World Festival of Animated Film Zagreb (Croatian: Svjetski festival animiranog filma), also known as Animafest Zagreb, is a film festival entirely dedicated to animated film held annually in Zagreb, The festival was launched on the basis of the decision of the Executive Committee of ASIFA, the International Association of Animated Film, 1969, and the founding acts of the production company "Zagreb Film" and the City of Zagreb. The location was selected by ASIFA, giving recognition to the world's success and reputation of the Zagreb School of Cartoon Film during the 1950s and 1960s. Animafest is the second oldest living animation festival behind the Annecy Festival.
The idea to create the event came about because of the worldwide acclaim of animated shorts produced by authors belonging to the Zagreb School of Animated Films in the 1950s and 1960s. Zagreb’s candidacy for holding a permanent animated film festival was accepted at the 1969 ASIFA meeting in London.
The festival slogan Z ... is for Zagreb (Z ... means Zagreb) was created by film writer and critic Ron Holloway. The festival logo and first bill are the work of Borivoja Dovniković Borde and Zlatko Bourek. The festival mascot Mandlek, a man with polucilindrum that appears in several Croatian animated films, is historically best known in the form designed by Zvonimir Lončarić, a long-time author of the festival posters. The festival jazz is a work by jazz musician Igor Savin.
Festival awards include prizes given in the Short film Competition, Feature film Competition, Student Film Competition, Children Films, Site-specific competition and Croatian competition. Its Prize for "Best First Production Apart from Educational Institutions" is named in honour of Zlatko Grgić. The Lifetime Achievement Award, which is unique for animation film festivals, was established in 1986. An award for outstanding contribution to the theory of animation was added in 2002.
The festival will have the 29th edition for more locations in Zagreb from 3rd to 8th of June 2019 year.
Grand Prize winners
From 1972 to 2004 Animafest was a biennial event focused on animated short films, held every even year with the exception of 1976. Between 2005 and 2015 a feature film festival edition was introduced and held every odd year in between the short film editions. In 2015 the shorts and feature selections were merged into one event, scheduled to be held every year.