Fest Anča will be all about Utopias this year

    The 16th edition of Fest Anča International Animation Festival will take place during the first summer holiday weekend from 29 June to 2 July 2023. The theme of this year's festival is UTOPIAS. Its visitors can look forward to a rich selection of Slovak and foreign animated films and a diverse accompanying programme. Fest Anča will screen not only the trilogy of the award-winning director Marta Pajek but also the cult film The Fantastic Planet. Families with children will also find something they like, as Fest Anča has prepared a generous offer of events for them. The festival will also host the second edition of the unique Student Forum, which creates space for discussion between schools and animation students.

    "The world we live in today is not perfect - it is full of fear and hatred, and that it’s so far from the ideal affects us deeply. That’s why we’re focusing on utopias at this year's Fest Anča. It is important in today's polarized world to allow ourselves to dream of new, often unattainable worlds," says Jakub Spevák, the programme director and focus curator.

    Focus on Utopias

    As customary, the festival’s theme is interwoven throughout the film and non-film programme. A curated collection of short animated films will look at utopias from the perspective of the climate crisis and capitalism, as well as from the perspective of the queer, and gender equality. The audience will have the opportunity to watch a duel between dystopia and utopia, as well as an attempt to deconstruct them.

    The six screenings with titles such as The Garden of Earthly Delights, Still Waiting for Godot, Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Imagining the Impossible will be complemented by discussions with personalities related to the presented themes. Interviewed will be, among others, activist Roman Samotný, visual and conceptual artist Jozef Pilát, and dancer Monika Prikkelová.

    The Masterclass will be given by Polish animator Marta Pajek, who will also present her recently completed trilogy Impossible Figures and Other Stories. The highly acclaimed and successful three-part work is a complex, layered portrait of a woman in the context of society, family and a romantic relationship, and its focus fits right in with the theme of this year's festival.

    "Even though "utopia" literally means "no place", we hope to create a real sanctuary where everyone feels safe and welcome. A place that is fairer and more inclusive. A place to call home,” adds Jakub Spevák.

    This year's visual, which has (traditionally) been taken care of by graphic designer Marek Menke, also follows the theme.

    Past Utopias

    Utopias also mean a certain look back at the past. On its 60th anniversary, the Slovak Film Institute has prepared a series of films called Archaeology of the Future, which explores and largely foreshadows our society's development. Similarly, the Animation Studio at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, so as part of the programme of the 16th Fest Anča, you can look forward to student films that have shaped the school into what it is today.

    This year's programme will feature a selection of films from the Polish animation studio Studio Filmów Rysunkowych, which is famous not only for its films for children (such as Bolek and Lolek or Reksio) but also for its original films for adults. The section will also focus on utopias and feature diverse films, such as one about a rocket that can't fly away or another about a shell that transports you to an idyllic past.

    Feature films

    The selection of feature films is also curated in the spirit of depicting utopian worlds. Audiences can look forward to two animated science fiction classics. Chronopolis (Piotr Kamler, 1982) is set in a futuristic city inhabited by powerful immortals who are bored with the idea of eternity, and so they start playing with time. Visitors will be able to enjoy this film with a unique musical accompaniment. The Czechoslovakian co-production The Fantastic Planet (René Laloux, 1973) is a story of the distant world of Ygam, inhabited by all-powerful masters and their slaves. The film celebrates its fiftieth anniversary this year. Both films can be screened thanks to the French Institute in Slovakia.

    This year's selection of feature films also includes the Hungarian-Slovak co-production White Plastic Sky, which was recently screened at the Berlinale Film Festival and tells the story of a dystopian future. In addition, you can look forward to Dozens of Norths, which finds light even in the darkest places. In 2018, Festa Anča was honoured to welcome its director Koji Yamamura as a special guest. Also worth mentioning is the exceptional film Away by the universal Latvian artist Gints Zilbalodis, which can be considered an adventure story for children aged ten and up, but also an existential drama that will be more appreciated by an adult audience.

    Children and their parents will too be in for a treat, as the festival will offer a Slovak feature film, The Websters Movie, directed by Katarina Kerekesova, as well as the beautiful Yuku and the Himalayan Flower, about a little mouse named Yuku who embarks on an adventurous journey in search of a Himalayan flower capable of bringing eternal light. The day before the festival, on Wednesday 28th June, there will also be a screening of Kvik, a family film about a 9-year-old girl named Babs who receives a little pig as a present from her grandfather.

    Official selection and juries

    Almost 1400 films were submitted to the 16th Fest Anča International Animation Festival, from which the pre-selection committee selected a generous portion of 230 movies. "We are delighted that they will be evaluated directly at the festival by jurors who are among the leading personalities of contemporary domestic and international animation," says festival director Ivana Sujová.

    The Best Animated Short Film and Best Student Animated Short Film will be selected by Malte Stein, an independent animation filmmaker based in Berlin, who won the main prize at last year's Fest Anča with his film Thing. He will be accompanied by the Taiwanese director Cheng-hsu Chung, also based in Berlin, whose film An Eternal Vacation of Happiness will be featured in one of this year's Utopias blocks. The trio of jurors will be completed by director, artist, and animator Joanna Kozuch, who co-created the last year's visual for Fest Anča.

