Festival BAB – Biennial of Animation Bratislava
International Festival of Animated Films for Children
The Festival Biennial of Animation Bratislava (BAB) is without a doubt the historically longest festival of animated films in Slovakia. It was founded in 1985 as a part of BIB (The Biennial of Illustration Bratislava) and in 1991 it received an international film festival status, and not only for children and youth, but also for adult viewers. The festival has been closely cooperating with the UNICEF organization since its origin and it has been a part of the ECFA (European Children’s Film Association) organization since 2018. The festival’s mission is to present animated creations while also educating its viewers about this art, be it through a discussion platform – The International BAB Forum – or through content which we are creating with the help of animators from Slovakia. This is one of the ways we make it possible for our viewers to look behind the curtain of animated film creation.
We’ve been a competing festival since 2003. Over 1800 films from all around the world entered last year and we picked over 100 of the best ones for the competition. The jury, consisting of experienced and respected animation personalities, makes decisions about the competing films and awards them in numerous categories. The best film wins the award of Viktor Kubal, the father of Slovak animation. Many famous animators such Frédéric Back, Michael Dudok de Wit, Garri Bardin, Caroline Leaf, Co Hoedeman, Piotr Dumala, Michel Ocelot or Jan Švankmajer were guests of our festival in the past and we also hosted prominent jury members such as Gene Deitch, Aurel Klimt, Sayoko Kinoshita, Jean-Luc Slock or Géza M. Tóth.
Since 2013, Atelier BAB has also been functioning within the festival, in which a permanent group of children is working on their own animated projects. The award-winning projects of our creative workshop started with the film “Forest – Home of Animals” (2014) and followed by “You Are Never Alone” (2016), “The Greedy Fox” (2016), “The Scarecrow Ruddy” (2018) and in 2019 children completed their fifth film “Magic Ice Cream”. These children have already won more than 10 prestigious awards from all over the world for these animated films!
In 2020, Festival BAB was held online for the first time due to the pandemic situation. Thanks to RTVS (Slovak Radio and Television), it was possible to broadcast the best films on TV, so despite the unfavorable conditions we recorded over 50,000 viewers. In 2020, when films such as “The Kite” (M. Smatana), “Daughter” (D. Kashcheeva) and “The Sloth” (Julia Ocker) were also part of the festival, many new projects came with the new management of our festival. The BAB Festival had its own ambassador, new film categories (selection of non-traditional films Black Flag, V4 – Visegrad Four, or categories with only Konstantin Bronzit and Géza M. Tóth films), new activities were organized and the older ones continued, such as the Competition in Production flipbooks, which has been organized since 2012.
Festival BAB is organized by BIBIANA, an international art house for children, and is held under the auspices and financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic.