This year Fest Anča organizes the second edition of the Student Forum project, a unique programme for schools and animation students from Europe. One of the main goals of the Student Forum is to connect European animation schools, to create relationships between the student and professional environment. This event will take place from 26 June to 2 July 2023 in Žilina and will bring together animation students and teachers, animators, producers, distributors, and European festival organisers.
Animation is taught in many different ways across Europe and there is a noticeable difference between the approaches. Schools in Central and Eastern European countries have a strong focus on preserving their animation traditions, author’s vision and developing different animation techniques. Although many unique and creative animation personalities come from this region, there is a lack of a larger technical background and knowledge exchange to help young professionals find their way in the job market, something that is the standard for schools in Western Europe.
The aim of the forum is to encourage discussion and cooperation between schools and students, with an emphasis on students’ employability and the creation of collaborations between schools. Participants can look forward to discussions that will focus on comparing teaching approaches to animation, as well as the creation, production and distribution of student animated films. The Student Forum provides a space for necessary reflection on the state of education and brings opportunities for new collaborations and relationships that help not only schools but also students to make a smooth transition from the school to the professional environment.
The Student Forum Fest Anča 2023 will welcome 5 film schools focusing on animation – 4 of which are from the Central and Eastern Europe region and one from Norway. Namely, The Game School at the Faculty of Audiovisual Media and Creative Technologies (AMEK), which is part of the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN). The faculty offers practically oriented study programmes in television production, augmented and virtual reality, animation and gaming technologies, as well as academic studies in film and television science.
The Central and Eastern European region will be represented by the Estonian Academy of Arts in Tallinn (EKA), the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Zagreb, Croatia (UNIZG), the School of Arts at the University of Nova Gorica in Slovenia and the Faculty of Multimedia Communications at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic (TBU).
This year, the V4 Student Forum project will be joined by participants of last year’s forum from the V4 countries, namely from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, FAMU in Prague, the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School based in Łódź and MOME in Budapest. By creating a network of already participating schools, the Forum seeks to maintain contacts and partnerships between schools and to contribute to the sustainability of collaborations.
The Student Forum will also host participants of the AFN Edu (Animation Festival Network) initiative, which means that the Academy of Fine Arts at the University of Zagreb, School of Arts at the University of Nova Gorica, Faculty of Film and TV at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) and the Film and Television Faculty at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (VŠMU), will be joined by students and faculty guests from The Caragiale National University of Theatre and Film, Bucharest, Romania (UNATC) and the Academy of Arts, Architecture, and Design in Prague, Czech Republic (UMPRUM).
The Student Forum will thus welcome participants from 11 European animation schools, represented by 65 male and 65 female students and 20 male and female teachers.
The days of the professional part of the Student Forum programme will be packed with lectures, screenings, discussions, as well as presentations of individual schools and their creative portfolios. Representatives of the invited schools will present their methods of teaching animation, but they will also discuss the strategies they use to develop international cooperation. They will also discuss distribution methods and present their experience in international cooperation.
Producers will share their experiences and outline the possibilities of developing student animated films with regard to the local and international market. Forum participants will also learn about the cooperation of producers and distributors with animation schools, and representatives of the AFN festival network, which connects animation festivals from Central and Eastern Europe, will talk about how student animated films are perceived by film festivals.
The Student Forum 2023 will also include a case study of the successful student film Love, Dad, which premiered in 2021. The director Diana Cam Van Nguyen will tell the story of the creation of the film, which has won many awards at festivals since its premiere.
Towards the end of the Student Forum, students will have a unique opportunity to talk to distributors, producers, as well as other film professionals and ask them their eager questions during the “speed dating” activity.
The 16th edition of the Fest Anča International Animation Festival will take place from 29 June to 2 July 2023. 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 of the festival.
As part of the V4 Student Forum, representatives of schools from the V4 countries that participated in last year’s forum will share their experiences and lessons learned from the previous year. Two professional producers from WJT Company from Poland will present how their company works with animation schools and why they are interested in animation students.
One of the topics of this year’s forum is international cooperation. Students and lecturers will learn more about the possibilities of creating collaborative projects and their funding through presentations by representatives of the International Visegrad Fund and the Slovak Academic Association for International Cooperation.
The Student Forum Fest Anča project received a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in the amount of 120 609 € through EEA Grants. The project was co-financed in the amount of 18 091 € from the state budget of the Slovak Republic. The aim of the project is to work with audiences, international mobility and connection of schools from Europe, to share knowledge and skills and to compare ways of teaching animation in different parts of Europe.
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.
The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable cooperation in Central Europe.