BienNIAL OF ANIMATION BRATISLAVA – BAB 2020

The 15th international festival of animated films for children and youth
will take place
from 5 to 10 October 2020

Nearly three decades ago this event established its place on the map of international film festivals and since that time it has gradually and continuously extended the range of audience among children and adults. The Bratislava festival has always offered a top choice of the animated films from all over the world together with a plentiful accompanying programs. Moreover, it started to spread its wings to other cities of Slovakia as well. This direction was set out by Mrs Katarína Minichová, a long-year leader, dramaturg, screenwriter, programme director of the festival and a “soul” of the event who unfortunately could not finish her work. The new BAB programme manager, young Slovak director and animation artist Tomáš Danay with a team of young colleagues came with an aim to follow her ideas, take up all good, established and proved traditions and shift the festival towards recent challenges at the same time.

A new visual, new intro, new means of publicity and communication with audience came hand in hand with a thorough work at harvesting the best animated films from all over the world. In March 2020 our enthusiasm started to dim down due to a new social situation connected with the Covid-19 pandemic, and already in May it was clear that we must leave all plans and look for new solutions. The festival with numerous cinema screenings, attendance of foreign guests, lecturers, international jury and a manifold accompanying programme can no longer be preserved in its original shape.

As for the projection of films, two main solutions were found. The first one is a cooperation with the Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) who has answered our request very positive and provided the festival with a generous space, 34 films will be presented in four bands in term from 5 to 8 October 2020. As not all authors gave a permission to broadcast their film at TV, the second decision was to present the films through online screening at the website of festival. This way has enabled to show all competition films to even wider audience.

As in previous years, also now the main attraction of festival will be the choice of high-quality films for children. Altogether 91 competing titles were selected from among 1824 films sent up to the competition. The films are organised in four categories (from S to XL) by age group and include many novelties and successful titles. The youngest viewers can enjoy the fairy-tale The Tots (episode Rocket) by the Slovak director Vanda Raýmanová, or another story from the popular spider family series The Websters by Katarína Kerekešová. A new animated film The Kite directed by Martin Smatana which competes as well, sensitively introduces the topic of death through a story of small boy and his grandpa.

From Great Britain there comes an episode from the popular film series Little Princess – Cowgirl directed by a gifted artist Sue Tong dedicated to pre-school children. Hungary will be represented by the film Matches directed by Géza Tóth whose previous work Maestro was nominated for an Oscar. Tobi and the Turbobus, a film by German director Verena Fels, brings a charming emotional story about the power of true friendship. There is no need to introduce the world famous film series Masha and the Bear, films on the pair of a curious girl and her bear friend directed by the Russian author Vladislav Bairamgulov whose episode will also be screened at the festival.

The festival will present a set of challenging films for teens and young adults as well. For example Daughter, a Czech film directed by Daria Kashcheeva which tells a story of a complicated father-daughter relationship through means of puppet animation. A careful spectator would not miss the extraordinary dynamic camera and detailed views of puppet faces looking vividly and true. This film which has already won the nomination for The Best Animated Short Oscar will compete in the XL category.

Besides the presentation of movies competing for attention of the audience of all age groups in eight categories, another non-competition films will be available in our online screenings. Among others, there will be a show of animated films by an outstanding Russian director Konstantin Bronzit. During the festival the web users can also watch The Black Flag, a selection of remarkable films intended for young adults which were chosen by the jury member, director and animator Andrej Kolenčík.

Eight winners of the BAB 2020 awards will be selected by the international jury made of the members: Carlos Loscano (Argentina), Rebecca Akoun (France), Andrej Kolenčík (Slovakia), Halka Marčeková (Slovakia) and two representatives of the ECFA (European Children’s Film Association). The competitive format of the festival will be preserved even if the members of both adult and children´s juries will untraditionally work from home.

The winners of all awards, including the supreme one of the festival – VIKTOR KUBAL PRIZE for the best film as well as the unique prize PRIX KLINGSOR and the Children´s Audience Award, will be made public at the festive announcement on Friday 9 October 2020 which will take place online as well.

The accompanying events have always been a strong part of the festival. Despite of the fact that their extend was remarkably reduced by the current situation this year, the film fans can look forward to an outstanding exhibition of works by the Hungarian artist Géza Tóth to be presented in premises of the Hungarian Institute. Or, the exhibition of Polish book illustration and animation entitled Peekaboo can be found at the Polish Institute in Bratislava.

The international festival of animated films for children – The Biennial of Animation Bratislava (BAB) – will take place from 5 to 10 October 2020. The event is organised by BIBIANA, the International House of Art for Children with a support of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. The Radio and Television of Slovakia (RTVS) is the general partner of the event.