Igor Prassel was born in 1971 in the Slovenian coast town Koper-Capodistria. He is currently finishing his Masters degree in Media Studies at the Ljubljana Faculty for Graduate Social Sciences Studies. He was a long time co-editor of the only Slovene comics magazine Stripburger. From 1992 he is running a monthly animation film programme at the Slovenian Cinematheque. He is surviving as a freelance journalist, animation film programmer and board member for many different film and contemporary art festivals in Slovenia and abroad. In 2011 and 2012 he served as a member of committees for the evaluation of short animated film production for CICLIC (France), La Poudriere (France, evaluation of student graduation films 2011/12) and Proimagenes (Colombia). Since 2008 he has been collaborating with the World Festival of Animated Films Animafest Zagreb as programme adviser. He is a founding member of the Association of Slovenian Animation Film. From 2010 he is lecturing on the history and theory of animation film at the University in Nova Gorica. In 2012 the Slovenian Cinematheque published his book The Filmography of Slovene Animated Film 1952–2012. In 2004 he founded the International Animation Film Festival Animateka, where he serves as the artistic director since.
CRAZY ENOUGH TO HAVE HIS OWN FESTIVAL – interview with Igor Prassel
How did the idea come to start an animation film festival? What was lacking on the festival scene ten years ago?
In the case of Animateka, it was a natural continuation of my work at the Slovenian Cinematheque, where from 1998 I was organizing monthly screenings devoted to animation film. Before starting the festival in 2004, I organized Animafest Zagreb and Holland Animation Festival programmes in Ljubljana and while hosting Gerben Schermer, the director of HAFF in Ljubljana for the presentation of his festival, he told me that it seemed I was crazy enough to start my own festival which I did next year! 10 years ago in Slovenia we only had 1 important film festival, now we have at least 6!
Can you highlight some titles to get a glimpse on Slovenian animation? What are the strenghts of Slovenian animation – in retrospect and on the contemporary stage?
As you can read in my book Filmography of Slovene Animated Film 1952 – 2012, it all started with the stop-motion pioneer Saša Dobrila. It is interesting that today we have the best authors again in the stop-motion field. Špela Čadež, Kolja Saksida and Miha Knific are the most internationally successfull names. Another name to remember and prize is Dušan Kastelic, who is one of the most exciting 3D computer animators in the world. (See a set of contemporary Slovenien animation at Primanima!)
What do you expect from today’s young animation film makers, that is, the directors competeing at Primanima?
Well, first of all I am looking forward to find original aesthetics and original storytelling. Also, I will be happy if new techniques will be discovered… I hope that we will watch complete films, meaning that sound and picture should be as much professionally made as possible…