Anim’est, a festival dedicated to exploring the limits of animation: about the 13th edition

For the 13th consecutive fall, Anim’est International Animation Film Festival comes with a dose of fresh energy in cinemas and on the streets of the capital. This year’s edition which will take place between September 28th-October 7th is dedicated to experimental and avant-garde animation film.

The most relevant recently released animation films can be seen in premiere in Romania on Anim’est screens between the 28th of September and the 7th of October. The official selection includes titles that have already been awarded and nominated at some of the most prestigious international film festivals of the genre and it covers a variety of approaches, styles and animation techniques which are to provide the public with an overview of the global industry.

The Opening Film

One of this year’s most awaited European animated features opens the 2018 edition of the festival – “Another Day in Life”, a European production co-directed by Raúl de la Fuente (Spain) and Damian Nenow (Poland). It gives the festival a strong start, a relevant one against the background of the main theme of this year’s edition, as the film overrules the traditional boundaries of animation and combines the newest CG techniques with live-action cutaways, archive footage, and contemporary interviews.


Just as every year, Anim’est welcomes us with a short film, feature film, student film, Romanian film, and video competition.

The International Short Film competition, the one that presents the Anim’est Award, includes 42 short animations of over 1200 entries. Some of the titles of this section are Ce Magnifique Gâteau! / This Magnificent Cake! (d. Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef), selected this year in the Cannes short film competition, Le Chat qui pleure / The Cat’s Regret (d. Alain Gagnol and Jean-LoupFelicioli), a production of the famous French studio Folimage, or Love He Said (d. Inès Sedan), an adaptation of a Henry Charles Bukowski poem.

In the international short film competition there is also a Romanian animated film – The Phone, directed by Anca Damian, who holds the grand prize of the Annecy International Film Festival for the feature film “Crulic – The Road to the Beyond”, alongside other awards and nominations at international festivals.

The Feature competition gathers 5 nonconformist and creative titles:

The Student Short Film section gathers 41 of the most special, nonconformist and personal stories recently released of some of the biggest animation schools in the world, such as the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, The Animation Workshop Denmark, Gobelins France, The Royal College of Art London or Supinfocom France.

The Romanian film section brings together 12 films in the competition that will compete for the trophy of this category. All the Romanian films in the Anim’est 2018 programme can be found here.
In the video section we will be able to watch 34 of the most creative and innovative animated videos of the past year. The complete list can be found here. The films will be screened in the Animusic Night event (details below).

Oscar Animations

As in previous years, at Anim’est the public can watch Oscar-nominated animated shorts. The OSCAR® Shorts selection is distributed by ShortsTV ™.
The five shorts nominated this year at the Oscar for Best Animation Short Film are:

  • Dear Basketball ( Glen Keane; USA) – On the eve of his retirement from basketball, NBA legend Kobe Bryant describes his love for the game, which began when he was a young child. From his youthful dreams of glory to his 20-year career, Bryant describes how he and basketball have given each other all they have.
  • Lou (d. Dave Mullins; USA) – Lou, the guardian of the lost and found box at an elementary school, tries to teach young bully J.J. that giving to the other kids will make him feel better than stealing from them.
  • Garden party (d. Florian Babikian, Vincent Bayoux, Victor Caire, Théophile Dufresne, Gabriel Grapperon, Lucas Navarro; France) – A female frog graciously swims in the water, catching the attention of a curious male toad. In the rich villa, those amphibians took for residence, everything is very silent. Frogs explore their surroundings and follow their primal instincts. The owners seem to be gone for a very long time…
  • Revolting Rhymes (d. Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer; UK) – A children film which retells the classic fairy tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Three Little Pigs, with playful twists and surprising endings.
  • Negative Space (d. Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata; France) – My dad taught me how to pack.

Trippy Animation Night

Saturday, September 29th
As you all know, no Anim’est edition is complete without these two special evenings: Trippy Animation Night and Creepy Animation Night!
On Saturday, September 29th, at 23:00 at Eforie Cinema, the strangest, most avant-garde, psychedelic and nonconformist films of animation can be seen at Eforie Cinema for the 7th edition of Trippy Animation Night. The curator and host of this bizarre animation evening, Dutchman Michael Helmerhorst, returns to Anim’est this year with a selection of short films, videos and animation fragments that push the boundaries of the genre far beyond patterns. The program is intended exclusively for audiences aged over 18, willing to leave the comfort zone for more than two hours.
Tickets for Trippy Animation Night can be purchased here.

