Fest Anča – the only festival in Slovakia with Oscar potential

Bratislava, 4 July 2023

Fest Anča International Animation Festival has become the first film festival in Slovakia with the prestigious status of Academy Awards® Qualifying Festival. Two Anča Award-winning short films are eligible to compete in the short film category at the 96th Academy Awards®. These films are in the Best Animated Short and Best Slovak Animated Short categories, which means that Slovak films are one step closer to the Oscars. The Academy’s decision reached the organisers just a few hours before the official opening of the 16th edition, which added to its celebratory atmosphere.

What does it mean to be an Academy Awards® Qualifying Festival?

Short films that win the Anča Award for Best Animated Short and the Anča Award for Best Slovak Animated Short are now automatically eligible for consideration in the Oscar® Short Film Competition. The films, therefore, get a shortcut to Oscar nominations, which are otherwise subject to complex rules. Fest Anča International Animation Festival has become part of the exclusive family of Academy Awards® Qualifying Festivals, which includes the most prestigious festivals in the world, such as Venice, Cannes and Berlinale, as well as animation festivals such as Annecy in France and Animafest in Zagreb.

Slovak short films have never been so close to the Oscars ®

The great news is that not only is the festival’s main international award Oscar ® qualifying but so is the award in the Slovak competition. This means that a Slovak short animated film will be qualified to compete for the Oscar statuette every year. It is a tribute not only to Slovak animation but also to Slovak film as a whole.

It’s not usual for national festival awards to be qualifying for Oscar nominations. This only proves that the Academy appreciates our official selection and trusts not only our animators but also our jury. This is fantastic news not only for Fest Anča but for all Slovak animators who are now much closer to the Oscars, ” says festival director Ivana Sujová.

Programme Director of Fest Anča Jakub Spevák and Festival Director Ivana Sujová (photo Juraj Starovecký)

The uniqueness of Fest Anča

The American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was impressed by the official selection of Fest Anča films, but also by the winners from recent years. The programme director of Fest Anča, Jakub Spevák, introduces the film dramaturgy of the festival: “The dramaturgical selection favours a fresh film language and puts emphasis on contemporary, progressive animation, which boldly breaks down established practices and in which the author comes up with an original approach. The winners of our festival are often independent filmmakers with a unique style and quality animation. Usually, these are not the names that win at the world’s big festivals. They are new voices, new generations of filmmakers who are changing the nature of contemporary animation with their visions and stories.” This is encouraging news, especially for the emerging voices of animation, as well as for the talented students whose films are also in the competition selections.

Who qualifies for the Oscars this year?

The 16th edition of Fest Anča took place from 29 June to 2 July 2023 in Žilina. The jury composed of Joanna Kozuch, Malte Stein and Cheng-Hsu Chung awarded the Swiss film Armat by Elodie Dermange. The jury of the Slovak competition composed of Diana Cam Van Nguyen, Daniel Šuljić and Olga Bobrowska awarded the film Doubt by Adela Križovenská. These films can now qualify for the upcoming 96th Academy Awards®.

Fest Anča took place from June 29 until July 2 in Žilina

About Fest Anča

Fest Anča International Animation Festival is unique in being the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on animated film targeted mainly at a mature audience, which takes place in the New Synagogue in Žilina, in the cultural centre Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, in the Žilina Town Theatre, in the Rosenfeld Palace and in the Žilina Artforum. The aim of the festival is to present contemporary progressive animated films alongside the best of the genre’s history. The festival seeks to raise awareness of animation as a full-fledged art form and to educate its audience about different forms of animation.

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

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.

This project was realized thanks to the financial support of the SPP Foundation.