Anifest awards a ‘Stowaway’

Fest aims to give start to new films, hype Czech toon

TREBON, Czech Republic — The territory’s first international Anifest for animated fare awarded its Grand Prize to “Stowaway” by Portuguese director Abi Feijo on Saturday.

An estimated 15,000 spectators filled theaters for the nearly 400 films on offer over six days at the fairytale 16th century spa town of Trebon in South Bohemia. Jury president and Finnish animator Katariina Lillqvist, summed up the sentiment of the guests, calling it “magical Trebon.”

Among them were Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and his wife. The fest’s honorary president, animated serial pioneer Bretislav Pojar, received a Lifetime Contribution Award and presented a retrospective of his Czech and Canadian films.

Other prizes included short film, “Mt. Head” by Koji Yamamura (Japan); TV film, “Capelito Daddy” by Rodolfo Pastor (Spain); TV serial, “Magic Fairy Tales” by Anna Habartova (Czech Republic); children’s film, “Fearless Frankie” by Aurel Klimt (Czech Republic); commercial film, “Nice Weather for Ducks” by Nigel Pay (U.K.); and student film, “Keeper of the Light” by Marzena Nehrebecka (Poland).

Festival director Hana Drhovska hopes to add a cash-backed screenplay prize next year. “The aim of the festival is to give a start to new films and get Czech animation back to where it was,” she said. “It’s not only about children’s films.”

The international fest evolved out of a trial run as a local festival of Czech and Slovak animation last year.

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