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Anibar International Animation Festival announces its 12th edition winners

Anibar International Animation Festival announces its 12th edition winners. Our three juries selected winners for our six competitions: the International Competition, Student Competition, Balkan Competition, Animated Music Video Competition, Feature Film Competition, and the Human Rights Competition.

After a very busy week with screenings of competitive & non-competitive films, panels, presentations, and workshops, the 12th edition of Anibar International Animation Festival came to an end on Friday night. We concluded the festival with our Closing Ceremony at our Lake Cinema, in which we announced the winning films of our six competitions, in presence of Kosovar prime minister Albin Kurti. 

The festival competitions were judged by three different juries. The Grand Jury (Fabian Driehorst, Joni Männistö, Lori Malépart-Traversy, Mauro Carraro, Yvonne van Ulden) decided the winners of the International Competition and the The Feature Film Competition. Our Student Jury (Blend Leci, Lisjan Bajri, Lorna Çekixhi, Nora Jusufi, Driton Goleshi, with the help of tutor Sarah Lugthart) judged the Student Competition and the Balkan Competition. And our third jury, consisting of Alban Nimani, Ana Nedeljkovic and Paola Orlic selected the winners of the Animated Music Video Competition and the Human Rights Competition. Without further ado, these are the winners of our competitions, and the jury statements about why they were chosen:

International Competition

“Souvenir Souvenir” by Bastien Dubois from France is the winner of this category. This is a movie about the author’s grandfather Algerian war souvenirs.

“The movie has the whole package. It is cleverly told with meta-layers that genuinely contribute to the message of the story. It has a strong dramaturgical structure, good pacing, is well animated and the chosen styles enhance the impact. It deals with the tough topic of colonialism from the perpetrating side in a nuanced, compassionate and sincere way that doesn’t close the door but opens it for discussion. It transcends this singular French history and is recognizable and relevant for many people in Western European countries.”

Special Mention goes to “My Galactic Twin Galaction”, directed by Sasha Svirsky and produced by Alexander Gerasimov. A film from the Russian Federation, where the good and the evil, utopia and dystopia, collide in a mortal battle.

“A movie that is fantastic in its form and genuinely hilarious. Experimental animation doesn’t come any funnier than this.”

Student Competition

The winner of the Student Competition is “Butterfly Jam”, a movie from France, directed by Shih-Yen Huang. This movie is about a young woman, who describes her father and his relationship with his many pets, that he never managed to take care of.

“A beautiful and unusual story told in a beautiful and unusual way. Visualizing pain is often a difficult thing to do but to do it without the use of characters is even more impressive. This film conveys feelings of apathy and neglect in such a fluid and hypnotic way that it leaves you with a profound sense of sadness that lingers with you long after the film, and that’s why the winner is Butterfly Jam by Shih-Yen Huang”

Special Mention goes to “Coffin” by Yuanqing Cai, Nathan Crabot, Houzhi Huang, Mikolaj Janiw, Mandimby Lebon, Théo Tran Ngoc.

“For a stunning depiction of the feeling of discomfort in a heavily populated city with a visual approach that’s impossible to not empathize with, the special mention for the Student Competition goes to “Coffin” by Yuanqing Cai CAI, Nathan Crabot CRABOT, Houzhi Huang HUANG, Mikolaj Janiw, Mandimby Lebon, Théo Tran Ngoc.”

Balkan Competition

“Those who drown cling to foam” is the winner of the Balkan Competition. A Kosovar movie that shows a woman’s daily battles for food and survival during the war. The movie is directed by Urtina Hoxha, who is also the writer along with Eremirë Krasniqi, while it was produced by CHWB Kosovo.

“This film captures the feeling of fear that so many people went through so convincingly with minimal means. The simplicity of the art style really puts focus on the story and enlarges the emotional impact. To tell this story through the eyes of a mother, with a strong survival instinct, makes you relate to the stressful situation people were in. The winner is “Those who drown cling to foam” by Urtina Hoxha.”

A special mention goes to “Elusiveness”, a Serbian movie directed by Marija Vulic, written by Isidora Vulic, and produced by JaFilm Jagodina. “Elusiveness” is based on a Serbian folk tale, and it tells the  story of a girl of peculiar origin and beauty.

“In appreciation of the beautiful design, animation and craftsmanship put into this film, the special mention for this year’s Balkan Competition goes to “Elusiveness” by Isidora Vulic.”

Animated Music Video Competition

The winner of the Animated Music Video Competition is “A little too much”, an American music video that shows a woman who lets go of herself and goes into an imaginary space, where she overcomes the fear of her own greatness. This film is directed and written by Martina Scarpelli. 

“Beautifully executed black and white 2D animation that gives us an inspiring journey into the inner world of a woman. Being one, means living in a constant rollercoaster of all kinds of emotions from being bold, brave and beautiful all the way down to being fragile, insecure, miserable and full of fears. But, the main message delivered is more than clear: gentle acceptance of all of those emotions especially related to insecurities regarding the objectification of her body as an essential right to be and to feel free as a woman.”

Special Mention goes to “Kona” by Shpat Morina.

“Kona is a conceptual animation with a strong illustration of the hard traditional albanian customs that treat women very harshly and which sadly are still applied not only in various regions of Kosovo but also as all around the world. It deserves the Special Mention prize and we completely join the alarm call for every young girl and woman to stand up against mistreatment.”

Feature Film Competition

“Kill it and leave this town” is the winner of the Feature Film Competition. It is a Polish film, directed by Mariusz Wilczynsk and produced by Bombonierka. The film is about someone who hides in a safe land of memories, where time stands still and all those dear to him are alive.

The Grand Jury categorizes this film as “A roughly styled gem that caught the jury unawares and touched them at an emotional level. This movie is brutally honest and pure. Not held back by shame, it deals with human relationships at so many levels. A movie with beautiful music, well written dialogues and subtle humour.”

Human Rights Competition

The winner of this category is a Spanish movie called “Where were you?”. It was written and directed by María Trénor CoIomer, and produced by Francesc Garcia Donet and Francesc Picó. The theme of the movie is violence against women, and it tells experiences from different countries in different languages.

The jury chose this film as the winner because: “The film shows the strong potential of animation to discuss important social and political issues. It discusses the topic that is of crucial importance nowadays and it helps brave female voices to be heard telling us their real stories about violence.”

Special Mention goes to “We have one Heart” by Katarzyna Warzecha. A Polish film that talks about a guy who finds out about his father who he never knew, through some letters his parents exchanged years ago.

According to the jury this film is “A successful combination of animation and documentary approaches, based on real events, a film that is at the same time personal and political, tells us an important story about love and the ways to cross the borders.”

We want to thank all the filmmakers in our competitions for showing their amazing work at Anibar Animation Festival! We will be back in 2022 with our 13th edition.

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