, kicking off Friday and running through Feb. 18. Highlights of the focus include films from the Estonian Academy of Arts, as well as works by internationally admired filmmaker Priit Pärn, created alone or with his wife Olga Pärn.
Elsewhere, inspiration has been pulled from the symbolism of Estonia’s blue, black and white flag — representing the infinite sea and sky, the fertile black earth and the whiteness of snow — in programs curated by Animated Dreams’ artistic director Priit Tender. Young audiences can take in the “Miriam and Her Estonian Buddies” program. And beyond the screening rooms, famous stop-motion studio Nukufilm is spotlighted with a special exhibition.
Tickets and more program information available at www.animafestival.be. Estonian focus programs include:
Miriam and Her Estonian Buddies
Sat., Feb. 10 at 16:00, Studio 5
Dialog-free films for little ones, created by great animators with childlike hearts working away in the studios of Tallin with their puppets, toys, characters and overflowing imaginations.
Carrot, Pärtel Tall; Tutu Funnytooth, Mattias Mälk; Ada + Otto, Ülo Pikkov; Miriam’s Homeless Dog, Andres Tenusaar; Packed Like Sardines, Stella Salumaa; Pipe Piper, Malle Valli, Marili Sokk, Piret Sigus, Triin Sarapik-Kivi; Lemonade Tale, Vallo Toomla.
Estonian Dreams – Blue Love
Sat. Feb. 10 at 18:00, Studio 5 | Sun. Feb. 11 at 21:45, Studio 1
What is humanity’s biggest issue, if not love that defies skin colour or flags? Whether bitter-sweet, enchanting or depressing, it leaves no one indifferent.
Strawberry Eaters, Mattias Mälk; Bird Flu, Priit Tender; The Triangle Affair, Andres Tenusaar; Crocodile, Kaspar Jancis; Once in the Fields of Boredom, Teele Strauss; Manivald, Chintis Lundgren.
Estonian Dreams – White Dreams
Mon. Feb. 12 at 21:45, Studio 1 | Sat. 17 at 18:00, Studio 5
Imagination, fantasy, dreams and reality are the keywords of this program, full of hope; a mix of abstraction and realism, past and present, leading inexorably to an unpredictable future.
The Master, Riho Unt; On the Other Side of the Woods, Anu-Laura Tuttelberg; Urbanimatio, Hardi Volmer, Urmas Joemees; Elutuba, Rao Heidmets; Moulinet, Sander Joon; The Dress, Girlin Bassovskaja; Underground, Mati Kütt; Empty Space, Ülo Pikkov.
Estonian Dreams – Black Tie, Tongue in Cheek
Tue. Feb. 13 at 21:45, Studio 1 | Thu. Feb. 15 at 21:45, Studio 1
Politics and its constraints, past or present, during occupation or independence. The films show different forms of social control, ways to play with it and laugh at it, without taking themselves too seriously.
Worst-Case Scenario, Kristjan Holm; Knot, Kalju Kivi; Park, Tuganov; In the Air, Martinus Daane Klemet; Kilplased, Rein Raamat; Barbarians, Hardi Volmer; Nail, Heino Pars; Exercises in Preparation for Independent Life, Priit Pärn.
Priit Pärn Retrospective
Wed. Feb. 14 at 20:00, Studio 5 | Sat. 17 at 20:00, Studio 5
Estonia’s star of animation started out during the Soviet era, where his already offbeat and surrealistic films triggered a storm with the bureaucracy. He has since spent his time fine-tuning a very personal and highly original graphic style that often serves a black humor with many allusions to current times. His more recent films have been co-directed with his wife Olga.
Hotel E (1992, 30 min.), 1895 (1995, 30 min.), Karl & Marilyn (2003, 24 min.)
Priit & Olga Pärn Retrospective
Wed. Feb. 14 at 22:00, Studio 5 | Thu. Feb. 15 at 20:00, Studio 5
Life without Gabriela Ferri (2008, 44 min.), Divers in the Rain (2009, 24 min.), Pilots on the Way Home (2014, 17 min.)
School Focus: Estonian Academy of Arts
Thu. Feb. 15 at 17:00, Studio 1
Presentation of films from the latest students of the Estonian Academy of Arts by its most famous teacher, Priit Pärn, who is reputed for influencing a number of generations.
Small House, Kristjan Holm; International Father’s Day, Edmunds Jansons; Not About Us, Michael Frei; Eine Murul, Erik Alunurm, Mari Pakkas, Mihkel Reha, Mari-Liis Rebane; Fly Mill, Anu-Laura Tuttelberg; At the End of the Day, Lilli-Kroot Repnau; Penelope, Heta Jäälinoja; Pekk, August Varustin, Morten Tsinakov, Paula Mauer; Velodrool, Sander Joon; Suma, Lucija Mrzljak; Five Steps to the Right, Aggie Lee Pak Yee; Chronical Circus, Helen Woolston; Clown Follies, Aili Allas; Gaia, Jass Kaselaan.