World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2022 ended June 12 with the award ceremony at the SC Cinema. 

The jury of the Grand Competition Short Film consisting of Paul Driessen, Les Mills, Alex Dudok de Wit, Ana Nedeljković and Igor Grubić decided to award the Grand Prix to the Portuguese film Garbage Man (O homem do lixo) directed by Laura Gonçalves, produced by Bando à Parte and BAP. The jury’s explanation reads: Many things impressed us in this film. The naturalism of the dialogue. The warmth and intimacy of the family setting. But most of all, the tenderness with which it tells its story of generosity in the midst of political and economic hardship in Portugal. And also, the monkey.

The same jury gave the Golden Zagreb Award for Creativity and Innovative Artistic Achievement to Hugo Covarrubias for the Chilean film Bestia (produced by Trebol 3 Producciones and Maleza Estudio). Many films at the festival touched on the subject of political violence. But nowhere was the coldness of state brutality more memorably expressed than in the hard, still face of the puppet in this film, whose story evokes the horror of Chile's fascist dictatorship – the jury wrote.

The Zlatko Grgić Award for the best first film made outside an educational institution went to the French-Israeli film Letter to a Pig by Tal Kantor (produced by Miyu Productions and The Hive Studio). We counted many pigs among this year's films. A pig can be repulsive and sweet, brutal and smart, and this film places this complex animal at the heart of a richly ambiguous, elegantly designed story with an unusual perspective on the Holocaust – the jury says.

The members of the jury decided to award special mentions. Igor Grubić awarded the Polish-Canadian film Impossible Figures and Other Stories I by Marta Pajek (produced by Animoon and NFB) because this film takes us on a journey through a post-apocalyptic, deserted city, in which the protagonist reflects on her personal and collective history in the twilight of her life. The theme and the minimalist style, which achieves a strong poetic effect, together raise issues that are becoming even more relevant in the current socio-political time. Have we learned anything as a civilization, or are we going around in circles? – Grubić wondered.

Alex Dudok de Wit was particularly impressed by the conciseness and fine malice of Malte Stein’s German Thing (Ding), created in the author’s independent production, which didn’t make me think so much as feel: disgust, even revulsion; acute anxiety; and elation as I burst out laughing at the end, Dudok de Wit explained.

Les Mills presented his special mention to the French film Swallow the Universe by Colombian author Nieto (produced by Autour de Minuit). I’ve never taken acid but I imagine that this is what it would be like. The film is an amazingly vivid journey through a bizarre jungle landscape, very skilfully executed – it is an astonishingly intense and memorable experience – said Mills.

Ana Nedeljković, on the other hand, chose the Slovenian-German-French film Steakhouse by Špela Čadež, produced by Finta Film, Fabian & Fred, RTV Slovenia and Miyu Productions. This film found an effective and visually strong way to talk about domestic and verbal violence, topics that many people went through, but were never able to talk about – said Nedeljković.

Finally, Paul Driessen gave his special mention to Joachim Hérissé’s French film Skinned (Écorchée) (Komadoli Studio) because this gruelling story about two sisters attached to each other by the leg. The scary patched-up dolls reminded me of Caroline Leaf’s The Two Sisters. I loved the scene where one of the sisters cuts off her leg and the way the dripping blood is depicted in the style of the overall design – said Driessen.

According to the decision of the jury of the Grand Competition Feature Film consisting of Olga Pärn, Aya Suzuki and Anastasiya Verlinska, the Grand Prix went to the Czech-French-Slovak film My Sunny Maad by Michaela Pavlátova, produced by Negativ, Sacrebleu Production and BFILM – a masterfully directed story that blurs the lines between despair and hope, making one live through the pain of rejection and warmth in acceptance.

The same jury decided to award two special mentions. The first goes to the Japanese-French film Dozens of Norths (Ikuta no kita) by Koji Yamamura (Yamamura Animation and Miyu Productions), a stand-out feature portraying surrealist streams of consciousness, never seen before in drawn animationA masterfully painted canvas of dreams and fears, disturbing us both with visuals and music – the jury said. The second special mention was given by the jury to the French-German-Czech film Crossing (La traverse) by Florence Miailhe (produced by Les Films de l'arlequin, Balance Film GmbH, Maurfilm S.R.O., XBO Films), an outstanding showcase of the true potential of animation, accentuating the story through this powerful art form, which emotionally connects its audience with the characters on their journey towards freedom.

The combined jury of the Student Film Competition and the Croatian Film Competition consisting of Alexandra Ramires, Jelena Popović and Igor Prassel decided to award the Dušan Vukotić Award for Best Student Film to the French-Taiwanese film Butterfly Jam (La Confiture de papillons) by Shih-Yen Huang, made at ENSAD -u (École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs), for a daughter’s personal story using a metaphor of endless deaths of domestic animals to illustrate a relation with her careless father. Shih-Yen Huang led us skilfully on a hypnotising journey through lifeless spaces of their home. The financial prize in the amount of EUR 1,000, which belongs to the winner of the Student Film Competition, is awarded by Zagrebačka banka.

