Dreams and desires reanimated

Those expert at using pencils and paper can create worlds of fantasy that delight kids and adults alike. No wonder animation is considered the only type of movie that works for the entire family.

­The Big Cartoon Festival kicking off in the Russian capital on Friday features over 450 animated films from France, Japan, America and the UK, to name just a few, playing through November, 7th.

Among the main highlights is a selection of films by one of Russia’s leading animation artists, Andrey Khrzhanovsky. He is the creator of such masterpieces as Your Loving Friend based on Lewis Carroll’s letters and set to Bach’s music, and A Lion with a White Beard, based on Tonino Guerra’s story.

Polish animation legend Pyotr Dumala, who created the short film Crime and Punishment, made his name as an artist with an inimitable style who brought to life the absurd world of Franz Kafka.

As part of the festival, the celebrated artist who once wanted to become a sculptor will offer a creative workshop.

A Cat in Paris directed by Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli (Image from kinopoisk.ru)

­Another must-see is the selection of films by award-winning British artist Joanna Quinn. Nominated for an Oscar for her signature Canterbury Tales, the creator of Dreams and Desires has zigzagged the world with her animated movies, taking part in most major film festivals. Often compared to Bill Plympton, Quinn will be in Moscow to present her hand-drawn creations in the flesh, her debut Girls’ Night Out among them.

There’s a bizarre tradition in Russia: those about to move into a new house first let a cat inside. The Big Cartoon Festival will do a similar thing, opening with A Cat in Paris (Une vie de Chat), co-produced by France and Belgium.

But of course, a festival that boasts a name as promising as The Big Cartoon Festival would not be complete without a program of Japanese animation. This time around, 11 cutting-edge films will be screened, including Saori Shiroki’s Woman Who Stole Fingers and Masaki Okuda’s Gum Boy.  

We can’t wait!

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