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Varya Yakovleva’s short film Oneluv took top honors at this year’s Animafest Zagreb, the world’s second-longest continually running animation film festival. The awards were handed out in Zagreb, Croatia, on Saturday evening.

In Yakovleva’s Oneluv, strangers come to visit the home of a young couple. Taking advantage of the hospitality of the hosts, the unexpected guests push the couple to do rash things, which leads to the destruction of the established order and harmony within the family.

The short film competition jury, made up of Hugo Covarrubias, Hisko Hulsing, Tal Kantor, Aneta Ozorek, and Vuk Jevremović commended Oneluv for the way its story was “told with imperfections, dirt, and a shivering style magnifying the story of abuse.”

The feature film grand prix was presented to Signe Baumane’s My Love Affair With Marriage, which has enjoyed an incredible festival run including competition screenings at Annecy, Raindance, Tallinn Black Nights, and Tribeca, as well as a European Film Awards nomination for best animated feature.

According to the feature jury, comprised of Mohamed Ghazala, Ivana Guljašević Kuman, and Ferenc Mikulás:

The jury has decided upon this feature firstly because of its special animation language. Both the animation and the design are beautifully done, and they are also delivered in a simple way. By doing so the complexity of the emotion of the movie’s topic becomes more tangible. Also, the storyline in question has already been told many times, but this time in a completely new and refreshing way.

Other major award wins went to Joseph Pierce’s Scale, honored with the golden Zagreb Award for Creativity and Innovative Artistic Achievement. Stephen Vuillemin’s A Kind of Testament was the Zlatko Grgić Award winner.

Vivien Hárshegyi’s Above the Clouds won the Dušan Vukotić Award for best student film, while Lucija Mrzljak and Morten Tšinakov’s Eeva was recognized as the best Croatian film.

This year’s audience award went to João Gonzalez’s Oscar-nominated Ice Merchants.

2023 Animafest Zagreb Award Winners
Short Films

Grand Prix

  • Oneluv, Varya Yakovleva (Russia)

Golden Zagreb Award for Creativity and Innovative Artistic Achievement

  • Scale, Joseph Pierce (France, U.K., Czech Republic, Belgium)

Zlatko Grgić Award

  • A Kind of Testament, Stephen Vuillemin (France)

Jury Special Mentions

  • Compound Eyes of Tropical, Zhang Xu Zhan (Taiwan)
  • Mariupol, A Hundred Nights, Sofiia Melnyk (Ukraine)
  • The World’s After, Florentina Gonzalez (France)
  • The Garden of Heart, Olivér Hegyi (Hungary, Slovakia)
  • Our Pain, Shunsaku Hayashi (Japan)
Feature Films

Grand Prix

  • My Love Affair with Marriage, Signe Baumane (Latvia, U.S., Luxembourg)

Jury Special Mention

Student Films

Dušan Vukotić Award for Best Student Film

  • Above the Clouds, Vivien Hárshegyi (Hungary)

Special Mention

  • Sewing Love, Xu Yuan (Japan)
Croatian Competition

Best Film

  • Eeva, Lucija Mrzljak, Morten Tšinakov

Special Mention

  • Her Dress for the Final, Martina Meštrović
VR Competition

Best VR Work

  • All Unsaved Progress Will Be Lost, Mélanie Courtinat (France)

Special Mention

Films for Children Competition

Best Film

  • Socks for the Star, Olga Titova (Russia)

Special Mention

  • Let’s Roll, Chloé Musa, Annabelle Tamic, Alexandre Terrier, Louis Lukasik, Yann Laurent, Camille Flinois and Philip Gonçalves (France)
Audience Award
  • Ice Merchants, byJoão Gonzalez (Portugal, France, U.K.)

Pictured at top: Oneluv

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