Sisterhood of Young Animation Auteurs
17 - 23 Aug 2024


Sisterhood of Young Animation Auteurs - SYAA was created as a consequence of the gender imbalance in the Romanian animation film industry and aims to offer support to female animation film auteurs.

Our consultations with the I.L. Caragiale University of Film and Television in Bucharest revealed that 70% of the animation students were female between 2016 and 2020, yet, according to the results published by the National Film Fund (CNC) for the same period, only 14.44% of the projects were submitted by female auteurs. Moreover, 15 years of experience in organizing Animest Festival confirmed that, in our national film industry, women in leading creative positions are notable exceptions, not the norm. We think that the gender imbalance is not something related to a lack of talent or interest, but a systemic issue.

Our research is backed up on a European level by numerous studies conducted by cultural institutes, and gathered by the European Commission.

During the first edition of SYAA, that took place between 7 - 12 September 2021, 12 filmmakers got together in Bucharest to enroll in the first and biggest study program in Romania, dedicated to young female auteurs in the animation industry. During the 6 days of workshops, the participants were guided by Katarzyna Gromadzka (producer, Poland), Bianca Oana (producer, România), Vessela Dantcheva (director and producer, Bulgaria), Lana Tankosa Nikolic (producer and educational coordinator, Danemarca), Ivana Sujova (scriptwriter and artistic director, Slovacia). 

The program consisted of a series of events - lectures, presentations, practical workshops, screenings and networking events - structured in the span of 7 days, with up to 4 events daily. It provided the participants with coaching on a variety of topics related to animation films: portfolio development, what tools to use to develop their ides, financing and promotion of indepenedent animation films. They also received guidance on budgeting, distribution and packaging of various types of animation projects. 

The main goal of SYAA is to increase the number of female filmmakers leading their own animation projects. We are determined to achieve this by offering them a complex study program, meant to encourage them to further develop their knowledge of animation film production, distribution and direction.

The program is intended for artists from Romania and Republic of Moldova and is free of charge.



Group Leader

Katarzyna started her professional career as a production manager and set manager in commercials and music videos production, as well as working for numerous film festivals. In 2010 she joined Se-ma-for as events coordinator and production assistant. From 2012 to 2015 she worked as production manager and line producer in Se-ma-for. Co-founder of Momakin and co-organizer of Animarkt Stopmotion Market, she is currently acting as an executive producer, coordinating work of stop motion artists from all around the world. She is a member of Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP) and Polish Animation Producers Association (SPPA).

Group Leader

Bianca has been active in the film industry since 2009, working in developing, producing and promoting multi-awarded arthouse films. Through Manekino Film, she has produced Adina Pintilie’s 2018 Berlinale Golden Bear winner "Touch Me Not", executive-produced Alexander Nanau’s "Toto and His Sisters", and was one of the producers on his Oscar-nominated documentary "Collective". She is currently working with Adina Pintilie on her new film, "Death and the Maiden". 

After graduating in Graphic Design in 2002 Špela continued her studies at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne, Germany. Since 2008 she has been working as an independent animation director and producer, developing an impressive portfolio of award-winning films like Boles (receiving over 50 awards, distinctions and nominations), Nighthawk (selected at Sundance and Clermont Ferrand among others) or Steakhouse, her latest film that premiered in 2021 at Locarno Film Festival and received the special mention of the Young Jury.

Producer, Director / Compote Collective

Vessela is an animation director and producer. She graduated from Rotterdam Art Academy in 2002 and gained her animation experience in the Netherlands. Her first professional film was ‘Anna Blume’, followed by ‘Father’, ‘Travelling Country’, the poetry collection ‘Mark & Verse’, ‘Hierarchy Glitch’ and many others. In 2008 she co-founded Compote Collective, one of the leading animation production companies in Bulgaria with a record of 42 animated films in its portfolio, where she is managing the production of artistic animation films. Vessela is a lecturer in animation studies at New Bulgarian University and National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria, and is often a juror in film festivals worldwide and various animation related events.

Scriptwriter, Executive & Programming director / FestAnča

Ivana is a writer for TV and film, and the executive and programming director of Fest Anča International Animation Festival. Before her leading role, she was a programmer for the festival for three years. Ivana also writes short animation, her films written for Martin Smatana, “Rosso Papavero” and “Kite” were both premiered at Berlinale and screened at numerous other festivals. Ivana is in charge of another festival, Pilot, which focuses on series. Since her graduation from the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava, with a master's in TV and film scriptwriting, she has worked for private broadcasters on several projects, including daily drama and comedy TV series. 

Producer / Late Love Production, Educational coordinator / The Animation Workshop

Lana is an established producer of award-winning animation and immersive multimedia projects embracing animation, digital arts, VR, theatre and performance. She is the founder and owner of Late Love Production, and works with renowned directors such as Michelle and Uri Kranot, Paul Bush, Jakob Tekla Jørgensen and Martina Scarpelli. She has been working as the Educational Coordinator at The Animation Workshop, VIA University College in Viborg since 2010, where she every year produces 5-6 NGO projects with the 2nd year students. She is the producer and co-founder of White Hole Theater and the chairperson and event manager of PLASTIC Collective.

Lawyer, partener at SCPA Pârvu și Asociații

Theo’s main field of specialization is Intellectual property rights. He provides legal assistance in the field of copyright, advertising and music production, with an in-depth practice in the field of cinematography, confirmed by participating in numerous award-winning projects with high-value film budgets.

Producer, sales agent and distributor at Radiator Sales & Bekke Films

Ben is based in Brussels where he studied film editing at the Rits School of Arts. He is the founder of two companies: the production company Bekke Films and Radiator IP Sales with which he represents, distributes and sells a total of 100 short films and several feature films to date. The films have been selected for multiple international film festivals, including Berlinale, Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand, Sundance, SXSW, Locarno and Venice, among others.

Ben is a member of the European Film Academy.