Last weekend, the KLIK Amsterdam Animation Festival celebrated its 11th edition. This year the organisation received an exceptionally high number of film submissions. Only 300 films were shown during the festival out of 1,300 submitted films. However, all the 300 animations were remarkable and assured that every single person out of the more than 5000 visitors could find a film of their own taste.
The Amsterdammer went to a screening named “Animation for Hire”, where we got the chance to watch about twenty short animations in only sixty minutes. The projection was diverse and allowed the viewers to experience and discover a lot of different styles from the animation world. The public was left with a wide range of possible interpretations of the animations.
The KLIK festival included traditional animations, which are the kind of films mostly found in the 20th century. One of the first animation movies and also a well known example in this style is the short movie ‘Steamboat Willie’ from 1928 which was produced by Walt Disney. These kind of animations were drawn by hand, picture by picture. Later on, the hand drawn pictures were transferred to a computer, which gave the producers a lot more possibilities in the creation process. Nevertheless, top motion animations were also screened in this festival. These films are made from real life objects (puppets, clay figurine, etc.) that are photographed movement by movement. Afterwards, all the photographs are displayed frame by frame in a very high pace to make it seem like the photographed object is actually moving.
All these different techniques have given uniqueness to every work that was transformed onto the ‘big screen’. Furthermore, even on the artistic level great differences were observed. As some animations had a realistic style, others were more experimental. But not only did the films differ in their visual characteristics, so did the story behind the animations and the messages being conveyed. There were various themes that recurred in different films. Some animations were focused on the commercial sector, wherein one animation presented was about the insurance sector, others were intended to inform and raise awareness on global environment issues. For instance, a few clips portrayed the damages of pollution in the oceans.
With the opportunity to be entertained and captured by exceptional artistic work and intriguing plots, the KLIK festival offered its visitors a completely different cinema experience. The festival was named after the method used to congratulate each artist after their animation has been showed. To explain, instead of applauding, people used a device making a ‘clicking’ sound. With that and many other elements, the festival was a place to celebrate new ways of viewing, experiencing and learning about animation.