According to the decision of the same jury, special mentions went to the films Mom, What’s up with the Dog? (Maman, il a quoi le chien?) by Lola Lefevre (France, Atelier de Sèvres) for a coherently executed intriguing story about wild instincts of blooming sexuality clashing with unnatural moral taboos of our society and The Immoral (L’immoral) by Ekin Koca (France, La Poudrière) because it shows us how damaging the passiveness and aggressiveness can be in a human condition. Using a very efficient minimalistic animation for the theme approached, it tells us a story full of black humour which represents a very common way of being in our daily lives.

The best film of the Croatian Film Competition was 11 by Vuk Jevremović’s independent production for its relentless filigree of lines and colours morphing in wild synchrony with the pressure from the bloodstream and from the stands, for its masterful kinetic exploration of the human, the animal and the ball within the angst of a penalty kick. He is also entitled to a financial award in the amount of 1,000 euros awarded by the Croatian Film Directors’ Guild.

Special mention went to Jelena Oroz for Letters from the Edge of the Forest produced by Bonobostudio for the originally beautiful art style, smooth animation, perfect editing and rhythmic music accompaniment, but first of all for making kids learn to write, eat a lot of yummy fruits and vegetables and, most importantly, not to be greedy and instead be a good comrade. Special mention for the best Croatian minority co-production goes to Tomasz Siwiński’s Love in Times of Coal-Based Economy (Miłość w czasach gospodarki opartej na węglu), co-produced by Letko and Adriatic Animation for its visual coherence and the way it approaches the themes with an aesthetic that helps us understand human warmth in the middle of a cold winter, this film leads us to reflect on the weight of an industrial landscape in our evolution.

The winner of the VR Animation Competition was chosen by a jury consisting of Eva Cvijanović, Milen Alempijević and Franziska Bruckner. The award was given to the Taiwanese work Samsara by Hsin-Chien Huang (produced by the Virtual and Physical Media Integration Association of Taiwan) because this immersive journey through time and space took us to breathtaking parallel universes and expanded our consciousness, creating an exceptionally crafted experience. A special mention was given by the jury to the Canadian-Belgian project Marco & Polo Go Round by Benjamin Steiger Levine (Item 7 and Belga Productions), because some events turn your world upside down.

The winner of the Films for Children Competition was chosen by a jury consisting of Ema and Jakov BarbarovićGita Gugo, Lala Spremo and Nika Vrbanić. The jury awarded the main prize to the Korean film Piropiro by Miyoung Baek, created in her independent production, a film with magnificent visuals and animation technique that are well connected: 2D animation and digital drawing. The central message of the film that really impressed us speaks about how the only thing stopping us in life is fear and ourselves, while the important thing is to try – said the jury. By the decision of the same jury, a special mention in the Films for Children Competition went to the French-Georgian film Franzy’s Soup Kitchen (La Soupe de Franzy) by Ana Chubinidze (produced by Folimage and Pocket Studio), a film with an important message: that it’s more beautiful to share than to keep everything to yourself. The film has stunning character design, attractive colours, elements of humour and accentuated visual aesthetic – the jury concluded.

The Audience Award Mr. M for the film from the programme of the Grand Competition Feature Film goes to the film The Crossing (La traverse) by Florence Miailhe.

The Audience Award Mr. M for the film from the programme of the Grand Competition Short Film also goes to the film Garbage Man by Laura Gonçalves – for the fifth time in the half-century history of Animafest, the Grand Prix of the professional jury and the Audience Award coincided, which is an irrefutable proof of high competence and demanding festival visitors.

The 33rd World Festival of Animated Film - Animafest Zagreb will be held from 5 to 10 June 2023.

On Saturday, 11 June, the shooting of the Slovenian live-action feature The Last Hero by the director Žiga Virc started in Medvode. The screenplay was written by Iza Strehar and Žiga Virc. The estimated duration of the shooting is twenty-five days.

The Last Hero is a drama with comic elements. It tells the story of France, who attempts to prevent a German shopping mall chain from tearing down the statue of his father, a national hero, and erecting a store in its place. While trying to preserve the memory of the heroism of the resistance movement during the Second World War, France is unwittingly ruining the life of his daughter Vida, who is merely trying to look to the future and raise a family. In just twenty-four hours, the lives of everyone involved get turned upside down.

The director says the following about the new film: “The co-writer Iza Strehar and I started developing the screenplay in 2017. The filming kept being pushed back due to the pandemic and funding problems. However, this gave us more time to reflect on the project and its production. Of course, I am glad that the shooting is finally about to begin.”

Starring Primož Pirnat, Eva Jesenovec, Bine Matoh, Jurij Drevenšek, the renowned Greek actress Angeliki Papoulia, and others.

Featuring the work of the director of photography Fabris Šulin, production designer Gregor Nartnik, makeup designer Lea Bratušek, costumes designer Tina Hribernik, and production manager Tadej Koren Šmid.

The film is a Slovenian-Greek co-production under the auspices of the production company Studio Virc. At the start of the film shoot, the producer Boštjan Virc stated the following: “With the support of the Greek ERT television, Greece approached the project in a very natural way, as Greeks and Slovenians share a similar recent history, political divisions, and a sense of humour that resonates with our film. One of the main roles is played by the actress Angeliki Papoulia, one of the most recognisable faces of the Greek cinema both nationally and internationally. She has starred in many renowned films, including the multi-award-winning The Lobster by the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos.”

