It seems a small wonder that European feature animation has thrived both in production numbers and importance in the last 27 years, with titles like Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998), The Triplets of Belleville (2001), Persepolis (2007), Waltz with Bashir (2008) and others gaining international visibility and universal acclaim -including increased admission numbers in theatres. Yet, interpreting this kind of (still modest) success is not easy either. This seminar (part of a bigger research project) wants to investigate and present at least two ways to view this rise in European animation feature; an institutional-based view (co-production and EU financial incentives finally succeeded in making European feature animation visible) and a creative approach, according to which auteurs reinvent their own craft and art, and attain a new critical “European”, hybrid identity in their own works. This architectural map (still with details to be filled in) can guide through the burgeoning field of contemporary European animation features.
Vassilis Kroustallis is a film and animation scholar and professional, holding a PhD in Philosophy. He is also currently enrolled as a PhD student in film and animation studies (Dept. of Audiovisual Arts, Ionian University, Corfu, Greece); he has published articles on film and animation in Film-Philosophy, Jewish Film & New Media, Short Film Studies, as well as research chapters in edited volumes on Ang Lee and Ridley Scott. He is also the artistic director of Be there! Corfu Animation Festival (www.betherefest.gr) as well as Head Editor of the international animation portal Zippy Frames (www.zippyframes.com).