11th IAFF Animator / Competition






Poznań, 9-10 July 2018

"I have always liked to explore the peripheries of Art, penetrate the borders of particular genres (...). It amused me (...) to blend seemingly distant or even alien elements, blur the boundaries that separate related fields of art, introduce nobler features to “lower” genres; in other words – I like being secretly subversive"
Jan Lenica

The ANIMATOR International Animated Film Festival and the Institute of Film, Media and Audiovisual Arts of the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań invite you to participate in ANIMATOR’S BRAINSTORM, a cycle of multimedia shows, film lectures and audio-visual presentations during which animation researchers, animators and film experts are going to present and analyse vital issues and most interesting questions connected with international animated filmmaking. ANIMATE YOUR BRAIN!

This year’s edition of the ANIMATOR Festival will be centered around the work of Jan Lenica, an eminent illustrator, cartoonist, poster designer and animator, who became famous as one of the originators of the Polish school of poster and is considered to be the “founding father” of the Polish school of animation. Together with Walerian Borowczyk, in the late 1950s Lenica revolutionized the world of animated film, making it artistically equal to other audio-visual art forms. The author of the famous Labyrinth is doubtless one of the most fascinating figures in the 20th century Polish art. Lenica’s experimental, surrealist and multidimensional works changed the way we think about animation, perceiving it not only as naive, less ambitious genre intended strictly for young audiences. His works, in which he used both paper cut-outs and drawings, became a source of inspiration for many artists who appreciated the specific visual style and the message of Lenica’s images emanating with surrealist grotesque, absurd and black humour. Unquestionably, Lenica and Borowczyk revolutionised global animation by introducing the language of graphic brevity and simple signs, which they had earlier developed in their posters.
Bearing all that in mind, and also considering the fact that Lenica worked in Poland, France, Germany, Switzerland and the USA, and became an international - or even cosmopolitan – artist, it is definitely worthwhile to analyse his artistic output in the context of the world filmmaking and have a look at the transformations that animation has undergone since the end of 1950-ies and to which Lenica and Borowczyk’s revolution undoubtedly contributed.

As the year 2018 is marked by two special occasions, the 90th anniversary of Jan Lenica’s birthday and the 60th anniversary of the premiere of Dom / House - a milestone film for the Polish and the global animation – we would like to cordially invite you to take part in ANIMATOR’S BRAINSTORM devoted not only to Jan Lenica’s heritage but also to a broadly understood question of authorship in animation. We would also like to ponder the questions of artistic freedom, both from the perspective of patronage, censorship, or public opinion and in connection with technical advancement that opens new possibilities for animation. In other words, we intend to ask in relation to animation all those vital questions that have been tackled by Ruben Östlund in his movie The Square in the context of modern art. Therefore, we would seek to widen the reflection on Lenica’s output by including the following topics:

• The revolution of Lenica and Borowczyk in the context of contemporary animation
• “The Medium is the Message” – message, content, language – animation in the context of Marshall McLuhan’s phrase
• Author’s animation – deconstruction of reality/outer world, or reconstruction of the author’s vision/inner world?
• Milestones – works that changed the history of animation
• The plot or the style – what decides about authorship in an animated film?
• Authors’ formal combinations – collage in animation
• ‘Playing another person’s theme your own way’ – poster, animated opening credits and animated sequences in movies and TV series
• Authorship understood as uniqueness of style and thematic fields (examples of authors)
• The Polish school of animation vs censorship – authors’ metaphors
• Artistic freedom – the limits of authorial vision; artist’s ideas, audience’s expectations, financing
• The new vs the old generation – starting over or carrying on? Fear of influence, or intentional continuation?
• Lenica and his continuators, inspirations, etc.
• Autobiographism vs authorship
• Adaptations and questions related to authorship (the author-animator’s mark on the ready text)

We encourage participants to submit abstracts (max. 1500 characters) by 31st March 2018 by sending them to

The organisers ensure one overnight stay and accreditation for all events to the participants of the 11th edition of the ANIMATOR festival.

Scientific Committee:
prof. dr hab. Marcin Giżycki
Hanna Margolis
prof. UAM dr hab. Katarzyna Mąka-Malatyńska

Organizational Committee:
The AMU Institute of Film, Media and Audiovisual Arts – Stanisław Bitka, Zuzanna Lewandowska
Programme Team of the ANIMATOR International Animated Film Festival - Filip Kozłowski, Anna Głowińska