Animateka 2023 Winners: 'Misaligned', 'It's Just A Whole'

Misaligned Marta Magnuska animation still

The 20th edition of the Animateka International Animated Film Festival (27 November -3 December) celebrated its winners for its jubilee edition. Featuring an international jury of acclaimed animation professionals (Dahee Jeong, Mihai Mitrică, Naomi van Niekerk, Alexandra Ramires, Nikki Schuster), the festival dedicated its edition to the memory of Paul Bush.

In its international competition, the dysfunctional relationship of 'Misaligned' by Marta Magnuska (Animoon/Atom Art) was the big winner. 'Flow' by Adriaan Lokman won the corresponding VR Prize of the festival.  

The Young Talent Student Jury Award went to Bianca Scali and her film 'It's Just A Whole' (or. Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg).

She knew this day would come and the choice she’d have to make. But as it finally comes, Maya cannot wrap her head around it. A mole - it’s so small, so insignificant, just a mark... How can it be so hard to part from it? Can Maya ever feel whole again when a bit of her is taken away? - Film Synopsis

The full Animateka 2023 Winners' lineup

Awarded for films in the Main Competition. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000.

Misaligned (2022), Marta Magnuska, Animoon/Atom Art
Justification: This film uses the space of the flat white screen freely. It tells the story with a clever use of metaphor, and expressive and efficient drawings that portray routine movements until they become distressing. To a film that is not aligned: Misaligned!

Awarded for films in the VR@Animateka programme. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000.

Flow VR (2023), Adriaan Lokman, Lucid Realities/Valk Productions
Justification: In this film we materialize abstract images through realistic sound design. Delicate lines give a flowing physical experience. 

Awarded for films in the European Young Talents Competition Programme. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000 is presented jointly by the School of Arts (University of Nova Gorica) and Academy of Fine Arts and Design (University of Ljubljana).

It's Just a Whole (2023), Bianca Scali, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Justification: The atmosphere of the entire film is based on a seemingly simple issue one faces daily: an irrational fear. In the story, this is shown through paper elements and the density/lightness of lines and forms. The sentiment of the space rests on the contrast between white paper and black lines, combined with embossing. The story is conveyed through the softness and crudeness of the relationship between the main protagonist and her immediate environment during a routine medical check-up. Adding value and weight to the film as a whole and its sense of connection is the continuously present fluid intertwinement of materials and skin. The filmmaker demonstrates a good command of expressive means, which she combines masterfully to benefit her story. The fear experienced by the protagonist creates a universal experience anyone can relate to.

Special mention: The Eastern Rain (2023), Milly Jencken, Estonian Academy of Arts

Justification: With coarse strokes and surreal abstraction of shots, the filmmaker takes the audience into a new dimension. The three-dimensional journey allows everyone to join in on the path to self-discovery. With every repetition, elements acquire a new meaning. The mixed techniques of charcoal and oil paint enhance the depiction of the common events brought forth in an experimental way, while forming a contrast that underpins the film’s visual identity and creates a kinaesthetic dynamic. The sound is focused and in harmony with the visuals, with the bell playing a significant role. 

Awarded for films in the Elephant in Competition programme. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000.

Head in the Clouds (2023), Rémi Durin, Les Films du Nord/La Boîte,… Productions/Pictanovo
Justification: Members of the children jury are awarding a film that stands out in terms of both its visual style, using beautiful colours, and its message, as it encourages us to appreciate more the nature that surrounds us.

Awarded for films in the Elephant in Competition programme. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000.

Muri the Cat: The Dance (2023), Jernej Žmitek, Invida/Mediainteractie/RTVS/Jure Vizjak

Awarded for films in the Main Competition. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000 is presented by the Slovene Animated Film Association.

Hardly working (2022), Total refusal


Hardly working (2022), Total refusal
Justification: This clever film repeatedly shows people stuck in inescapable fates doing the same work. This comedy becomes a tragedy. Can we say that they are no different from us?

Sweet Dreams (2022), Maria Zilli, Sara Priorelli
Justification: For the smart way of using dark humour and the perfect timing in order to ilustrate and reveal a moment in the life of the main character who is stuck in her monotonous work life. Sometimes sweet dreams are made of this!

SPECIAL MENTION Naomi van Niekerk
Eeva (2022), Morten Tšinakov, Lucija Mrzljak, Adriatic Animation/Eesti Joonisfilm
Justification: This poetic film finds humour in a situation of grief. An elegy becomes absurd and feels true to how we experience loss.

SPECIAL MENTION Alexandra Ramires

Aleph (2023), Slobodan Tomić, Zagreb films
Justification: Through hard lines and organic metamorphoses, this film transports us to an idea of madness. A journey that reminds us of fanzines, Arte Bruta and punk aesthetics with all the freedom and expression we recognize in them. It’s nice to see this freedom in an animation film.

Depersonalisation (2022), Spartak Jordanov, Screening Emotions
Justification: A powerful metamorphosis of dissolving and absorbing images, until the fluid process solidifies. Movements of liquid paint visualize the process of loss of individuality.

Animateka Festival was also the habitat for the second edition of Rise & Shine Animation Lab for young talents and their short films hosted 11 projects. The first award (CEE Animation Forum 2024 direct access award), went to 'Cosmonauts' by Leo Černic (dir.) and Tina Smrekar (pr.) from Finta Film, Slovenia. The winner  of the Rise&Shine 2023 Award (double invitation to 2024 Animafest Zagreb and Animateka festivals), went to 'Period Drama' by Michaela Michalyi (dir.) and Jakub Ralek (pr.) from BFilm, CZ. 

Watch the 20th Animateka Jubilee video

The 20th Animateka International Animated Film Festival took place from 27 Nov-3 Dec 2023.

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