In addition to the selection of the best short films, Fest Anča offers a selection of spectacular feature films! Celebrate the beginning of summer from June 25-30 with cult anime Perfect Blue by legendary director Satoshi Kon, the enchanting puppet fairy tale Blood Tea and Red String, and the must-see Cryptozoo, a film about mythological creatures. Children can also enjoy feature films, including the delightful fairy tale Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light.

Feature film for adults

The theme of the 17th Fest Anča International Animation Festival is Nightmare. “In light of developments in previous months, we sensitively perceive that our dream of a better world descends into a nightmare from which we can’t easily wake up, says Jakub Spevák, the festival’s programme director. This year’s festival is imbued with the spirit of nightmares, and the feature films are no exception. These films explore the nightmare theme from diverse perspectives, shattering stereotypes and encouraging the audience to engage with thought-provoking metaphors.

In the handmade surreal stop-motion fairy tale for adults, Blood Tea and Red String, independent director Christiane Cegavske, who worked on the film over a period of 13 years, transports the audience into a mystical world. Aristocratic white mice hire artisans from oak houses to create a doll, but when the Oak Dwellers fall in love with the doll, they refuse to give her up, and theft and adventure ensue. The film’s soundtrack will be performed live by Slovak sound artist Bolka, renowned for his subversive music production and compositions bordering on experimental pop, sound design and psychedelic soundscapes. This unique screening will take place outdoors at the Stanica Žilina-Záriečie.

Aurora’s Sunrise is a breathtaking and highly topical film that tells the true story of 14-year-old Aurora, who survived the horrors of the Armenian Genocide and escaped to New York. There, she shared her harrowing experience and wrote a book, capturing the media’s attention. Aurora even portrayed herself in the Hollywood hit film Auction of Souls, which sparked a major charity movement. Aurora’s Sunrise combines animation, interviews with Aurora, and surviving footage from the lost silent film to revive a forgotten story of survival.

Aurora’s Sunrise

The boundaries between fantasy and reality are masterfully explored in the cult Japanese anime Perfect Blue. This psychological thriller follows Mima, a former pop star, who transitions into acting and faces challenges such as bikini modelling and acting in TV dramas. Tensions escalate when murders are being committed around her. The director of the film is Satoshi Kon, who 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 rounds off 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 Boy and the Heron

A Unicorn Boy invites you to a completely different dimension. After a painful break-up, failed artist Matty finds himself in a strange, alternative world of unicorns. Matty must make the difficult journey toward enlightenment to save this strange new world. These mythical creatures also feature in 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 that draws on the films Apocalypse Now and Bambi,will be screened at Ster Century Cinemas.

In the multiplex, you will also see Cryptozoo telling the story of a zoo that rescues and houses mythological creatures. As cryptozookeepers struggle to capture a baku (a legendary dream-eating hybrid creature), they question whether they should keep these rare beings in the zoo’s confines or if they should instead remain out of sight and out of mind.


To lighten up the atmosphere at Fest Anča, we will also screen the pop culture classics Scooby-Doo and the Cyber Chase. Audiences can join Scooby and the gang as they try to capture the Phantom Virus in a video game based on their mystery adventures. In ten levels, you’ll travel from prehistoric times to a futuristic universe and face virtual villains familiar from their previous famous cases.

Feature films for children

Fest Anča hasn’t forgotten about the younger audience, selecting three feature films specifically for children, all connected to this year’s theme: Nightmare. But don’t worry! The heroes and heroines in these films will simply face a bit more complexity and challenge than usual, adding an engaging twist to their adventures.

Children, as well as their parents, can look forward to the new fairy tale Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light from the Czech-Slovak-Hungarian co-production. Eleven-year-old Tony has a unique characteristic – he has been shining since birth. His overprotective parents try to keep him at home to protect him from the outside world. Yet when the mysterious Shelly moves into their house before the Christmas holidays, Tony’s world is turned upside down.

Nina and the Hedgehog’s Secret

Children can also embark on an adventure with Nina a tajomstvo malého ježka. In this charming film, ten-year-old Nina embarks on an adventurous journey to bring back her father’s love of storytelling. Audiences can enjoy this film, along with others, at the Ster Century Cinemas multiplex.

Although they are of different sizes and have different temperaments, Ernest the bear and Celestina the mouse are inseparable friends. In Myška a medveď na cestách, they learn about the strict ban on playing musical instruments in bear country. The inseparable duo will try to overturn the ban so that not only music but also joy will return to the land.

About Fest Anča

The Fest Anča International Animation Festival is the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on animated films primarily for adult audiences. It is also the first and only film festival in Slovakia with the prestigious status of Academy Awards® Qualifying Festival. It takes place in the New Synagogue in Žilina, in the cultural centre 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, but also thematic and special Focus film sections. 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, SPP Foundation and FPU Art Support Fund.