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A Closer Look: A Celebration of German Shorts

The Goethe-Institut, a German cultural center, is presenting both anexhibition and a screening of nine new German animated short films in LosAngeles, California. The program includes films from Thomas Meyer-Hermann,Heinrich Sabl, Thomas Stellmach, Tyron Montgomery and Kirsten Winter. Inconjunction with this event, visual effects specialist, Volker Engel --whose credits include "Godzilla" and "Independence Day," for which he wonthe Academy Award -- will be speaking on the exhibition's selections anddiscuss animation and special effects in general. The Goethe Instituteregularly promotes German animation throughout the world, creating variousevents such as this upcoming one in Los Angeles, and the non-competitiveanimation festival called Metamorfosi in Rome (Italy) last year, whichfeatured the work of Raimund Krumme, among others. These initiativescomplement the promotional work done by animation festivals in Germany. TheInternational Festival for Documentary and Animated Films, which takesplace every year in Leipzig, and the biannual International Festival ofAnimated Film in Stuttgart, are two major animation events. In addition topromoting both domestic and international animation, the latter gives cashawards to support independent productions. One of the festival prizes, theInternational Mercedes-Benz Sponsorship Prize for Animated Film (40,000DM), includes the completion of an independent production in conjunctionwith a one-year scholarship at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. [Frenchanimator Marie Paccou won this coveted award at the festival's 1998 editionfor her short film "Un Jour."] German animation is also supported byworld-renowned schools such as Kassel University (where Academy-Awardwinner Tyron Montgomery studied and did "Quest"), in addition to theaforementioned Filmakademie Baden-Wurttemberg, making Germany a producer ofhigh quality animated shorts.

Tyron Montgomery's "Quest," an 11 1/2 minute short featuring a puppet madeout of sand in pursuit of water, won the Oscar for Best Animated ShortFilm, as well as the Cartoon d'Or Award in 1996. In the February 1999 issueof Animation World Magazine, Tyron Montgomery leads us through theproduction process of "Our Garden," a stop-motion theatrical piece hecompleted utilizing digital technology. The article includes a Quicktimemovie clip.

In the March 1998 issue of Animation World Magazine, Kirsten Winterdiscusses how she incorporates music into the pre-production of her films.

The Raimund Krumme Gallery on AWN highlights drawings that Raimund uses asan exercise before starting his films. You can enjoy a series of 16exercise drawings, and then view a more detailed version of one ofRaimund's drawings.

Read Don Perro's review of Marie Paccou's "Un Jour" in the December 1997issue of Animation World Magazine.

In the October 1998 issue, Animation World Magazine featured the uniquefilmmaking process of Bärbel Neubauer, another famous German artist, whothe Goethe-Institut has highlighted.

In June 1997, in "Kassel: The Little School With a Big Name," ProfessorPaul Driessen relates his experience at the animation school of KasselUniversity.

William Moritz reviewed the ninth Stuttgart Animation Festival in our May1998 issue as well.

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