A comic occasion

Get ready to expand your horizons – by a long way.

giraffes 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
giraffes 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There are many festivals in Israel, but perhaps none is more eagerly awaited than the Animix – Animation Comics Caricature Festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, which runs from August 17-21. The festival, which is celebrating its 10th year, features worldfamous guests, including the Argentine caricaturist, Mordillo, movies, workshops, and panel discussions.
It has programs that appeal to adults and children alike – and there is even a workshop where parents and kids can make movies together.
It always draws many teenagers, and it’s the perfect antidote to summer boredom that sets in at lots households around this time of the summer.
The best news of all about the festival is that the programs are quite affordable, with most priced at between NIS 35-40 per ticket (packages are available where you purchase several tickets at once for a discount).
Dozens of films will be shown during the festival, including the best of recent Israeli and international animation; animated advertising clips; full-length features such as the film, American Splendor, a fictionalized version of the life of cartoonist Harvey Pekar, which features many animated sequences; and a program of Oscar-winning short animated films.
Even if the name Mordillo isn’t familiar to you, you’ve seen his drawings and may well have one tacked to your refrigerator. Known for his clever cartoons, filled with animals, soccer players and clowns, which appeal both to adults and children, the 78-year-old Guillermo Mordillo has worked in virtually every aspect of cartooning and illustration, including a stint in the art department at Paramount Studios and another drawing cards for Hallmark. Currently based in Europe, Mordillo will appear at several workshops and presentations, so fans will have a chance to get to know what inspires this artist.
Ron Diamond, co-founder and owner of ACME Filmworks, a commercial animation studio that has created effects for big-budget movies and made many of the most distinguished animated films in recent years, will also be a guest of the festival.
Most recently, ACME produced the special effects for Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. One of the founders of MTV, Diamond will host several programs, among them his world-famous Ron Diamond’s Show of Shows, a compilation of the best animation from around the world.
Many Israeli animators and artists will take part in the festival as well. Yossi Abulafia will receive an award for his many contributions to the field of animation. The veteran animator is known for his innovative caricatures and animations for the television series Nikui Rosh (Brainwashing). He will host a program devoted to a compilation of his life’s work. He has illustrated several children’s books by Meir Shalev, and Shalev will interview him for a program on illustration.
That Reminds Me is a program of films on memory presented by director and drama therapist Hanan Shnir.
Anyone who sees many animated movies these days knows that Pixar is the king of all studios, but you may not have known that Tim Crawfurd, who was an animator at Pixar for 12 years, is a recent immigrant to Israel. Crawfurd, who worked on such Pixar hits as Up, Ratatouille, The Incredibles and Toy Story 2, will give a talk about his work there.
Among the many films shown at the festival will be the 1926 Fritz Lang classic, Metropolis. For years, all complete prints of this film, which many considered ahead of its time, were lost, until one was discovered two years ago in Argentina. A documentary on the history and restoration of Metropolis will be shown as well.
Another notable program will be Creating a World, a look at an animated versions of the Biblical Genesis story through movie history.
Programs specifically aimed at children include a mid-day presentation by musician Gil Shohat about music and animated films, and a program by Koby Manhat of Arutz Ha Yeledim of cartoons featuring the popular character Arthur. Mahat will also co-host a presentation, along with Sarel Piterman and Don Lani Gabbai of Arutz Ha Yeledim, who will talk about what cartoons mean to them.
Another program featuring the film Children with a Camera focuses on special-needs children and the movies they make when given the opportunity.
Author Yehuda Atlas introduces a collection of BBC films based on the works of Beatrix Potter.
Bracha Shalita presents a program of films based on the works of the legendary children’s author, Maurice Sendak, best known for his book, Where the Wild Things Are.
Check the festival Website http://www.animixfest.co.il/ for details, and also to order tickets. Many programs will sell out, so try to order your tickets in advance.