World Festival of Animated Film /
3 to 8 June 2024
World Festival of Animated Film / 3 to 8 June 2024
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Winners of the World Festival Of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2024

The World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2024 ended tonight with an award ceremony at the SC Cinema.

The jury of the Grand Competition Short Film, composed of Sofiia Melnyk, Naomi Van Niekerk, Marta Pajek, Malte Stein and Vjeran Šalamon, decided to award the Grand Prix to the Belgian-Dutch-French film The Miracle directed by Nienke Deutz, produced by Lunanime, Keplerfilm and Les Productions de Milou. The jury’s explanation states: This film treats an invisible subject with subtlety and nuance. It uses delicate storytelling and leaves us with hope.

The same jury awarded the Golden Zagreb Award for creativity and innovative artistic achievement to Nicolas Brault for the independently produced Canadian film Entropic Memory. The author registers the process of decaying memories and we are drawn into another layer of beauty – wrote the jury.

The Zlatko Grgić Award for the best first film made outside of an educational institution went to the South Korean film Reborn with You by Inju Park (independent production) for a tender inner journey that takes us into a mesmerizing world of loss.

The members of the jury decided to award special prizes as well. Sofiia Melnyk awarded the French film Aaaah! by Osman Cerfon (Miyu Productions) for an original and humorous way of treating the pressures of going through school and the excellent functioning of the animation loop.

Naomi Van Niekerk was particularly impressed by the Slovenian-Croatian film Three Birds by Zarje Menart (produced by Finta Film and Adriatic Animation). This film kept me on the edge of my seat and got under my skin with its layered visuals and captivating sound design – explained Van Niekerk.

Marta Pajek presented her special award to the Colombian-French film The Bitch by Carla Melo Gampert (produced by Evidencia films and June Films). A brutally honest yet touching story of a relationship between mother and daughter told with force and simplicity – said Pajek.

Malte Stein chose, on the other hand, the Polish film Zima by Tomek Popakula and Kasumi Ozeki, produced by Yellow Tapir Films. The killers fear the killers the most, but Jesus forgives you – said Stein.

Finally, Vjeran Šalamon gave his special award to the South Korean film Circle by Yumi Joung, produced by Match Cut Inc., saying that the simple and sophisticated elegance of this movie reminds him how original and beautiful the world of animation is.

According to the decision of the Jury of the Grand Competition Feature Film, composed of Barry JC Purves, Vassilis C. Karamitsanis and Vera Neubauer, the Grand Prix belongs to the Spanish-German film Sultana’s Dream by Isabel Herguera (produced by Abano Producións and Fabian&Fred). The presenting of this award was an easy choice for the jury as the film was beautifully made and designed. It was moving and was quite profound, even haunting as it stays with you long after you've seen it. It’s bringing up its agenda to a different level in a nicely multi-layered narrative – it says in the explanation.

The same jury also decided to award a special award to the Hungarian film Pelikan Blue by Lászlo Csáki (Umbrella Entertainment and Cinemon Entertainment), a beautifully structured, interesting and well-researched film. It was impressively documented that resulted into bringing history to life. The story could resonate deeply to the viewer – said the jury.

The combined jury of the Student Film Competition and the Croatian Film Competition, consisting of Diana Cam Van Nguyen, João Gonzalez and Ivana Kvesić, decided to award the Dušan Vukotić Award for the best student film to the German film Carrotica by Daniel Sterlin-Altman, created at the Babelsberg Konrad Wolf Film University, a film portrays a relationship in such a humorous, original and human way, that touched us. Two characters share a mutual feeling of loneliness by coping with a series of fantasies that doesn't set them too much apart, and maybe even pulls them closer to each other.

According to the decision of the same jury, the first special award went to the Polish film Such Miracles Do Happen by Barbara Rupik (Polish National Film School in Łódź). The animation technique and the related examination of traditions and religion are interesting, penetrating and convincing - said the jury.

Another special award went to the film The Posthuman Hospital by South Korean author Junha Kim (California Institute of the Arts). We as a jury enjoyed the visualisation of post-human area – where machines and humans are interacted. The visual and playful creativity that is tackling the human body makes the film strong – says the explanation.

The best film of the Croatian Film Competition was declared Žarko, You Will Spoil the Child! by Milivoj and Veljko Popović in the production of Prime Render Studio, Bagan Films and 3D2D Animator. The film has surprised us with its endearing, touching but also funny approach to a personal and historical topic. The filmmakers are using in a daring and smart way different animation techniques to create a film with a genuine and raw touch – said the jury. The film also receives a financial award in the amount of 1,000 euros awarded by the Croatian Film Directors Guild.

A special award was given to Eugen Bilankov for Windows from the South, produced by the Academy of Fine Arts, subtle, immersive and imaginative way and enhances the storytelling to another level.

The winner of the Films for Children and Youth Competition was chosen by a jury consisting of Val Bandić, Jakov Botić, Maris Dlačić, Polina Glebova, Karlo Jurčić, Alana Kovač, Jasna Salopek Radić, Vita Stojić, Trey Pužin and Iskra Gavran. The jury awarded the main prize to the Mexican-French-Hungarian film Nube by Diego Alonso Sánchez de la Barquera Estrada and Christian Arredondo Narváez (produced by Avec ou Sans Vous, Cub Animation and Les Gobelins).

An incredibly emotional film with a wonderful story which deeply touched us. The characters are well drawn and fantastically animated which makes them easily relatable. The animation style is nice and fluent, and the colours and contrasts are wonderful. Half of us were in tears. Perfect – said the jury.

Special recognition in the Films for Children Competition went to the Polish film The Grand Mother by Julia Hazuka, produced by Magdalena Abakanowicz from the University of the Arts from Poznań. The drawing style is very good and the film is very emotional. The spider could have eaten the baby, but instead it adopted it. If you’re different, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a chance – said the jury.

Special recognition in the Films for Youth Competition goes to the French film On the 8th Day by Agatha Sénéchal, Alicia Massez, Elise Debruyne, Flavia Carin and Thé Duhautois, produced by Pôle 3D. An outstanding film which demonstrates the incredible skill of graphics. We loved the texture and animation is expertly made and combined with fantastic sound. The film reminds of real life, it has a documentary quality, and it gives its viewers an intermittent and enchanting experience. Took our breath away – concluded the jury.

Audience Award Mr. M for the Grand Competition Short Film goes to Milivoj and Veljko Popović for the Croatian-French film Žarko, You Will Spoil the Child!.

Audience Award Mr. M for the Grand Competition Feature Film goes to Benoît Chieux for Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds (produced by Sacrebleu Productions, Take Five and Le ciel de Paris).

The 35th World Festival of Animated Film - Animafest Zagreb will be held from June 2 to 7, 2025.