Women sweep the board at Animafest awards

The top prizes for short and feature-length films were given to Dutch and Spanish directors at the closing ceremony in Zagreb

Written by
Jan Bantic
Isabel Herguera
AnimafestIsabel Herguera wins Grand Prix

This year’s Animafest in Zagreb, the world’s second oldest animated film festival, has granted its two top prizes – the Grand Prix in the shorts category and the feature-length competition – both went to women directors.

Clinching the award for best short film was The Miracle, a Dutch/Belgian/French co-production directed by Nienke Deutz, a Dutch animator. The action follows Irma as she attempts to fully enjoy her visit to an all-inclusive resort, but struggles as she is constantly confronted with the fact that all facilities are designed for families – something absent in her own life. Deutz’s striking animation style combines 2D techniques with a physically built mini set, giving her work a combination of both realism and a dreamlike quality.

In the animated feature segment, Isabel Herguera’s Sultana’s Dream claimed the big prize. Taking inspiration from a feminist sci-fi novel written in Bengal in 1905, the film follows Inés as she journeys through India in search of Ladyland – a Utopia of and for women. The film arrived at Animafest already a winner, having claimed top prize at Anima in Brussels, making this a highly decorated feature and one to watch.

A Special Award in the feature film competition was awarded to Hungarian László Csáki for his film Pelikan Blue, following three friends just before the collapse of the Iron Curtain travelling to the West with fake train tickets and quickly finding a lucrative black-market hustle.

A full list of winners in other categories can be found on the festival website.

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