Student films dominate Fest Anča 2022 winners!

The Anča Awards have been announced! Winners were awarded at the festival’s closing ceremony on July 2 at historical Žilina Town Theatre. The jury was primarily swayed by student films that depicted the world with emotion, humour, and objectivity.

The overall winner of the Anča Award for Best Animated Short is the German film Thing by director Malte Stein. The Spanish student film by director Pablo Ballarín, In My Chest of Fire There Is Still Place to Temple Your Dagger: A Love Story, received an honourable mention in the same category. The Anča Award for Best Slovak Animated Short was awarded to Sisters, a film by Andrea Szelesová and produced by FAMU.

International Competition of Animated Shorts

Thing, this year’s winner, tells the story of a man who is chased by a small “thing” that will not leave him alone. Yet the film’s director, Malte Stein, is well-known to the festival and visitors, with his films having been part of the festival’s line-up for many years. The jury of Mihai Mitrică, Saša Bach, and last year’s recipient of the Anča Award for the Best Animated Short, Sarina Nihei, highlighted that they were “driven to the edge by this short film and also very haunted by this little ‘thing’.”

The jury gave an honorable mention to In My Chest of Fire There Is Still Place to Temple Your Dagger: A Love Story, about the relationship between well-known Ash and Pikachu characters in the iconic Pokémon anime series. The jury praised “the author’s fresh visual approach and honest storytelling with a great sense of humour in addressing the universal topic of love and hate told through the eyes of well-developed characters.

Mom, What’s Up with the Dog (2021)

The same main jury gave the Anča Award for Best Student Animated Short to the French picture Mom, What’s Up With the Dog? which tells the story of an eleven-year-old girl and the awakening of her sexuality. French director Lola Lefevre introduces us to a very personal story with a certain degree of humour and honesty, as noted by the international jury that added “the story will resonate universally with all audiences.”

The Special Recognition Award in the Student Films category went to Crumbs of Life by Polish director Katarzyna Miechowicz. Her film leans toward absurdity in presenting three characters living in a small coastal town. The jury was particularly impressed by the film’s visuals.

Competition of Slovak Films

The winner of the Slovak section of the competition was Sisters, about the relationship between Big Sister and Small Sister stuck in sand in an arid land. The jury consisting of award-winning Czech director Michaela Pavlátová, director of the Ukrainian festival Linoleum Anastasiya Verlinskaya, and journalist Jair Salvador Flores Alvarez (aka Kropka) described the film as a “metaphor of a burden, which in the most subtle and delicate way shows that every end has a new beginning.” In the same category, the jury gave the Special Recognition Award to Sounds Between the Crowns by Filip Diviak. They praised the film’s “perfect mix of brilliant character design, outstanding music, and humour that one can hardly believe it’s by a student.” 

Festival director Ivana Sujová agrees with the selection of awarded films: That awarded films in both the international and Slovak section were by students shows that the voice of a new generation of creators is here to be heard, and their mature visual expression is here to be seen.” She also adds that we look forward to their future productions.

Best Animated Music Video and Best Animated Short for Children

This year’s jury – Kate Jessop, Michael Mihályi, and Dorota Brázdovičová (Seafur) – watched 23 music videos to decide the Best Animated Music Video Award and the Special Mention of the same category. The former was awarded to French animator Charlie Mars for Coucou Tchoutchou, which the jury described the music video as “funny, dynamic, striking and entertaining, with an inventive use of character animation.” The jury gave the Special Recognition Award to the music video for Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) by Elton John and Dua Lipa. Made by Raman Djafari, the jury appreciated its “strong character design, fluid animation style, and impressive connection between audio and visual.

Coucou Tchoutchou (2021)

The Anča Award for the Best Animated Short for Children was decided by kids from elementary schools and preschools in and around Žilina during the Children’s days for schools on June 28 and 29. After viewing nine competing films, the pupils’ votes went to Mishou about a puppy lost in Antarctica and saved by a group of rabbits. Children can look forward to seeing this film from September as part of the Kino Fest Anča: The Best Animated Films for Children 2022 project.


The winning film, as well as other competing and non-competing animated shorts for children, can be enjoyed by animation fans from the comfort of their homes from 4 to July 10 at Six curated sections of animated films for adults will be available, and all sections incorporate the festival’s theme—Women in Animation.

Fest Anča International Animation Festival 2022 Winners

Best Animated Short: Malte Stein – Thing (Germany, 2021)

Animated Short Special Mention: Pablo Ballarín – In My Chest of Fire There Is Still Place to Temple Your Dagger: A Love Story (Spain, 2020)

Best Student Animated Short: Lola Lefevre – Mom, What’s Up with the Dog? (France, 2021)

Student Animated Short – Special Mention: Katarzyna Miechowicz – Crumbs of Life (Poland, 2020)

Best Animated Music Video: Charlie Mars – Coucou Tchoutchou (France, 2021)

Music Video – Special Mention: Raman Djafari – Elthon John, Dua Lipa: Cold Heart (PNAU Remix) (Germany, 2021)

Best Slovak Animated Short: Andrea Szelesová – Sisters (Czech Republic, 2021)

Slovak Animated Short – Special Mention: Filip Diviak – Sounds Between the Crowns (Czech Republic, 2020)

Best Animated Short for Children: Milen Vitanov – Mishou (Germany, 2020)

About Fest Anča

Fest Anča International Animation Festival – the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on animated film – is based in the New Synagogue and in the cultural centre Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, both venues being vibrant cultural centers in the city of Žilina. The festival aims to showcase contemporary, progressive animated films, and commemorate the cream of the genre. The long-term vision is to approximate well-known international festivals by uniquely showcasing this art form in Slovakia.

The festival features an international competition of animated short films and music videos, as well as non-competitive screening sections. Attendees can additionally enjoy presentations, exhibitions, workshops, film screenings for children, and numerous accompanying events.

Fest Anča International Animation Festival 2022 is financially supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and LITA Fund. The event was supported from public funds by the Slovak Arts Council. Women in Animation, Fest Anča’s 2022 thematic focus, is an implementation of the Student Forum Fest Anča. 

The Student Forum Fest Anča benefits from a EUR 120,609 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA Grants. The project has received co-financing from the State Budget of the Slovak Republic of EUR 18,091. The aim of the project is to work with attendees, promote international mobility and cooperation between European schools, share knowledge and skills, and compare animation teaching methods across Europe.