Focus on Czechia at Animafest Zagreb 2024

29 May 2024

Czech Film

Focus on Czechia at Animafest Zagreb 2024

Czech Film

Focus on Czechia at Animafest Zagreb 2024


Animafest Zagreb, running 3–8 June 2024, offers imprresive Special Focus on Czech animation, one of the oldest animation traditions with far-reaching incluence, along with a host of Czech films in the official selection. In addition, Czech animator Diana Cam Van Nguyen is the member of the Student Film Competition and the Croatian Film Competition jury.

Focus on Czechia

The first of seven parts of the Focus on Czechia selection deals with Czech humor. Here you can find many successful short films, such as the black comedy Happy End (2015) by Jan Saska or the satirical classic The Springer and the SS-Men (1946) by Jiří Trnka and Jiří Brdečka, portraying the shenanigans of the first Czech "superhero" during the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia.

The second part offers a representative showcase of contemporary Czech animation – this one includes short films such as highly regarded Love Dad (2021) by Diana Cam Van Nguyen, which won the Best Student Film Award at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, or celebrated folk horror Red Shoes (2021) by Anna Podskalská. 

The third section titled Classics connects the unquestionable greats (Jiří Trnka, Břetislav Pojar, Jiří Brdečka, Michaela Pavlátová, Pavel Koutský) with somewhat neglected authors whose works also deserve the status of classics (Karel and Irena Dodal, František Vystrčil or Vladimír Lehký).

The fourth segment celebrates the surrealist master Jan Švankmajer on the occasion of his 90th birthday and brings the best of his rich and influential career, be it Dimensions of Dialogue (1982) or Darkness, Light, Darkness (1989), to name but a few.

The fifth part presents two restored Jiří Bárta classics The Pied Piper (1986) and The Vanished World of Gloves (1982), which surely need no further introduction, whilst the remaining two screenings are intended for the younger audience, offering a selection of short films entitled Cute Creatures accompanied with the big feature hit Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light (2023) by Filip Pošivač.

Pavel Horáček, the program director of the Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films in Liberec, curates the selection.

You can browse the Focus here.

Official Selection

Czech films are also featured outside the Special Focus centerpiece. The award-winning Electra (2023) by Daria Kashcheeva and In Our Hands (2024) by Kristián Mensa found a way into the Grand Competition. Weeds (2024) by Pola Kazak, which premiered at La Cinef segment of the Cannes Film Festival this year, and Humanity by Tereza Kovandová both compete in the Student Films Competition. The member of the Student Film Competition (and the Croatian Film Competition as well) is the Czech animator Diana Cam Van Nguyen. World I Live In (2024) by Ester Kasalová, Marie (2024) by Jan B. Piskač and Hello Summer (2024) by Martin Smatana and Veronika Zacharová were selected for the Films for Children Competition. Lastly, Rising Above (2023) by Natálie Durchánková, a short but powerful tale of overcoming the trauma from violent sexual assault, is featured in the AFN Presents: That's What She Said program.

Czech Film Center
division of the Czech Film Fund promoting Czech cinema worldwide



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