The Greek co-producer is Minos Nikolakakis. The film was co-financed by the Slovenian Film Centre, RTV Slovenija, the Greek television broadcaster ERT, and Creative Europe – MEDIA, in cooperation with Viba Film Studio.

Žiga Virc was born in 1987 in Novo mesto. His debut feature Houston, We Have a Problem! (2016) won the Vesna Award for Best Feature at the Festival of Slovenian Film and the 2017 Štiglic Gaze Award for Directing, given annually by the Directors Guild of Slovenia. In 2017, the film, which had also been the 2016 Slovenian foreign-language Academy Award candidate, was included in the programme of the world’s largest streaming company Netflix.

In solidarity with Ukraine

At the 24th Gala of Eagles Awards of the Polish Film Academy, at which the winner of Eagles for Best Film, Best Directing and Best Script was AIDA by Jasmila Žbanić, the movie about Srebrenica massacre, with strong Polish artistic participation, Polish Film Academy again protested against the Russian invasion on Ukraine.

Last year I promised you Eagles in normal times. Next time I will refrain from promises - Dariusz Jabłoński, President of Polish Film Academy, started his speech. - Life seems normal. Cinemas are open. But in fact we are aware the situation is not normal. 300 kilometers from here a terrifying war is going on as the aftermath of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Mass deportations, mass rapes and murders. This is genocide. Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, including filmmakers, are fighting with cameras and weapons in order to defend our democracy, democracy against totalitarian regime, and our common future.

During the gala a video message was shown recorded by Oleh Sentsov, Ukrainian director, once sentenced in a forged Russian trial to twenty years of Gulag. For six years Polish Film Academy was constantly appealing to free Sentsov. Finally, under pressure of international opinion, he was released but now is fighting on the front line in Donbas. 

I am very grateful to the Polish colleagues for the support they offer us. I am grateful to the whole Polish people, the government and the president. Poles have become our closest, brotherly nation. Whereas Russia turned out the enemy wanting to destroy our statehood. However we will not let them do that. We will fight for our lives and culture, for our existence. Thank you for being with us. - Sentsov said.

Then the audience gathered in the Polski Theatre in Warsaw raised yellow-blue cards with STOP RUSSIAN WAR! written on them. "Red Cranberry", a folk Ukrainian song that became the war hymn was played.

During the gala Mariusz Wilczyński entered the scene, holding the STOP RUSSIAN WAR! banner. Wilczyński is the director of "Kill it and leave this town" feature length animated movie awarded all over the world which won Best Film Eagle last year.

-  Never in my life hell has not been that close. I fear this volcano that got awaken and spits smoke. None of us can tell what will happen. So far this fear I have only known from the stories my grandparents told me. On the other hand, I feel like I have never lived in a more beautiful Europe - beautiful with its unity. And this consolidation gives us security. We are part of this Europe so let no one try to withdraw us from it.

Since the very first days of war Polish Film Academy and all Polish film organizations actively support Ukrainian fellow filmmakers.

After a short pause due to the pandemic, Europa Distribution is finally back in Karlovy Vary (CZ) to organise its distribution workshop in the scope of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
About 25 independent distributors, coming from all around Europe, will participate in the first edition of the “Film Distribution Innovation Hub” and take part in the KVIFF’s activities.

As distributors need to stay flexible and curious about the latest technological and digital tools that can boost their acquisition and release strategies, ED is launching this very first Film Distribution Innovation Hub, a dedicated space where innovative tools with a clear potential application for film distribution will be presented by tech companies’ representatives.
On Tuesday July 5 2022, a public showcase accessible to all accredited participants will present five different innovative digital tools, developed by ArtiniiCascade8 NFT Lab,, Usheru and Zoan.  All have in common to propose solutions aimed at film distributors and consisting in potential supports for the release and promotion of European and international films.
This public showcase will be followed by a private session where the different tools presented will be discussed by the tech companies and the distributors only. This will give the possibility for distributors to understand how they could practically implement these tools in their daily work, and for the tech companies to receive direct feedback from potential users. This session will then be completed with the presentations of innovative projects put in place by independent film distributors members of Europa Distribution
After the workshop in Karlovy Vary, Europa Distribution will continue to discuss independent publishing and distribution and the circulation of European independent films through its next events in Haugesund, San Sebastian, Rome and Amsterdam.  Articles on all our events are published on Europa Distribution’s socials and blog:

With Cinema Vision 2030, an innovation conference on 22 and 23 June 2022, the three German cinema associations AG Kino - Gilde, Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit and HDF Kino are providing important impulses for the relaunch of cinemas after the pandemic.

The conference, which will take place on site at Kino International in Berlin, and will be streamed live, focuses entirely on international best practice examples. "During the pandemic, cinemas showed amazing adaptability. But two lockdowns and a harsh Corona winter are beyond what we could have imagined. With the Cinema Vision 2030 conference, we want to discuss innovative approaches for the cinema of the future in order to further develop our business model and master the challenges of the future," says AG Kino - Gilde and CICAE president Christian Bräuer, who initiated the conference.

