For anyone that's been to Zagreb's annual Animafest, it's clear that animated film is a cherished part of Croatian culture. This is nothing new: in 1962, the pioneer of Yugoslavian / Croatian animation, Dušan Vukotić, became the first non-American to win an Oscar for an animated film. At the time, Disney still had a monopoly on animation, and it was radical filmmakers from now-Croatia, among other countries, that helped it become the endlessly imaginative art form it is today.
Contemporary Croatian animation continues that tradition of progressive, genre-defying filmmaking. With studios Bonobo and Adriatic Animation producing incredible stop-motion and multimedia work, Croatian animation is gaining a reputation for its distinctive, often surreal style and impeccable production. With homegrown talent scooping up awards at festivals worldwide, it seems Croatia is keeping its place at the forefront of animated film. Here are some names to look out for.