Fest Anča starts a new chapter this year with the launch of Student Forum, which will become a permanent part of the festival programme. One of the main aims of the Forum will be to continuously gather together the animation community, and bridge the gap between the student and professional environment. Participants (students, teachers, animators, producers, distributors, and festival organizers) will meet from June 27 to July 3 in Žilina.
After working for several years with the animation community in Central and Eastern Europe, the festival organizers realized that how animation is taught in schools insufficiently prepares students for the expectations of the labor market in this sector. The Student Forum should thus create space for discussion between schools and students from Central and Eastern Europe (which teach more traditional animation techniques), and schools from Western countries (which focus more on students‘ technical and practical skills).
The forum’s ambition is to compare students’ career opportunities and create a platform where animation-focused European schools can meet. Participants can look forward to discussions about various methods of teaching animation, as well as the development, production, and distribution of student animation films. The Student Forum will provide space for the necessary reflections on the state of education, thereby hopefully helping to forge new collaborations and relationships that will assist both schools and students to make a smooth transition from the school environment to the professional arena.
This year, the Fest Anča 2022 Student Forum will welcome five film schools focused on animation – including four schools from Central and Eastern Europe and one school from the Reykjavik Academy of Digital Entertainment (RADE), which is part of Reykjavik Technical College. Their school curriculum focuses more on film visual effects, computer games and animation, and the school is very closely connected to the country’s professional animation industry.
Central and Eastern Europe will be represented by Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts, which is the oldest and most prestigious film school in Slovakia. School representatives from neighboring countries such as Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic will attend. There will be Prague’s FAMU, which is the fifth oldest film school in Europe, The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School based in Łódź, and finally Budapest’s MOME, which promotes a combination of science and art.
The professional part of the Student Forum programme will be packed with varied events including lectures, screenings, discussions, and presentations of individual schools and their creative portfolio. Representatives of invited schools will present various ways of teaching animation, and will also discuss their distribution strategies for student films. Different distribution models will be compared with external distribution by film professionals.
Producers will share their experiences and outline the options for developing student animation films in terms of both local and international markets. Forum participants will also learn about producers’ and distributors’ cooperation with animation schools, while representatives of the AFN Festival Network (which connects animation festivals from Central and Eastern Europe) will talk about film festivals’ perception of student animation films.
The Student Forum 2022 will also include a case study of the successful student film Sh_t Happens, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and won the Anča Award for Best Slovak Animated Short Film at Fest Anča 2020. Directors Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf will talk about the various stages of the film’s production – from development to multiple screenings at festivals around the world.
At the end of the Student Forum, students will have a unique opportunity to participate in a speed dating Q&A activity, where they can talk to distributors, producers, and other film professionals.
The 15th Fest Anča International Animation Festival will take place from June 30 to July 3, 2022. The festival annually includes an international competition of animated short films and music videos, as well as thematic and special focused film sections. Over its four days, Fest Anča offers lectures, exhibitions, workshops, screenings for children and many accompanying events.
The Student Forum Fest Anča benefits from a € 120 609 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. The project has been co-financed from the State Budget of the Slovak Republic in the amount of € 18 091. The aim of the project is to support audience development, transnational mobility and to connect school bodies from different countries around Europe to share knowledge and compare different approaches to teaching animation in different parts of Europe.
Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. Student Forum Fest Anča is financed from the EEA grants and the state budget of the Slovak Republic, Project No. CLT02018.