The year 2023 can be called a really successful one. Polish animated films have travelled the world – from Berlin, Leipzig, Ottawa, and Melbourne, all the way to Seoul and Bogotá. In addition to screenings, there were also industry meetings, fairs, and reviews. Our productions were featured in the programs of some of the most important film events dedicated to animation. You can read all about it in our year-end summary. Read on and enjoy!

In 2023, our animated films were invited to international festivals a total of 411 times! The most-frequently showcased animated film was Crab by Piotr Chmielewski, featured at 50 festivals in total. Almost 40 international events hosted Headprickles by Katarzyna Miechowicz, while Misaligned by Marta Magnuska appeared at 32 festivals. More than 20 invitations were extended to Airborne by Andrzej Jobczyk, Such Miracles Do Happen by Barbara Rupik, This Will Not Be a Festival Film by Julia Orlik, and Telsche by Sophie Colfer and Ali Nunu.

No surprises there. The film shown most often was also the most frequently awarded one. Crab clinched seven prizes. The film Zima by Tomek Popakul and Kasumi Ozeki was just one award shy. In third place were Barbara Rupik's animated film, This Will Not Be a Festival Film and The Bridge by Izumi Yoshida with four awards each, followed by Headprickles and Telsche.

The recipient of the most accolades this year began its successful run as early as January. Crab received two awards from both the audience and the jury at Premiers Plans in France. In February, we learned that the Nadia Nakhlé-directed French-Luxembourgian-Polish animated film Birds Don't Look Back made it onto the list of nine projects nominated for the Euroimages Co-Production Development awards. In addition, the project Laura by Róża Misztela and Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi from LeLe Production qualified for this year's CEE Animation workshops.

In March, Katarzyna Miechowicz's Headprickles was recognised by the jury of the UP&COMING section at the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Festival in Austria. At the end of the month the organisers of the 70th Martovski Festival – Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival have decided to treat the audience to a special review of the most interesting Polish short films of recent years. The program of the event included as many as six Polish films.

At the turn of spring, another award went to Crab. This time, it was brought back from the 63rd International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Zlín. Meanwhile, Sister by Katarzyna Krystyna Pieróg was noticed by the children's jury at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.

In early June, at the Malopolska Garden of Arts, we learned the recipients of the industry awards presented during the Krakow Film Festival as part of the KFF Industry program. As every year at KFF Industry, there were three pitch sessions – presentations of film projects at various stages of completion: ANIMATED IN POLAND for Polish animated projects in production; and – co-organised with DOC LAB POLAND – DOCS TO START and DOCS TO GO for Polish documentary projects in development and post-production. You can find the list of all awarded projects here.

Industry insiders weren't the only ones to notice Polish creators. Polish productions also triumphed in international competitions at the 63rd Krakow Film Festival. The undisputed winners of last year's edition were Tomasz Popakul and Kasumi Ozeki, whose animated short Zima received top prizes in two competitions: the International Short Film Competition (Golden Dragon) and the National Competition (Golden Hobby-Horse). The award for the best European film went to Szymon Ruczyński for the animation There Are People in the Forest.

Towards the end of the month, Izumi Yoshida's The Bridge was recognised as the best animated short at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia. This Will Not Be a Festival Film was distinguished at Portugal's Espinho festival FEST | New Directors, New Films. And at the Animator festival, only a single Polish production received an international award – the animated Bayka at the End of the World directed by Kacper Zamarło. The film was appreciated by the children's jury who recognised it as the best animated series of the festival.

During the summer holidays, the animated film by Katarzyna Miechowicz was recognised at the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico. This was an Oscar-qualifying award.

In September, the audience gathered at the Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival was delighted by Piotr Chmielewski's animated film. They named it one of the event's ten best films. Around the same time, the animated short Slow Light by the Kijek/Adamski duo was recognised as the best production in the international competition at the Animatex festival in Egypt. A week later, we learned that Tomek Popakul and Kasumi Ozeki's animated film mesmerised the jury of the renowned Ottawa International Animation Festival in Canada. The production was named best narrative short of the festival.

October turned out to be an exceptionally successful month for Polish animation as a whole. Despite its title, Julia Orlik's This Will Not Be a Festival Film received another award. This time, the film was called best student production at The Smalls Film Festival in the UK, only to be awarded the title of best animated film shortly after at the Tbilisi International Student Film Festival. Polish animated films also stole the hearts of jurors in Hungary. Sara Szymańska's Opening Night won the festival, while Tomek Ducki's Disc+Dog triumphed in the Masters section at Primanima. That month, Barbara Rupik's animated short received three awards. Such Miracles Do Happen won at the Riga International Film Festival and was honored at the 64th International Film Festival BRNO16. The film also turned out to be the best production in DOK Leipzig's international short film competition. What's more, Zima by Tomek Popakul and Kasumi Ozeki left the German festival with a special mention.

It was bound to happen. Piotr Chmielewski's animated film was performing exceptionally well at festivals, bringing home numerous accolades and awards. The latest victory came from the Edmonton International Film Festival in Canada and turned out to be the one qualifying for the most significant American award. An audience award from the CinEast festival in Luxembourg joined the collection of awards Crab won last year.

The good streak from October extended into November. Katarzyna Miechowicz's film received the award for the best animated film at the American DTLA festival, Such Miracles Do Happen were recognised by the jury at the Leeds festival, and Andrzej Jobczyk's Airborne left another festival with an award. The film received Human and Nature / Green Vision Special Mention at the Tbilisi International Animation Festival. The latest of Tomek Popakul's films gained the recognition of yet another international jury. This time, Zima won at the Feinaki Beijing Animation Week. This wasn't the only award for this production. At the Etiuda&Anima festival held in Kraków, the Grand Prix Golden Jabberwocky went to Tomek Popakul and Kasumi Ozeki's film, the third place, or the Bronze Jabberwocky, went to Misaligned by Marta Magnuska, and one of the special mentions – to Toto by Klaudia Bochniak. A Polish animation was also recognised by the student jury, which awarded Crab. Piotr Chmielewski's debut film also won the Green Animation competition at the Italian Piccolo Festival dell’Animazione, which ended on 18 November.

