The selection of short animated films for the 16th edition of Fest Anča International Animation Festival is here! This year, nearly 1,400 films from 73 countries were submitted to the festival. The pre-selection committee selected a generous portion of almost 230 films. The official selection presents the best and most original of contemporary domestic and international animation, featuring films by renowned filmmakers as well as young emerging talents.


    The films in the main competition were remarkably crafted not only formally, but also thematically fresh, progressive and, at times, boldly experimental.

    "This year we have been enchanted by the very personal stories of filmmakers who are not afraid to courageously talk about complex themes such as identity, love, friendships, or finding the meaning of life in the post-truth world, " says Jakub Spevák, this year's programme director and a member of the festival's pre-selection committee, about this year's selection.

    Students, well-known names, but also Oscars

    This year, the committee selected 33 films for the main competition, of which up to one-third are student films. These will compete for the Anča Award for the best student animated short film. "Each year is filled with strong student voices, and we are very pleased to see how young talents are gradually becoming professionals and established names in animation," adds festival director Ivana Sujová.

    This year's strong student representation is also evident from the Korean film Persona, which won the main prize for Best Student Animated Short Film at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival and was also selected for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. The absurd Polish film Headprickles by Katarzyna Miechowicz, who last year won a special mention at Fest Anča for her film Crumbs of Life, may also be of interest. One of the questions the film answers is how many plastic bags are needed to pack one banana.

    Besides this author, at this year's Fest Anča you will see other films by authors who have appeared at the festival in the past. Well-known names such as Peter Millard, Steven Woloshen, and Candy Guard, who was even on the jury of the 2019 festival, will present their films here. Nikita Diakur's new film backflip is also in the main competition. Nikita won the main award of Fest Anča in 2019.

    Not to forget the latest film by the talented Filip Diviak, who won a special mention at last year's festival for Sounds Between the Crowns. The selection also includes the exceptional Oscar-nominated short film Ice Merchants by Portuguese filmmaker João Gonzalez, which delicately deals with the relationship between a father and son.

    Strong and original testimonies of Slovak filmmakers

    Slovak animation is an integral part of the international selection of Fest Anča every year. My Name is Edgar and I Have a Cow by the aforementioned Filip Diviak made it to the main competition and also to the Slovak competition. The selection also includes the film Mercy by the renowned director Ivana Laučíková, which depicts the theme of extremism, as well as the film Criss Cross, which is embroidered with a blunt needle.

    Ema Nemčovičová, a member of the pre-selection committee, commented on this year's Slovak selection, "The selection of Slovak films shows that animation is in good shape in our country, which is evidenced not only by the wide range of themes it deals with but also by the rich means of expression it utilises."

    Music Videos

    The combination of animation and music is one of the highlights of the festival every year, and this year will be no different. The music video competition will offer a high level of audience appeal. Visitors of Fest Anča can look forward to music videos from faraway countries such as Argentina, Hong Kong or Costa Rica. However, the competition will also feature a video clip from neighbouring Ukraine, depicting the difficult war situation in Mariupol. The Belgian director Simon Breeveld was particularly creative, and the pre-selection committee even selected two music videos of his.

    Films for children

    Parents with children will also be delighted by the rich and varied selection of animated films. Fest Anča will bring films that the child viewer would otherwise not have the opportunity to see in the regular cinema distribution. One of such is a German film T-Rex by Julie Ocker's about a dinosaur who can't play basketball. Children can also look forward to this film because Julia is one of the names that have been presented at Fest Anča in the past.

    From the children's programme, don't miss the exceptional film The Turnip, which depicts the tale of the enormous turnip from the opposite perspective in an interesting way. The Swiss film Pond, on the other hand, presents the unknown world of the inhabitants of an (extra)ordinary pond.

    Additional programme

    Regular visitors know that Fest Anča also includes several specialised sections, such as Anča in Mordor and Anička in Wonderland. This year, the festival will again feature the Short Animated Documentary section, as well as a section devoted to extremely short films or contemporary abstract and non-narrative animation.

    Fest Anča is also exceptional in that it annually presents a selection of films, the vast majority of which have never premiered in Slovakia. "Viewers and visitors of Fest Anča can look forward to exclusive animated content that they will not find anywhere else," concludes Jakub Spevák, the programme director.

    The festival annually includes an international competition of animated short films and music videos, as well as thematic and special-focused film sections. Fest Anča offers four days of lectures, exhibitions, workshops, screenings for children and many other accompanying events.

    Fest Anča International Animation Festival of 2023 was financially supported by the Audiovisual Fund. The festival was financially supported by the LITA Fund. The Student Forum Fest Anča has received a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants.