Veronika Bednářová

Veronika Bednářová is a Czech journalist and foreign correspondent, author of many interviews and reports from the USA and the UK. She studied Film Studies at the Faculty of Arts of the Charles University in Prague and between 2002 and 2019, she was the head of the Karlovy Vary IFF Festival Journal. She teaches English creative writing at the New York University in Prague. Her book My American Beauty recounts her experiences from a study stay in the USA, where she received the Fulbright Scholarship. In addition to New York, Cape Town and Liverpool, one of her favourite places is Liberec.

John Stevenson

John Stevenson began his career with Jim Henson on the Muppet Show at 19 and has since worked in commercials, music videos, television series and on feature films such as The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Dark Crystal(1982), Labyrinth (1986), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), James and the Giant Peach (1996), Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Madagascar (2005). He directed the animated short Polar Bears (2012) for Ridley Scott and the feature film Kung Fu Panda (2008, with Mark Osborne) for which they were nominated for an Oscar. John directed Sherlock Gnomes for Elton John and most recently wrote and directed the short film Middle Watch (2022), which was nominated for a BAFTA for Best Animated Short Film in 2023.

Sébastien Sperer

Sébastien Sperer is a programmer, selector, moderator, jury member and speaker. He works as Films and Programme Planning Manager at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, with which he has been connected since 1999. He also organises short films screenings in prisons, health care homes, churches and more. Wherever he is, his desire is to make animation, a medium where everything is possible, accessible to all.


David Súkup

Director and animator David Súkup is a graduate of the Department of Animated Film at FAMU. He directs commercials and films for children, most frequently using traditional, puppet and 3D animation. His filmography includes the fairy-tale Reason and Happiness from the anthology film Fimfárum – Third Time Lucky (2011). Súkup also made the series Violo the Bunny (2006-2011) and is currently working on another series for children titled Snoozy the Badger (2020-2024).

Kim Keukeleire

Kim Keukeleire is an animation director and lead animator based in Belgium, specialising in stop-motion animation. Amongst others, she animated on Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009, dir. Wes Anderson), Frankenweenie(2012, dir. Tim Burton) and Chicken Run (2000, dir. Nick Park & Peter Lord). She was the Animation Director of the Oscar-nominated French feature film My Life as a Zucchini (2016, dir. Claude Barras). She was a lead animator on Wes Anderson’s stop-motion feature film Isle of Dogs (2018). She recently worked on Guillermo del Toro and Mark Gustafsson’s Pinocchio (2022) and she was the Animation Director on The Inventor (2023, dir. Jim Capobianco, Pierre-Luc Granjon).

Marta Pajek

A creator of animated short films, Marta Pajek was born in Kielce, Poland. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, where she specialized in animated film in the class of Jerzy Kucia. She also studied at Turku Arts Academy in the class of Priit Pärn. In 2016, she completed the first film (and second part) of the trilogy Impossible Figures and Other Stories. Impossible Figures and Other Stories II won over 20 awards, including the Grand Prix at the Stuttgart Animation Festival and the GLAS Animation Festival. The next part of the triptych, III, debuted at Cannes in 2018. Impossible Figures and Other Stories I (2021), the first part of the trilogy, is a co-production of Animoon and the National Film Board of Canada.


Mika Johnson

Mika Johnson is a multimedia artist interested in dream-like narratives, mythos, ritual and biodiversity. While his concentration is designing VR installations, Johnson also works in many mediums, including as a director for fiction and documentary projects. His first XR project, VRwandlung, adapted Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis into VR. Johnson’s present projects include Theta Noir, an AI based spiritual movement, and travelling multimedia installations The Infinite Library and The Republic of Dreams, which adapts the work of Polish author Bruno Schulz.

Sarina Nihei

Sarina Nihei is an animation director from Japan. She is a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art. Her graduation film from the RCA, Small People with Hats (2014), won prizes at festivals around the world including the grand prize at Ottawa International Animation Festival in 2015. She specialises in hand-drawn animation and makes music videos and short films.

Mirai Mizue

Mirai Mizue was born in Fukuoka, Japan. During his studies in the Department of Graphic Design at Tama Art University, Modern No.2 was selected for the Orizzonti section of the Venice International Film Festival, and received the SACEM Award (an award for best music) at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2012. Wonder, a nominee at the 64th Berlinale, won the CANAL+ Creative Aid Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2014. Currently he is working on his first feature animation film based on Journey to the West.

International Competition of Independent Computer Games

Gregorios Kythreotis

Gregorios Kythreotis is one of the cofounders of the game development studio Shedworks and Creative Director of the studio’s game Sable. His work focuses on world building through Architecture, Art and Visual Design.

Jakub Špiřík

Jakub Špiřík works as a Lead UI Designer in the Brno-based Ashborne Games, a subsidiary of the Austrian video game publisher THQ Nordic. He’s an initiator of the festival and game events Gamer Pie, an occasional contributor to Level and zeStolu.cz, an avid gamer and a musician playing his own compositions as well as game scores.

Zuzana Slavíková

In addition to focusing on illustration, graphics and creative project solutions, graphic designer Zuzana Slavíková is interested in storytelling and branding. She worked as an illustrator and idea maker in an advertising agency and as a freelancer. Three years ago, while she was completing her formal artistic education at the Ladislav Sutnar Faculty in Pilsen, she founded the game development studio Fairy Snail Games along with some of her fellow students. Currently, she is working on the visual style of a 2D illustrated isometric turn-based game titled Chicken Empire,developed by her studio.