Animest.17 international competition: Sun, love and oppression in the most diverse selection in the festival’s history


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The Animest International Animation Film Festival (October 7-16, Bucharest), the only film event in Romania that qualifies films for the list of eligible candidates for the Oscars, announces the selection of titles from the Official Competition. In the 17th edition, 49 animated short films enter the race for the Animest Trophy, worth 2,500 euros, offered by the ICR, and another 32 films compete for the Prize of the section dedicated to student short films. In the International Feature Film Competition, 5 of the most anticipated animated stories of the year are preparing for a first meeting with the Romanian audience.

Details about the movies in the Animest.17  official competition are available at

“The official selection includes films of a diversity never before seen at Animest, both in terms of their technical achievement and in terms of the stories they propose. It seems that the pandemic has also had another effect on the creators of the animated film. During this period, they turned to completely new topics, making the lockdown period fruitful and turning it into a respite for reflection,” said Mihai Mitrică, the director and selector of the festival.

“Whether they talk about love or explore the situations of war, the stories in this year’s selection will keep Animest viewers firmly anchored in the seats of the cinema halls, while the soundtrack accompanying the images will be a journey itself. It’s a selection with a lot of sun, love and optimism. We all need that,” he added.

This edition of the international feature film competition brings together five exceptional stories that will convince even the most hard-to-impress movie lovers.

From Portugal, guest country for the 17th edition, viewers are invited to see Nayola (dir. José Miguel Ribeiro) – the stories of three generations of Angolan women, over a quarter of a century torn by civil war : Lelena (grandmother), Nayola (daughter) and Yara (granddaughter). The past and the present overlap in the film which enjoyed a world premiere in the Annecy competition. From the same prestigious animation film festival, where he received a Jury Mention, comes to Animest My Love Affair with Marriage, the film of multi-award-winning director Signe Baumane, which masterfully combines musical comedy, science, animation and female rebellion.

Japanese director Koji Yamamura’s newest film was awarded the Contrechamp Award at this year’s Annecy Festival. Dozens of Norths is one of the most anticipated animated films of the year and offers a dreamlike, very intense experience, recomposed from the director’s memories. Also from Japan, where it made waves on the big screens, comes to Animest Fortune Favors Lady Nikuko (dir. Ayumu Watanabe), a film of seductive beauty and a tribute to authenticity.

Spectators who met Alessandro Rak at the 2014 edition, when the Italian artist came to Bucharest accompanied by L’arte della felicità – his first feature film, must prepare for a new revelation. Yaya e Lennie – The Walking Liberty, the newest production he signs, tells a story from a post-apocalyptic future, where nature regains its rights, while people test new formulas of social organization

Among the short films selected in the official competition there are also two Romanian productions: Suruaika, a film by Vlad Ilicevici and Radu C. Pop, in which a cat ends up having all the power (literally), and Sasha (dir. Serghei Chiviriga), about a teenager ends up discovers in a strange way the truth about his own sexual identity.

Ice Merchants (by João Gonzalez), the only short animation film presented at Cannes Festival this year will also come to Animest, next to other premiere films such as The Garbage Man (Laura Gonçalves), El after del Mundo (Florentina Gonzalez), Impossible Figures and Other Stories (Marta Pajek) and It Dawns the Longest Night (Orena Ares Lago, Carlos Fernández De Vigo).

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