Student Forum Fest Anča 2024

The Student Forum takes place for the third time from June 25 to June 27, 2024, as an integral part of the International Animation Festival Fest Anča and as a part of AFN Edu activities under the Animation Festival Network. Student Forum serves as a vibrant platform for students and educators alike to explore the intricacies of animation education, bridging the gap between theory and practice.

Through dynamic discussions and insightful presentations, participants have the opportunity to share experiences, exchange ideas, and help shape the future of animation education. Additionally, students have the invaluable opportunity to connect with animation professionals, gaining insights and networking within the industry.

This year’s forum will shine a spotlight on three focus schools featuring presentations on their approaches to teaching animation and showcasing students‘ works, alongside seven alumni schools from previous editions. From traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies, from narrative storytelling to experimental animation, the forum creates a space of creativity, inspiration, and discovery.


The Animation Festival Network (AFN) connects five leading animation festivals from CEE region, all dedicated exclusively to auteur animated films for both young and adult audiences.
Formally founded in 2020, AFN is an organic extension of partners‘ previous collaborations and a formal framework to achieve shared goals: promoting auteur animation, improving audience outreach, and strengthening capacities by exchanging good practices/experiences.
AFN Edu, an education initiative with the addition of Student Forum, aims to reach and develop young filmmakers by introducing them to the animation industry, experts, and future collaborators through lectures, workshops, and festival networking opportunities.



Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague, Czechia
Department of Graphic Design
Animation and Film Studio

The Animation and Film Studio offers students a platform for experimentation and pushing the boundaries of animation. The Academy’s fundamental principle is an individual approach to students. The aim is to support talent and develop creative skills, while emphasizing original independent thinking about society and nurturing collective responsibility for our environment. According to the QS World University Rankings, UMPRUM is the only college from a post-communist country that is ranked among Europe’s most prestigious art schools.
The Department of Graphic Design (where the Animation and Film Studio is based) provides an open learning system. Its high-quality tutorial staff and technical facilities make the studios unique laboratories and meeting places where students can develop their creative skills.

Ondřej Slavík

Ondřej is a production technologist for animated films, having contributed to various projects primarily for Bára Anna Stejskalová’s films. He lectures at UMPRUM, specialising in stop motion animation technology. He enjoys integrating traditional and digital techniques, including 3D printing and 3D scanning. He is also a co-founder of the Prague Stop Motion studio Divize.

David Štumpf

As a director and animator, he balances his short film projects with client work. He has collaborated with several international studios (including Marvel Studios, Netflix, Buck, FX Network, and Framestore) and has worked for clients such as Nike, Facebook, Google, and Instagram. At UMPRUM, he lectures on 2D animation, the fundamentals of movement ergonomics, and character animation. He graduated from FAMU in Prague with the film SH_T HAPPENS, which premiered at La Biennale in 2019 and screened at over 100 festivals, including Sundance, Clermont-Ferrand, and OIAF. David finds writing texts challenging (for example, this one).



Lusófona University in Lisbon, Portugal

Lusófona University in Lisbon, Portugal, has three animation programmes in its Film and Media Arts Department:
– bachelor in Digital Animation, which focuses on learning various techniques of animation cinema and their application in fictional, documentary and experimental contexts through animation tests and films;
– master’s degree in Animation Arts, which focuses on creativity and experimentation mixing animation and other forms of artistic expression, both in short films and expanded animation projects;
– Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Degree, Re:Anima, with the Luca School of Arts (Genk, Belgium) and Aalto University (Espoo, Finland), which explores fiction, documentary and VR in the context of animation.

Pedro Serrazina

is an award-winning director and senior lecturer in animation. His first short, Tale about the Cat and the Moon, premiered internationally at the Cannes Film Festival ’96 and is still regularly screened at international retrospectives and festivals. Since then, his work has been exhibited and published internationally. Serrazina is interested in the interconnections between architecture, documentary, and animation. A member of the Society for Animation Studies and Ecstatic Truth (a symposium dedicated to animation and documentary practices), Serrazina is currently preparing his next film, What Remains of Us.

