Kaboom Festival Kicks Off
The inaugural Kaboom Animation Festival kicks off November 9 in Utrecht before relocating to Amsterdam 5 days later. Artistic director Aneta Ozorek gets animated with Nick Cunningham.
It seems everything comes in pairs. Two cities and two very specific focuses. Utrecht will present animations for kids and family audiences while the Amsterdam offer is adult and industry-oriented. Kaboom itself is the fusion of two former festivals, the KLIK Animation Festival and the Holland Animation Film festival, or the "love child" of the two, as the website puts it, adding how "we decided to join hands and work on our shared, progressive goal of a brand new animation festival that has it all... all the while celebrating the Dutch animation industry."
That said, it has just one artistic director. And Aneta Ozorek describes the "one-stop shop" event as "the place to be for the latest and greatest in all thinks animated." What's more it has piqued the singular interest of Dutch and international professionals alike, especially as Dutch animators are enjoying a purple patch, as evidenced by the acclaim for Netherlands output and talent during Cartoon Movie in March 2019.
The line-up is impressive and includes two shorts competition programmes (one for kids films, the other for adult-themed content), a focus on Aardman (that includes a masterclass from the company's cofounder David Sproxton), and an overview of the South Korean animation industry. Of enormous interest to local audiences and industry will be the festival's presentation of 100 years of Dutch animation and a networking event that will enable all Dutch animation students to meet Dutch producers and funders. (For the record, HKU is one of Europe's leading academies for animators and is housed in Utrecht, a city that has transformed itself over the past ten years into an essential European animation hub.)
Episodes so far completed on Hisko Hulsing's eagerly awaited Amazon series Undone, co-produced by powerhouse Submarine, will be screened in Amsterdam. Likewise, the company's Where is Anne Frank?, directed by Ari Folman, will be presented as a work in progress.
Ozorek stresses the next generation of burgeoning Dutch animation citing young talent such as Nienke Deutz, Wiep Teeuwisse, Jelle van Meerendonk, Jasper Kuipers, Aisha Madu and Iris Verhoeven.
"The festival believes that we have to invest strongly in the Dutch animation industry. We will present, we will promote, we will organise all kinds of events to support them (Dutch producers and filmmakers), to facilitate collaborations, to create network events where new relationships can be built," she underlines. "But also we have long term a perspective of focussing on individual countries with strong animation sectors and inviting them to network with Dutch producers and to invest in mutual collaboration."
This will start with the Benelux, which she sees as a viable trading block whose animation sectors share similar creative and commercial goals. In future editions she will turn the spotlight on the animation industries of Canada, Ireland and the Czech Republic and to examine the potential for collaboration with their Dutch counterparts.
"When you look at the Dutch industry ten years ago and then assess the catalogue of last year's Cartoon Forum you see this incredible jump. This is unique. With so many features currently in development, you can see the scale of ambition among Dutch animation producers right now."
Hailing originally from Poland, Ozorek has been very active for over 15 years in the Eastern Europe animation scene both as curator and promoter. She joined KLIK in February 2018 as Artistic Director.
One thing she bemoans is the Autumn silly season for Dutch festivals whereby Kaboom 2019 is squeezed between the Netherlands Film Fest in late September, Cinekid in late October and IDFA commencing in mid-November. She confirms therefore that future Kaboom fests will take place in Spring, commencing 2021.
SEE NL Magazine #36 September 2019 / Locarno - Venice - Toronto - Netherlands Film Festival Issue
SEE NL is published four times per year by Eye International and The Netherlands Film Fund and is distributed to international film professionals.