We have already stepped into the new year, so let’s take a look at the achievements of our students in the previous one. Although academic years always span throughout two calendar years, festivals, exhibitions and other distribution events are organized according to the calendar year. Creating any kind of film, photography or other work of art is not an easy job, so we are happy to see our mentors and students get the recognition they deserve. In this article, we will focus only on the latter.

Urška Djukić (left) and Emilie Pigeard (right),
photo by Sebastian Gabsch

First of all, let’s remember our alumna Urška Djukić, who became the author of the best European short film in 2022 at the 35th edition of the European Film Academy with her short animated documentary Granny’s sexual life! The co-author of the film is the French animator Emilie Pigeard. Few weeks later Urška made us happy again – her film won a French national film award – cezar award for best short animated film of a year! The film’s path to success began in 2021, when it received the award for special achievements at the 24th Slovenian Film Festival, and soon after the audience award at the 18th Animateka. After winning the 52nd festival in Tempera, Finland, the film received a direct nomination for the wider circle of American Oscar nominees. You can read more about Urška and her film in our news here. Urška is currently developing her debut feature, the feature-documentary Little Trouble Girls (producer: Nosorogi).

Our alumna Sandra Jovanovska is also developing her professional short film debut, titled No one ever looked at elephants as you do (producer: Staragara).

Sandra Jovanovska – No one ever looked at elephannts as you do (still)

Our master’s new media student Vasily Kuzmich successfully presented his work at his second exhibition in Maribor – in the Media Nox gallery titled Your home: the war that destroys bridges. In 2021, at the MFRU festival, he received the main prize for the best student project, Breath of the wind. As every year, this year we were also creatively present at Pixxelpoint, the international festival of contemporary artistic practices. We also participated in a special project with the Ljubljana ŠKUC titled The power of female blood.

Last year, two of our students, Anastasija Kojić and Ana Logar, received the Jožko Markič award for budding creators in the Goriška region.

Renee Stanič and Luka Carlevaris exhibited their graduation photos in 2022, both at Xcenter (Nova Gorica). Our graduate Aljaž Lavrič had his first independent photography exhibition, namely Nothing to write home about, which he presented at the school and also at the Libertas Warehouse (Koper).

Last year we also paid tribute to the 100th anniversary of the birth of Pier Paolo Pasolini, where many photographic works of our students were created over a several-month project. Pasolini revisited is thus an exhibition that presents the thoughts of 12 students of different study orientations about this creator and his work through the lens of photography. More about the exhibition here. We organized this exhibition in cooperation with several partners on 4 locations, at our school, at the Kino Otok film festival (Izola), Magnum Gallery (Idrija) and Bivša Karantanija Gallery (Nova Gorica).

photo by Renee Stanič

In 2022 the School of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica also participated in numerous film festivals around the world and with several student projects at the same time. In total, we were present at 96 festivals and events in 19 countries besides Slovenia – Portugal, Croatia, Nigeria, Czech Republic, UK, Kosovo, France, Slovakia, Georgia, Taiwan, Brazil, Greece, Austria, Italy, Serbia, Egypt, Switzerland, Spain and Japan. To name just a few, we were present at the 25. Festival of Slovenian Film with 11 films, StopTrik International Film Festival with 7 films, First Crossings with 10 films and Animateka with 5 films, FilmFreš with 3 films and Fekk with one film!

For the second time, we also participated in the world art-science festival Ars Electronica (44th edition, Linz, Austria), where this year 28 of our students participated with 6 projects – more about it here.


Miha Reja’s short animated film Kurent has had an exciting festival season to say the least! Back in 2021, the film won the special mention by the student film jury at Animateka. In 2022, it won the Audience choice award at First Crossings. Kurent was in the exhibition programme of Piccolo IAFF and was selected for the competition programme of 25. Festival of Slovenian Film, during which he was awarded the special mention in the category of student awards  by DSAF (Slovene Animated Film Association). Read more here.

Based on the successful presentation of the production of Kurent at the CEE Animation Forum (May 2021), Miha received the Animation Sans Frontires residency award, which enabled him to successfully develop his film Kožuh through an intensive program in four countries. The second part of the ‘award’ took place in 2022. The film Kožuh is Miha’s professional debut, which he is currently still developing and will start creating in 2023 (producer: ZVVIKS).

