Introducing Fest Anča 2021 feature films programme

Fest Anča 2021 is right around the corner, bringing its feature films programme. For online and live-event visitors, the festival’s dramaturges have prepared unique and celebrated films that directly or indirectly hint at this edition’s theme – Traditions. This is present in the feature-length animated documentary about Slovak-Hungarian relations Felvidek: Caught in Between (2014), the experimental The Wolf House (2018) mixing personal and national trauma, and Viktor Kubal’s rendering of the cult Elisabeth Bathory story in The Bloody Lady (1980).

Examining history and family

One of the superb feature animated films is Chilean stop motion The Wolf House, which follows the story of Maria who has escaped from a German sect, a colony in Chile, and hides in a house with two pigs. For their first feature film, the prominent animation duo Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña – who are jury members of this year’s Fest Anča –  use original animation techniques such as wall paintings and actual size human puppets.

The Wolf House contains elements of notorious fairy tales, with an emphasis on the horror aspects. Viewers watch the ever-changing, claustrophobic mental world of the protagonist while also witnessing a dark chapter in Chile’s history – a religious cult known as Colony Dignidad (Dignity) from which it is nearly impossible to escape.

Wolf House (2018)

Another film reflecting on the history of a nation and its traditions is Felvidek: Caught in Between by Slovak director Vladislava Plančíková. She examines Slovak-Hungarian relations via the short history of her family, searching for her roots, and trying to define a national identity. How does big history affect one’s destiny? Where is one’s home? The film’s formal aspect is especially interesting – it connects documentary and animation techniques, making it a substantial addition to the animated documentaries genre (which have a special non-competitive section at this year’s festival). Felvidek: Caught in Between confronts film archives with short-lived personal, family memory. With the help of the new animated reality that can visualise what has been long forgotten or lost in translation, viewers even have access to those places out of reach of the documentary’s narrative.

Return of the Bloody Lady

Viktor Kubal is the tradition of Slovak animated films incarnate, which is yet another reason to include his legendary Bloody Lady into Fest Anča’s programme. His second feature-length film depicts the destiny of the infamous Elizabeth Bathory, the lady of Čachtice castle, and her bloody rituals. There’s horror and parody, tragedy and comedy, and even the archetypal fight between good and evil – and a love story centre stage of course! Together with Kubal’s first feature Brigand Jurko (1976), these films complement the image of Slovak mythical figures.

The film’s screening will have special live musical accompaniment by instrumental duo Ranjevš & Óbasz. They transgress genre limitations to create live, communicative music with a hint of improvisation.

Bloody lady (1980)

Competition of short films and accompanying programme

Apart from feature films, the 14th Fest Anča will offer a traditional thematic focus of short animated films curated by the festival dramaturge, Jakub Spevák. This will interpret societal, religious, personal, and national traditions from today’s perspective. The most compelling Slovak TV bedtime stories from the 1960s until the 1990s will also have their dedicated overview screenings. And there’s more – the accompanying programme also offers competitive and non-competitive animated film sections, lectures, and concerts. The festival programme (including feature films and Traditions, the thematic focus) will be available online at the platform from 1 to 11 July, as well as live in Žilina (seats limited) at the New Synagogue and Stanica Žilina-Záriečie during the original date 1 to 4 July.

About Fest Anča

Fest Anča International Animation Festival is the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on animated film targeted mainly at a mature audience. The festival presents contemporary progressive animated films and classic gems of the genre and aims to raise awareness about animated film as an autonomous art form, and to educate about multiple types and aspects of animation.

Fest Anča International Animation Festival 2021 is financially supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and LITA Fund. Traditions, Fest Anča’s 2021 thematic focus is an implementation of the Student Forum Fest Anča.

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 better approaches towards training in animation and multicultural European cooperation.