Fear is everywhere. In people's heads, in their minds, in films, on TV, on the radio or in newspapers, as well as in the Animated Film Special Programme. But our question, faithful to the festival's theme, is - what happens after the angst? Is everything going to get much worse or can we perhaps laugh about our fears?
There are four programmes which explore both the positive and negative aspects of fear: FEAR FOR FUN is about the humorous, easy dealing with the phenomenon, as well as about saying: I'm not afraid of fear! The filmmakers make use of the resources provided by animated film. Sometimes, like in Birth for example, they go into the really weird and wonderful.
Birth (2009); Director: Signe Baumane
Signe Baumane's film tells the story of a pregnant 17-year-old, who is almost still a child and afraid of giving birth. As she asks older women for advice, she gets even more panicked. EERIE EVOLUTIONS illustrates how animated film has a way of looking at frightening topics with a twinkle in the eye. Mariola Brillowska's Das Handygesetz
is an ironic depiction of people's constant use of their phones, which collect data 24/7 - supposedly to advance science. And that's not all. Logorama
is an American nightmare: The film is all about brands and names, chains and fast food. The main roles are played by two Michelin men, M&Ms and a McDonalds clown who goes on a rampage.
Logorama (2009); Directors: David Alaux, Hervé de Crécy, Ludovic Houplain, François Alaux
From the ADAPTING TO ANGST and RAW REVELATIONS programmes, it is clear that animated film by no means has to be comical. The programme titles say it all - the films are a bit more angst-ridden, a bit rawer. They are more serious and some even border on horror. Ruben Leaves by the Swiss filmmaker Frederic Siegel raises a problem that will probably be familiar to all audience members: You leave the house, make your way to work and suddenly you start to wonder: Did I lock the door? Did I turn off the cooker? The film's main protagonist Ruben is driven to sheer despair by this uncertainty. In Women’s Work, a young French journalist tells of her experiences and fears during a stint in Syria in summer 2013 - before the country's civil war was all over the media.
Le Meat (2014); Director: Wolfgang Matzl
And finally, there is a sense of eminent apocalypse. The tables are turned in Wolfgang Matzl's Le Meat - a vegetarian's nightmare - when a raw chicken drumstick jumps up from the table and proceeds to eat the faceless people it was served to.
The programme was curated by the animated film expert Franziska Bruckner, who is head of the Media Creation research group at St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences.