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Tribute to Jiří Barta at the 1st International Festival of Animated Films “Be There! Corfu Animation Festival“

From 7 till 10 April 2011, the 1st International Festival of Animated Films “Be There! Corfu Animation Festival“ took place in the capital of Corfu under the auspicies of the Municipality of Corfu and the Ionian University. The festival featured a retrospective of the Czech animated film director Jiří Barta brought by the largest international competition festival of animation in the Czech Republic - AniFest. Jiří Barta´s work was presented by Magdalena Šebestová, a member of the AniFest Art Council, Head of the International Communication Section and Spokesperson of AniFest. The participation of the Czech Republic in the festival was realised with the support and in co-operation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Athens and the Czech Film Centre.

From 7 till 10 April 2011, the 1st International Festival of Animated Films “Be There! Corfu Animation Festival“ (www.betherefest.gr) took place in the capital of Corfu. The festival was held under the auspicies ofthe Municipality of Corfu and the Ionian University, in co-operation with the Ottawa International Animation Festival, the TISFF (Thessaloniki International Short Film Festival) and the Greek Animation Festival  Animasyros 3.0., and with the support of the Embassies of the Czech Republic, Canada and Poland in Greece. The festival presented many animated feature films from all over the world (i.a. the excellent picture “The Illusionist“ by S. Chomet, Oscar nominee in 2010, screened during the official opening of the festival on 8 April), it had two international competition sections – graduation and short films, and the festival programme further featured a retrospective of the work of Jiří Barta, the Canadian animators R. Condie and C. Barier and the Polish director Z. Rybczynski, who was personally present at the festival. Every visitor of the festival had an opportunity to participate in workshops aimed mainly at new technologies and techniques used in animation, for children there was prepared a section Kids, be there!. The festival was accompanied by many side events, i.a. a painting exhibition on animation by the Corfu Painters Society and a drawings and comic exhibition by students of the Audio & Visual Arts Department of the Ionian University.

The festival featured a retrospective of the Czech animated film director Jiří Barta brought by the largest international competition festival of animation in the Czech Republic - AniFest. Jiří Barta´s program was presented by Mrs. Magdalena Šebestová, a member of the AniFest Art Council, Head of the International Communication Section and the Spokesperson of AniFest, who was also Head of the Festival Graduation Film Competition Jury. The work of the Czech master of stop-motion animation Jiří Barta was presented in two parts - in the first part during the Opening of the Festival on Friday 8 April, a few short films from Barta´s early work were screened, i.a. “The Ballad of Green Wood” (1983), “The Club of the Discarded” (1989) and “The Project“ (1981). On Saturday 9 April Barta´s full-length film “Krysař/The Pied Piper” (1985) was screened. Before both projections Mrs. M. Šebestová presented the work and contribution of Jiří Barta. As Jiří Barta could not attend the festival, he and M. Šebestová prepared a video-interview in which he – at least from the screen – greeted the festival´s audience and shortly presentedhis work. The interview was presented within the official opening of the festival on 8 April and it was one of its highlights. The Czech animation was further presented in the festival short film competition by the film “Swimming Pool / Bazén“ (2010) by theyoung director Alexandra Hetmerová.

The participation of the Czech Republic in the festival was realised with the support and in co-operation with the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Athens and the Czech Film Centre.