26th International Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film concludes with a host of awards for International and German animated projects.
The six-day International Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film came to a successful end Sunday evening, May 5, with its grand Award Ceremony held inside the Gloria 1 theatre. Bloeistraat 11, a Dutch and Belgian production by Nienke Deutz, took home the Grand Prix for best animated short film, along with a cash prize of 15,000 €. Mirai, from Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda, took home the AniMovie Award for the best animated feature film.
Around 80,000 film fans came to the cinemas, the GameZone, numerous special events and, despite bad weather with winterly temperatures, the open air at the Schlossplatz in the city center. The cinemas were particularly full this year – the first day of the festival attracted around twice as many spectators as last year.
Managing Director Ulrich Wegenast commented, “The ITFS has shown more than ever that it is not only a central place for technological innovation and film art, but also a festival that brings together a wide variety of people and positions to celebrate animation and democracy – just as we imagine Europe to be!” Managing Director Dieter Krauss added, “We have once again succeeded in bringing the international world of animation together in Stuttgart and in changing the state capital with its many guests from all over the world noticeably and visibly during these six days and making it more vibrant.”
In addition to the varied film program with short and feature films for adults and children, In Persona presentations by renowned filmmakers and school and studio presentations, the GameZone at Kunstgebäude showed the latest games developments. On Friday and Saturday, the band Der Plan presented in two concerts how animations can be used for artistic stage sets. Industry representatives could find out about the latest business models for animation and the combination of animation, technology and pop culture. One of many highlights was the German Voice Actor Award with the nominees Aylin Tezel, Nellie Thalbach and Otto Waalkes as well as Bernd Kohlhepp, Dodokay and Eric Gauthier at Renitenztheater.
The complete list of prize winners is as follows:
State of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the City of Stuttgart Grand Award for Animated Film with a cash prize of 15,000 €
Director: Nienke Deutz
Belgium, Netherlands (2018)
“The story of the friendship between two young girls, takes us back on a journey to our childhood and lets us almost physically re-live memories. With an unusual use of materials, which are a fundamental part of the storytelling, and subtle design the director evokes a closeness of feelings we all connect to. Pure and honest, the film creates the magical atmosphere that only cinema, in its best way, can achieve.”
I’m going out for cigarettes
Director: Osman Cerfon
“In a fresh combination of bold graphics, absurd humor, a touching coming-of-age-story is told, putting us inside the life of a contemporary family using surprising scenes. The director lets us empathize, in an expressive and edgy way, with a young boy who is trying to cope with the emptiness of a missing father. We are curious to see more films from this director.”
Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film
Award for the best graduation film with a cash prize of 10,000 €, sponsored by MFG Film Funding Baden-Wuerttemberg
Director: Tue Sanggaard
Production: The Animation Workshop
“We are set into a social observation scenario that pushes us to face the underlying animal-like behavior, that challenges our daily life in a controlled civil environment. The lively character design and animation, contributes to this precise analysis of primeval human instincts.”
SWR Audience Award
With a cash prize of 6,000 €, sponsored by SWR.
Mind My Mind
Director: Floor Adams
Production: CinéTé Filmproduktie
Award for the best studend film with a cash prize of 2,500 €, donated by the Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Wuerttemberg and MFG Film Funding Baden-Wuerttemberg
Director: Sander Joon
Producer: Priit Pärn, Olga Pärn
“Art exhibitions, mushrooms and boom operating are a unique combination, even for animation. Sounds Good explores those under-appreciated topics in a playful and experimental way. The sound-driven film connects an intriguing rhythmical montage with unconventional perspectives and a reduced graphic style and color scheme. For us this sounds good. Looks good. Feels good, too.”
Director: Alexis Godard, Nan Huang
Producer: Alexis Godard, Nan Huang
Award for the best animated feature film
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Producer: Yuichiro Saito, Takuya Ito, Yuichi Adachi, Genki Kawamura, Nozomu Takahashi
“We would like to thank everyone involved with the festival for inviting the three of us to work together on this jury. First, we would like to acknowledge every filmmaker who submitted a film for consideration, and particularly the ten whose films we viewed in the past week. Each one was a labor of love and clearly born of a deep desire to tell their story. We chose the film Mirai No Mirai. We appreciated so much the filmmakers inviting us into this home, and offering us the opportunity to watch this family grow together, and to help us understand our deep and human connection to those who came before us.”
