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October 4-13, 2024
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Animest.17 International Competition: sun, love and optimism define our most diverse edition yet

The Animest International Animation Film Festival (October 7-16, Bucharest, Romania), the only Oscar-qualifying film festival in Romania, has just unveiled its official competition selection. 49 animated short films will compete for the Animest Trophy, which comes with a EUR 2,500 prize offered by the Romanian Cultural Institute, while another 32 films are in the running for the Student Film Prize. The international feature film competition will introduce Romanian audiences to five of the most anticipated animated stories of the year. Get all the details about the films selected in the Animest.17 official competition on www.animest.ro.

“The official selection is the most diverse we have ever seen at Animest, both in terms of technique and storytelling prowess. It seems that the pandemic has impacted animation creators in perhaps surprising ways. During this time, they’ve turned their attention to utterly unique themes, transforming lockdown into a respite for reflection,” said Mihai Mitrică, festival director and programmer.

“Whether they are depicting love or exploring war, this year’s selected films promise stories that will make Animest viewers comfortably melt into their seats, as mesmerizing soundtracks take them on a journey of their own. This selection’s keywords: sun, love, and optimism, which we all need now more than ever before,” added Mitrică. 

A teaspoon of suspense, a dash of humor, a healthy dose of intimacy create situations that viewers of all ages will resonate to, images and sounds that take your breath away  – productions that have garnered prizes and applause from juries at major film festivals. This edition’s international feature film competition brings together five exceptional stories that will charm even the pickiest animation fans.

Portugal, official guest country at our festival’s 17th edition, brings us Nayola (d. José Miguel Ribeiro) – the stories of three generations of women plagued by a quarter century of civil war in Angola: Lelena (the grandmother), Nayola (the daughter) and Yara (the granddaughter). Past and present interweave in this film, which premiered internationally in the Annecy Festival competition. The same prestigious animation festival awarded a Jury Distinction to the next film in our selection, My Love Affair with Marriage, whiz director Signe Baumane’s majestic ode to musical comedy, science, animation, and female rebellion. 

Multi-awarded Japanese director Koji Yamamura’s latest film received the Contrechamp Award at this year’s Annecy Festival. Dozens of Norths is one of the most anticipated animated films of 2022, a dreamy yet intense incursion into the director’s memories. Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (d. Ayumu Watanabe), a seductive tribute to authenticity, also hails from Japan, where it has taken the silver screen by storm. Its author is famous for having directed multiple Doraemon anime films, alongside loads of independent work.

Animest spectators have already met Alessandro Rak in our 2014 edition, when the Italian artist visited Bucharest to introduce The Art of Happiness (L'arte della felicità), his first feature film. Rak’s latest is a revelation: Yaya e Lennie – The Walking Liberty tells a post-apocalyptic tale of a future where nature has reclaimed its rights and humanity is experimenting with new forms of social organization. 

One of the 49 short films in the international short film competition will receive the coveted Animest 2022 Trophy, which will automatically make the production eligible to be preselected for the Academy Awards. It won’t be easy for the jury to choose the winner – this edition abounds in all genres of animation, remarkable stylistic choices, and diversity. The candidates include two Romanian productions: Suruaika, a film by Vlad Ilicevici and Radu C. Pop, where a cat gradually amasses more and more power, and Sasha (d. Serghei Chiviriga), the story of a teenager forced to discover the truth about his sexual identity in a strange way.

Ice Merchants (d. João Gonzalez), awarded the Cannes’ Critics’ Week Prize For Short Film this year, will grace our screens alongside films such as The Garbage Man (d. Laura Gonçalves) – portraying an exceptional destiny, El after del Mundo (d. Florentina González) – where everything is peculiar, Impossible Figures and Other Stories (d. Marta Pajek) – a tale of aging and improbable pasts, and It Dawns the Longest Night (d. Orena Ares Lago, Carlos Fernández De Vigo), where the four horsemen of the Apocalypse review the state of humanity - international premiere at Animest.

The student film competition’s offerings bring together new perspectives, straight from the most prestigious animation schools in the world. Our selection includes an impressive 32 titles. Come enjoy them and you will surely agree with us: the future of animation is bright! 

Read more about the films in the Animest.17 International Competition on www.animest.ro. To truly savor the complete festival experience, with access to all of this edition’s screenings, get one of the few remaining passes on the Eventbook platform! 


The Animest Festival is a project organized by the Animest Association, co-financed through the Creative Europe MEDIA Programme, Romanian Film Centre, Romanian Cultural Institute and Groupama Insurance, with support from the Goethe Institute and Studioset.

Animest.17 is co-financed by the Municipality of Bucharest through ARCUB, as part of the ‘București afectiv’ 2022 program. For detailed information on the ARCUB funding programs, please access www.arcub.ro.

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