The Programme of Cinema Vision 2030

The programme has now been finalised and more speakers have been added. You can find everything at

Thematically, the CINEMA VISION 2030 conference will focus on three main areas:
- Cinema as a cultural venue and collective space: with its entire infrastructure.
- Cinema as a temple for films: With the aspects of programming, profile building, alternative content and events.
- People in the cinema: with the focus on audience development, young audiences, marketing and communication, but also staff recruitment and management.

You can also download the programme in English here.

Online live access to the conference with English translation

100% of all panels will be broadcast online and can be watched live and afterwards. A unique opportunity to see and hear cinema experts from 10 countries in two days. In addition, the conference app also allows you to participate in the discussions and questions, so you can really be there.

The venue is the Kino International near Alexanderplatz in Berlin. The conference main language is German, but English translation will be available for all the guests attending both in person and online.

To take into account the special situation in Berlin, with the city being overbooked, and to enable as many people as possible to participate, AG Kino is now offering a 50% online discount. Simply enter the discount code LASTMINUTEONLINE.

Register to Cinema Vision 2030 *

* Click on "Nur Online Teilnahme" (only online participation)

Although Fest Anča is an animation festival, it is also a place where animation meets the other art forms. The festival will present a high-quality and contemporary accompanying programme consisting of concerts, DJ sets, and discussions about this year's festival theme – women. As per tradition, concerts and parties will take place at Stanica Žilina-Záriečie and the New Synagogue. The accompanying programme will also include two exhibitions: a photography exhibition by Juraj Starovecký, mapping the previous editions of Fest Anča, and an exhibition in cooperation with Stanica Žilina-Záriečie—Všetko dookola by Marcel Onisko about the current events in Ukraine.

On Wednesday evening, the festival will open with a DJ set by Seafur which crosses cultures and continents, seeking to find connections between seemingly unrelated genres and musical eras.


On Thursday, you can listen to Isama Zing (Jonatán Pastirčák/Pjoni) who is a producer, DJ, and member of the Mäss collective and SHAPE platform. His contemporary work is at the crossroads between deconstructed club music and experimental pop production. He will present his project Blurry AF full of a surprising variety of creative approaches and its cultural and genre fusion. You will also hear recontextualised traditional Roma "halgato" ballads, and pop vocal tracks with noise production, drone, and euphoric synthesisers. 

Fest Anča will also present Ima Teva with her atmospheric musical world—steadfast and resilient on one hand, but vulnerable and painfully intimate on the other. Ima Teva uses electronics and synthesisers representing the wounded ghosts of the past, whose laments will keep you awake at night.

Another name on Thursday's programme is OIEE, the electronic solo project by Bence Kocsis. His work combines instrumental sounds with tropical and not-so-tropical house, techno, nudisco, dance, R&B, disco, trance elements, and modern soul vocals, creating a very original and uncompromising sound. 


The home scene will be represented by w y m e, a Bratislava-based DJ and musician prized for her distinctive electro hybrid sound. She has recently started with Xeno club nights where she supports the Bratislava experimental club scene and offers a safe space for diversity where various communities can come together. She described her sets to a2alarm: "I like music with irregular and complex rhythms, as well as music with repetitive structures and overlapping genres. I also enjoy darker reggaeton or baile-funk, contemporary and old electro. I like using pop fragments."

We will also welcome Sofia Nøt, the Bratislava-based DJ known for her project IAmNøt. She likes to alternate between straight and broken beats in her tracks. She has recorded music videos for most of her songs, which were directed by Simon Seriš. Her DJ sets include her own production as well as a mixture of techno, industrial, darkwave and breakbeat.

Artist and rapper Arleta uses her femme poetry to challenge toxic masculinity and casts all misogynistic beings to darkness. She then navigates the darkness with her whispery delivery, which is gaining ever more attention in the contemporary scene. Hypnosis, drive, and introversion demolish all intimate boxes and redefine themselves aesthetically and lyrically against the ingrained rules of Czech rap.


On Saturday evening, you can listen to the ambitious music collective Fairycore Syndicate who present their vision of the ideal club experience by merging genres such as gabber, hyperpop, breakcore, and trance. They also aim to create a platform and space for artists whose work stands out from the crowd.

Bratislava-Košice project Berlin Manson knows a thing or two about uniqueness. They sing/rap about Depeche Mode, spaceships, and soundcloud trends, but their work goes way beyond boundless fun. They uniquely update post-synth punk and serve as a testament to absolute creative freedom.

Although Ukrainian acid/trance/techno DJ and producer Miklei has been Slovakia-based for some time, she started performing only recently. Her fresh sets are inspired by Slovak techno and represent a wide spectrum of the Eastern European underground club scene. Her hard techno is guaranteed to wake you up from any lethargy. Fest Anča will also present Ukrainian producer Karaoke Tundra (Viktor Tverdochlibov) who has been part of the Czech and Slovak scene from its beginnings. With his trans-genre freedom, he combines impulses from hip hop with experimental electronica.


