This year, LINOLEUM will take place offline, despite all the challenges of a full-scale invasion. The festival will run between October 4 and 8 at the first innovation park in Ukraine - UNIT.City. The LINOLEUM 2023 will be held under the theme "Once upon a time…".
“For a very long time, the world had not been noticing us. The “Ukraine” as a geotag was practically invisible on the Europeans’ mental map while remaining unacceptable to the enemy neighbour. Others wrote our history at our place, our memory was erased, and we were told who we were supposed to be. Now, the entire world hears and sees us. While telling the story of our struggle in different languages, we finally returned to ourselves. Who are we? What are our values? What are we capable of? From now on, we are building our own identity. We are creating the mythology of nowadays, writing the country’s history, passing on stories by word of mouth, sharing memes and talking about everything that is Ukrainian” – that’s the festival organisers' statement about this year’s topic.
The visualisation of the festival’s theme and the manifesto was created by the artist Viter Stepovyi, who designed the poster for LINOLEUM 2023. The poster was created in the genre of pixel art. It depicts the main digital artefacts of a full-scale war – memes by Ukrainians.
The LINOLEUM 2023 audience can expect an extensive competition programme and many non-competition selections.
After a break in 2022, Ukrainian animators took revenge and created many powerful artworks to be presented in the Ukrainian competition this year. The audience will see ten films using different techniques (2D and 3D, whiteboard animation, stop-motion, etc.). Most of them are about what permeates our existence – war, horror, rage, and separation. And also about the resistance that unites the whole country.
The best film in the national competition will be chosen by: Oleh Malamuzh (producer and animator, director of the feature film The Stolen Princess and co-director of Mavka. The Forest Song), Piotr Kardas (initiator and director of the O!PLA Animation Film Festival) and Agnė Adomėnė (Founder and Producer of ART SHOT Production Company, Board Member of The Lithuanian Animation Association).
The International Competition section, which contains most of the films (42), is divided by the curators into five blocks. Each one is named after one film from the block that offers the most in-depth reflection on a given topic.
“Our Tight House” tells stories about the unbearable lightness of every family's existence, which brings you back to the same table talks, overprotection, anxiety, and unconditional love.
“The Garden of Heart” is a block of films about a person's inner world, which bursts out with psychedelic visions, bizarre screams and gorgeous flowers, turning into a long sleepless night.
“Hidden Desires” sparkles with different shades of love, each of which has its own maximum pain threshold and acceptable limits.
“And the cranes kept dancing” – talks about traumatic events that tie the past, present, and future into a tight knot. To cut or to untangle?
“Things that disappear” – stories of sweet and bitter melancholy that can be dissolved in a warm sea or a noisy pool, covered with roses, sprinkled with wine, or hidden in a corner of memory in the middle of a cotton field.
The jury of the International Competition consists of Marta Pajek, a Polish animation director whose work has received numerous awards; Abigail Addison, a British producer of innovative animated films; Pedro Serrazina, an award-winning Portuguese director and senior lecturer in animation.
Twenty-three crazy, arrogant and heartbreaking animation films from the best animators in the world will compete for the top prize in the Commissioned Films Competition. Viewers can expect clips from artists who have worked for Thom Yorke and Elton John, educational videos for international organisations and, of course, the most creative commercials. Ukrainian animated films will also take part in the Commissioned Films Competition.
This competition will be judged by: Oksana Kurmaz, an award-winning illustrator and animation director, commissioned by OWSLA, Elohim ft. Skrillex, Okean Elzy, Alina Pash, TEDx; Dante Zaballa, an animator from Argentine; Pablo Ballarin, animation director from Spain and participant in many international festivals.
This year, the organisers have also prepared a vibrant Non-competition programme:
– already traditional for the festival block “Ladies First” created by women about women;
– NEW FACES will present the works of promising Ukrainian animators who have not yet participated in the festival;
– a selection of animation by the Kherson Film School: before, during and after the occupation;
– a large block of experimental animation (we are glad to see Ukrainians here too);
– five blocks of animation for kids for each age category from 3 to 16 years.
Traditionally, a large block of educational programme is also planned as part of the festival. Guests of the festival will meet with local and foreign artists and directors, with whom we will talk about the place and possibilities of artificial intelligence in animation, successful models of presentation of their work, and also analyse successful cases of national animation. The educational programme will be available online and offline for free.
All events of the festival will take place in three locations of UNIT.City, the main partner of the festival. The detailed schedule of LINOLEUM will be published a month before its start, but you can already check the programmes of this year's shows on the official website of LINOLEUM.
Festival passes can be purchased online here from August 10. Tickets for individual screenings will go on sale two weeks before the start of the festival.
The LINOLEUM 2023 festival will be held with the support of the Polish Institute in Kyiv and the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine.
Main partner: UNIT.City
Educational partner: Projector — Creative & Tech Online Institute
Publishing partner: ArtHuss Publishing House
Festival partners: Official Wacom monobrand store in Ukraine wacomstore.com.ua, The Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre