Festival BAB (Biennial of Animation Bratislava) is the oldest festival of animated films in Slovakia.
Festival BAB (Biennial of Animation Bratislava) is a festival of animated films with undoubtedly the longest history in Slovakia. It was founded in 1985 as part of the BIB (Biennial of Illustration Bratislava) and in 1991 it gained the status of an international film festival, not only for children and youth, but also for adults. The mission of the festival is to present animated works, but also to educate its audiences about this art, either through a discussion platform - the BAB International Forum, or by showing content to help and promote animators from all over Slovakia. This way, it allows viewers to see behind the curtain of the process of creating an animated film. Festival BAB is organized by BIBIANA, an international house of art for children, and is held under the auspices and financial support of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. The main stakeholders and beneficiaries are children and students with interest in animation and education in this field.
Festival BAB is 100% public funded, from the Ministry of Culture. Two persons are working on the festival all year round and there are 10 to 30 additional staff before and during the event.
Evidence of success
BAB has been held every other year since 1991 in Bratislava as the only animated film festival exclusively focused on children. It has been continuously attended by internationally recognized professionals, who lead masterclasses and workshops during the festival. New collaborations have started during the pandemic, including the close work carried out with students on various festival activities and as well as the cooperation with the National TV. In 2020 the festival attracted 50,000 attendees
The first challenge concerns funding: the festival is free for audience, and to keep it that way, it would be beneficial to think about alternative financial sources. With the pandemic, new marketing strategy challenges arose as the the whole festival environment had to move online.
Potential for learning or transfer
With its long history, its education purposes and success in raising awareness about animation for children, the BAB festival is a great example for various regions to learn from. Potential for learn is the work with children and themeducational initiatives in the field of animation from the very early age. The BAB festival is also a “living example” of the fact that with a low budget financed by one public source, it is possible to make great events with high-quality content on an international level.