Almost 1340 films were submitted to the 17th edition of the Fest Anča International Animation Festival, from which the pre-selection committee selected 206 titles. They will be judged directly at the festival by the leading figures of contemporary animation. Countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Czech Republic, and of course, Slovakia are represented in the jury. The diverse panel of judges will decide which of the competing films will receive the Anča Award for Best Animated Short, Best Student Animated Short, Best Animated Music Video, as well as Best Slovak Animated Short.


The following jury will decide on the Anča Award for Best Animated Short and Best Student Animated Short.

Gabriel Gabriel Garble focuses on the symbiotic relationship between animated imagery and underlying material ecology in his work and delves into profound examinations of interconnectedness. His recent films Lunar Love & Ever and Well Wishes My Love, Your Love screened at Fest Anča in 2022 and 2023 respectively have garnered acclaim at prestigious festivals such as Sundance, Annecy, Ann Arbor, and Sydney. Beyond independent filmmaking, Gabriel has attracted notable clients including Adult Swim, The New York Times, BBC, and It’s Nice That.

Waltraud Grausgruber is festival directress 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. Grausgruber studied theatre, film and media studies. She has conceptualized film festivals, curated international (animation) film programmes, and has been a jury member at several festivals. In 2010 she was awarded the Outstanding Artists Award of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture.

Gabriel Gabriel Garble/Waltraud Grausgruber


Benoit Berthe Siward is a film strategist and founder of The Animation Showcase consulting boutique. He’s assisted several shorts and feature films in getting industry recognition and has led award campaigns for films towards Oscars® nominations including , Marcel the Shell with Shoes On and Academy winner The Windshield Wiper. Benoit also curates an annual collection of the very best animated short films and internationally screens them at industry events and leading animation studios such as Pixar, Sony, Aardman, Netflix, DreamWorks, and Illumination.

Before entering the world of animation, Élodie Dermange tried her hand at various jobs in nature and gardening, and made her first film, Intimity, in 2017. She then studied at La Poudrière, France, directed several films, and graduated with Inès (2019). Élodie also directed Armat (2022). Her films have been screened at over 200 festivals and have received numerous awards. She’s currently working on her first animated feature film, Acrobat Bodies with Nadasdy Film and Vivement Lundi. She dreams of bringing animation and circus to the same stage.

Nikita Diakur is a Germany-based artist known for portraying everyday activities through unconventional computer simulation methods that inherently unleash randomness and chaos. The self-proclaimed Ugly filmmaker has participated in numerous international exhibitions and festivals, winning awards for Ugly, Fest, and backflip. Diakur also shares his expertise through lectures and workshops. He has been part of the artists-in-residence programme at Q21 in Vienna and is a member of the European Film Academy.  This year’s Fest Anča will feature a screening of his films, followed by his masterclass.

Benoit Berthe Siward/Élodie Dermange/Nikita Diakur


David Štumpf balances work for clients with short film projects while working as a director and primarily 2D animator. He has collaborated with several international studios such as Buck, Hornet, Marvel Studios and Netflix Animation. He started lecturing on 2D cel animation at UMPRUM in Prague in 2020. He graduated from the animation department at FAMU in Prague with the film SH_T HAPPENS, which premiered at La Biennale Venice in 2019 and screened at festivals including Sundance, Clermont-Ferrand, and OIAF. In 2024 he won an Emmy for outstanding motion design for his work on Miss Marvel.

Helena Hájková is mostly known in the music scene for her role in the duo Zaffer 9. In March 2023, they released the debut EP MILK, a captivating and strange combination of playfulness and darkness, on the Slovak experimental music label Weltschmerzen. She also has a solo career as DJ Vermilion. Currently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy at Charles University, her academic interests are philosophy of art, technology, and feminist philosophy.

Helga Fodorean is a cultural manager and film producer who formally trained as a scriptwriter and has a strong interest in animation. She works primarily with Romanian and Hungarian artists, having co-produced (on behalf of Safe Frame) the multi-awarded short animation Amok by Balázs Turai. In 2018 she joined the Animest team as festival producer, and soon became the Animest Association’s president, where she serves as the Financial Director of all projects that are developed under the Association’s umbrella year-round. In 2021 she initiated SYAA, a mentorship programme for women in animation, and has been successfully managing her family business since 2010: an art centre and dance school with 100+ pupils.

Dávid Štumpf/Helga Fodorean/Helena Hájková