Visitors can also enjoy other events in the accompanying programme. This year's jury member Kate Jessop will have a presentation on the portrayal of female sexuality in animated films, while Peter Budinský will talk about the production of his newest film Journey to Yourland during his masterclass. Slovak female animators from three generations will host a discussion about their work, and as a conclusion, the festival invites all children aged 0 to 100 to a group reading. We will read from children's books by popular female authors or stories with a female protagonist.

About Fest Anča

Fest Anča International Animation Festival – the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on

animated film – is based in the New Synagogue and in the cultural centre Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, both venues being vibrant cultural centers in the city of Žilina. The festival aims to showcase contemporary, progressive animated films, and commemorate the cream of the genre. The long-term vision is to approximate well-known international festivals by uniquely showcasing this art form in Slovakia.

The festival features an international competition of animated short films and music videos, as well as non-competitive screening sections. Attendees can additionally enjoy presentations, exhibitions, workshops, film screenings for children, and numerous accompanying events.

Fest Anča International Animation Festival 2022 is financially supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and LITA Fund. The event was supported from public funds by the Slovak Arts Council. Women in Animation, Fest Anča’s 2022 thematic focus, is an implementation of the Student Forum Fest Anča. 

The Student Forum Fest Anča benefits from a EUR 120,609 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants. The project has received co-financing from the State Budget of the Slovak Republic of EUR 18,091. The aim of the project is to work with attendees, promote international mobility and cooperation between European schools, share knowledge and skills, and compare animation teaching methods across Europe. 

Further info at:
Photos from previous years

Fest Anča International Animation Festival was one of the few festivals that took place during the pandemic, and this year it returns vibrant and live in Žilina from 30 June to 3 July 2022. Attendees can look forward to a selection of the best animated films and a great programme focused around WOMEN IN ANIMATION. Fest Anča will screen the cult Japanese animation Belladonna of Sadness, and pay tribute to Jaroslava Havettová - the First Lady of Slovak Animation. Our 15th edition also focuses on three distinctive generations of Slovak female animators.

A Bigger and Brighter Festival!

Fest Anča 2022 will showcase lots of new features!  The Student Forum (27 June to 3 July) will create space for discussion between schools and students from Central and Eastern Europe and schools from Western Europe. "We aim to create a platform where European animation schools can meet and discuss animation education, with a positive impact on educating and supporting future creators," say festival director Ivana Sujová and executive director Nina De Gelder.

The festival will grow both in length and space. The well-known Žilina-Záriečie Station and the New Synagogue will be complemented by a programme at Žilina Town Theatre, as well as the popular Žilina Puppet Theatre and Artforum bookshop.

Another expansion is virtual. "After our positive experience with the online version of Fest Anča last year, we are again making part of this year's programme available one week after the festival at," says Ivana Sujová. Online viewers can enjoy six short animated films focused on Women in Animation, and three short animated films for children. And of course those films will also be screened at the festival live in Žilina, too.

Female Perspective

Our thematic focus presents women's view of the world. "Although we would like to think that the situation has changed, we still struggle with prejudice, and gender (in)equality remains a major social issue. Hence this year's Fest Anča is focusing on women (not only) in animation – female authors and heroines, seeing the world from their perspective," says Jakub Spevák, programme dramaturge and Focus curator. He adds that these perspectives disrupt the binary and lead to more fluidity. Perspectives that represent a longing for a world in which women, men, and everyone else live as equals.

Our film collection explores feminism, patriarchy, and gender, as well as motherhood and physicality. Screenings of films such as My Body Belongs to Me, Somewhere in Between, and Burn, Witch, Burn are accompanied by discussions with those connected with the topic, such as Katarína Nádaská and Lotta Love.

The Women in Animation theme would not be complete without mentioning Slovak female animators. Since 1989 they have spanned three generations, with the most recent still forming. The three film blocks bring prominent female voices of the animation industry that resonate in Slovakia and abroad. The programme also includes a discussion with the creators. Our focus on Slovak female animators includes collaborating with the Slovak Film Institute to christen a DVD that includes the film work of Slovak animation icon Jaroslava Havettová.

This year's visuals follow the Women in Animation theme as well. They were created by four female animators, while graphic designer Marek Menke made the final design for the third consecutive year. The visuals merge the work of animators representing the three generations. The visuals for the first generation were made by Joanna Kożuch, Ové Pictures (Veronika Obertová and Michaela Čopíková) the second generation, and Michaela Mihályi the last.

Women in Feature Films

The selected feature films will portray women in cinematography. The most iconic film is undoubtedly the gem of 20th-century animation – Belladonna of Sadness (1973) by Japanese director Eiichi Yamamoto. An avant-garde psychedelic film that combines Gustav Klimt's eroticism, the story of Joan of Arc, medieval tarot cards, and flowing watercolours. Sébastien Laudenbach will introduce his take on a lesser-known fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm in his debut 2016 feature film The Girl Without Hands. This minimalist and impressionistic animation tells the story of a miller's daughter who is tested by adversity.

The male point of view is replaced by the female one in My Sunny Maad (2021) by award-winning Czech director Michaela Pavlátová. The film portrays the living conditions of women in Afghanistan, and by setting the story in post-Taliban Kabul it also touches on war, which is unfortunately all-too relevant today. The film earned Pavlátová the award for Best Animated Feature at Annecy and a Golden Globe nomination.

