Animateka International Animated Film Festival
Animateka is a week-long international festival of animated film, takes place every year in Ljubljana's Kinodvor and Slovenska kinoteka. Beginning on the first Monday in December, it focuses primarily on the latest production of East and Central European short films. European student films and International films for children.
- 2023 Animateka Winners
- Naomi van Nienerk Masterclass (GoCritic! Review)
- Dahee Jeong Masterclass (GoCritic! Review)
- Animateka Animation Docs Programme (GoCritic! Review)
(Festival press release)
This anniversary edition is dedicated to the memory of Paul Bush, our dear friend and colleague whose untimely departure left us shocked earlier this year. A member of our jury in 2016, Paul showed his VR film I Horizon at the 2022 Animateka. His works remain as a reminder of the creative spirit and genius of the old sailor.
Each year, the festival welcomes an unparalleled number of filmmakers, most notably the jury members of its current festival edition. The artist behind the 2023 visual identity is the legendary Italian animator and painter Gianluigi Toccafondo, whose 'Little Russia' was the Grand Prix winner at the first edition of Animateka. Along with a retrospective of his animations, we celebrate his work with exhibitions in the DLUL Gallery, the Slovenian Cinematheque, and the Kinodvor Gallery, where you can see original drawings for the motley 2023 festival trailer.
The festival jury, we are proud to say, includes four superstars of world auteur animation. From Portugal, the animation poet Alexandra Ramires, member of BAP Collective whose films you can see in a retrospective programme and whose masterclass you can attend as part of AnimatekaPRO. From Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city, Naomi van Niekerk, who is often compared to the great William Kentridge for her charcoal animation technique and social topics. If you ask me, she is Kentridge’s contemporary successor. Nikki Schuster is an Austrian-born Berlin-based artist whose beginnings were in experimental cinema. In recent years, however, she has developed a unique “sustainable animation” style, visiting urban environments worldwide and recycling found objects to make animated travelogues. Apart from showing her films, Schuster will run the Elephant recycling animation workshop in the week leading up to the festival. One other jury member to join us before the festival is Dahee Jeong, who will run a workshop for students in Nova Gorica. Another unique poet of auteur animation, Dahee honed her skills studying in France. Her meditative works have been awarded at the world’s leading animation festivals, with her film Movements shown in the Directors’ Fortnight section in Cannes.
Since Animateka’s Main Competition features works from Central and Eastern Europe, the Best of the World strand brings the most innovative, daring, and heavily awarded animated jewels by filmmakers from Western Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Traditionally, we also show a selection of animated documentaries.
The grand retrospective, one of the festival staples, focuses on collage animation, featuring pioneers such as Stan VanDerBeek, Larry Jordan, Jan Lenica and Terry Gilliam, the modern masters Lewis Klahr (a festival guest), Stacey Steers, Dalibor Barić and many others.
Two programmes for adults, titled Creepy Animation Night, were curated in collaboration with our partners, the Anim’est festival from Bucharest. The Anim’est director, Mihai Mitrica, is the fifth member of the jury.
Each year, Animateka also shows an exclusive selection of animated feature films. This year, this includes Slovenian premieres of seven feature-length auteur animations. 'Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman', a feature debut from the composer, painter and filmmaker Pierre Földes, is an exquisite adaptation of short stories by the celebrated Japanese writer Haruki Murakami. From the Hungarian duo Tibor Bánóczki and Sarolta Szabó, another debut is 'White Plastic Sky', an epic dystopian sci-fi work made with the rotoscope technique. A deeply moving eco-fantasy that deals head-on with the climate apocalypse threatening life on Earth, White Plastic Sky is a film imbued with the melancholy of those most aware of how close humankind is to extinction. After visiting the film festival in the North Korean capital in 2018, the German filmmaker Martin Hans Schmitt turned his experience into a 3D stereoscopic animated documentary that is How I Survived the Pyongyang Film Festival. In 'Art College 1994', the Chinese filmmaker Liu Jian takes us to the campus of the Hangzhou art school to follow the lives of young artists torn between tradition and modernity. The winner of the top prize at Annecy 2023, Chicken for Linda!, is a feature for all generations. Its directors Chiara Malta and Sébastien Laudenbach unleash a unique visual marvel of hand-painted animation with bright, colour-blocked characters, and a story that is an intoxicating blend of slapstick comedy, musical, and family drama. Last but not least, two wonderful works for the youngest audience. The Czech filmmaker Filip Pošivač joins us to showcase his debut, Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light, a puppet animation adventure about being different, about friendship and imagination, light and darkness. Finally, we are extra proud to show – and announce the 2024 Slovenian distribution of 'Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds', a family adventure by the French auteur Benoît Chieux that takes you on a journey to discover new worlds. This surreal and mesmerising quest that revels in touring through an intricately animated realm will receive a Slovenian-dubbed theatrical release in 2024.
