The grey tones of running watercolour clouds, the wind pulling at bare trees’ brushstrokes, a silhouette of a dog done in Indian ink and human figures stretched out for a throw. The dog runs after the thrown piece of wood at the speed of twentyfour frames per second, and by that movement, the command “aport!” (Czech equivalent for “Fetch!”) was issued.
Aport is animation in the traditional sense, especially in comparison to the often very uncommon ways in which other festival sections of PAF understand it. Aport is also, however, animated film as a form of live culture; animated film in its current form, both in a Czech context and abroad. As such, it is also the vanishing point for artistic operations, which includes festivals, the study of animation art at universities and independent production companies as an alternative form of financing.
Last, but not least, Aport is an intersection of creation and game playing. In childhood, both of these are in the same category of activities, and for many, they blend into adulthood as well. For the luckiest ones, the creative process and play remain linked for their whole lives, and for them, art still remains an act whose purpose lies in itself and it is a joy for them – a shared joy, since the viewers can also experience it through the screen.
PAF is engaged in longterm collaboration with festivals of animation in the Visegrad Group states. For that reason, a block of videos from the previous year of the Other Visions section is regularly included in their programmes. The organizers of Slovakian, Polish, and Hungarian festivals (mainly Fest Anča, StopTrik, Anilogue) reciprocate by bringing, or at least sending, selections from their own programmes. This year, we will be able to see five short films under the name SK Young and Fresh, which mainly originated in partnership with the BFILM production company. The authors of the selected films include Matej Smatana, Joanna Kożuch and Daniela Krajčová. It could be said that the Czech equivalent of BFILM is the nutprodukce company, with whose support, the puppet film called Over Head and Ears in Moss by Filip Pošivač and Barbora Valecká, was created.
Many young authors come back to PAF. One such guest is Peter Budinský, who will present his upcoming feature film Heart of a Tower. One of two screening blocks prepared by Eliška Děcká, in which short films by students of Czech, Hungarian and Finnish schools are compared, will also be part of the Visegrad echoes.
Another block of student films which originated at FAMU, UMPRUM and UTB was arranged by producer Petra Ptáčková into a collection called Animated Shorts 2. Aport is also a space dedicated to new or recent feature films–ones that have already been shown in domestic distribution and which are worth remembering for their superior qualities. Festival hits and films which will premiere at PAF are, however, also shown. This year’s films Song of the Sea, The Boy and the World and, a picture so far unknown to European audiences, Cafard, will be screened. Aport is handdrawn and digital animation, but it is not just a privilege of film media–it can deliver an artistic dimension to a computer game as well. This year, that will be proved by three presentations on upcoming and completed games: Dark Train, Rememoried and Other Inside. A different aspect of the game fenomenon will be shown by Matyáš Trnka in his presentation of the interactive exhibition Trnka’s Garden 2, which, as well as a fiveepisode series by Břetislav Pojar, draws from the famous children’s book by Jiří Trnka. Thus the opportunity arises to compare two different approaches, two different adaptations of the same motif.
Pojar’s Garden is a nostalgic return to the golden age of Czech animation. Tomáš Hodan’s documentary Film Adventurer Karel Zeman is a similar return, only with a different taste of nostalgia. On the other hand, #mm Net Art, is a matter both current and contemporary. It is the first Czech selfcontained anthology dedicated to Internet art, edited and coauthored by Marie Meixnerová and which is also a fresh publication under the PAF Edition.