João Miguel Real

is an award-winning director who has been working in animation for the last 18 years at several animation studios. With a degree in Engineering and a Phd in Media Arts, he took the path of animation as an animator, compositor, and film director, where his expertise has enabled him to work with various animation techniques. He is currently the producer and co-director of Easylab Animation Studio, where he researches new approaches to animation techniques. He has been taking part in the academia of media arts for the last seven years, and is co-coordinator of Re:Anima and a member of the development committee of FILMEU, European Universities Alliance for Film and Media Arts.



The Animation and Interactivity (AI) department at UNATC, Bucharest, Romania

The Animation and Interactivity (AI) department at UNATC, Bucharest, established in 2019, pioneers artistic education in theatre and film. It trains professionals in cinematic narrative and new technologies, emphasizing teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Animation BA: This three-year programme covers 2D and 3D animation, AR, and VR. Students learn animation techniques, character/world-building, and storytelling. They create three-to-five minute animated short films for their thesis. The department has nine students per year, expanding to 12.

Animation Film MA: This two-year programme focuses on author film directing. Students explore original concepts and master animated film production. Each year, three students complete a theoretical paper and a five-to-seven minute short film, emphasizing visual impact and emotion.

The department collaborates with ANIMEST IAFF, offering residency programmes and workshops. Our English study programmes include Master Interactive Technologies and Art of Game Design.

AI adapts teaching to meet students‘ needs in cultural industries. The faculty’s specialists guide students to cultivate their artistic creations for successful careers.

Valeriu Căliman

has been on the UNATC teaching staff since 2012 as a specialist in 2D animation, animation film history, film editing, and sound. He has experience in editing for feature and short films, advertising for TV spots, and dubbing engineering for films and TV series. He’s also an animated short film creator, handling scripting, animation, image, and sound editing. His notable works include In Water It Looks the Other Way Around (2008) and How It Was Invented (2014), which were both selected at the International Animest Festival. His latest film POP is a short animation about…ART.

Matei Branea

has led UNATC’s Animation and Interactivity Department since 2019, and is also vice-rector of international relations. Specializing in animation directing, he oversees the Animation Film MA programme. Known for his minimalist character Omulan, he creates independent animations, comics, and illustrations – from mainstream to underground. His work, from comics to animation promos, has been internationally published. His latest 15-minute animation, starring Omulan, explores cosmic themes about the meaning of life. Branea, now a father, is also working on a family film about death.




The Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) promotes an alliance of science and arts. Its creative work is characterised by a synthesis of social demands, technological opportunities, economic assets, and environmental resources.

The MOME Anim animation community is one of Hungary’s most influential creative workshops and intellectual centres of animation. The department offers BA and MA animation programmes, short term courses, and international training programmes. In partnership with domestic and international partners, it also brings various animation projects to life, such as the KISKAKAS (Little Rooster) Film Days, exhibitions, film premieres and screenings, conferences, and professional panels.



The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź emphasises practical work in its teaching programme. The school educates directors, directors of photography, animators, photographers, screenwriters, editors, film and television production managers, and actors. The school provides everything needed to explore ambitious ideas and develop young talents.

The Animation & Special Effects Faculty teaches students how to design and make animated films and special effects with digital and analogue cameras, as well as computer programmes. Skilful storytelling, bold themes, diverse animation techniques, experiments, and improvisation are features that distinguish the animated short films made by this faculty’s students.


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.

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.


The University of Nova Gorica School of Arts focuses on the development of author personas. After a foundation year covering fundamentals in several fields, students choose their preferred career module. Students use their chosen technique – from 2D digital or traditional technique on paper, stop motion, 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 palette 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.



The Animation Department programmes aim to successfully educate animated film creators through theoretical knowledge and practical skills. A 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, as via technical courses and workshops they get the technical skills to create their visions.


The animation studio at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications in Zlín is twenty years old.

Its first decade emphasised the artistic side – which goes hand-in-hand with the author’s intention to portray a theme in various genres.

The aim now is no longer to create student films that compete for audiences’ interest at festivals, but rather that each assignment, term project, and graduation project is part of the larger picture in gaining experience, learning new skills, and stepping out of the comfort zone.