The extensive film programme is complemented by masterclasses and Q&As as part of AnimatekaPRO, taking place in morning sessions in the Silvan Furlan Hall of the Slovenian Cinematheque. Meanwhile, a new competition programme of XR films is on view in the new exhibition space of the Slovenian Cinematheque, featuring six international projects, including the first VR film by the legendary Japanese animator Koji Yamamura, in the running for a jury award, plus some extra works in two “waiting rooms” to take you into the world of immersive art. - Igor Prassel, Festival director
Call for Entries (Archive)
The 20th Animateka International Animated Film Festival will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 27 November to 3 December 2023.
Main Competition Programme (short animated films from Central, South, and Eastern Europe)
The competition is open to short animated films (the duration of which must not exceed 30 minutes of total running time per film) produced or co-produced in the following countries:
Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Cyprus, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Turkey, and the Ukraine.
The Elephant in Competition (international programme of short animated films for children)
The competition is open to short animated films (the duration of which must not exceed 30 minutes of total running time per film) for children, regardless of the production country.
European Young Talents Competition Programme (short animated films made by European students)
The competition is open to short animated films (the duration of which must not exceed 30 minutes of total running time per film) made by students within educational institutions in the EU or the following countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Iceland, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey, the Ukraine, and UK.
The films must be completed in 2022 or 2023. Films previously screened at the Animateka festival are not eligible.
2022 Festival Coverage
- Festival Winners
- Tal Kantor masterclass at Animateka (GoCritic! Review)
- European Young Talents (GoCritic! Review)
- Boris Labbe at Animateka (GoCritic! Review)
2021 Festival Coverage
2019 Festival Coverage
- Animateka 2019 Winners
- Animateka 2019 Catalogue
- Selection Results 2019: Main Competition
- Selection Results 2019: European Young Talents Competition
- The Elephant in Competition
- Animateka 2019 Goes Baltic
The author of the 16th Animateka visual identity is Edmunds Jansons, a renowned animation film director and graphic designer from Latvia.
From its very beginning the cinema has developed as a two-headed eagle - with one head looking into reality - documenting, observing, commenting our lives; the other head looking to the magical side of life - where the dreams, tricks and fantasies are. What I like about animation the most is that these two sides/directions coexist there naturally. That feeling about the duality of animation - I tried to capture it in the poster. Why fishermen - that’s the first image that comes to my mind when I hear “Baltics” - sea, fish, boats, fishermen - silent, harsh and strong - Edmunds Jansons
2018 festival coverage:
This year the festival recieved 669 films, which is 65 more than last year. 120 out of 696 films tried to get into the Central end Eastern European competition programme, 281 films applied to compete in the Young Talents competition, while 268 of them would like to take a chance in the Elephant competition programme, aimed at children. Submissions were received from 63 different countries, from Poland and France to Singapore and Afghanistan. Slovene animators did their part too, as they sent 35 films.
- Eastern and Central European Competition Programme Schedule
- The Elephant in Competition Schedule
- European Young Talents Schedule
- Špela Čadež and Zarja Menart Design the 2018 Animateka Poster
2017 Festival News
For the Animateka Pro Pitch competition, see here
NB: 2024 Festival Dates are tentative
- From 27 November 2024 to 03 December 2024