III ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival was held in Baku and broadcast online on October 14-18.
The main purpose of this year's ANIMAFILM Festival was to support and educate children and youth during the war. This year, the program did not include any entertainment (including screening of the competition). However, the educational animation workshops, opening and closing ceremonies, meetings with the International Jury and announcement of the winners took place as usual.
The third ANIMAFILM Festival’s members of the jury for animated films included Olivier Catherin (France), Nancy Denney-Phelps (Belgium), Daria Kashcheeva (Czech Republic), Zurab Diasamidze (Georgia), Shamil Najafzada (Azerbaijan). Members of the jury for screenplays were Aaron Wood (England), Mohammad Zare (Iran), Rana Vaezi (Iran) and Oleg Safaraliyev (Azerbaijan). This year’s festival also had a Childrens Jury made up of 31 members.
Three virtual and live theater training sessions on bullying were organized as part of the festival for Children Jury. The sessions were led by the founder of Ritual Mobile Theatre Laboratory, trainer and coordinator of Children Jury Aynur Zarrintaj.
Golden Boat Award of the third ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival was presented at the opening ceremony. This year's award was given to director Hafiz Akbarov for his contribution to Azerbaijani animation.
The opening ceremony was also attended by the head of the Cinematography Department at the Ministry of Culture Rufat Hasanov. In his speech, Hasanov noted that the financial problems related to animated films will be solved soon and new funding will be applied.
The opening ceremony was also attended by Deputy Ambassador of the Czech Republic Daniel Putik, Secretary of the Azerbaijan Union of Film Makers Ali Isa Jabbarov and a member of the Children Jury Nurjahan Mammadli.
With the support of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Azerbaijan, two-day intensive master classes for young animation enthusiasts "Stop motion animation and puppet armature skeleton" were conducted by Daria Kashcheeva, the winner of ANIMAFILM 2019. Notably, her short animated drama film "Daughter" received a Student Academy Award (Student Oscar) last year.
The winners were announced at the closing ceremony on October 18. The winners were awarded a trip to the famous Annecy Festival in France and a valuable photography camera.
The Ambassador of Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan Kestutis Jankauskas, director of the French Institute in Azerbaijan Jerome Kelle and director of the Film School at Azerbaijan Union of Filmmakers, member of the festival's International Jury Oleg Safaraliyev announced the winners in local categories.
Afterwards, the festival's partners - Chairman of the US-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association Nail Akhundzade and co-founder of Toxum.org Crowdfunding Platform Togrul Ismayilov addressed the closing ceremony.
In conclusion, the founder of ANIMAFILM International Animation Festival and CEO of PERI FILM company Rashid Aghamaliyev thanked all the team, partners and those who supported the festival, especially Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan Union of Film-makers, Embassy of the Czech Republic to Azerbaijan, Embassy of France in Azerbaijan, French Institute in Azerbaijan, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan, US-Educated Azerbaijani Alumni Association, MR Chemical LLC, Salaam Cinema, Mujru Publishing, Chinar Yayimlari publishing and 28 supporters, who contributed to the festival through Tokhum.org Crowdfunding Platform.