13th Animation Film Festival Animated Dreams

A devil’s dozen times – that is how many years Animated Dreams audiences have been treated to the best animated films the world has to offer. On November 16th, the animation bug starts spreading again along with the general lupine influenza of Black Nights Film Festival. The Animated Dreams programme has grown without cease, year after year, in terms of number of films screened: It has expanded its programme selection to include international audience magnets and as well as exclusive niche films, from which every festival- goer should be able to find favourite themes. 

Fresh winds will be blowing from Japan on this year's festival, filling the programme’s short film programs and with one full-length feature (Midori-ko). Estonia’s animation aces and young students will wow crowds with premieres and debuts but besides jubilation over new efforts, we will also celebrate the 80th anniversary of Estonian animation in grand manner, blowing dust off films that haven’t made it in front of audiences for quite some time. As Animated Dreams ihas grown into the biggest animated film festival in the Nordics and Baltics, the annual international competition programme takes up a major part of the Animated Dreams selection, featuring more than 30 films from close to 20 countries. 

Storytelling knows no bounds. Animation is not just about the American family film stereotype or arcane symbolism-encoded arthouse cinema. Animation is the best way to make the wildest fantasies come true, reconstruct worlds, storm parallel universes or morph from dung beetle to the gaudiest butterfly.

Some things you grow out of - never from animation!

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Animated Dreams, the oldest and biggest Estonian animation film festival, offers Estonian animators a chance to display the state of their art as well as promotes high-quality international animation culture. From its beginnings as an offshoot of Black Nights Film Festival back in 1999, the event has evolved into a small independent festival. In the first two years, animations were screened at the main film festival before feature films and the well-known Swiss animation specialist Otto Alder helped to put the animation programme together.

The year 2001 marked the biggest single leap forward – in connection with the 70th anniversary of Estonian animation, Black Nights Film Festival announced an animated short film competition and called together an international jury. Estonian animators and studios have often helped the animation festival's team in putting the programmes together as well.

The festival consists of the short animation competitive programme and several special programmes. The competition programme is adjudicated by a three-member international jury that over the years has included renowned film-makers, producers, historians and curators from the field of animated film. The Grand Prix award is the „Wooden Wolf”, crafted by Estonian puppet masters and awarded since 2001.

Traditions include lectures by foreign guests, meetings and workshops. Animated Dreams has worked closely with the animation department established in 2006 at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Animated Dreams takes in a number of different cinemas in Tallinn, but for now the festival has settled down in 2 cinemas: Sõprus and Artis. Selected Animated Dreams films have also been shown in other towns in Estonia (Tartu, Viljandi, Jõhvi etc) in the framework of the Black Nights Film Festival.

Over the last decade, the festival has developed many good contacts with other film festivals, studios and cultural institutions. In 2005 Animated Dreams became a founding member of ANOBA, the animation film festival network of the Nordic and Baltic countries. In 2007, in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Estonian Nukufilm studio, Animated Dreams helped to organize „The Soul of Voodoo” colloquium dedicated to stop-motion, which brought to Tallinn a record number of people in the animation world.

With each year the animation festival gets a little bit bigger and makes new friends.

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