Report from Animation Festivals of The North


November 3rd - 6th 2005
Fredrikstad, Norway

The conference took place as planned November 3rd- 6th in Fredrikstad, Norway.
21 persons - animation festival organisers, board members, lecturers and guests - from Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway participated - find participant list enclosed.

The objectives of the conference were fully met. Results, recommendations and minutes are in this report.

An informal network for animation festivals of the Nordic and Baltic region was formed as a forum for co-operation, exchange of knowledge and mutual support. The network is not limited to the participating festivals or countries, but will be open for all serious animation festivals in the Nordic and Baltic region.

The network was officially baptised the ANOBA network, reflecting the words: Animation, Nordic and Baltic.

The participants identified the following fields of co-operation:

Free - or resource saving - co-operation:
- Free accreditation for festival staff from the network
- Access to accomodation at festival rates
- Invitation for international juries
- News letter distribution through web sites of the network
- Links to web sites of the network
- Exchange of reports and film tips
- Letters of cooperation for MEDIA+ applications
- Exchange of advertising space in catalogues
- Exchange of thematic film packages including catalogue texts and photoes
- Co-operation on curation of thematic programmes
- Sharing of costs on film and guest transportation when possible

The network decided to introduce a new award. The objectives of the award are to recognize Nordic and Baltic animation of high quality and to promote it in the region as well as internationally.

The award was finally baptised:
ANOBA - Award of Nordic and Baltic Animation Festivals

It was decided to ask the international juries of the ANOBA festivals to nominate a Nordic or Baltic animation film from each festival. The winner film will be selected among the nominated films. The jury will be the organisers of animation festivals from the network. The award will be handed out in turn by the ANOBA festivals.

It is the intention to make the award a cash prize, if a sponsor can be identified. Find further considerations below under "Festival School".
It is also the intention to publish the nominated films on DVD - an annual compilation representing the best of Nordic and Baltic animation.

The first and second festivals to nominate films will be Animated Dreams, Estonia, at the end of November and Cosmic Zoom, Denmark, early February 2006.


Festival school
It is the recommendation of the conference to establish a series of courses in animation festival technique.

There exists no such thing as a film festival school - let be a school for learning the special craft of organising animation festivals.
In the world of festivals everybody seems to be learning by doing ? often repeating the same errors everywhere.
By exchanging experiences, the conference delegates agreed, that even if they had all arranged master classes for animation professionals - they actually needed master classes in festival technique for themselves!

The conference delegates decided as first priority to address the subjects: Corporate Sponsoring and Promotion. A case for this study will be to identify a sponsor for the ANOBA award.

Depending on the situation of Tough Eye 2006, Nick Dorra will investigate possibilities for implementing a course in Finland within a year.
A number of other subjects and themes for courses/seminars or master classes were identified:

- Corporate sponsoring
- Promotion
- Marketing
- Press relations
- The festival as showroom and distributor (DVD?)
- Reaching target groups
- Festival formats
- Relations to the animation professionals and the industry

Annual meetings
It is the recommendation of the conference to establish annual meetings for organisers from the Nordic and Baltic animation festivals.

The personal meeting among festival professionals sparked off so much energy and inspiration that the network intends to meet on a regular basis.
The meetings should contain:
- Follow up on fields of co-operation
- Exchange of experiences and news
- A seminar/course or master class in festival technique
- Judging of nominated films for the ANOBA award

It is the recommendation of the conference to visit other festivals in the network.

To get inspiration and learn from the partner festivals in the network, it is essential to have a chance to visit them.
As none of the festivals have a big budget for research or travels. Funding for this purpose will be investigated further by all participants.

Over three evenings during the Conference, screenings took place in Fredrikstad Cinema of highlights from the seven festivals presented by the festival organisers and a few other films.

Friday afternoon focus
Minutes Bjørn Heidenstrøm

1. Introduction
Gunnar Strøm - School of Animation in Volda - made a historical and colourful trip, trying to draw a background curtain for why 7 festivals were gathered here in Fredrikstad 2005. He put the starting point to an informal meeting of good friends 1983 in Stockholm, how the Nordic-Baltic relations grew strong, the relation to the bigger European landscape, and underlined the early straight competition rules for Nordic-Baltic festival. One of his main points was the great value of meeting each other face to face, and to have time for informal talk.

2. Ars Baltica Norway, Tore Aas Hansen. Ministry of Culture. Norway.
Ars Baltica is a forum for the countries round the Baltic Sea including the Nordic and Baltic countries, Poland and Germany. 2 representatives in each country. Has no "fund" but can help promote projects. Projects can be branded with the Ars Baltica logo as a guarantee for quality and exhibited on the Ars Baltica
Web site: Ars Baltica

3. INTERREG and EEA Financial Mechanism
Dag Erikssen - Interreg Office, Østfold County - told about the 2 big programs for cross border/ trans-national/ interregional cooperation.

From 2007 (- 2013) there will be a new program period for INTERREG , but the "so far suggested" content and topics don`t match "art/culture" or festivals of animation directly. You have to be "creative" in the way you develop your application.