The FANtastic Award with a cash prize of 1,000 €. Donated by the Animation Family, the most faithful fans of ITFS.
Bear with Me
Director & Producer: Daphna Awadish
Tricks for Kids
Award for the best children’s animated film with a cash prize of 4,000 €, sponsored by Studio 100 Media | m4e
Director: Martin Smatana
Czech Republic, Slovenia (2018)
"... because it’s beautiful. We liked the way the subject of aging and dying was presented. The film was sad, but it also gives courage and shows that beloved people never really leave us, but live on through our memories... perhaps above the clouds, perhaps with a dragon.”
German Animation Screenplay Award
Award for the best German-language screenplay for an animated feature film with a cash prize of 2,500 €, donated by Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart
“Aisha’s Light” from Xavier Romero and Llorenç Español
“’Aisha’s Light’ is a classic and at the same time ever-so-current tale about friendship and the bringing together of different religions and traditions. It is also an action-packed adventure which seeks to illuminate the screen with the “fireworks of enlightenment” – and we are very much looking forward to seeing it!”
German Voice Actor Award
Award for the best German voice actor in an animated feature film
Otto Waalkes in The Grinch
“Often in animated films one expects a firework of gags and overwhelming images - and The Grinch certainly has that to offer -but here, thanks to Otto's art of language, quite universal and fundamental questions of community and living together are posed, which we have increasingly lost lately."
Germany’s Next Animation Talent
Award for a creative, innovative project with a cash prize for nominees and the winner in total of 35,000 €, donated by Studio 100 Media GmbH | m4e AG
Juli auf dem Zauberberg from Elisabeth Jakobi
“Juli auf dem Zauberberg is full of witty details and interesting visual solutions, and the series captivates us by being close to reality and far from it at the same time. This is all the more astonishing, as the outlandish characters have absolutely nothing to do with writer Elisabeth Jakobi’s family environment! The visual style, the first scribbles and mood pictures for Juli auf dem Zauberberg give us an idea of its international potential, while the created life-world could serve as a blueprint for any German patchwork family. With its subtle humor, sometimes absurd storylines, and droll cast of characters, the series project never comes across as patronising or tiring. At every turn, new adventures and surprises await us, fascinating young and old alike. And when Juli can overcome her fear of spiders alongside the course of the series too, it has a marvelous pedagogical side effect. But, same as everything else in Juli auf dem Zauberberg, this is a matter of sheer coincidence.”
Trickstar Business Award
Award for innovative business concepts in the field of animation with a cash prize of 7,500 €, donated by Verband Region Stuttgart
CoboStories from Copenhagen Bombay
CoboStories is an app and a physical stand that allows teachers and pedagogues to create stop motion movies and digital books with children and pupils. The tool supports teaching in a creative process and is based on the 21st century learning skills as well as the “4 C’s”: Creativity, Critical thinking, Collaboration and Communication. CoboStories, developed by the Danish media house Copenhagen Bombay, impressed us not only with an exceptionally well-developed and scalable business model but also with a great product that is worth of promotion and support. We particularly admire CoboStories’ mission to tackle a socially relevant issue by offering children a playful approach to digital media that encourages creativity through a unique combination of digital and physical tools. There is no doubt in our minds that Sarita Christensen and her team will lead CoboStories to the successful future it is deserving of.”
Special Mention: Smosh Mosh from Kinky Udders
Animated Games Award Germany
Award for the best animation based German computer game, which is characterized by the best visual design an aesthetics with a cash prize of 5,000 €, donated by MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg
Trüberbrook (Developer: btf GmbH, Florian Köhne, Publisher: Headup GmbH)
Special Mention: The Longing from Studio Seufz GbR and Anselm Pyta
“The degree of innovation of the design is outstanding. The warm, hand-made backdrops invite you to explore and linger. