18th edition
October 6-15, 2023

Animated Women

The traditional self-portrait is getting a facelift powered by augmented reality (AR) in an ample exhibition dedicated to female excellence in animation. Animated Women, the project aiming at offering more visibility to female-identifying creators in the industry, has come to Romania for the 16th edition of Animest (October 8-17, in Bucharest). During the festival, the selected creations (after the open call earlier this fall) will come to life through physical displays using AR technology.

The Animated Women initiative first started in 2020, during the Fantoche International Animation Film Festival in Switzerland, with over 40 animated self-portraits. Recently, the project was also adopted in the Netherlands, where during the Kaboom Animation Festival, 14 portraits were exhibited on billboards in Amsterdam and Utrecht, on an itinerant route dedicated to women in the industry. So far, almost 100 self-portraits have come to life using AR in this project dedicated to female excellence in animation. Browse them on http://www.animatedwomen.club/.

The exhibit that you can enjoy during Animest was curated by Manu Weiss, the creator of Animated Women, alongside the Animest team, and reunites 20 AR-powered animated self-portraits of 20 female-identifying artists from around the globe.


Visit the exhibit at Green Hours Jazz Cafe, throughout the festival, during October 8-17, between 9 AM and 12 midnight.


The 20 selected artists are:

My name is Adela Holdon, and I am a 22 years old visual artist. Currently I'm in my second year of my Master’s degree in Graphics Art at the Faculty of Fine Arts within UNArte Bucharest.

Alma Cazacu is cheerful and has tints of dark humour. She is trained as a film editor at UNATC in Bucharest, Romania & as a post-production artist at the NFTS in Beaconsfield, UK. She is working in various areas like motion + graphic design, animation, illustration and as a producer on a range of commercial and cultural projects. She is now in the development stage of her future award-winning animated short film.

Her name is Andrada. She apparently loves staring at a monitor, endlessly tweaking whatever she's doing. This is the 42068th version of her bio.

I am an art student at the Bucharest National University of Arts, currently studying Fine Arts. I am using in my creations the infamous Gen Z's clown meme as a way of coping with my own dark realities. 

Cristina is a visual artist from Bucharest with a passion for characters and stories. She has experience working in animation studios, creating visual development and character design, 2D hand drawn animation and 3D animation. In her personal work she often explores the female form and alternative beauty, looking for inspiration in her own daily life.

Diana Monova is a Bulgaria-born, Brussels-based animator and director. She is currently spending most of her time working as a 2D animator on films, TV series, commercials (most recently on Ari Floman’s “Where is Anne Frank”). Her passion for music though, combined with her skills as an animator, drive her strongly towards directing animated music videos. Her first try was a 1-min intro for a friend’s album, and this year she releases her first full music video for the song CO2 by British/Belgian band BRVT.

Elly Stern is a mixed media animator specializing in stop motion. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston with a BFA in animation. Elly split her early life between Tel Aviv and Toronto, and she is currently living in Vancouver and working for Spotted Fawn Productions, an Indigenous led stop motion studio. Utilizing surrealism and a handmade approach, Elly’s animations explore the inner body and mind and approach issues from a strong female perspective.

Goga Mason graduated at Brera Academy of Fine Arts, Milan, and got a specialization degree in animation and illustration at ERG (ècole de Recherché Graphique) in Brussels, though she learnt her most precious skills from animator Yura Boguslavsky in Moscow. She loves colours and images in motion in every possible form, and the unpredictable feelings inspired by live animation. For years she has been working in cooperation with DENSO (Alessandro Fiorin Damiani) who creates sounds, voice and beats for her.

  • Ionela Adriana Mogosanu

My name is Adriana, I was born on July 29th, 1997. I am an art university graduate with a passion for travelling and photography, mixed with a love for drawing and painting. Most of the work I’ve been doing has been inspired by Romanian customs and the traditional art of Romania.

Iva Tokmakchieva (1994) is a director, animator and illustrator, who graduated in Animation from New Bulgarian University in 2019. Since graduating she is part of Compote Collective and works on different animation projects.

Laura White (Loops) lives in the UK and has been animating for over 5 years. She likes anything that's a bit odd and her work often focuses on the inner thoughts and feelings of women.

Lucie is an experimental animator from France and currently based in London, where she recently graduated from Royal College of Art. She composes her films following an empirical collage approach : drawing, shooting film, sound recording, editing, researching, happen all simultaneously. Her animation practice is driven by her impressionistic perception of reality. Each of her frames is spontaneously drawn focusing on colors, light and her current feelings. The succession of these images shows the time passing, as well as the flow of emotions going through her mind.

Natasza Cetner is a Polish London-based Animation Director and a graduate in Animation from the Royal College of Art. Her graduation film "Nigel" premiered on Short of the Week and received Vimeo Staff Pick and she recently finished working as an animation director for a new short titled "The Wind Whistles" - a 15 min long hand painted in ink on paper documentary about Italian partisans from World War II. The film just started the festival distribution with Bonobo Studio. The main themes of her works are the absurdity of the world around us and the surreal, while other works and films focus on conveying the unconscious and its desires, fears, and the anxiety of the insomniac mind. She loves to take inspiration from real-life stories and transform them into engaging short films and visuals. Sometimes she makes films about weird birds.

Illustrator and designer from Oradea Romania. 

I'm a 3rd year student in Romania, studying graphic arts at the University of Arts and Design in Cluj Napoca, experimenting with shapes, lines and colours, also striving to discover beauty in every form. Currently I’m focusing on animations and illustrations. 
Animation description: You’re looking at slow, bouncing and gentle movements expressing the state of the self-forgetting being. Focusing on gaps in our existence, excluding all external factors and focusing only on simplicity, joy and ease.

Right after studying graphic design and book arts in Leipzig, Germany, I founded a design studio called BARBAR together with my sister in 2013. We decided to specialize on our passions in 2018, so while she became a UI/UX expert I concentrated on animation and illustration and transformed the studio into an animation studio. I mostly work on animated web content, explainers, editorial illustrations and just recently stepped into the world of 3D animation and AR.

Sarah is an Illustrator and Visual Development Artist from Ireland working in animation for over seven years. Her strengths include colour design, environmental design and illustration and in her spare time she likes to work on short animation and illustration projects. 

Sofiia Melnyk is a Ukrainian animator and illustrator based both in Kyiv and Stuttgart. She graduated from Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in 2018 and is working now as a freelancer. Sofiia loves combining animation with literature, illustrates music and is a big AnimaDoc fan.  

Teodora Pascanu, aka paTeo, is a full time architect, part-time illustrator, wannabe animator, based in Bucharest.   

Gabi Toma is a self-taught graphic designer and illustrator based in Bucharest. In her work, she loves using vibrant colors and fun characters to tell stories. Gabi also enjoys bringing her illustrations to life through animation. Also, she may have a slight obsession with cats.