The Film and Television Faculty is the oldest and most prestigious film school in Slovakia. It provides education to especially gifted students, further develops their talent and artistic abilities, and leads them to deepening their personal expression. The faculty emphasises the adoption of high professional standards across all fundamental film professions. It supports contemporary trends in cinematography and welcomes all those who believe that superficiality can be avoided, and feel the creative need for an artistic response to the world.




Get Together Breakfast / New Synagogue Bar

Alumni talk / New Synagogue

The representatives of previous editions of Student Forum share their experience and their news.

  • Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia
  • Animation Department at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design, Hungary
  • Film and TV Direction Department at the Łódź Film School, Poland
  • Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb, Croatia
  • University of Nova Gorica School of Arts, Slovenia
  • Estonian Academy of Arts, Tallinn, Estonia
  • Faculty of Multimedia Communications, Tomáš Baťa University in Zlín, Czechia

School Presentation + Discussion

Ondřej Slavík, David Štumpf, UMPRUM, Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague
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.


Student Film Success Story_THE GARDEN OF HEART

Olivér Hegyi

Olivér Hegyi is a Budapest based animation director. He graduated in MOME in 2017, his graduation film ‚Take me please‘ was premiered in Annecy.
His first professional animated short was ‚Garden of heart‘ premiered in Zagreb Animafest. It won the prize for the best animated short at PÖFF, Tallinn.
He is currently developing an online animated series.

UMPRUM Student Films Screening + Discussion
Presentation of student’s works.


Žilina sightseeing

LOL / New Synagogue
Labour of Love provides an opportunity to present personal creative projects not just within the academic environment but also in a community of like-minded peers and professionals. This initiative supports a diverse array of artistic disciplines, offering a space where animation not only intersects but also enhances various forms of artistic expression. It’s a chance to illustrate the wide-reaching impact of animation in numerous creative fields, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.


Case study_CUB Animation / New Synagogue

Bella Szederkényi, Bálint Gelley
CUB Animation is an independent animation studio based in Budapest, Hungary. Their main obsession is creating worlds with unique design, unlimited tools of animation, and the power of young talents. They are interested in many platforms of the animation: TV and web series, animated shorts, music videos, and cross media – our point is to bring together dedicated people and make some high quality animated content. CUB Animation was founded by Bella Szederkényi and Bálint Gelley in 2015 in the incubation environment at MOME University, Budapest.


School Presentation + Discussion

Pedro Serrazina, João Miguel Real, Lusófona University in Lisbon, Portugal
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.


Discussion_International Internships

Representatives of the participating schools will discuss how international internships work in their institutions.

Lusófona Student Films Screening + Discussion
Presentation of student’s works.


Presentation_Animation Showcase

Benoit Berthe Siward
Benoit is a film strategist, founder of ‚The Animation Showcase‘ consulting boutique. He’s helped several shorts & feature films to get recognized within the industry and has led award campaigns for films, helping them receive 20 Oscars® nominations in total, including FLEE, MARCEL THE SHELL WITH SHOES ON and the Oscar® winner THE WINDSHIELD WIPER.



School Presentation + Discussion / New Synagogue

Valeriu Căliman, Matei Branea, The Animation and Interactivity (AI) department at UNATC, Bucharest
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.


Presentation_SYAA & CEE

Helga Fodorean & Juraj Krásnohorský
Sisterhood of Young Animation Auteurs – SYAA was created after the realization of the gender imbalance in the Romanian animation film industry, and aims to offer support to the female animation film auteurs.

CEE Animation brings together regional activities for promotion and development of animation and its talents in 17 countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). It seeks to increase professional experience, to present the abilities of filmmakers and producers, and improve the quality of content and the visual side of projects.


UNATC Student Films Screening + Discussion
Presentation of student’s works.


V4 Student Pitching
The Student Pitching Forum is a platform where students present their student animation projects, whether they are bachelor or master’s level, to a panel of industry professionals. It is a chance to gain insightful feedback, test their pitching skills, and explore co-production and distribution opportunities. The event is designed for everyone to test and refine their ideas in a supportive yet professional environment.


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.


OPENING PARTY / New Synagogue Bar