Summary: Thursday 10/24, Friday 10/25

Thursday 24/10 marked the opening of the 23rd edition of Fredrikstad Animation Festival, and the festival’s 25th anniversary since its inception in Oslo in ’94.

It kicked off with a breakfast seminar with Neil Pymer, creative director connected to the interactive department at Aardman, who held a paper prototyping workshop designed to encourage the brainstorming of new creative ideas.

The educational industry event saw short film director Kristian Pedersen and line producer Charlotte Sanchez from the critically acclaimed studio Sun Creature speak about their process, work and career.

For students, educational stands had been set up in the cinema foyer. They were also presented with the exciting opportunity to show their work to industry professionals in the portfolio review session.

The Anidox workshop, led by Frode Søbstad and Uri Kranot, allowed documentary and animation filmmakers to meet and develop pitches for documentaries making use of animation to tell their stories. These pitches were later presented during a public pitch session at the House of Literature in Fredrikstad.

Thursday’s program also featured the screening of the Kindergarten films, the Nordic-Baltic Student Competition submissions, the Nordic-Baltic Short Competition 1, and the Children’s Film Competition entries.

The audience was also invited to meet the people behind these films at the Meet the Filmmakers event, featuring the filmmakers talking about their work and a Q&A session.

Feature films screened were Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond and Away.

The official opening ceremony was held at the House of Literature in Fredrikstad in the evening. The highlight was the awarding of the Lifetime Achievement Award, which this year went to Anna Tystad Aronsen for her longstanding career and commitment to Nordic animation. Films screened during the ceremony were Moral Orel: Help, Origin of Man and Human Nature.

Friday 10/25

Friday started with the Fredrikstad: Show and Tell seminar, where local animation studios Netron and Provinsen presented themselves and their work.

In his talk Kids – Porting 2D animation to interactive games, short film director Michael Frei gave insight into how he and game designer Mario von Rickenbach adapted Frei’s short films Plug and Play and Kids into small interactive games.

Thorbjørn Christoffersen, director of Checkered Ninja, (“Ternet Ninja”), held a ‘making of’ presentation giving insight into the production of the cult phenomenon, including behind-the-scenes material of the animation process and the development of characters and story. The film was also shown later in the day.

Director Duke Johnson and writer and executive producer Dino Stamatopoulos of renowned animation studio Starburns Industries spoke about their experiences animating and writing for satire and comedy in their industry seminar.

At Fredrikstad House of Literature, several puppets from the animated short Human Nature by Sverre Fredriksen & Zaou Vaughan were on display so festivalgoers could get a closer look at the puppets and all the hard work that goes into creating them.

This year’s main guest, Dan Harmon, is known as the creator of popular comedy shows such as Community and Rick and Morty (co-created with Justin Roiland). In the event Meeting with Dan Harmon, Dan discussed his career, sources of inspiration and the process of creating a TV show. The event was moderated by David Skaufjord and also included a Q&A as well as the screening of episodes from the Rick and Morty.

Short film programs screened included Nordic-Baltic Shorts 2, Commissioned Films, Best of International Shorts 1 and Animated Night: Satire and Comedy.