The History of the Festival (1985–2023)
The decision to organise a festival to celebrate both Hungarian animation and the city of Kecskemét itself was made over forty years ago with the foundation of the Pannonia Film Studio in Kecskemét. The era is customarily defined as the golden age of Hungarian animation film production. However, it was not until the mid 1980s, more precisely 1985, that the first Hungarian animated film review was organised, jointly by the studio founded in 1971 and the dynamically growing county seat.
In 1993 the review became a festival no longer limited to the introduction of the freshest Hungarian animation productions, but also including programmes showcasing an increasing number of foreign films. In 1996 a separate competition programme was established for European animated feature films as well. In 2005 KAFF became a biennial, although previously it had only been held every three years. In 2011 KAFF had its tenth edition and the animated celebrations in Kecskemét were themed around this jubilee.
In addition to the Hungarian filmmakers, prestigious representatives of international animation also take part in the celebration in Kecskemét in the jury or as guest-presenters. The previous festivals boast such acclaimed guests as John Halas (a director and producer of Hungarian origin) from London, the Italian animation film historian Giannalberto Bendazzi, the “Grand Madame” of the Annecy Animation Festival Nicole Salomon, the great sage of Russian animation Yuri Norstein, the representative of the Zagreb School Borivoj Dovniković Bordo, the “father” of Estonian animation Priit Pärn, the daredevil of English animation Phil Mulloy, the Canadian Oscar-winning director Co Hoedeman, the filmmaker of super-sensitive fairiy tales, Michel Ocelot, and the list could go on and on.
We are continuously providing information about the preparations and the programmes of KAFF on our website and Facebook-page.