Fest Anča would not be complete without a film accompanied by live music: the 1926 animated fairy tale The Adventures of Prince Achmed by German director Lotte Reiniger. Thought to be the oldest animated feature film, Reiniger's silhouette animation is still used and discussed today. This iconic film follows the adventures of Prince Achmed and will be accompanied by Jonatán Pastirčák's (aka Isama Zing) music.

Children and their parents will also enjoy four family feature films – Even Mice Belong in Heaven, Kvík, Mimi and LizaThe Garden, and Journey to Yourland. The last film is the first feature animation by director Peter Budinský. It tells the story of Riki who embarks into a fantasy world. Visitors can also look forward to a masterclass where filmmakers discuss their productions.

Slava Ukraini 

Fest Anča wholly condemns Russia’s aggressive interference in the sovereignty of Ukraine, and expresses its full support for Ukrainian animators and citizens. The festival presented profiles of Ukrainian animators on social media, and their work will also appear in the programme.

In the main competition, Anna Dudko will present Deep Love about a mermaid who longs for human erotic love, while Mykyta Liskov will present her experimental Imaginary Landscapes.  In the non-competitive World Panorama section, we will show Regular by Nata Metlukh.

Fest Anča will also present the Ukrainian film series Before War, curated by the Kievan LINOLEUM Festival, which is the biggest showcase of short independent animation in Ukraine. Its director Anastasiya Verlinska will join the jury in the Slovak competition. The accompanying programme will showcase Ukrainian acid/trance/techno DJ and producer Miklei, as well as producer Karaoke Tundra. The Žilina-Záriečie Station will host the Všetko dookola exhibition by Marcel Onisko about current events in Ukraine.

Official Selection and Jury

Over 1,250 films from 68 countries have submitted entries to the Fest Anča International Animation Festival competition in 2022,  of which only one sixth made the official selection. "Choosing films was very difficult, so unfortunately many good movies fell short," says Ivana Sujová.

Last year the decisions were made online, but this year the jury can finally choose the best short animated films and music videos live in Žilina. The jury will comprise leading figures of contemporary animation from Japan, Romania, and Great Britain. Japanese animator Sarina Nihei, author of Polka-Dot Boy which won the Anča Award for the Best Animated Short last year, will decide this year's winner of the Best Student Animated Short. She will be joined by Saša Bach, producer of the two Slovenian animation festivals Animateka and StopTrik, and Mihai Mitrică, current director of Animest, the only animation festival in Romania.

The winner of the Anča Award for Best Slovak Animated Short will be decided by Czech animator Michaela Pavlátová who has Golden Globe and Oscar nominations; scriptwriter and writer for the renowned independent animation website Zippy Frames Jair Salvador Flores Alvarez, aka Kropka, and Anastasiya Verlinska.

The following trio will choose the Best Animated Music Video: Michaela Mihályi – animator and co-director of the globally awarded film Sh_t Happens, which won the Anča Award for the Best Slovak Animated Short in 2020, Kate Jessop – award-winning animator who will hold a lecture at Fest Anča called A Guide to Sex in Animation through the Female Lens, and Seafur – the Slovak visual artist, illustrator and occasional performer who will introduce her set that demolishes the concept of guilty pleasures.

Accompanying programme and kids' stuff 

As well as animated films, visitors to Fest Anča 2022 can enjoy a quality accompanying programme full of concerts, DJ sets, and discussions about the festival's theme – Women in Animation. Concerts and parties will take place at Žilina-Záriečie Station and the New Synagogue. The festival also includes the Industry Section conference for local professional animators.

On Thursday, Isama Zing will perform his project Blurry AF – full of a surprising variety of creative approaches and cultural/genre fusion, and you can also meet Ima Teva’s atmospheric musical world – steadfast and resilient yet vulnerable and painfully intimate.

DJ and musician from Bratislava w y m e will represent the local music scene with her unique electro-hybrid sound, with performances by producer and DJ Sofia Nøt and Czech artist and rapper Arleta too. On Saturday the ambitious music collective Fairycore Syndicate will perform, as well as the Berlin Manson project from Bratislava and Košice.

This year's kids' programme will take place throughout the festival, but the last 3 July day is specifically dedicated to children and parents. They can look forward to a diverse programme full of family films and international sections of competitive and non-competitive films for children. And the first days of summer will be about more than films! Kids can also enjoy the Ka-Boom! workshop inspired by a TV bedtime story where they can build a volcano, and see the Recept na leva (meaning “Recipe for a Lion”) theatre play by Divadlo Fí.

About Fest Anča

Fest Anča International Animation Festival is the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on animated film targeted mainly at a mature audience. It’s annually held at Žilina’s New Synagogue and Stanica Žilina-Záriečie cultural hub. The festival presents contemporary progressive animated films and classic gems of the genre, and aims to raise awareness about animated film as an autonomous art form and to educate about multiple types and aspects of animation.

The festival includes an international competition of animated short films, music videos, thematic, and focused screening sections. The four days of Fest Anča include presentations, film screenings for children, and numerous accompanying events.

