Zagreb School of Animated Films
Zagreb school of animated films is a style of animation originating from Zagreb, Croatia, most notably Zagreb Film. It is represented by authors like Nikola Kostelac, Vatroslav Mimica, Dušan Vukotić and Vladimir Kristl. The term was coined by Georges Sadoul. The first major success was a Grand Prix award in Venice for the animated short Samac (Lonely guy) by Vatroslav Mimica, and their greatest work so far is an Oscar-winning animated short Surogat by Dušan Vukotić.
The history of animation in Zagreb begins in 1922, with two short animated commercials done by Sergej Tagatz. The first production company "Škola narodnog zdravlja" (represented by director Milan Marjanović, artist Petar Papp) continued making animated shorts such as Macin Nos, Ivin Zub and Martin u nebo in the period 1928 - 1929. In the 30s, more animated commercials were produced by Maar-Reklama film company. Following World War II, Walter Neugebauer creates the animation film Svi na izbore in 1945, under heavy influence of Disney animation. This was followed by other satirical works such as the propaganda film Veliki miting, produced in 1951 by Jadran Film.
The animation of Zagreb made its first major breakthrough with the short Samac 1958 by Vatroslav Mimica, which won the Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival. This was followed by the 1961 short Surogat by Dušan Vukotić, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, the first non-American to do so. First animated shows began appearing during his time, such as Inspektor Maska (1962-1963), and the internationally renown Professor Balthazar (1967-1978) by Zlatko Grgić.
During the 80s and 90s, Croatia Film produced the country's first animated features, all directed by Milan Blažeković: The Elm-Chanted Forest, The Magician's Hat and Lapitch the Little Shoemaker.
Animafest Zagreb was initiated by the International Animated Film Association (ASIFA), the event was established in 1972. Animafest is the second oldest animation festival in the World, after the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, (established in 1960). Festival awards include prizes given in the Short film Competition, Feature film Competition, Student Film Competition, Children Films, Site-specific competition and Croatian competition. Its Prize for "Best First Production Apart from Educational Institutions" is named in honour of Zlatko Grgić. The Lifetime Achievement Award, which is unique for animation film festivals, was established in 1986. An award for outstanding contribution to the theory of animation was added in 2002.
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