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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Animation for Young, Old at Big Cartoon Fest

Big Cartoon FestivalThe critically acclaimed “Mary and Max” opened the Big Cartoon Festival.

Animation lovers can spoil themselves for the next 10 days at the Big Cartoon Festival, which runs until Nov. 8 and is showing more than 300 cartoons from 23 countries at cinemas all over the city.

The festival is enormous in its scope and has something for everyone, from the youngest — the festival is timed to coincide with the fall school holidays — to the oldest viewers.

“The aim of our festival is to show as many new animated films as possible in Moscow,” said Viktor Fedoseyev, one of the organizers. He said the focus was on auteur animation “because ordinary viewers can’t see them on TV or in the cinema.”

The festival opened Wednesday with a showing of “Mary and Max,” a Claymation feature film written and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Adam Elliot. The film tells the story of a 20-year, pen-pal friendship between Mary Dinkle, a clever, lonely 8-year-old girl living in Melbourne, and Max Horowitz, a 44-year-old Jewish man, who lives an isolated life in New York City.

The film is expected to be released in some cinemas in Russia at the start of December.

Other highlights look likely to be the Belgian stop-motion animation feature “Panic in the Village,” about two halfwits and the trouble that they cause in their village, and a film by Bill Plympton, a U.S. animator with a very distinctive style who is best known for his 1987 short “Your Face,” which regularly ran on MTV and was nominated for an Academy Award. His film “Idiots and Angels” is about an arms-dealing baddie who one day changes when he discovers wings on his back.

The festival will focus on countries, such as Holland, France, Germany and Canada. In the Dutch section, films by one of the most famous Dutch directors, Gerrit van Deik, who will attend the festival and hold a series of master-classes, will play.

Also appearing will be the classic 1977 short from Paul Driessen, “The Killing of an Egg,” which begins with a man tapping an egg only to hear a voice call out — “Who is it?” — from within.

“Dutch directors are not afraid to experiment, they always manage to invent something new, to find some interesting approaches,” said Maria Tereshchenko, director of the festival’s international program. “Gerrit van Deik began working in the early ’70s, and since that time he has changed the direction of his work at least three times.”

The festival also includes a retrospective of Russian animation master Yury Norshtein, whose “Hedgehog in the Fog” was voted the best animated film in the world in Tokyo in 2003. A 70-minute compilation of four of Norshtein’s films, including “Hedgehog in the Fog,” will be shown Friday, Sunday and Monday.

Outside the cinema, you can catch an exhibition by Andrei Kuznetsov, an animator who mixes stars of classic Russian children’s animation, like Cheburashka and Crocodile Gena, in scenes from films like “Star Wars.”

The third Big Cartoon Festival runs till Nov. 8. A full timetable of all events can be found at www.multfest.ru.