This year's edition of the Banjaluka festival, which ended yesterday, was very successful for Polish animated films. The Grand Prix award went to the animated film by Barbara Rupik, whereas the special mention went to Tomek Popakul.

The Banjaluka International Animation Festival is one of the most important and the oldest animated film festivals in Europe. The event was created on the basis of the May Festival of Animated Film, held since 1971 in what was then Yugoslavia. In the programme of the current festival, in addition to the competition section, there are numerous retrospectives, accompanying screenings and workshops addressed to professionals and amateurs. 

As it was the case in previous years, also this year there was no lack of Polish animated films in the programme. The following films were invited to the competition: "Story" by Jola Bańkowska, "Tango of Longing" by Marta Szymańska, "Ovule" by Natalia Durszewicz and the award-winning "The Little Soul" and the distinguished "Acid Rain" 

The film by Barbara Rupik, which won the Grand Prix, tells the story of a dead corpse on the banks of the river. Its decaying insides still envelop the soul - a miniature of the body of the deceased. The rotting organs come apart and a tiny figure forces its way through to the outside. Standing on the river bank, it says goodbye to its body and sets out on the journey to the posthumous world.

In turn, the film by Tomek Popakul, awarded the special mention, is set somewhere in Eastern Europe. Młoda runs away from home, as far away from the grey reality as possible. The initial excitement of the hitch-hiking journey subsides when she ends up on the outskirts of the city in the middle of the night.  On the bridge, she notices a figure dangerously balancing on the railing. This is how she meets Chudy, a little bit unbalanced freak. Chudy lives in a recreational vehicle which he drives in order to attend his not necessarily legal errands. Młoda decides to join Chudy. Their road together takes them to increasingly strange regions, and an unnamed bond quickly forms between them.

This year's edition of the BANJALUKI was held from the 24th to the 28th of October.

You can find more information about the festival on its website.