    The Mayor's Anča Award for the Best Slovak Animated Short Film worth 1000€ will be decided by: the director, musician and artistic director of the World Festival of Animated Film - Animafest Zagreb Daniel Šuljić, a Czech-Vietnamese director, artist and graduate of FAMU in Prague Diana Cam Van Nguyen, and a well-known expert in the field of animation studies, film studies, and cultural theory Olga Bobrowska.

    The best-animated music video will be selected by a trio consisting of Luce Grosjean - a distributor of animated films successful at festivals around the world, Marek Menke - a graphic designer and DJ, who is in charge of the visual identity of Fest Anča from 2020, and the aforementioned Marta Pajek.

    Accompanying programme

    The 16th Fest Anča will not include only animated films. Visitors will enjoy a quality accompanying programme consisting of concerts, DJ sets and discussions, which will also resonate with the festival's theme - Utopia. Concerts and parties will take place just like in previous years on the premises of the Žilina-Záriečie Station and the New Synagogue. The festival will include an Industry section conference for local animation professionals at the Rosenfeld Palace.

    Visitors will be treated to a concert by the unique San Farafina - a Montreal-based Haitian-Canadian DJ, producer and member of the Moonshine crew. San Farafina combines contemporary Afrofuturist sounds of genres such as gqom, batida, and amapiano in an eclectic fusion that draws from her diasporic roots. From Primavera Barcelona straight to Fest Anča! One of the highlights of the musical programme will be the performance of Vanyfox, only 22-year-old DJ and beatmaker originally from Angola, who is currently moving between Lisbon and Paris, both sonically and physically.

    The festival will also offer a concert by one of the most remarkable sound artists to emerge from the Milan scene, Marco Farina, known as Canva6. Farina inventively works with memory as a tool for sonic imagination, finding the perfect balance between complex sensations and naked synth surfaces. The local scene will be represented by Vojtik, a young Roma queer artist from Detva, who has captured the attention of all fans of Slovak alternative music with his single Detviansky sen.

    The festival will feature unique artists such as DJ GÄP, Adela Mede, Kult Masek, elastix, or Dead Janitors presents Stroke.

    Olga Bobrowska, a member of this year's jury, a film scholar working in the field of animation and cultural theory, who is also an activist and a curator, will talk about utopias in animation. Tadeáš Žďárský will give an engaging lecture about degrowth economics. A group of creative storytellers will tell us something about engaging storytelling with Príbehom na stope, with whom we will enter the "princesses arena". You can also look forward to Martin Smatana's exhibition at the New Synagogue, named The Year of Good News 2022. Animation director and illustrator Martin Smatana has done the work and collected positive stories from around the world over the past year, to which he has also created images from second-hand textiles. A Year of Good News has also been published as a beautiful book.

    And not to forget the 2nd Student Forum, which will take place on 27 June in the New Synagogue. It is a unique platform for European animation schools, providing space for students and teachers to compare approaches to teaching, distribution of student films or international collaborations, and bring students together with professionals. It is the ambition of the festival organisers to make the Student Forum a permanent part of the festival and to continuously support the development of educational practices, school collaborations and the practical experiences they offer.

    Children's programme

    This year, the Fest Anča team has again prepared an exceptionally rich programme for children and their parents, full of remarkable film experiences, engaging theatre performances and moments spent in a creative and stimulating environment.

    In the international competition of short animated films for children we will present up to eight original films created in the last two years. One of the films you should not miss is hilarious T-Rex, created by German director Julie Ocker, about a dinosaur who can't play basketball. On the other hand, the Swiss short film Pond presents the unknown world of the inhabitants of an (extra)ordinary pond.

    Two sections of non-competitive films we could not squeeze into the main competition are also waiting for the kids. In the first one, we will present a humorous movie about a fluffy white cat who wants more than anything to find the most comfortable resting place in the whole universe. In the second non-competitive section of films for children, we'll take a closer look at the tiny world beneath our feet and introduce children to their new friends - road signs. The Animation Studio of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava has also prepared one particular block of films for children at Fest Anča.

    However, the children's programme at Fest Anča is not only about films. For example, young visitors can also look forward to a reading with no age limit called My Utopia. They can also enjoy a performance by the New Theatre from Nitra called Kocúr v čižmách, about how not all that glitters is silver, but also that karma is free and that goodness does not lose its honour in the end.

    Children and their parents will be able to immerse themselves in the Kruhy vody with the aforementioned Príbehom na stope storytelling troupe. Through the readings of exciting stories, they will discover the world of water goblins, water and everything connected with water.

    The Biennial Animation Bratislava (BAB) festival will prepare a workshop called Tvory z Utópie during the festival Sunday at the Municipal Theatre Žilina, where curious boys and girls can learn the basics of stop motion animation.

    About Fest Anča

    The International Animation Festival Fest Anča is the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on animated films primarily for adult audiences, which takes place in the New Synagogue in Žilina, the cultural centre Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, the Municipal Theatre Žilina, the Rosenfeld Palace and the Žilina Artforum. The festival aims to present contemporary progressive animated films together with the best from the genre’s history. The festival seeks to raise awareness of animation as a fully-fledged art form and to educate its audience about the various forms of animation.

    Each year, the festival includes an international competition of animated short films and music videos, as well as thematic and specially focused film sections. Fest Anča offers lectures, screenings for children and many other side events during the four days.

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

    Working together towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.

    The event is funded by the Student Forum Fest Anča project supported by the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 and the State Budget of the Slovak Republic, with project number CLT02018.

    Further info at:





    fotografie z predošlých ročníkov

    Last modified on 06-06-2023