Animafest Cyprus audience Animafest Cyprus audience

Judging by Europe’s animation festival circuit, you’d hardly know there’s a pandemic going on. It’s (almost) full steam ahead for organizers, most of whom are preparing to welcome audiences throughout the summer and into the fall.

Below, we’ve collated the latest information on six festivals that have announced their competition selections (note that most have yet to reveal their full programs). Of the six, only one has committed to going entirely virtual. The other five are planning an in-person event, although there are caveats in some cases.

To some extent, this reflects trends in the pandemic: while cases in many U.S. states spiral out of control, European nations have by and large regained control over the spread of the virus — for now. Theaters are reopening across the continent and travel between countries is generally possible.

Assuming these trends continue and the festivals go ahead, we’re curious to know how they’ll pan out. How will attendance be affected? And what will be the experiences of those who do attend? Watch this space.

La Guarimba

Where? Amantea, Italy

What? In a manifesto, the organizers have rejected the virtual route, defending festivals as “pagan ritual[s] that need our physical presence.” Their 165 films are distributed across a wide range of categories, including Insomnia (experimental works) and Documentary. All screenings are free.

When? August 7–12

More info: Click here.

La Guarimba 2020
Animafest Cyprus

Where? Salamiou, Cyprus

What? For its 19th edition, the festival will stick to the open-air venue that has become its main hub over the years, but there’ll be no international guests, exhibitions, or masterclasses. The 55-film competition program — national, international, and children — will play to local audiences only.

When? August 9–12

More info: Click here.

Animafest Cyprus 2020

Where? Peja, Kosovo

What? This vibrant festival, which we visited in 2016, is hoping to stage outdoor screenings (which it already does even when there’s not a pandemic), but has a virtual platform in place in case conditions don’t improve. The program boasts 139 films across five competitive categories — including focuses on Balkan animation and human rights works — and two non-competitive ones.

When? August 17–23

More info: Click here.


Where? Baden, Switzerland

What? One of Europe’s more established festivals has unveiled a competition program of 72 short films, including its usual Swiss category. There will be out-of-competition spotlights on female filmmakers and Danish animation, and a “complementary online selection” for those who can’t make it in person.

When? September 1–6

More info: Click here.

Fantoche 2020
Linoleum Festival

Where? Online (normally Kiev, Ukraine)

What? There are 84 films in competition, all linked by the umbrella theme “Becoming Human.” The international strand is divided into themed blocks — Movements, Loneliness, etc — and there’s a separate competition showcasing the best in new Ukrainian animation.

When? September 2–6

More info: Click here.

Linoleum 2020
Fredrikstad Animation Festival

Where? Fredrikstad, Norway

What? One of the most high-profile animation festivals in northern Europe, Fredrikstad hosts a competition devoted to animated works from Scandinavian and Baltic countries. In all, 67 films from these regions will play this year. The festival will also feature a digital component; organizers haven’t yet specified what it will consist of.

When? October 22–25

More info: Click here.

Fredrikstad 2019

(Image at top: Animafest Cyprus.)

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