‘Thing’ Wins Top Prize at Student Film-Dominated Anča Awards

Winners of the 2022 Anča Awards were announced at the  closing ceremony of Slovakia’s Fest Anča on July 2 at the historical Žilina Town Theatre. The jury was primarily swayed by student films that depicted the world with emotion, humor and objectivity.

Thing (Germany), this year’s overall winner of the international award for Best Animated Short, tells the story of a man who is chased by a small “thing” that will not leave him alone. The film’s director, Malte Stein, is well-known to the festival and visitors, as his films having been part of the Anča line-up for many years. The jury of Mihai Mitrică, Saša Bach and last year’s grand prize recipient, Sarina Nihei, noted that they were “driven to the edge by this short film and also very haunted by this little ‘thing.’”

The jury gave an honorable mention to In My Chest of Fire There Is Still Place to Temple Your Dagger: A Love Story, from Spanish student didrector Pablo Ballarín, which centers on the relationship between the well-known Ash and Pikachu characters in the iconic Pokémon anime series. The jury praised “the author’s fresh visual approach and honest storytelling with a great sense of humor in addressing the universal topic of love and hate told through the eyes of well-developed characters.” [Trailer.]

Mom, What’s Up with the Dog (2021)_Mama, čo je psovi (2021)
Mom, What’s Up with the Dog” (2021)

The same main jury gave the Anča Award for Best Student Animated Short to the French short Mom, What’s Up with the Dog?,which tells the story of an 11-year-old girl and the awakening of her sexuality. Director Lola Lefevre introduces us to a very personal story with a certain degree of humour and honesty, as noted by the international jury that added “the story will resonate universally with all audiences.” [Trailer.]

The Special Recognition Award in the Student Films category went to Crumbs of Life by Polish director Katarzyna Miechowicz. Her film leans toward absurdity as it presents three characters living in a small coastal town. The jury was particularly impressed by the film’s visuals. [Trailer.]

Sisters (2021)
Sisters (2021)

The winner of the Slovak section of the competition was Sisters, about the relationship between Big Sister and Small Sister, stuck in sand in an arid land. The jury consisting of award-winning Czech director Michaela Pavlátová, Anastasiya Verlinskaya, director of the Ukrainian festival Linoleum, and journalist Jair Salvador Flores Alvarez (a.k.a. Kropka), described the film as a “metaphor of a burden, which in the most subtle and delicate way shows that every end has a new beginning.”

In the same category, the jury gave the Special Recognition Award to Sounds Between the Crowns by Filip Diviak (Czech Republic). They praised the film’s “perfect mix of brilliant character design, outstanding music and humor that one can hardly believe it’s by a student.” [Trailer.]

Festival director Ivana Sujová observed: “That awarded films in both the international and Slovak section were by students shows that the voice of a new generation of creators is here to be heard, and their mature visual expression is here to be seen.” She added that the Fest Anča team look forward to their future productions.

Coucou Tchoutchou
Coucou Tchoutchou (2021)

Jurists Kate Jessop, Michael Mihályi and Dorota Brázdovičová (a.k.a. Seafur) watched 23 pieces to decide the Best Animated Music Video Award and the Special Mention of the same category. The former was awarded to French animator Charlie Mars for Vabaira’s “Coucou Tchoutchou,” which the jury described the music video as “funny, dynamic, striking and entertaining, with an inventive use of character animation.” [Watch.]

The jury gave the Special Recognition Award to the music video for “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” by Elton John and Dua Lipa. Made by Raman Djafari, the jury appreciated its “strong character design, fluid animation style, and impressive connection between audio and visual.” [Watch.]


The Anča Award for the Best Animated Short for Children was decided by kids from elementary schools and preschools in and around Žilina during the Children’s Days for schools on June 28 and 29. After viewing nine competing films, the pupils’ votes went to Mishou, a 2D and stop-motion from Berlin-based director Milen Vitanov, about a lost puppy in Antarctica and who is saved by a group of rabbits. [Trailer.]

Local children can look forward to seeing this film beginning in September as part of the Kino Fest Anča: The Best Animated Films for Children 2022 project.

The winning film, as well as other competing and non-competing animated shorts for children, can be enjoyed by animation fans from the comfort of their homes from July- 10 at DAFilms.sk. Six curated sections of animated films for adults will be available, and all sections incorporate the festival’s theme — Women in Animation.




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