Student Forum Fest Anča 2023

About Student Forum

Animation is taught in numerous ways around Europe. And perhaps the biggest difference is between the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the West. The CEE’s cultural and historical heritage has translated into a rich animation tradition, and an inclination towards traditional and analogue techniques. Western schools, on the other hand, focus more on the technical and practical skills that prepare students for a wide range of work opportunities.

Our Student Forum aspires to show that these contrasting approaches can seamlessly complement each other, and result in the mutual enrichment of all participants. We aim to facilitate the exchange of know-how in teaching animation, whilst also cultivating organic cooperation and relationships between schools. We believe that the future of European animation is in the capable and creative hands of schools and their students.

The Student Forum offers participating schools and students the opportunity to present themselves, their work and ideas, promote emerging talents, establish new and exciting collaborations, meet industry professionals, and learn from one another. The four-day programme includes numerous activities: presentations, lectures, screenings, networking, and much more (even a special “speed dating” event).

The 2023 Student Forum Fest Anča is part of the celebrated Fest Anča International Animation Festival (June 29 to July 2, 2023 in Žilina, Slovakia). So all participants – students, teachers, animators, producers, distributors, and festival organisers – can meet, discuss, share ideas, and also be part of the film festival.

About project and regional partners


Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway

The INN Game School is Norway’s first game development school to focus on computer programming and digital arts. The school is part of the Faculty of Audiovisual Media and Creative Technologies, which provides practice-oriented education in AR and VR, 3D animation, and game technology, as well as theoretical studies in film and television science.


Nomeda Repsaite


 The Animation and Digital Arts programme offers various courses in 3D modelling, animation, motion graphics, and digital art. Animation students go through four extensive courses, covering rotoscoping, pixilation, hand-drawn animation, 3D animation, and motion capture. Their education includes being trained and supervised in acting by drama teachers. There is a special focus on storytelling, and students practice essential skills such as body mechanics, visual comedy, cinematography, and acting.

They can specialize in game or film animation. Standout students are sometimes granted internships at Norway’s leading animation studios.

Ole Christoffer Haga

Ole Christoffer Haga is a Norwegian animator, director, and screenwriter. Since childhood he had been very interested in making cartoons, which led him to studying animation. He has an extensive career in the animation industry, working on feature films, tv-series, commercials, and his own short films which have screened at numerous international festivals and on TV. He took his master’s in Digital Communication and Culture at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, where he now works as a senior lecturer in 3D modelling and animation. In addition to academia, Ole remains active as an animator, doing work for TV-series, and directing his new short Pam Inc. with the Trollfilm animation studio. 

Nina Bergström

Nina Monika Bergström is a Swedish-born and Norway-based director, animator, screenwriter, and actor in film and theatre. She debuted as a film director, screenwriter, editor, and music composer with the award-winning documentary Väninnor – Stories from the Closet (1996). Nina studied animation and art at Graphic Studio. She then worked as a feature film and TV series director and animator in Norway, receiving numerous awards and nominations (such as the Emmy Award, the Amanda Prize, and the Annecy Cristal). Nina lectured at Stockholm University of the Arts, and is currently an animation and film lecturer at the Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Department of Digital Art.


Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb

The Academy of Fine Arts consists of six departments, including the Department of Animated Film and New Media. Courses comprise lectures, workshops, seminars, and tutorials.

The Department of Animated Film and New Media is unique in encouraging the parallel mastering of classic animation techniques, new media techniques, and contemporary artistic practices.

As no artistic activity or discipline is static, the programme is continually creating and improving. Studies are designed as a series of courses and workshops, and include a historical overview of classic animated film, experimental film, and video, contemporary artistic practices, and cooperation with external experts and institutions. Students master the basics of recording, editing, and sound so that they can work independently as soon as possible. They acquire knowledge through classes and own projects – the emphasis is on developing an authorial approach.

Petra Zlonoga

Petra Zlonoga has two Master of Arts degrees (Graphic Design, and Animated Film and New Media). Her films One of Many (2018), Dota (2016), Hunger (2014), Daniil Ivanovich (2012), and You Are Free (2011) had worldwide screenings and won several awards. As teacher, she has held many workshops for film professionals and enthusiasts of all ages. She’s also an expert associate at the Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb.