EEA-Financial Mechanism is a big program where applicants from the Baltic states can cooperate with partners in Norway. The best possibilities may be lying in Block grants for such as Non-Governmental-Organisations. And Seed money - to support the development of promising project ideas of high relevance. Relevant priorities is probably "regional policy and cross-border activities", "human resources development", "Cross-border activities".
Web sites: www.eeagrants.org, www.norway.info, www.europaportalen.no

4. Media+
Sidsel Hellebo Hansen - Mediadesk Norway told about the (film)festival area within the Media+ program (EU). Nearly 90 festivals get support every year, 10000-35000 Euro. But the competition is hard for new festivals, and the application work is "useful" but also a challenge.
Web site: Media+

5. Filmkontakt Nord (Nordic Panorama)
Karolina Lidin - Denmark-told about their work within the field of independent documentaries and short films from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway
and Sweden. They arrange the main Nordic event for short films and documentaries: Nordisk Panorama, next year in Århus 22-27 September. They are open to discuss ways Filmkontakt Nord can promote animation film / cooperate with the animation festival network.
Web site: Filmkontakt Nord

6. Bruno Ascuks - Latvia, made (as the former head of the Film institute of Latvia) an overview of the field and status of animation/film within Latvia and within the Baltic states. Besides the networking of animation festival there are lots of areas where Nordic-Baltic cooperation could be of great interest. Web site: www.efsa.ee

Minutes by Ove Watne

BIMINI in Riga, Latvia
Presented by Zane Dzene
First festival was arranged in 2003. Private sponsors. In 2005 there were 150 guests (professional) attending the festival. In 2006 they plan to focus on Russian animation films.
Latvia has a long animation film history, and Film centre in Latvia took the initiative to start an animation festival.
Budget is appr. 25 000 Euros. Only volunteers.
The programme consists of a competition, panorama and retrospectives.
In the competition there are about 100 films in many categories and it is an international programme.
Web site: BIMINI

ANIMATED DREAMS in Tallin, Estonia
Presented by Heilika Vosu.
The festival is a part of the big film event Black Nights. The last four years there has been arranged a separate animation festival. It is funded by Black Nights. The festival takes place in the end of November.
Special programmes with competition (international jury) and a programme with female animation films.
Budget is appr. 17 000 Euros for the animation part. Two persons work for the festival for three months and one person works for the festival four months. They experience that it is hard to get an audience to short animation films aimed at adults. Ticket sales: appr. 700. Total admissions appr. 1000. Students are a target group.

Presented by Pär Berg
Biannual festival. The second edition was arranged in 2005. 200 festival passes sold. Budget appr. 45 000 Euro. The festival is the only of its kind in Sweden. The basis for the festival is the animation department at University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Eksjö. The future for the festival is uncertain, because the education in animation has been closed down.

TOUGH EYE in Turku, Finland
Presented by Nick Dorra
Biannual festival founded by Priit Pärn in 2000. Turku Arts Academy is a partner. The festival presents new Finnish and international animation. City of Turku supports the festival. The first festival was arranged in 2003. No festival in 2005. Students from the Arts Academy work for the festival. There is a competition programme and children?s animation workshop. The board of directors consists of four to seven people, artistic director 2-3, managing director and coordinators 4-9 and voluntary staff consists of about 80 people.
In addition to the city of Turku, and the Arts Academy, Turku Science Park also supports the festival.
Budget appr. 120 000 Euro. 7 500 admissions in 2004.
Web site: TOUGH EYE

COSMIC ZOOM in Copenhagen, Denmark
Presented by Kasper Rasmussen, Jesper Kristiansen and Tea Lindeburg
Founded in 1999 as a three-day festival arranged annually. It is a festival for animation films and experimental films. They use no traditional cinema. The festival is in one big room with continous screenings where people can come and go as they like. There are events with both film and music live bands. Competition programme and programmes with both new and older films. Only volunteers are working with the festvial. 1300 visitors at the festival last year and 40% of the films screened were animation films.
Budget appr. DKK 250 000. 25% from The Danish Film Institute, 30% from private foundations, 30% from entrance fees and 15% from bar sells. The festival has income from the bar.

TINDIRINDIS in Vilnius, Lithuania
Presented by Valentas Askinis and Jurate Leikate
The third festival was arranged in 2005. Support from the city of Vilnius from 2003. The festival is also supported by the Ministry of Culture and a foundation of sports. Budget is appr. 30 000 Euro. There is a competition programme, films for children, and a competition also for films made by children and students. Eight people work with the festival and in addition there are ten volunteers. In 2005 there were appr. 10 000 admissions. The festival arranges a film packet that travels around in the country to other towns and places which do not have any regular cinema.

Fredrikstad Animation Festival, Norway
Presented by Anne Lise Andreasen
2004 festival in Fredrikstad was festival number 10. Used to be annual ? but due to financial problems becoming biannual.
Festival started in Oslo in the rock music environment. Moved to Fredrikstad 2000.
Developed a Nordic and Baltic competition as the most important and significant activity.
Member of the Cartoon D?Or network, nominating winner films for the Cartoon D?Or.
International highlights played a role as a window to the world animation scene for the audience. Important as meeting place for professionals from the region.
Total budget average 150.000 EUR.
Future quite insecure. Waiting for political signals from new government and more favourable support.

Anne Lise Andreasen
Conference project leader
Fredrikstad 12.11.2005

Animation Festivals of the North was produced by Norsk Animasjonsforum and supported by: Fredrikstad City, The Norwegian Film Institute, Nordic Film and TV Fund, Nordic Culture Fund, and Nordisk Baltisk Fond.


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