The animated documentary by Joanna Kożuch received the St. Vojtech's Prize at the 16. Biennial of Animation Bratislava.

Biennial of Animation Bratislava (BAB) is the oldest animated film festival in Slovakia. Although this year's edition was only the 16th one, the event has been around for much longer. This modest festival gains more and more reputation every year because its program features a multitude of great animated films and accompanying events. 

Joanna Kożuch's Polish-Slovak animated documentary has been invited into its program this year. Once There Was a Sea received the St. Vojtech's Prize. 

Once, there was a sea…

The Aral Sea.

A sea that has vanished…

And seaside life disappeared along with it. Fishermen lost their jobs, factories closed down, even the Rebirth Island (home to a secret Soviet military base and biological weapons test site) is no longer an island. Only a dead desert littered with wrecks of huge fishing boats remains… along with people who have been living on these dry shores for years and dreaming of “high water”… And only the salty desert is spreading, while dry salt crystals shimmer on the former seabed.

A list of all the winners can be found here.