The film Kurent is still waiting for a festival year, but so far in 2022 it has been screened at the following festivals: Cartoon Club (Italy), 18. Supertoon (Croatia), 18. Kino Otok – Video na plaži (Slovenia), Letni kino Nova Gorica, DBS, 19. Balakanima, 20. FilmFront (Serbia) and was screened at the AGRFT Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana, as well as at the Nova Gorica Arts Centre.

White, Black and True Love

Anja Paternoster’s powerful animated film White, Black and True Love won the hearts of audiences all over Europe! In total, Anja’s film was in 46 selections worldwide in 2021 and 2022! It was screened in Greece, Austria, Serbia, Colombia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Brazil, Romania, Croatia, UK, Taiwan, Georgia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Portugal. The film received the following awards: Best Experimental Film at Cannes World Film Festival (France), Best Experimental Film at 13. Short Stop International Film Festival (Romania), Best Experimental Nominee at 5. Feel The Reel International Film Festival (United Kingdom), Special Mention at 45. CINANIMA – International Animated Film Festival of Espinho (Portugal), as well as being selected for the exhibition part of Piccolo IAFF.

The film was selected for the competition programme of the 24th Slovenian Film Festival and the 17th Animateka and was shown at the following festivals/events in 2022:

21. Monstra (Portugal), 50. Animafest (Croatia), 13. Anibar (Kosovo), 26. Anifilm – CEE Talents (Czech Republic), 14. Fest Anča – CEE Talents (Slovakia), MARS (Mljet, Croatia), 18. Kino Otok – Video na plaži, Letni kino Ajdovščina, 10. Prime the Animation! Festival (Spain), Cherry Pop FF (Croatia), 11. SEE FF Paris-Berlin-Washington (France), 14. Festival TOFUZI (Georgia), 10. World of film International Festival Glasgow (GB), 19. Seville European Film Festival, 12. The KuanDu International Animation Festival (Taiwan), 10. Choreoscope Barcelona Dance Film Festival, 4. The Paus Premieres Festival (GB), 21. ança em foco – Festival Internacional de Vídeo & Dança (Brazil), 4. ICONA (Greece), and was a part of the exhibition part of 13. Anibar, as well as screened at the AGRFT Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana.


Arta Kroni’s short documentary film Zbulimi
won the Visionary directing and camera award at the FilmFreš festival in Slovenia! A few months later, this young aspiring filmmaker was chosen to curate the AU UNG student film selection for the First Crossings international film festival.

The film Zbulimi was screened at several film festivals throughout the year, but the 82nd UNICA (Switzerland) – the world meeting of amateur and young filmmakers – should be highlighted. Zbulimi was screened at the following festivals as well: V-F-X (Slovenia), 31. Etnological FF (Serbia), Letni kino Nova Gorica, Letni kino Ajdovščina, 25. Festival of Slovenian Film, DBS, 2. Tokyo International Short Film Festival (Japan) and was screened at the AGRFT Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television in Ljubljana.

Matej Rimanić, photo by Nik Kranjec

Love In Plane Sight

Our student Matej Rimanić participated in the TikTok competition, which was opened for the first time last year as part of the 75th Cannes Film Festival (#TikTokShortFilm) – and won!

You can watch the film here.

(in development)

Domen Sajovic’s stop-motion animation film The Last Laugh was screened at the ICONA festival in Greece, as well as the 19. Animateka, where Domen was a member of the student film jury!

The most important selection was the film’s entry in the competition programme of the 25. Festival of Slovenian Film, during which Domen received the DSAF (Slovene Animated Film Association) Award for best study animated project in developement 2022 for his diploma film in the making titled Salamander.

The Guest

Blaž Štolar’s exciting thriller The Guest won the Audience choice award at MARS (Mljet, Croatia)! The film was also screened at 22. Metexis, where Blaž was a member of the student film jury!

The Guest was screened at the 38. Alexandria Film Festival, 25. Festival of Slovenian Film, DBS, 22. Methexis / 28. MedFilm festival (Rome, Italy).