Fest Anča International Animation Festival 2022 is financially supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and LITA Fund. The event was supported from public funds by the Slovak Arts Council. Women in Animation, Fest Anča’s 2022 thematic focus, is an implementation of the Student Forum Fest Anča. 

The Student Forum Fest Anča benefits from a EUR 120,609 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants. The project has received co-financing from the State Budget of the Slovak Republic of EUR 18,091. The aim of the project is to work with attendees, promote international mobility and cooperation between European schools, share knowledge and skills, and compare animation teaching methods across Europe. 



The visual identity of the 26th Ji.hlava IDFF has been revealed! Its concept invites us to joyfully discover new and creative approaches to the world around. The author of the visuals, Juraj Horváth, is an award-winning book graphic designer and illustrator who has been the creator of the festival’s visual identity for over two decades. 

The festival announced also the first programme highlight of this year’s edition: the latest film by legendary surrealist filmmaker Jan Švankmajer entitled Kunstkamera. The two-hour director’s cut will be presented in world premiere.

The 26th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival will take place on October 25 to 30, 2022 in Jihlava and move online for the 2 following weeks. “We want to make the live part of Ji.hlava into an experience, full of stimulating input and inspiring encounters, followed by an online part that brings documentaries not only to those who can make it to Jihlava,” says the director of the Ji.hlava IDFF, Marek Hovorka.

What will this year’s Ji.hlava look like? The festival’s traditional visual identity created for the upcoming festival edition can give us a pre-taste.

This year’s Ji.hlava‘s visuals capture the joy of discovering our creative presence in the world,” says Marek Hovorka. “Juraj Horváth physically encodes life, his everyday experience, meetings, thoughts in the latest festival poster. Rather than an eye it resembles a retina, on which all perceptions are inscribed as if on a screen”.

The renowned graphic designer Juraj Horváth has been behind the Ji.hlava’s visual identity for over twenty years, and is author of the celebrated EMERGING PRODUCERS catalogues and other Ji.hlava’s visuals. The Ji.hlava 2021 festival catalogue recently came third in a competition for the Most Beautiful Book of the Year in the Czech Republic.

Horváth is also the author of the traditional “poster poem”. This time it is depicting a “left eye inked with indigo” and a “shadow of a moving probe / followed by the camera”. The full poem is at the end of the press release.


Jan Švankmajer‘s latest film Kunstkamera invites us to rejoice at discovering new things. The two-hour director’s cut will be presented at this year’s Ji.hlava IDFF in a world premiere. The film showcases an exceptional art collection created by the renowned surrealist, visual artist, filmmaker as well as writer, Jan Švankmajer, on his chateau in Horní Staňkov. “The historical experience says that each kunstkamera made until today was sold or stolen or destroyed after the death of its creator,” says Jan Švankmajer who is turning eighty this year. “For example, the collection by Rudolf II, and most recently the kunstkamera of André Breton. These are unique documents illustrating the level of imagination of people in the relevant period. Official museums can’t replace these collections because they lack the personal commitment. I have realized that my collection will undoubtedly meet the same fate and that’s why I decided to use at least the film medium to document the level of imagination of the contemporary people (remnants of the world of magic),” adds the director.

„Instead of merely creating a descriptive catalogue of artefacts,“ says producer Jaromír Kallista, “we decided to make a film with an added value of Švankmajer‘s imaginative view in the sequence of objects and interpretation, and not only the verbal one, of his kunstkamera. The film strives to spread the magical atmosphere of collections at the Staňkovský chateau. Following the Alchemical Furnace, Kunstkamera will logically top up our joint filmmaking production. There is nothing else to shoot at our age,” adds Jaromír Kallista.

The 26th Ji.hlava IDFF will take place on October 25–30 2022, the discounted Early Bird are available until June 30. At least CZK 50 from each festival pass purchased by June 30 will be donated to a public charity collection held by Ukrainian festival Docudays UA that financially supports Ukrainian documentarians. 

Download the 26th Ji.hlava IDFF poster, and stills / scene from Švankmajer’s kunstkamera here. 

For more information visit and the festival‘s Facebook and Instagram profiles or contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

The poster poem by Juraj Horváth:

A Posteriori

Explosion of light on the retina
Left eye inked with indigo
Fixed, not blinking
A smudged image
The shadow of a moving probe
Followed by the camera
As time goes by
I place under the matrix
Hairpins, seeds
Contours of faces, bodies
Signs to decipher
Without the help of machines
Only by touch
Fingertips and palms
I exert pressure
And create
Layer by layer
I go with the flow
I make fire in the stove

I'm surrounded
With samples, paints and tools
Everything has its place
I pick them up repeatedly
I use them
And then I clean up

I often do nothing
I'm waiting
I step out
Apricots are in bloom
At moments like these
I'm not watching the news
Answering the phone
Thinking about you
Or about the war

On June 29 at 6 pm (GMT+1), join us for the next part of our IDF Industry Sessions series with Daria Badior, Kumjana Novakova, Volia Chajkouskaya and Srdjan Keča. Moderated by Dîna Iordanova.


