Anima, the Brussels International Animation Film Festival, will take place from 25 February to 6 March in a new hybrid form: in theatres at Flagey, Palace, Kinograph and the Cinematek, other decentralized locations in Flanders and Wallonia, as well as online on the Anima Online platform.
After a very eventful year and the 100% online 40th edition that was able to win over the festivalgoers, the Anima Festival is very happy to announce that its team of programme planners received over 1,500 films and is currently screening them to select and offer the public the best there is in animation at the moment.
“We are preparing a host of activities to get back into the swing of Anima’s secret ingredient: sharing and exchanging in a friendly and peaceful atmosphere!″ declared the Festival’s directors Dominique Seutin and Karin Vandenrydt, who are looking forward to reuniting with the public.
In addition to presenting an international feature film competition, and national and international short film competitions, Anima will also feature special programmes, such as the popular Animated Night, a new Queer Stories evening to celebrate gay love in animation, a parallel festival of VR (virtual reality) films, numerous programmes for children, including the return of Pingu to the big screen, or the preview of ‘The Summer Holiday‘, the latest offering from ‘A Town Called Panic‘.
Czechia and France
This year, Anima will be honouring the new generation of Czech animation, with no less than four 4 features and several short film programmes, as well as productions from French animation schools, whose films show a surprising quality and diversity.
The Futuranima professional meetings will take place from Monday, 28 February to Saturday 5 March, by and for animation enthusiasts: meetings with renowned personalities, Industry Day, Student Day, recruitment sessions, sneak previews, discussions about VR, co-productions, video games, and a whole lot more besides.
Anima is introducing a Queer Stories chapter. “LGBTQIA+ love and queer culture is a theme that is becoming more and more evident and present in animation. We wanted to highlight this and celebrate it in a friendly and festive way”, Dominique Seutin tells Ket Mag Brussels Queer Magazine.
“The Queer Stories programme will consist of a feature film, ‘Flee‘, a film that was nominated for an Academy Award in the categories of Best Foreign Film and Best Documentary. There’s also a programme of short films which is a mixture of films in the 2022 official selection and films we have already screened at Anima in the past.
“We’ll also be presenting a performance by queer artists from Cabaret Mademoiselle, which promises to be colourful.”
‘Flee’, by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, tells the extraordinary true story of a man, Amin, on the verge of marriage which compels him to reveal his hidden past for the first time.
A secret he has been hiding for over twenty years threatens to ruin the life he has built for himself. He recounts his dramatic journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan to Denmark. Told mostly through animation, ‘Flee’ weaves together a stunning tapestry of images and memories to tell the deeply affecting and original story of a young man grappling with his traumatic past in order to find his true self and the meaning of home.