The Diary of the Animateka Rookie: Student Competition Programme

There is something very magical about watching the creative efforts of young people. There is nothing more invigorating and inspiring than ideas, which are formed at a time when most of us are still frantically trying to find our place in the world. It’s a time when we want to be heard and forever shake off the shackles tying us to our young years, when we fight against being pigeonholed and when we firmly believe that we can change the world, because we still have time. It’s a time of burning forests and trying to tame oceans. Above all, it’s the time when we’re being creative.


This year, the European Student Competition Programme hosted 50 animated films from almost twenty European countries. These 50 films are different in both animation technique and length; some are filled with humour, while others criticise society, some are heart-wrenchingly sad, still others are simply magical. If you didn’t have the chance to see them, you can find some of them on the Web and let me tell you, you won’t be sorry you put in the effort. Below, you’ll find only a few films which impressed me for various reasons.


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Montenegro (Luiz Stockler, GB)


“'Zinedine Zidane, why did you headbutt that man?'' What to do when your hair starts falling out and you get the feeling you’re going to go bald? Google “sexiest bald men”, of course. Montenegro is a story about identity crisis, fighting with (imaginary?) depression (“My doctor says I should start doing sports.”) and the vicissitudes of everyday life, which will make you laugh. It’s a film with which you will also identify with, even if you still have a full head of hair.


Symphony no. 42 (Réka Bucsi, Hungary)

The fox a card with an atom to a tree trunk and takes a gun out of its pocket. Need I say more? Associations and short scenes which pass from one to the other and form a unique world where nature and man are linked on an almost molecular level.


Mythopolis (Alexandra Hetmerová, Czech Republic)

All of the well known characters in Greek mythology have been given a contemporary look in this story which focuses on their everyday adventures. Remember Cerberus, the three-headed dog guarding the entrance to Hades? All I’ll say is you’ve never seen him in such a cute form.


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Unwanted Desires (Ola Szmida, Germany)

Did you ever turn on your stove, put the kettle on and then stared into the red hot plate with the sudden urge to place your hand on it? A mischievous and original film about other bizarre thoughts you get during different situations. Hey, at least you’re not the only one who’d sometimes like nothing better than to stick a finger in a fan!


The Age of Rust (Francesco Aber, Alessandro Mattei, Italy)

Everyone wants to see a mockumentary from time to time and I’m sure you’ve fallen for one or two on occasion. I’m the last person to judge, since there was a time when I believed that Magalodon really did still roam the ocean depths. A mock documentary about Peteramosaurus Cavator, a species living in the Alps.


The Gravedigger's Tale (Min Young Oh, GB)

A magical story about a female gravedigger living alone and far from other people. A love story? Perhaps, but with a twist.


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The Twilight Hour (Reza Riahi, France)

In times when people all over the world are taking to the streets to protest, from the Americas to the Middle East and Hong Kong, this is a story about a young Iranian soldier, who comes face to face with his fellow citizens protesting in the streets. Recommended!


Maša Katarina Brecelj

Translation: Jernej Pribošič

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