Fest Anča is Slovakia’s only festival with winners being one step closer to the Oscars®. The 17th edition of the Fest Anča International Animation Festival will take place for six days, from 25-30 June 2024, with the theme NIGHTMARE and it will bring the best animation from all over the world. Fest Anča will entertain the audience with screenings, great concerts, exhibitions and lectures. The screening of the cult Japanese film Perfect Blue will open the festival and the most outstanding creator of contemporary animation Nikita Diakur will join Fest Anča in person. Children can look forward to a varied programme and the Student Forum will also take place for the third time.


As every year, the festival theme will be present throughout the entire programme. In the curated selections of films, such as Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining or Cults, Rituals and Happy Hamsters, the nightmare will be viewed from the perspective of dreaming, power, social prejudices, tragicomedy, cults and inner demons. You will thus see horror images that evoke fear, uneasiness, and also laughter.

Along with a curated collection of short animated films, we will also screen discussions with personalities related to the presented themes. The interviews will feature the project manager of the Mental Health League Liberty Blake Simon, psychologist Michal Hrozáň, and anthropologist Peter Maňo.

The main guest of the 17th edition of Fest Ance is the independent director and pioneer of ugly aesthetics Nikita Diakur who has won and been nominated for several awards at prestigious festivals such as Clermont-Ferrand, Annecy, and Toronto International Film Festival. In his work, the animator combines randomness with computer simulation to redefine 2D animation. At Fest Anča, he will present his masterclass, a follow-up to a series of animated short films entitled Embracing the Chaos. He will offer a vision of a world where chaos and spontaneity are the source of all energy. The section includes an ugly cat that fails to coexist in a fragmented world, as well as a rave party in the suburbs.

Studio Footage

“Through animation, the audience can look at the neglected, peripheral places that “haunt” our society to get to know ourselves and the world around us better. Because oddness and imperfection are not only beautiful but can be a way for us to bring about a much-needed change.,” adds Jakub Spevák, programme director and Focus curator.

This year’s visuals, traditionally designed by graphic designer Marek Menke, also follow the theme.


Nightmares also mark the selection of feature films. The audience will have the chance to visit the mystical world of aristocratic white mice in the surreal, handmade stop-motion fairy tale for adults, Blood Tea and Red String, created by independent American director Christiane Cegavske over a period of 13 years. The film’s soundtrack will be performed live by Slovak sound artist Bolka, known for his subversive music production.

At Fest Anča you can also watch the cult Japanese anime Perfect Blue. The psychological thriller follows Mima, a former pop star who transitions into acting and faces challenges like bikini modelling and acting in TV dramas. Tensions escalate when murders are being committed around her. The director of the film is Satoshi Kon. He has also made famous films such as Paprika, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers.

Another feature anime at Fest Anča The Boy and the Heron, produced by the famous Japanese studio Ghibli, won this year’s Academy Award in the Best Animated Feature Film category. Animation master Hayao Miyazaki ventures beyond fantasy and dreams to deliver the most anticipated animated film of recent years. Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride completes the trio of cult films. Set in a 19th-century Victorian village, this animated film follows the story of Victor, who marries a mysterious dead bride while his real bride waits for him in the world of the living.

The selection of feature films includes Aurora’s Sunrise, which tells the story of 14-year-old Aurora, who survived the horrors of the Armenian Genocide and escaped to New York. A Unicorn Boy invites you to a completely different, alternative dimension. After a break-up, failed artist Matty finds himself in a strange new world.

This year for the first time, the 17th edition of the Fest Anča International Animation Festival will be screened at the Ster Century Cinemas multiplex. Here you will have the opportunity to see the film Cryptozoo telling the story of a zoo that rescues and houses mythological creatures as well as the film Unicorn Wars, where an army of teddy bears trains young recruits to fight against the unicorns who threaten their existence. This anti-war, eco-friendly fairy tale draws on the films Apocalypse Now and Bambi.

Jakub Spevák, programme director and curator of Focus, introduces the theme of the festival: “In light of developments of previous days and months, we sensitively perceive that our dream of a better world descends into a nightmare from which we can’t easily wake up. Feelings of frustration, insecurity, or even fear have become normalised in our lives. But even though the situation may seem hopeless, at least we are in it together.

Perfect Blue


From the 1,340 submitted films from 71 countries across the globe, the pre-selection committee has chosen 206 fresh and authentic works for the 17th edition of the Fest Anča International Animation Festival.

The Fest Anča International Animation Festival has the prestigious status of an Academy Awards® Qualifying Festival, so the films that receive the Anča Award in the Best Animated Short Film and Best Slovak Animated Short Film categories can compete in the short film category at the 97th Academy Awards®.

“At the festival, films will be evaluated by important jurors from all over the world, which makes us very happy,” said Ivana Sujová, director of the festival.

The Best Animated Short Film and Best Student Animated Short Film will be judged by independent animation filmmaker Gabriel Gabriel Garble. His recent films Lunar Love & Ever and Well Wishes My Love, Your Love are touring major festivals such as Sundance and Annecy. He will be accompanied by Waltraud Grausgruber, director and co-founder of the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Festival in Vienna – the first animated film festival dedicated to animation by women and/or genderqueer artists. The Mayor’s Anča Award for Best Slovak Animated Short Film of €1,000 will be judged by independent filmmaker and festival headliner Nikita Diakur, last year’s Fest Anča winner Élodie Dermange, and film strategist Benoit Berthe Siward, who has helped several shorts and features receive a total of 20 Oscar® nominations, including Flee, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On and Academy Awards winner The Windshield Wiper.

