Utopias in feature films at Fest Anča

The 16th edition of the Fest Anča International Animation Festival will take place from 29 June to 2 July 2023 in Žilina and will offer its viewers not only a rich selection of short animated films, but also a selection of feature films. What they have in common is the fact that they are related to the central theme of the festival, which this year is Utopia. Audiences can look forward to the cult science fiction film Chronopolis (1982), as well as the legendary French-Czechoslovak co-production The Fantastic Planet (1973), and the award-winning Japanese film Dozens of Norths (2021). Children and their families will also be in for a treat, as there are three feature-length films specially selected for them (in addition to the rest of the film programme).

Feature Films for Adults

In the carefully curated programme of feature films, visitors will be able to find the Polish-French science fiction classic Chronopolis, which animator and director Piotr Kamler had been making for almost half a decade. He managed to create a unique and fantastic animated film that has much to offer to today’s viewers as well. The film is set in a futuristic city inhabited by powerful immortals who are bored with the idea of eternity, so they start playing with time. The film originally featured music by renowned French composer Luc Ferrari. To enhance the viewer experience, the festival screening will be accompanied by a unique live performance by the talented artist Kult Masek.

Chronopolis (1982)

Audiences will also be treated to the cult film The Fantastic Planet, which tells the story of the distant world of Ygam, inhabited by slaves and their masters. The plot revolves around the life of Terra, a tiny human slave and pet Om, who belongs to the giant blue alien Draagos. One day, however, one of the Oms manages to escape, joining up with their savage mates, and they begin to plot a rebellion. This year marks the 50th anniversary of this timeless piece by animator René Laloux, which won the Special Jury Prize at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. The viewers will be in for an unforgettable surreal experience. 

Both legendary films will be screened at the festival in cooperation with the French Institute in Slovakia.

The festival team also included in its selection the beautiful story Dozens of Norths by the exceptional Japanese filmmaker Koji Yamamura, who finds light even in the darkest places, despite the difficult theme of natural disaster. The basic elements of the film are the illustrations and texts that its director created after the devastating 2011 earthquake in eastern Japan – a disaster that deeply affected him. In 2018, Festa Anča had the honour to welcome the director of this film as a special guest.

The new Hungarian-Slovak film White Plastic Sky (2023) takes the audience to the year 2123, where the human race is faced with dwindling resources and can only survive thanks to a very unusual solution. The story follows a man’s struggle to save his wife in a world where breaking the rules is not worth it. The film was also selected for this year’s prestigious Berlinale festival in the Encounters section and for the world’s most prestigious animation festival in Annecy.

An exceptional film (not only) for parents

Away (2019) by the versatile Latvian artist Gints Zilbalodis has a special place in the programme of this year’s Fest Anča, as it offers a wide range of interpretations: it can be an unforgettable adventure story for children aged 10 and up, but also an existential drama that can be appreciated by more mature audiences. This visually stunning and purely auteur Latvian film delivers a gripping story of a young man, told without dialogue. Against a backdrop of atmospheric, haunting scenery, the protagonist and his bird friend try to escape from a strange shadow. 

Away (2019)

However, this film is also exceptional because it is the work of a single animator. Gints Zibaladis took care of the story, art, animation, music and production in his debut. Full of symbols and metaphorical scenes, the film is divided into several chapters and thanks to this it strongly evokes the style of a computer game. The film also won the Feature Film Award in the Contrechamp section at the Annecy Film Festival.

Films for children

The little ones can also enjoy the festival to the fullest. The festival has not forgotten them this time either and has prepared interesting and visually attractive films for them, which also focus on the theme of utopias.

A kind of invitation to the festival is the screening of the family film Kvik (2022) about a 9-year-old girl and her pet piglet. The screening will take place free of charge on Wednesday 28 June at Mariánské námestie Square in Žilina at 20:30.

The children’s feature-length programme will also be enriched by Katarína Kerekesová‘s film The Websters Movie (2022), which follows the successful animated TV series about the original spider family.  This enjoyable animated film explores the everyday joys and troubles of its members and shows that the strongest web is the family.

The Websters Movie (2022)

Yuku and the Himalayan Flower (2022) is the story of Yuku, a little mouse who lives with her family in the underground depths of an old castle and spends her time with her grandmother, who tells her various legends and mysterious stories. As Grandma begins to weaken and prepares for her final journey, Yuku finds a remarkable story in one of her books about a Himalayan flower that is able to bring eternal light.

About Fest Anča

Fest Anča International Animation Festival is unique in being the only Slovak multimedia festival focused on animated film targeted mainly at a mature audience, which takes place in the New Synagogue in Žilina, in the cultural centre Stanica Žilina-Záriečie, in the Žilina Town Theatre, in the Rosenfeld Palace and in the Žilina Artforum. The aim of the festival is 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 different forms of animation.

The festival annually includes an international competition of animated short films and music videos as well as thematic and specially focused film sections. Fest Anča offers four days of lectures, screenings for children and many other accompanying events.

The International Animation Festival Fest Anča 2023 is financially supported by the Audiovisual Fund. The festival was financially supported by the LITA Fund. The Fest Anča Student Forum received a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants.   

Working together towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.
The event is funded by the Student Forum Fest Anča project supported by the EEA and Norway Grants 2014-2021 and the State Budget of the Slovak Republic, with project number CLT02018.

This project was realized thanks to the financial support of the SPP Foundation.