Romanian animations and award-winning films screening at Animest #16

4 October, 2021

Animest, the most important animation festival in Romania, returns this year with a hybrid edition that will take place between October 8-17, both offline, in cinemas in Bucharest, and online, on the festival’s streaming platform.

The program includes 11 Romanian shorts, award-winning features, and dozens of short films from all over the world.

The 16th edition of the Animest International Animation Film Festival will open with Mamoru Hosoda’s latest film, Belle, a Sci-Fi anime following a teenager on her way to becoming her best self in a virtual, parallel universe.

The Official Selection

Whether they’re based on legendary heroes or depict imaginary worlds, the feature films in the Official Selection address crucial topics for today’s society. Five of these animations compete for the Best Feature Film Award: The Crossing (dir. Florence Miailhe), Welcome to Siegheilkirchen (dir. Marcus H. Rosenmüller, Santiago López Jover), My Sunny Maad (dir. Michaela Pavlátová), Inu-Oh (dir. Masaaki Yuasa), Archipelago (dir. Félix Dufour-Laperrière).

The Animest Trophy

47 animated short films from 27 countries are competing for this year’s Animest Trophy. The award ensures the winner a place on the list of eligible candidates for the Oscars’ Best Animated Short Film.

The selected films have already gained international praise, most of them being presented and awarded in the competitions of festivals such as Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand, Toronto, or Cannes (in the parallel section Quinzaine des réalisateurs), and explore topics such as family ties, people’s relationship to animals, stories from conflict areas, traveling in space, memory and imagination.

“Over 1,850 international short films were submitted for the 2021 edition. We’ve received entries from students in Pakistan, as well as from artists in Madagascar and Argentina. The pandemic seems to have influenced the animation industry from a quantitative standpoint, as many more projects have been created than before. This has made this year’s selection the most challenging in recent years”, shared Mihai Mitrică, Animest director and programmer.

The Student Film Competition

Animations created by students from around the world have their own section at Animest. The 31 short films from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, the United Kingdom, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary offer unique explorations of urban realities, fantastical characters and unconventional approaches to the human body.

The short films in both categories, International and Student, will be screened in cinemas in Bucharest, as well as online, on the festival’s streaming platform. Viewers from all over the country are invited to vote for their favorite. The film that collects the most votes will receive the Audience Award.

The Romanian Competition

The short films by artists from all over Romania (Laura Pop, Lucian Barbu, Raul Lile, Filip Sabin, Dorel Mărgărit, Dafina Bușu, Gabor Balazs, Maria Dimancea, Călin Gherghevici, Vanesa Andor, Ioachim Stroe, Paul Mureșan, Marian Poiana) competing for this year’s National Trophy come with diverse, strong, and bold approaches to themes such as the dynamics between creation and artist, the mechanics of the universe as understood by people, or domestic violence.

The films will be available online and in cinemas, where the public will also have the opportunity to watch the short films selected in last year’s edition, which at the time could no longer be screened in cinemas due to sanitary restrictions.

Women in Animation

The most influential and promising female voices in animation around the world will be presented at the 16th edition of Animest. The selection comprises films made by internationally renowned contemporary artists (Marjane Satrapi, Tatia Rosenthal, Maria Lassnig, Amanda Forbis, Anita Killi, Michaela Müller, Kim Seung-hee etc.) and a special program of archive short films, created by Romanian women directors before and after 1989 (Geta Brătescu, Luminiţa Cazacu, Isabela Petraşincu, Liana Petruțiu, Cristina Mititelu, Laura Pop etc.).

Two Hot Nights

The adult-only event invites viewers to step outside their comfort zone through a bold selection that explores an array of perspectives on sexuality and celebrates diversity.

One of the programs is curated by the Kaboom Animation Festival in the Netherlands, one of the most prominent film events in Europe.

In addition to the two nocturnal screenings, the audience will get to meet Cris and Maxi, the hosts of Women Watching Porn – an educational podcast about female pleasure.


The Animest International Animation Film Festival will take place between October 8-17, in cinemas in Bucharest and online, on the festival’s streaming platform. For more details, visit the official website. Tickets and passes are available on Eventbook.ro.



Photographer and editor, she co-founded Dissolved Magazine. For Films in Frame she brings the news from the film world, in the Monday News column. She likes stories, Monty Python and going to the seaside.