Debuting Artists Develop Their Promising Short Films

This year, CEE Animation presents a new animation pitching Lab aimed at young filmmakers. A two-part pitching event called Rise & Shine will take place within the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb from 6 to 8 June, and the second part within Animateka International Animated Film Festival in December 2022 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

In 2021, CEE Animation Forum opened a special short film category for students only, enabling them to enter the professional animation industry early in their careers. Especially in this new category, the debuting artists need to deliver specific materials at a certain quality level which can be challenging for them. “In this first pilot edition, we wanted to support first and second-time filmmakers and students coming from the Balkan region. However, we decided to open the call to all European countries and welcome experienced producers who are eagerly searching for young talents and accompanying them during their first works,” explains Marta Jallageas, managing director of CEEA Forum.

The selection of ten short animated projects includes several students or debuting directors who will be accompanied by well-established film professionals such as Vessela Dantcheva (Compote Collective, Bulgaria), who keeps a diverse portfolio of short animated films; Lana Tankosa Nikolic (Late Love Production, Denmark) working with great names such as Michelle and Uri Kranot, Paul Bush and Martina Scarpelli; Kolja Saksida (ZVVIKS, Slovenia), a co-producer of the long-awaited animated feature Of Unwanted Things and People; Estonian producer Aurelia Aasa (AAA Creative) focusing on fresh projects lined with dark humour; Vanja Andrijević from the award-winning Croatian production and distribution company Bonobo; or Mladen Đukić, a producer and teacher at the Academy of Arts, University of Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In Zagreb, ten selected animated projects will receive an intense programme of lectures and individual consultations with experienced film professionals in the field of animation. The participants will develop
their short films and pitching skills with renowned animation professionals. At Animafest Zagreb, a special focus will be on the story of the project, which they will work on with award-winning British animator Joanna Quinn, Les Mills, and Spanish writer Pedro Rivero. In addition, the participants will have a chance to listen to inspirational lectures by Michael Dudok de Wit, who will explain how to nurture and enhance creativity, and Jelena Popović, who will speak about the creative and supporting role of film producers in the development

World Festival of Animated Film Animafest Zagreb is one of the most important animation festivals and the second oldest one in the world. Launched in 1972, thanks to the global reputation of the filmmakers originating in the Zagreb School of Animation, Animafest Zagreb celebrates its 50th anniversary this year! With over 350 films in competition, retrospective and thematic programmes, a symposium on contemporary animation studies, presentations, exhibitions, lectures, and workshops held at numerous locations across the city from 6 to 11 June 2022, the festival will provide a comprehensive insight into contemporary animated production and celebrate its rich tradition.

The second part of the pitching lab will take place at Animateka International Animated Film Festival in December 2022, where selected teams will receive lessons on pitching preparations and improving their presentation skills. The participants will focus on delivering a successful video pitch with Matthieu Darras, a French expert on film development and production, and on live presentation skills with Anna Vášová, a successful Czech writer and script editor. On-site in Ljubljana, the participants will also take part in the pitching competition. The winning project(s) of this regional pitching competition will be invited to the CEE Animation Forum 2023.


A Visualization of a Cut

d. Claudia Munksgaard Palmqvist, Denmark

p. Lana Tankosa Nikolic, Late Love Production, Denmark

d. Ala Nunu, Poland

p. Bruno Isaac Grade Caetano, COLA Animation, Portugal

d. Miha Reja, Slovenia

p. Kolja Saksida, ZVVIKS, Slovenia

d. Sander Joon, Estonia

p. Aurelia Aasa, AAA Creative, Estonia

Mr. John Daniel
d. Kinga Syrek, Poland

p. Rafał Sakowski, Studio Filmów Rysunkowych (Animation Film Studio),

d. Kata Gugić, Croatia

p. Vanja Andrijević, Bonobostudio, Croatia

d. Dalija Dozet, Croatia

art d. Petra Zlonoga, Croatia

p. Tina Tišljar, Pulpa, Croatia

d. Ina Nikolova

p. Vessela Dantcheva, Compote Collective, Bulgaria

The Bright Descendant
d. Tamara Maksimović,
Bosnia and Herzegovina
p. Mladen Đukić, Aeon Production, Bosnia and Herzegovina

d. Mato Uljarević, Montenegro
p. Danilo Vujačić, DOK Produkcija, Montenegro

The animation lab Rise and Shine is organised with the support of Creative Europe MEDIA Programme of the European Union.


CEE Animation is supported by the Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union and co-funded by state funds and foundations and professional organisations from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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