The 29th edition of Animafest Zagreb, the world’s second-oldest anmimation festival, wrapped up on Saturday night in Zagreb, Croatia, with an award ceremony that saw Tomek Popakul’s Acid Rain win both the Grand Prix for short film and the audience award. Popakul’s film also won the grand prize at GLAS Animation Festival last March.

The short film jury, consisting of Boris Labbé, Ruth Lingford, Michaela Müller, Tünde Vollenbroek, and Chen Xi, said that they chose Acid Rain, a Polish production from Animoon, because the film “takes us through some extreme adventures in a way that is sometimes uncomfortable, but always compelling. The filmmaker creates a complex and convincing central protagonist and allows us to identify with her risky quest for intensity and experience.”

Tomek Popakul accepting his Grand Prix and audience award for "Acid Rain." Photo courtesy Animafest Zagreb.
Tomek Popakul accepting his Grand Prix and audience award for “Acid Rain.” Photo courtesy Animafest Zagreb.

The Golden Zagreb Award for creativity went to Michael Frei’s Kids, which was profiled on Cartoon Brew last week. The jury cited Frei’s use of coding and interaction to create movement. “This use of interactivity allowed the filmmaker to shape not only his creative process, but also the final outcome: a fitting visual logic for his film.”

The feature film jury, consisting of Frank Gladstone, Dine Goder, and Dalibor Barić awarded the Grand Prix for feature film to Milorad Krstić’s action/crime thriller Ruben Brandt, Collector. The jury’s statement on Ruben Brandt:

This entertaining, out-of-the-ordinary view is satirical while at the same time respects the classical art at the center of the story. For a well-scripted detective yarn, cleverly thought out, wonderfully written with imaginative direction, eclectic music score and a design sense that takes chances and is not beholden to anything that has come before.

A complete list of winners is below:


Grand Prix – Short Film
Acid Rain by Tomek Popakul (Poland)

Golden Zagreb Award for creativity/artistic achievement
Kids by Michael Frei (Switzerland)

Zlatko Grgić Award for best first film
Flood by Malte Stein (Germany)

Special mention by Boris Labbé
No Objects by Moïa Jobin-Paré (Canada)

Special mention by Ruth Lingford
Five Minutes to Sea by Natalia Mirzoyan (Russia)

Special mention by Michaela Müller
Roughhouse by Jonathan Hodgson (U.K./France)

Special mention by Tunde Vollenbroek
Si So Mi by Xu-Zhan Zhang (Taiwan)

Special mention by Chen Xi
Imbued Life by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson (Croatia)


Grand Prix – Feature Film
Ruben Brandt, Collector by Milorad Krstić (Hungary)

Special mention
Funan by Denis Do (France/Belgium/Luxembourg/Cambodia)


Dušan Vukotić Award for best best student film
After by Matouš Valchář (Ladislav Sutnar University of Design and Art of Western Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Special mention
Happy Ending by EunJu Ara Choi (Royal College of Art, U.K.)

Special mention
Love at the Crossroads by Hee-seung Choi (Korea National University of Arts, South Korea)


Best Croatian film
A Demonstration of Brilliance in Four Acts by Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak (Estonia/Croatia)

Special mention
Imbued Life by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson (Croatia)

Special mention for best minority-stake Croatian film
The Fall of Rome by Balász Turai (Hungary/Croatia)


Accused #2: Walter Sisulu by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte (France)


Best film for children
Big Wolf, Little Wolf by Rémi Durin (France/Belgium)

Special mention
Sweet Night by Lia Bertels (Belgium)


Short film
Acid Rain by Tomek Popakul (Poland)

Feature film
Funan by Denis Do (France/Belgium/Luxembourg/Cambodia)

The Student Film and Croatian Film Competition jury consisted Nikita Diakur, Vasco Sá, and Bruno Razum. The VR Project Competition jury was David Doutel, Marc Betrand, and Milan Gostimir, while the chidlren’s film jury consisted of local children.

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