Daniel Šuljić

Daniel Šuljić is a director of animated films and a musician. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb and the Academy of Applied Arts in Vienna, and became an honorary professor at the College of Animation in Changchun, China. He taught classical animation at Linz University of Art and Design, and was a member of the City of Zagreb artistic council for film. His films such as Evening Star (1993), Cake (1997), Sun, Salt and Sea (1997), I Can Imagine It Very Well (2004), The Glass Man (2015) and From Under Which Rock Did They Crawl Out (2018) have been screened at hundreds of international and national festivals and various TV channels, and have won many international awards. He’s a member of numerous festival juries. He’s currently an assistant professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, and the artistic director of the World Animated Film Festival – Animafesta Zagreb.


Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA), Tallin, Estonia

The Estonian Academy of Arts is the oldest and only public university of visual culture in Estonia. International students cultivate their analytical abilities and critical thinking with the aim of developing into environmentally- and socially-conscientious creators.

The main goal of Animation Department programmes is to successfully educate animated film creators through theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The further aim is to contribute to the global development of animation as an art form.

Animation’s scope means that students are encouraged to approach their film creations uniquely. The Academy wants to inspire students and help them contextualise themselves and their art in the larger world through theoretical classes, via technical courses and workshops they get the technical skills to create their visions.

Curriculums are based on students creating independent films from the very start to production and postproduction. This creates well-rounded and capable directors who will continue to create fresh and creative films.

Bruno Quast

Bruno Quast is an animation artist and sound designer with a background in classical piano, electroacoustic music, and contemporary art. His films and sound designer films have been screened at several international festivals including Animateka, Ottawa, and Zebra poetry film festival. He now teaches sound design at the Estonian Academy of Arts animation department – from which he graduated.

Lyza Jarvis

Lyza Jarvis is a project coordinator and film distributor for the Estonian Academy of Arts Animation Department – from which she graduated. During her studies, she completed two films and is working on a third. She also teaches animation production and stop-motion at the Baltic Film and Media School, as well as filmmaking to high school students in Tallinn.


University of Nova Gorica School of Arts

University of Nova Gorica School of Arts focuses on the development of author personas. All students follow through a foundation year with basics in several fields and after that, students choose their preferred carrier module. The module contains multiple courses and demands different work methods depending on the specific phase in the creative process. It progresses from initial individual exercises to workshops in diverse animation techniques. Students use their chosen technique – from 2D digital or traditional technique on paper, stop motion under the camera such as erase technique with chalk, relief clay with replacement, painting on glass to puppet stop-motion films.

The programme retains interdisciplinary and intermedia features within practical studies, delivered by a rich pallet of collaborators and visiting mentors. Besides a number of short and semester-long mobility options, students can be included in international projects and collaborations with the local community as well as with a wider social context, especially the cultural and creative industries.

Kolja Saksida

Kolja Saksida is one of the most prominent authors and producers of animated films in Slovenia. He is an associate professor at the University of Nova Gorica School of Arts and the founder and the director of the ZVVIKS production house. Kolja received his master’s degree in film studies from the ECAL University of Art and Design, Lausanne, and is a board member of the DSAF Slovene Animated Film Association.

Tina Smrekar

Tina Smrekar focuses on developing and producing short artistic animated films and helping young talents at the University of Nova Gorica School of Arts develop across media. She is a co-founder of and a producer at Finta Film, producing films with and by Špela Čadež such as Boles, Nighthawk, and Steakhouse, which together received more than 100 awards. Tina is the President of DSAF – Slovene Animated Film Association and Supervisory board president of AIPA – Slovenian audiovisual collecting society.


Faculty of Multimedia Communications, Tomas Bata University in Zlín

The history of the animation studio at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications in Zlín goes back more than two decades.

The first decade of the studio was characterised by an emphasis on the artistic side. It went hand in hand with the author’s intention to portray the theme, albeit in different genres, in a distinctive way with the courage to explore and experiment. This was in the DNA of Czech animation.

Over time, one of the most important and naturally most complex challenges has been to update the curriculum to be much more responsive to the needs of the animation industry. How not to dismiss the creative potential of students and yet guide them to the ability to be one small part of a big mechanism?

The intention now is not to create a student film that should compete for the audience’s interest at festivals. Each assignment, term project, and graduation project serve as one of many puzzle pieces in gaining experience, learning new skills, and stepping out of the comfort zone. And because there is always room for improvement, the plan for the next decade is clear: not to be afraid to look ahead, but still to remember that this is a university setting, and therefore craftsmanship must go hand in hand with intellectual challenges.

Martin Kukal

Martin Kukal graduated from the animation studio at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications at Tomas Bata University where he began to teach right after. At their animation studio, he also continues to teach animated film language and the subject of live drawing, and drawing intended for creators of animated content. He is currently working on his next film. He likes to talk to people about their work and encourages others to explore animation. Teaching and discussing with students force him to think more deeply, to push and broaden his own knowledge and skills.


