Cartoons at the Athinais

The third International Animated Film Festival, which kicks off today and will run to December 16 at the Athinais Arts Complex, has lots of treats in store, including a tribute to Spanish animation films, screenings of the «Cartoon D’Or 2004» (award-winning animation shorts that one rarely has the opportunity to watch, from Estonia, France, Norway and Austria), new full-length productions from all over the world and much more. Animation films from Spain (especially Catalonia) are particularly interesting, since Spain currently tops the list of credible animation filmmaking. The full-length films that were chosen for screening at this year’s festival were selected on the basis of their particular features within Spanish animation. The film «Historias de Amor y Masacre» by Jordi Amoros, one of Spain’s most highly regarded animation filmmakers who will also be present at the festival, is the first and only production for adults. This year’s Animation Festival also features the screening of anti-racist animation films, from the USA, UK, Belgium, Switzerland and Sweden, such as «Promise Land,» which deals with the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, or «Schenglet,» which is about immigration policy in Schengen Europe. Other events include a presentation of Serbian artist Rasto Ciric’s work, Greek animation films and a series of student productions, which will present the new generation of animation filmmakers. On December 15, a day conference for students and animation professionals will take place in the context of the festival, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. The screenings and other events take place under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, with the collaboration of the General Secretariat for Youth. The effort is also supported by the Greek Film Center, while the tribute to Spanish animation is under the aegis of the Spanish Embassy in Athens. Athinais Arts Complex, 34-36 Kastorias, Votanikos, tel 210.348.000.