A total of three awards went to Telsche. The film directed by Sophie Colfer and Ala Nunu delighted the jury at the Linz International Short Film Festival. It left Austria with awards for best animation and best sound design. The latter was also recognised at the Cinanima festival in Portugal.

The Aguilar Film Festival took place in Spain in late November and early December. The program included a special segment dedicated to Polish cinema and three competitive screenings of Polish animated shorts. Ultimately, The Bridge was awarded at the festival. The film received the Senior Jury Award and the Award for Best Social Values.

The end of the year also turned out to be fortunate for Marta Magnuska's animation. Misaligned won the Grand Prix at the Animateka festival in Slovenia. The film also gained recognition from the jury at the London International Animation Festival, which awarded it the Best Sound Design Award.


AIRBORNE, dir. Andrzej Jobczyk

Tbilisi 6th International Animation Festival, Georgia, 2023 (Human and Nature / Green Vision

Special Mention) 

LACK, dir. Paweł Prewencki

ANIMATOR – International Animated Film Festival 2023, Poland, 2023 (Audience Award for the Best Polish Animated Film)

DISC+DOG, dir. Tomek Ducki

Primanima World Festival of First Animations 2023, Hungary, 2023 (Best Masters Film) 

MISALIGNED, dir. Marta Magnuska

London International Animation Festival, United Kingdom, 2023 (Best Sound Design Award)

Animateka 2023 International Animation Festival, Slovenia, 2023 (Jury Grand Prix)

30th Etiuda&Anima, Poland, 2023 (Bronze Jabberwocky)

CRAB, dir. Piotr Chmielewski

16th Piccolo Festival dell'Animazione, Italy, 2023 (Winner of the Green Animation Competition) 

16th CinEast Central and Eastern European Film Festival, Luxembourg, 2023 (Audience Award for Best Short Animated Film) 

37th Edmonton International Film Festival, Canada, 2023 (Grand Jury Award for Best Short Film) 

34th São Paulo International Short Film Festival, Brazil, 2023 (10 favorites foreign films – Audience Prize) 

Zlín Film Festival, Czech Republic, 2023 (Golden Slipper for Best Short Animation for Children)

35th Premiers Plans Film Festival, France, 2023 (Audience Award, L’Extra Court Award) 

30th Etiuda&Anima, Poland, 2023 (Student Award)

THE BRIDGE, dir. Izumi Yoshida

35th Aguilar Film Festival, Spain, 2023 (Senior Jury Award, Social Values Award) 

Nancy International Film Festival 2023, France, 2023 (Special Mention from the High School Jury)

Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2023, Japan, 2023 (Best Short Award of Animation Competition)

OPENING NIGHT, dir. Sara Szymańska

Primanima World Festival of First Animations 2023, Hungary, 2023 (Best Film)

SISTER, dir. Katarzyna Krystyna Pieróg

69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany, 2023 (Promotional Prize of the Children’s Jury) 

SLOW LIGHT, dir. Kijek/Adamski

Animatex, Egypt, 2023 (Best International Film)

HEADPRICKLES, dir. Katarzyna Miechowicz

Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Festival 2023, Austria, 2023 (Special Mention) 

26th Guanajuato International Film Festival, Mexico, 2023 (Best Short Animation) 

15th Annual DTLA Film Festival, USA, 2023 (Best Animation Short) 


66th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film – DOK Leipzig 2023, Germany, 2023 (Golden Dove Short Film) 

Riga International Film Festival 2023, Latvia, 2023 (Best Short Film Award) 

64th International Film Festival BRNO16, Czech Republic, 2023 (Special Mention) 

37th Leeds International Film Festival, United Kingdom, 2023 (Special Mention) 

TELSCHE, dir. Sophie Colfer, Ala Nunu 

47th International Animated Film Festival CINANIMA, Portugal, 2023 (Best Sound Design) 

Linz International Short Film Festival 2023, Austria, 2023 (Best Sound, Best Animation) 


Tbilisi International Student Film Festival 2023, Georgia, 2023 (Best Animation Film) 

The Smalls Film Festival 2023, United Kingdom, 2023 (Best Student Film) 

19th FEST|New Directors, New Films Festival, Portugal, 2023 (Honorable Mention) 

FilmSchoolFest Munich, Germany, 2023 (ARTE Award)

TOTO, dir. Klaudia Bochniak

30th Etiuda&Anima, Poland, 2023 (Special Mention)


63rd Krakow Film Festival, Poland, 2023 (Jury Award for the Best European Film)

ZIMA, dir. Tomasz Popakul, Kasumi Ozeki

63rd Krakowski Film Festival, Poland, 2023 (The Award of Student Jury, Golden Dragon, Golden Hobby-Horse)

2023 Ottawa International Animation Festival, Canada, 2023 (Best Narrative Short Animation) 

66th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film – DOK Leipzig 2023, Germany, 2023 (Special Mention) 

Feinaki 2023 Beijing Animation Week, China, 2023 (Grand Prix) 

30th Etiuda&Anima, Poland, 2023 (Grand Prix Golden Jabberwocky)

*data collected from information received by Polish Animations from producers, filmmakers, and festivals. If you're aware of any foreign prizes awarded to Polish animated films that have not been included in this list, please contact our editorial office at: polishanimations@kff.com.pl