Élodie Dermange

The Anča Award for Best Animated Music Video will be selected by a jury trio consisting of David Štumpf – a young Slovak animator and director who won an Emmy in 2024, Helena Hájková – part of the music duo Zaffer 9, who also performs as a DJ under the name Vermilion, and Helga Fodorean – a cultural manager, film producer and president of the Animest association.


Fest Anča is not only about films! The 17th edition of the festival will also include concerts, DJ sets, and masterclasses, which you can enjoy in the popular Stanica Žilina-Záriečie and in the exceptional New Synagogue.

You can look forward to percussive sets by the hypertalented m. (read mwo). In their music, they question how the roots of queer and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, (and) People of Color) club music are reflected, erased, and appropriated across the Western club spectrum.

There will also be an energetic musical performance by Parisian producer DJ Lycox. The range of his musical productions is wide – introspective afrohouse alongside cinematic jungle excursions and slower BPMs are followed by more melodic tracks with traditional ,,latas” batida percussion.

One of the festival’s highlights will be the disparate atmosphere of breathtaking music presented by Alina Astrova, performing under the artistic name Lolina. Dealing with themes such as hostility, immigration, and social inequality in London, her hazy vocals absorb the words into haunting melodies to create something uniquely beautiful.

The accompanying programme will also offer a specific concept of club electronica, presented by the duo Zaffer 9 – Helena Hájková and Viktor Jenčuš. Tucano Urbano, DJ VLZQUES, seafur, Krishpin, Evil Medvěd and PiNKBUS: Venice Intervention will also perform at the festival.


You can look forward to masterclasses and lectures as part of the accompanying programme. Cinematographer Denisa Buranová and her camera team will talk about their work on the puppet film for children Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light, for which Denisa Buranová received the Sun in the Net award. Katarína Nádaská, a prominent Slovak ethnologist, will give a lecture on the nightmare in a historical context. She will focus mainly on the experiences of queer people in the Slovak countryside.

The Nevedomie exhibition by the Slovak animator, painter and illustrator Martina Malovaníková, about the drastic impulses of our time, as well as the exhibition Unless Useless by Toasted_Bread will also be stimulating. The legendary Animation Karaoke Battle format will also return to Fest Anča


Fest Anča will also feature the annual Industry Day conference session for local animation professionals. On Friday, June 28, at the Rosenfeld Palace, producers, schools and animation creators will present their work and discuss current topics in the animation industry.

An integral part of the Fest Anča International Animation Festival is also the Student Forum, which will take place for the third time. In the New Synagogue from 25 to 27 June 2024, students and educators from ten European schools will have the opportunity to share experiences, exchange ideas and help shape the future of animation education through dynamic discussions and presentations.


Fest Anča has also prepared programme for families with children. The little ones can look forward to stimulating film stories, book reading, theatre performances and creative workshops in an inspiring environment.

The international competition of short animated films for children will present nine exceptional titles created by their creators over the last two years. The winner of the Anča Award for Best Animated Film for Children will be decided by a special children’s jury.

Children definitely shouldn’t miss the story about socks falling in love, the brave little beetle, Rain Boy, as well as a film about the cycle of nature that will test their attention span.

There will also be two sections of non-competitive films for children not less interesting than the competitive ones! In the first section, they can see Bobo from Ové Pictures, a film about the importance of miracles in our lives. In the second section of films, the film riddle What’s in the Box? will keep them on the edge of their seats!

Families with children can also enjoy a special screening of the latest episodes of The Tots, a bedtime story about two mischievous brothers. But Fest Anča has also prepared The Elephant Goes Green selection for children from 7 years old and Magical Friendships selection about fervent and unusual friendships, suitable for children aged 3+.

Children and their parents will also enjoy the programme of feature films. In Myška a medveď na cestách, the mouse and the bear will learn about the strict ban on playing musical instruments. The inseparable friends will try to overturn a senseless ban on musical instruments so that music and joy return to the bear country. Ster Century Cinemas multiplex will screen the Slovak fairy tale Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light about eleven-year-old Tonny, who has been shining since birth, and the multiplex will also offer the film Nina a tajomstvo malého ježka.

Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light

The children’s programme at Fest Anča is not just about films! Children can look forward to an unconventional treatment of the performance Kozliatka a vlk by Divadielko Maťo about the fact that even ordinary hunger can be a nightmare. Children can also take part in a scary art workshop, where they will gain the courage to face their fears and even make friends with the spooks. There will also be an age-restricted Nebojím sa báť book reading, which will provide a safe space for children to share excerpts from popular books and original work.


The Fest Anča International Animation Festival is the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on animated films primarily for adult audiences, which takes place in the New Synagogue in Žilina, in the cultural center Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, in the Municipal Theatre Žilina, in the Rosenfeld Palace and in Žilina’s Artforum.

The festival aims 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 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 special Focus film sections.

The Fest Anča International Animation Festival is the first and only film festival in Slovakia with the prestigious status of Academy Awards® Qualifying Festival. Films that receive the Anča Award in the Best Animated Short Film and Best Slovak Animated Short Film categories are eligible to compete in the short film category at the 97th Academy Awards®.

The 17th edition of Fest Anča will also take place for the first time at the Ster Century Cinemas multiplex in the Mirage Shopping Center, where visitors will be able to watch four of our films.

Fest Anča offers lectures, screenings for children and many other accompanying events during the six days. The Fest Anča International Animation Festival also includes the Student Forum.

The Fest Anča International Animation Festival 2024 is financially supported by the Audiovisual Fund, LITA Fund and FPU Art Support Fund.