Creepy Animation Night

Friday, October 5th

The second weekend of the festival brings another well-known event of the Anim’est agenda – Creepy Animation Night, now at the 10th edition, a marathon of horror and frightening animations, exclusively intended for the 18+ age group. On Friday, October 5th, at 23.59, at Eforie Cinema and Elvire Popesco Cinema the “nightmare” animations commence their terror.

The audience present at Eforie Cinema will also witness the first performance of OrkiPP – an audio-visual project that brings illustrator Alexandru Ciubotariu (aka Pisica Pătrată) along with the shoegazers from Orkid.

Tickets for Creepy Animation Night can be bought here.

Romanian ReAnimation Night

Wednesday, October 3rd
On Wednesday, October 3, at 20:00, Expirat Club becomes one of the festival hosts, where Romanian ReAnimation Night is taking place – the party that celebrates the Romanian short film competition of Anim’est.
The night starts with Warm-up Music Videos, a best-of animated videos screened at the previous editions of the festival, and continues with a live act DIOSA, a unique project in the local scene, initiated by composer and conductor Simona Strungaru. This is a complex musical concept that combines classical music through complex orchestra elements with compositional methods specific to various periods of time in the music history and current electronic music elements. The evening programme is completed by DJOI Dj Set – a special project hosted by the festival team.
Tickets for Romanian ReAnimation Night can be bought here.

Animusic Night

Thursday, October 4th
On Thursday, October 4th, at 20.00, Expirat Club hosts one of the most loved nights on the festival agenda, Animusic Night. 34 international titles compete to win the Best Video Award this year, a selection that includes recent releases by established bands and artists such as Keith Richards, Rone, Flying Lotus, Dominique A, Mastodon, or Sparks, as well as two local music videos of Danaga (Daniel Aga’s musical project) and Tony Baboon (Adrian Cârciova’s solo project).
The screenings will be followed by an acoustic live performance of Adrian Despot and the concert of  DayDay, one of the most recent projects in the Bucharest indie rock scene, a band whose music makes you think of western scenery, long travels and lazy nights that almost engulf the short days. The change of pace comes from George Stanca, another member of the jury who gets on stage, this time at the DJ’s desk.
Tickets for Animusic Night can be bought here.


Each year, Anim’est dedicates a special section of its programme to the most enthusiastic and loyal audience of animation films. Minimest welcomes the young ones at the cinema, during the two weekends of the festival, between 28th – 30th of September and 5th – 7th of October, when they can enjoy the most beautiful recent animated films dedicated to their age. In addition, children will have the opportunity to become small animators themselves under the guidance of industry experts who will hold the creative workshops.
More details about the Minimest programme can be found right here.

The Jury

This year’s jury consists of Luce Grosjean from France, the CEO of the French distribution company Miyu Distribution, Pavel Horáček of the Czech Republic, the artistic director of the AniFilm International Film Festival in Třeboň, and the Romanian director Sergiu Negulici, winner of the Romanian animation competition at Anim’est 2017, awarded recently with the Grand Prix at Hiroshima IAFF for his short film, “The Blissful Accidental Death”, and it will decide the winner of the Best Animation Feature Award this year.

The winner of the Anim’est Trophy, as well as the Student Short Film Award will be decided by a jury consisting of Thomas Renoldner from Austria – visual artist, director, producer and curator of some Austrian animation programmes at major festivals such as Hiroshima, Zagreb , Cinanima, Anifest or Balkanima, Vessela Dantcheva from Bulgaria, animation director and co-founder of Compote Collective production company, and Joris Clerté of France, visual artist, musician, producer and animation director, known especially for the short film “La nuit américaine d’Angélique”, nominated for the César Best Animation Short Film Award in 2013.

The video section jury consists of Adrian Despot, the founder and the frontman of one of the most popular rock bands in Romania, Viţa de Vie, with over two decades of activity, Paul Muresan, artist, director, animator and illustrator, known for his short films “Nap” (2014), which received the trophy for The Best Romanian Film at Anim’est 2014, and “Mom, dad, I have to tell you something” (2016) , and George Stanca, also known as Not So Common DJ, radio man, event organizer, electronic music enthusiast and promoter, with more than ten years of experience in the field.

The 13th edition of Anim’est International Animation Film Festival will be held between September 29th and October 7th 2018 at Eforie Cinema, Elvire Popesco Cinema, CINETIC Center, Point and Expirat Club. The programme can be found here. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbook or from Eforie Cinema and Elvire Popesco Cinema throughout the festival.

An article by Romina Banu

English Translation by Andreea Toader

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