27.6. Monday  



New Synagogue Bar 

Get Together Breakfast


New Synagogue 

School Presentation + Student Films Screening + Discussion  

Ole Christoffer Haga, Nina Bergström

INN – The Game School at the Faculty of Audiovisual Media and Creative Technologies, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway
How do schools approach the teaching of animation? What does their curriculum look like? What is a graduate’s profile? Participating school’s representatives will address these and other questions in their presentations.


Alumni talk 

The representatives of Student Forum 2022 share their experience and their news
VŠMU – Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia
MOME – Animation Department at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Hungary
ŁÓDŹ – Film and TV Direction Department at the Łódź Film School, Poland
FAMU – Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Republic


School Presentation + Student Films Screening + Discussion 

Martin Kukal

UTB – Faculty of Multimedia Communications, Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín, Czech Republic
How do schools approach the teaching of animation? What does their curriculum look like? What is a graduate’s profile? Participating school’s representatives will address these and other questions in their presentations.


Žilina sightseeing

New Synagogue Bar 


28.06. Wednesday 

New Synagogue 

Presentation_Pixelatl, Introducing MIYU Distribution

Luce Grosjean, Miyu Distribution

Luce, the Cofounder & president of Miyu Distribution, takes us for a grand tour of Miyu production and distribution. 


School Presentation + Student Films Screening + Discussion 

Lyza Jarvis, Bruno Quast

EKA – Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia
How do schools approach the teaching of animation? What does their curriculum look like? What is a graduate’s profile? Participating school’s representatives will address these and other questions in their presentations.


School Presentation + Student Films Screening + Discussion

Tina Smrekar, Kolja Saksida

UNG – School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia


International cooperation at schools
Representatives of the participating schools will discuss how international cooperation works in their institutions.




SCREENING – UTOPIAS: World Ended – What Next?


29.06. Thursday 

New Synagogue

School Presentation + Student Films Screening + Discussion 

Petra Zlonoga, Daniel Šuljić

UNIZG – Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb, Croatia
How do schools approach the teaching of animation? What does their curriculum look like? What is a graduate’s profile? Participating school’s representatives will address these and other questions in their presentations.


Schools and Their Approach to Animation Education + Discussion


13:30 – 15:00 V4 Student Film Success Story Case study, Love, Dad / Milý tati

Diana Cam Van Nguyen (director), Karolína Davidová (producer) 

In 2021, Prague-based Czech-Vietnamese director Diana Cam Van Nguyen, premiered her latest short film, Love, Dad, which was made as a Czech-Slovak co-production. The movie has been winning awards on the festival circuit ever since. Learn about the film’s journey and the authors’ success story.


Opportunities of Funding International Projects
Veronika Haberlandová from the Slovak Academy of International Cooperation, National Agency of Erasmus+, will present different possibilities for universities in the area of creating joint projects with funding from the Erasmus+ programme

AFN: How Do Festivals and Audiences See Your Film?
AFN network representatives will share their insights and first hand experience from festivals. 

The CEE Animation Festival Network (AFN) gathers five partners: Animafest Zagreb (Zagreb, Croatia) Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films, (Liberec, Czech Republic), Fest Anča International Animation Festival (Žilina, Slovakia), Animest International Animation Film Festival (Bucharest, Romania), and Animateka International Animated Film Festival (Ljubljana, Slovenia).

FESTIVAL OPENING CEREMONY at the Town Theatre Žilina

OPENING PARTY in the New Synagogue Bar

30.06. Friday

Presentation of the International Visegrad Fund
Martin Marciňa from the International Visegrad Fund will present the opportunities of the IVF to support projects involving not just the V4 participants. 

How does co-producing between schools and studios work in Poland?
Wojtek Leszczynski and Anna Mroczek from WJT Company in Poland present their work and share how their film production company cooperates with students. 


“Speed Dating” for Students with Distributors and Producers
A unique opportunity for students to meet and talk to distributors, producers, and other film professionals in a fast-paced setting. Students will only have a few minutes to ask what they always wanted to know.

Schools Representatives Roundtable

01.07. Saturday

Trip for students

Festival programme 

AWARD CEREMONY at the Town Theatre Žilina 

PARTY in the foyer of the Town Theatre Žilina

02.07. Sunday


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 to support audience development, transnational mobility and to connect school bodies from different countries around Europe to share knowledge and compare different approaches to teaching animation in different parts of Europe. 

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe. Student Forum Fest Ana is financed from EEA grants and the state budget of the Slovak Republic, Project No. CLT02018.