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Swiss festival is the place to be for animated films

Fantoche, Switzerland’sInternational Animation Film Festival, is getting noticed byfilmmakers around the world. A look at what’s on offer.

With 2,094 films from 102 countries, the festival’s 15th edition, takingplace from 5-10September in Baden, has seen the highest number of submissions ever in its history.

The festival presents a selection of 17 feature film premieres, four with specialbehind-the-scenes presentations.In addition, Fantoche will feature 81 animated short films as part of the ‘International Competition’, ‘Swiss Competition’and ‘Competition for Children’s Films’.

What has now become an important meeting place for animated film lovers and the creative industry alikestarted in 1995 because of the founders’ desire to open up Switzerland to the “realm of boundless opportunities” that animation offers.

Until 2009, the festival was held only every two years. Ithas now become, together with Annecy in France, Stuttgart in Germany, Ottawa in Canada and Hiroshima in Japan, one of the most established festivals dedicated exclusively to the art of animation.

Here is a tasteof the films that will be featured inthis year’s programme:

Loving Vincent

Opening the festival is the British-Polish co-production by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, that through a remarkably time-consuming process resulted in more than 65,000 hand-painted frames to bring to life the tragic events surrounding Vincent van Gogh’sdeath.

Have a nice day

To fix his girlfriend’s failed plastic surgery, driver Xiao Zhang robs $1 million (CHF959,900) from his boss resulting in a hitman, a gangster and a robber chasing him and the money.

The film, which will screened inthe presence of producer Yang Chen, is a noir gangster thriller with socially critical undertones. The second feature animation by Liu Jian captivates with its surreal imagery, drawn by the director himself over the course of three years.

In this Corner of the World

Japanese Sunao Katabuchi’s film follows the life of the young woman Suzu, whose existence has been shaped by the war in Hiroshima and who, thanks to her creative view of the world, nevertheless, faces everyday life with charm and humour.


In one of the Swiss feature film submissions in competition this “animadoc” by Anka Schmid blends archive footage with stop animation to tell her generation’s body hair stories, whether as a body ornament or as a political statement.


Part of the 81 short films in competition, in this animated documentary, a Colombian/French co-production, the director Carlos Gomez Salamanca traces back the murder of a security guard in a disadvantaged neighbourhood of Bogot