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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Slovakia

Fest Anča poised to kick off

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- The Slovakian-based international animation festival received a total of 1,250 submissions from 68 countries, but only one-sixth made it into the official line-up

Fest Anča poised to kick off
Once There Was a Sea... by Joanna Kożuch

For its 15th edition (29 June-7 July), the Fest Anča International Animation Festival received over 1,250 film submissions from 68 countries. Only one-sixth of these works made it into the official selection, however. “This [the official selection] is a showcase of the very best in world and domestic animated productions, which includes various animation techniques and unique styles, but also thematic diversity,” says programmer Jakub Spevák while discussing the official selection.

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The competition and non-competitive sections will welcome familiar names who are returning to the festival, including former guests and award winners such as Peter Millard, Koji Yamamura, Sarina Nihei, Steven Subotnick, and last year’s jury members Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña. The competition section will screen the Oscar-nominated porcelain animation Beast by Hugo Covarrubias, inspired by true events revolving around a secret police agent during a military dictatorship. The pre-selection committee was also intrigued by a film with a mouthful of a title, In My Chest of Fire There Is Still Place to Temple Your Dagger: A Love Story by Pablo Ballarín, which is a distinctive retelling of the relationship between Ash and Pikachu, while Ukrainian animator Mykyta Lyskov’s work Imaginary Landscapes will also be competing.

Domestic animation is also represented among the many international titles. For example, Joanna Kożuch will bring along her animated documentary Once There Was a Sea..., the Student Jury Prize winner at the Clermont-Ferrand Festival, which also got an airing at the Annecy Film Festival, while the Czech-Slovak co-production by rising talent Diana Cam Van Nguyen Love, Dad (see the interview) and another recent Slovak co-pro that bowed at the 2022 Berlinale, Suzie in the Garden by Lucie Sunková, will also beshown at Fest Anča.

The Slovak competition will include the latest work by the established team of animators comprising Veronika Obertová and Michaela Čopíková, Even Stone Flows, about both fluidity and hardness, and the environmentally orientated animation I Am Sorry, Whale by Veronika Zúbek Kocourková.

“The selection of Slovak films reflects the status of contemporary animation in the country, which is varied both in terms of its themes and in terms of its auteurs’ approaches. I’m also pleased that the number of Slovak films submitted to Fest Anča is growing year on year and that we have been able to put together two complete sections: competition and non-competition,” concludes Ivana Sujová, pre-selection committee member and the festival’s programme director.

The 15th edition of the Fest Anča International Animation Festival will unfold in Žilina, Slovakia. The full official selection is available here.

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