CULTURE

Athinais center hosts first Greek cartoon festival

The Athinais Cultural Center gives birth to a new event this weekend: The First International Cartoon Festival, which will run from 10 a.m. today to Sunday evening. Organized in cooperation with the Union of European Producers and the Institute of Audiovisual Media, the festival showcases the work of local and foreign artists, reveals new trends in the industry and promotes new artists. Daily screenings start at 10 a.m. and will consist of films aimed at children aged 7-15, made either by children themselves or by established artists. The second leg of the festival starts daily at 5 p.m. and runs until approximately midnight. Here, visitors will be able to see the work of Greek cartoon artists from the past and present, including the successful television series «Platon and Pandora» and new applications of 3D animation. A tribute to European cartoons will include films awarded in the last decade with the Cartoon D’Or, the most prestigious Europe-wide prize for animated films, while a focus on New Japanese Artists will showcase new productions in Japan, one of the world’s most prolific animated-film industries. Other highlights include a tribute to cartoon artist Jimmy T. Murakami, an exhibition of cartoon art, and a series of daily seminars and lectures aimed at both professionals and laymen. The First International Cartoon Festival, today to Sunday evening, at Athinais, 34-36 Kastorias, tel 010.348.0000. A globetrotting animation artist Jimmy T. Murakami was born in San Jose, California, in 1933. He attended the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, now CalArts, and his first job was with UPA Pictures, where he mostly worked as a publicity artist. In 1958 he moved to New York, where he worked with Ernest Pintoff on films such as «The Violinist,» while in 1960, he left the USA and decided to go to Japan, where his family originated from. He went on to work in France, Italy, the Netherlands and Britain, and during this time he made the British Academy Award-winning «Insects.» In 1965, Murakami opened a studio in California with Fred Wolf, called Murakami Wolf. He made «The Top,» and «Breath» and «Good Friends.» Murakami then moved to Ireland in the early 1970s and set up his own production studio. In the 1980s, he made «Battle Beyond the Stars» and «Humanoids from the Deep,» though his most successful film was the 1986 feature-length «When the Wind Blows.» His most recent film was «A Christmas Carol: The Movie» (2001), with the voices of Simon Callow, Kate Winslet and Nicolas Cage.