Festival Date: 27th of May 2023 – 1st of June 2024

Festival location: Varaždin, Croatia

Submission date: 31th January 2024

Partner: Belgium

The VAFI festival was launched in 2010 due to the shortcomings of specialized festivals for children and young people who approach the creation of animated films seriously. RAFI had its first edition in 2018, thus initiating the co-organization of the Festival with Art Cinema.

Children’s films and films by young authors were often crammed under festivals of professionals or were unfairly categorized. The organizers believe that it is not fair for authors of primary school age to compete in the same age category as high school students, which is still the case with most festivals for children and young people.

The concept of the Festival, which was carefully defined when it was founded (in 2009), is the same to this day, and the strategic goals, which included the introduction of the Blue VAFI award from the 3rd edition and expansion to a whole new section of animated films for children and youth from the 5th edition – are realized.

In addition to film programs of official screenings and film programs of partners, the Festival also organizes workshops, lectures, presentations, exhibitions and round tables. The festival has become recognizable in the profession around the world, it has been visited by people from almost all continents, and more than 90 countries have been represented.

In 2019, a scientific paper entitled Prognostic Model of the Animated Film Festival was presented, in which data on the first ten editions of the VAFI & RAFI festival were statistically processed. This work created a conceptual model that can better plan the realization and outcome of future editions of the festival.

    Every year, the festival has a partner – either a country or an author, or a festival that presents itself in an adequate way as part of the accompanying program through screenings, exhibitions, presentations, workshops, and other events. In 2024, the partner is Belgium.