Big Cartoon Festival (BCF) is the most prominent international animation review in Russia, which presents every year the best, the most interesting and the most relevant films from all over the world.
The BCF opens on October, 25th at the Oktyabr Cinema Theatre with a Russian premiere of the film Marona’s Fantastic Tale by famous Anca Damian. It’s a touching French animation feature about misadventures of a homeless dog. Rather sad and at the same time filled with many moments of delight, harmony and love, this film is a rare example of an arthouse beautifully animated film targeting children as well as adults.
Another high-profile Russian premiere is the film Swallows of Kabul by Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec. It’s a sharp tragic soul-turning animation that tells a story of a couple living in Afghanistan at the end of the XX century. In the framework of the festival, the film is presented by its director Zabou Breitman, a famous French actress and director.
There are new features intended for kids as well. There is this film Pocoyo in cinemas: Your First Movie by Alfonso Rodríguez targeting very young audience, it’s a cinema spinoff of an extremely popular Spanish series about Pocoyo. There is the film Strike! by Travor Hardy, that is a warm handmade puppet film from Britain, praising family traditions and love to soccer. Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs is the sweetest urban fairy tale from Latvia. Also kids together with their families can watch sets of the best new international shorts, sets of Russian films produced in the XXI century as well as remastered copies of classical films by Souzmultfilm Studio, all the incredible experience on a wide screen.
The newest festival shorts can be seen in two central blocks of the festival: our two competition programs called the Premieres and the Winners. The Premieres features recent Russian animation shorts of the past year, and the Winners contains of foreign films that already won prizes and awards at international festivals all over the world. Viewers vote for their favorite films, and according to the results, the best works of the programs receive Audience Choice Awards at the closing ceremony of the festival.
As usual there are many special events in the framework of the festival. Including screenings of two sets of animation documentaries, as well as a special selection of films associated with feminist agenda named For Women Only!. There is a program assembled in order to be screened at the Jewish Museum, this one is called Animation about the Holocaust. All these screenings are accompanied by comments of the Program Director Dina Goder and there are Q&A sessions after the screenings. There is also a large block dedicated to animation education, in which representatives of the best animation schools tell how their training in animation specialties is built.
The BCF 2019 hosts a retrospective of the legendary French director and the greatest living authority Jean-Francois Laguionie, who is a guest of honor of the festival and presents his new feature film The Prince’s Voyage in the framework of the festival. He also delivers a master class titled Jean-Francois Laguionie: 55 Years in Animation. Both the events are organized with the support of the French Embassy and the French Institute in Moscow.
The Russian guest of the BCF this year is a wonderful director Dmitry Geller, who also delivers a master class talking about his previous works and the most recent projects. In addition, there is an exhibition of Geller's graphics and his sketches for films during the festival. Another graphic exhibition presents the works of a director and an artist Natalia Mirzoyan, who authored the trailer of this year's BCF.
A new festival section called The World Behind the Mirror Glass. It’s devoted to main stream animation: popular projects, large studios, well-known brands. Audience will be able to learn about what their favorite studios are preparing for them in the upcoming season, will meet creators, will sing along with their favorite characters, watch some so to say top secret files – in a word, see familiar animated world from a new point of view and from a different angle.
This year is marked with an unusual and amazing anniversary. Together with our long-term partner the Souzmultfilm Studio we celebrate the 50th anniversary of your favorite cartoons: Town Musicians of Bremen, Gena the Crocodile, Well, Just You Wait!, Umka and Winnie the Pooh. Guests of BÑÀ are looking forward to special screenings and meetings with the legendary animation characters.
And, of course, as always, the Cartoon Factory is held during the festival. This year it takes place for the 10th time! Dozens of animation workshops welcome children and their parents during the school holidays at the Museum of Moscow. Participants of the event will draw, give voice and shoot cartoons in a variety of techniques and genres. Inside the Factory one can find pavilions of Cartoon Network and Boomerang TV Channels with the characters of your favorite series The Amazing World of Gumball, The Truth About Bears and Tom and Jerry.
Fans of the Cartoon Network Channel are very welcome to see a new series Victor and Valentino at the festival. The film tells about funny adventures of two brothers who spend the summer vacations at their grandmother’s in a Mexican town, where strange and sometimes supernatural things happen to them.
The Closing ceremony of the festival takes place on November, 4th at the Cosmos Cinema Theatre. Winners of the Audience Choice Awards are announced at the ceremony which is the most anticipated part! The closing film is the incredibly bright project Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, created at the Tokyo University of Arts under the artistic supervision of the cult-favorite director Koji Yamamura. It combines four animated films based on the famous violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi: Spring was made by a young Russian director Anna Budanova, Estonian star couple Priit and Olga Pärn created Summer, one of the most amazing Japanese directors Atsushi Wada visualized Autumn, and a short film on Winter was produced by a wonderful Canadian director of Bulgarian origin and one of the most intelligent directors of today's animation world – Theodore Ushev.
Program Directors of the festival are Dina Goder and Maria Tereschenko.