‘The film that was banned from the Annecy International Animated Film Festival,’ while being a somewhat click-baity headline, is the reason you might have heard of this Chinese independent animated feature film. Have A Nice Day was programmed in competition in the world’s largest celebration of animation in 2017, but was suddenly removed from the festival’s line up just the week before. The festival cited ‘official pressures’ and that the decision was ‘imposed on them,’ by (what was largely reported at the time as) Chinese government officials.
I was attending the 2017 festival and, let me tell you, nothing makes me want to watch a film more than a government not allowing me to! The film was successfully released to a handful of other international animation festivals following the furore at Annecy, however, I didn’t get my chance to see what the fuss was about. Imagine my delight, then, on finding out it was coming to my home city!
This terrifically accomplished debut of a strong female voice reveals much about contemporary Tunisia. Having fun at a student social, Mariam catches the eye of a handsome new face.
Spirited Away meets Little Mermaid in this animated extravaganza that will sweep you away on a tidal wave of magic, mystery and wonder. Chun lives in a magical realm inhabited by an amazing array of fantastic creatures. When she travels to the human world in the shape of a dolphin Chun is saved by a young fisherman when she gets into trouble.
In a desolate village left high and dry by the disappearance of the Aral Sea, environmental catastrophe has bred social breakdown. Amongst the rusting hulks of long-abandoned ships, men and boys alike pass their days in a listless atmosphere of alcohol-fuelled brutality. Surly teenager Ruslan is haunted by idyllic childhood memories of his mother and their trips to the seaside.
The five “stans”, or republics of Central Asia – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan – have a long and rich history thanks to their central location on the Silk Road. Forming a bridge between West and East, their cultural heritage brings together nomadic with settled cultures, Turkic languages with Farsi, and indeed, their jewellery combines corals transported from the seas with silver mined from the mountain ranges that cross the region.
This stunning depiction of the impact of conscription on Jonathan, his friends and family, is quite simply the most powerful film we saw last year. With a compelling combination of straightforward realism, deadpan surrealism, and domestic tragedy, Foxtrot takes you deep into the reality-altering nature of a society at war.
This crooked tale of deceit is a deadpan little gem that’s a wonderful combination of Keaton, Beckett, and Kaurismaki. Set in a wintry, derelict town full of desperate conmen, where one pretends to be a monk, and another a soap salesman with a trick or two in his briefcase, all watched over by a pair of bumbling policemen.
Set on the grungy backstreets of an unlovely Chinese town, this crisply told adult animation is a bold, frequently hilarious dig at China’s enslavement to capitalism. Downtrodden delivery driver Xiao Zhan steals a bag containing a million yuan so that his girlfriend can have plastic surgery.
A family of nomads live in the high, remote mountains of Kyrgyzstan breeding horses. There is wise old Grandfather Tabyldy, his wife Karachach, their dutiful daughter-in-law Shaiyr and their sweet granddaughter Umsunai.
Eloquently exploring love and loss, this powerfully directed, sensitively scripted and magnificently performed love triangle shines a revealing light into the segregated women’s world of contemporary Iran. After twenty years, Mahi’s first love Behrouz returns to their small hometown, rekindling their love.
With animation, anything is possible - even magic!
Come and discover your inner powers in this two-hour magical animation workshop. Cast animated spells and bring to life your own fantastical creatures. Earn your magician's license and take your very own flipbook home with you. Or work together with your fellow witches and wizards to add enchanted colour to some white magic!
Inspired by WOW Film Festival's magical Tales From The Silk Road season, the workshop will follow on from a screening of the extraordinary Mary & The Witch’s Flower, and will be followed by a screening of the breathtaking Big Fish & Begonia.
All little witches and wizards aged 8+ and their families are welcome.
This workshop is led by professional animators Lauren Orme and Chris James, run by Wales One World Film Festival in partnership with Cardiff Animation Festival.
Discover your inner powers
Cast animated spells
Bring your own fantastical creatures to life
On Saturday we welcomed Cardiff families to a magical animation workshop facilitated by Lauren, Chris and Dani from Cardiff Animation Festival.
Take a look at some of the work they made, inspired by Studio Ponoc's Mary and the Witch's Flower.
Based on Mary Stewart’s children’s book The Little Broomstick, this tells the story of a pint-sized, petulant and recklessly bored young girl who finds a strange flower that gives her magical powers. With a foretaste of Harry Potter, she flies on a broomstick to the fantastical Endor College, a school for witches, where perilous adventures await her.
This is a smart, powerful, culturally sensitive Aboriginal story set in the stunning outback as Europeans imposed their ways on the people who were their first. A committed Christian Fred (the ever dependable Sam Neill) is unusual in that he treats Sam and his wife Lizzie, the Aboriginals who work for him as equals.
The hippy trail to the East can be dated to 1957, with the publication of Kerouac’s On the Road. In the 1960s and 70s, hundreds of thousands of young people from Europe and North America set off for adventures. Different causes inspired them: some were looking for easily available drugs, others admired Eastern spiritualities, most were seized by an indefinable urge to explore. In this talk, based on interviews with those who did the trail, it will be suggested that even the most secular and worldly resembled pilgrims.
Set against the background of modern Kalmykia (the only country in Europe where Buddhism is the national religion), the haunting story of Elza, a fragile, beautiful fisherman’s wife who yearns to escape, unfolds in a small town squeezed between the sparse steppes the shores of the freezing Caspian Sea.
A gripping, heartwarming and often funny tale of creativity against all odds, this is a joyous celebration of Salim Shaheen, Afghanistan’s most popular actor, director, and producer.
This wickedly funny, bracingly surreal satire is a masterly dissection of the pretensions of high art. A respected curator of a contemporary art museum, Christian is desperate to make a splash.
The masterful Kore-eda (Our Little Sister, Still Walking, I Wish) brings his familiar clarity and precision to this richly rewarding exploration of truth, justice and whether we can ever truly understand why people behave as they do. Misumi readily confesses to the brutal murder of his former boss.
An exile in Rome, Shadi returns home for the first time in years, to honour the centuries-old Nazareth tradition of hand-delivering his sister’s wedding invitations with his father Abu, a grouchy teacher who has suffered the inevitable compromises of life under occupation.