Four months ago, Russia invaded Ukraine and started a war in Europe. Immediately there were large waves of solidarity towards people in Ukraine. There were also immediate calls, open letters or discussions about boycotting Russian culture, including cinema. No matter whether you are for a complete boycott or stand somewhere in between, we all have to make a stand that reflects in our everyday work

How such conflicts influence film industry practice and what needs to be done if we really want to highlight filmmakers and film works from the former-Soviet region? Are there any similarities between the war in ex-Yugoslavia in terms of giving voices to all the countries? These and other topics will be discussed.

Daria Badior - a freelance critic, editor, and journalist from Ukraine. She is a co-curator of the Kyiv Critics' Week film festival, which takes place annually at the end of October. In 2021, she co-founded an NGO Coalition for Culture that analyzes culture policies in Ukraine. In the spring of 2022, she was a non-residential fellow at IWM,  maintaining a media project Unwinding Empire, along with her colleagues. During three months, there were 14 articles produced, written by Ukrainian scholars, critics, and intellectuals, issued in international media.

Kumjana Novakova - in 2006 she co-founded the Pravo Ljudski Film Festival in Sarajevo, and acts as its chief curator and director. She was also leading the Film Department of the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Skopje from 2018 to 2021. As an author, her research lies between cinema and contemporary video art, often exploring how moving images address identities, memories and the collective self. Her work has been shown at film festivals across the world (Leipzig, Sarajevo Film Festival, PlayDoc, Museum of the Moving Image, NY, DokuFest, La Inesperada Barcelona). Currently she is an associated professor at Master of Film of the Netherlands Film Academy, while pursuing her PhD in Contemporary Arts and Media in Belgrade.

Volia Chajkouskaya - a Belarusian filmmaker, founder and program director of Northern Lights Film Festival in Belarus and of the company Volia Films. She first established herself in the industry as a producer, her producer's debut The Road Movie, premiered at IDFA and distributed in the US and the world. She moved to Estonia in 2018 and started producing at Allfi lm in Tallinn. In 2020, she takes the leap into directing her short debut Common Language, an intimate family drama, premiered at Ji.hlava IDFF. In August 2020, encouraged by political events in her home country, Volia started to direct her first feature documentary.

Srdjan Keča - a filmmaker, visual artist and educator. Keča's documentary films have consistently screened at leading festivals: IDFA, DOK Leipzig, Full Frame, Jihlava IDFF, etc., winning multiple awards and critical acclaim. Flotel Europa, a found-footage essay film he edited and co-produced, premiered at the 2015 Berlinale, winning the Tagesspiegel Jury Award. His feature-length documentary Museum of the Revolution was awarded at the East Doc Platform 2019 and had a World Premiere at IDFA 2021 In 2015 Keča joined the faculty at Stanford University Department of Art & Art History as Assistant Professor, teaching in the MFA Documentary Film & Video program..

Dîna Iordanova - a notable specialist in world cinema, with special expertise in the cinema of the Balkans, Eastern Europe, and Europe in general. Her research approaches cinema on a meta-national level and focuses on the dynamics of transnational film; she has special interest in issues related to cinema at the periphery and in alternative historiography. She has published extensively on international and transnational film art and film industry, and convenes research networks on film festivals and on the dynamics of global cinema. She has been credited with creating the Film Studies programme at the University of St. Andrews. She also founded the Centre for Film Studies, which she currently directs.

Organized by the Institute of Documentary Film in cooperation with DocuDays UA. 

With kind support from Creative Europe MEDIA, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, Czech Film Fund, Prague City Hall and APA - Audiovisual Producers' Association.

The deadline is (almost) here and so is the last chance to submit your film!

Dear filmmakers,The deadline for the RIGA IFF International Feature Film Competition, Short Film National Competition, KIDS' REEL Feature and Short Film Competitions, as well as the BALTIC MUSIC VIDEO Competition ends this Thursday, 30 June!The RIGA IFF International Feature Film Competition brings together directors from the Baltic Sea region and the Nordic countries to compete for the main award, the Golden Rooster, and a cash prize of EUR 4,000.As for the RIGA IFF National Short Film Competition – the selected films will not only compete for the Silver Grass Snake Award and a cash prize of EUR 1,000, but also for becoming a candidate for the  European Film Academy’s European Short Film 2023 Award!




Filmmakers can submit both feature-length and short children’s films to the KIDS’ REEL section. These films will be judged by members of the European Children’s Film Association (ECFA) and the winners will be added to a shortlist of films nominated for the overall ECFA award. The filmmakers will also compete for a prize awarded by the festival’s children’s jury – the winning film’s screening rights will be purchased by Latvian Television (LTV).

The BALTIC MUSIC VIDEO Competition is returning to the festival’s line-up after a year’s break! This competition is unique to the region and the screening is a special event that brings together a professional jury, enthusiasts and fans of the genre, and music video creators. The selected works also compete for the Silver Grass Snake Award, which this year comes with a cash prize of EUR 1,000.

RIGA IFF is one of the most important international film events in the Baltic region with broad, high-quality programming intended for both the general public and film professionals. The professional juries that preside over the festival’s competitions for feature-length films, short films, and music videos seek to highlight uniquely expressive filmmakers and works that communicate new trends and advances in the language of cinema.