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Short Film Festival "2ANNAS" & special industry program with focus on animation

From April 7 to 13, the International Short Film Festival 2ANNAS, one of the most important such events in the Baltics, will take place at cinemas Kino Bize and K. Suns as well as the culture centre M/Darbnica in Riga, Latvia.

This year, the festival will be happening for the 27th time and its main theme will be “Body and Flesh”, exploring the limits of the human body and the senses. In total, more than 100 short films from 25 countries will be screened at this year's festival.

“In this year's focus programmes we want to show how many different interpretations there can be on a topic as seemingly obvious as the body and the flesh. The human body has historically been an object of reflection in various philosophical traditions as well as in the visual arts. This year's festival will focus on the body in the phenomenological tradition, where the established distinction between body and flesh explains and allows for the unification of both the understanding of the body as an externally observable thing and the understanding of the flesh as a subjectively experienced body. We have also chosen this distinction as the focus of the festival in order to invite the audience to look for as many different ways of looking at their own bodies as possible. It is also very important to emphasise the relationship between politics and the body, which is so important today!” says the programme director.

Explore the various film screenings and book your tickets!

During the festival from April 11 to 13, the Industry Days program "2ANNAS FORUM: Animation DNA" will be held.

On the first day (11.04.), participants, especially industry professionals, are invited to the discussion "Animation DNA: Distribution and the role of film festivals" (15:00, M/Darbnīca). Representatives of the Baltic animation institutions will discuss the importance of animation short films and festivals on both local and international scales.

On the second day (12.04.), the focus will be on the professional development and physical well-being of animation filmmakers, thus following up the conversation on the mental and physical health of the industry professionals that 2ANNAS FORUM tackled during the previous Industry Days edition.

Endless hours of passive sitting in front of a monitor as well as the frequent lifting of heavy equipment leave tangible consequences on the physical health of the film industry workers. Therefore, physiotherapist Līga Līdumniece-Šulce invites cinema professionals, especially animation directors, editors, DoPs, and other technical workers, to start the day with a morning workout (M/Darbnīca). While exercising together, the physiotherapist will share her professional and practical advice on how to avoid injuries and body strain in everyday life.

The second day also comes with the Masterclass by Ülo Pikkov (11:00, M/Darbnīca). Estonian animation director, teacher and theoretician Pikkov is one of the most prominent animation authors in Estonia. Pikkov will share his professional advice and reflect upon his creative approach.

In animated films, the body is perceived in a less prejudiced way. Moreover, in the field of independent animation, a rapidly increasing amount of films and authors boldly speak about body, sensuality and mental health. In response to this, on the final day (13.04.2023) we invite festival guests, animation lovers and professionals to attend the discussion “Animation DNA: Talking about body and sensuality through animation” (15:00, K. Suns). Setting aside any bias or discomfort, we will collectively ponder the themes of nudity and sexuality in animated films.

The discussion will be followed by a retrospective of Signe Baumane’s shorts "Body and Flesh", curated by 2ANNAS program director Laima Graždanoviča (17:00, K. Suns).

“It is interesting that we, as viewers, perceive the body in animated films differently, more easily and with less prejudice, especially when it comes to nudity and sexuality. That's why this year's Industry Days will be dedicated to the most corporeal genre of film – animation. From puppet animation, where every frame is accompanied by the movement of the body, to experimental short films, where the animator is able to embody abstract ideas and dreams through animation, animation not only reveals what is hidden in the body, but also gives bodily reality to phenomena, dresses meanings in forms and thoughts in images,” says the programme director.

Industry days are organized in close cooperation with the Latvian Animation Association with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Creative Europe MEDIA desk in Latvia. Admission to all events is free, open to all.

See the full programme of the festival!

As usual, 2ANNAS has prepared a rich selection of original, innovative, challenging and socially active short films and medium-length films. Nevertheless, the unofficial part and the special events have become the hallmark of 2ANNAS. Expect untamed parties in unusual places, a liberated atmosphere and busy and fruitful mingling with like-minded international cinema colleagues.

2ANNAS advocates the short film as an independent cinema genre. The short film format is not a rite of passage before moving on to the debut fiction. We strongly believe that it is a conscious, consistent choice, the result of which is a high-quality artistic oeuvre.