SEAFF 2017: From Funny Moments to Social Issues

The second edition of the Stockholm Experimental and Animation Film Festival (SEAFF) was held in one of the oldest art-house cinemas in Stockholm, Sweden named Zita Folkets Bio on 18 June 2017. The organisers kept their promise, and the 2-hour-long programme satisfied all our senses, and we couldn’t do anything else but leave the cinema with the very pleasant feeling of fulfilment.

Every film festival has a special vibe either because of its location or the films screened. At SEAFF 2017 the audience members could also experience something very unique and intimate on Sunday; both the cinema building and the fifteen short animations had the power to easily mesmerize them. The festival not only aimed at presenting a strong collection of films, but also introducing a relatively large number of female film-makers to the public. Nonetheless, all the 15 (female and male) animators shared a passion, namely their characters invaded the screen in order to demonstrate the endless possibilities of what can be depicted in animated films. At SEAFF it ranged from winking at the audience when telling a joke audiovisually to reflecting upon more severe issues.

The film Killer Recipe by Chadwick Whitehead tells the story of an avocado and his tomato friend. The former is an inventor, and the latest inventions of his are a special kind of tortilla chips, and they want to eat him. To stop them, the two friends come together and stand up against the hungry enemies. Mykyta Lyskov’s The End also operates with satirical elements, but – mainly due to its length – goes a bit further and experiments with a rather extreme plot that step by step makes the viewer feel joy and realise their own mortality at the same time.

Virginia Mori’s Haircut takes its viewer to a classroom where differences cannot be tolerated. Students hardly can escape from being infected by uniformity, but sometimes a blackboard can function as a refuge. The experimental short film Patarei Prison directed by Ricard Carbonnel walks us through an actual prison that was in use between 1920 and 2002. The empty, abandoned rooms probably have a lot of stories to tell, but today only silence pairs up with dust to welcome visitors.



Photos: Jørgen Pedersen

Barbara Majsa

Barbara is a journalist, editor and film critic. She usually does interviews with film-makers, artists, designers, and writes about cinema, design and books.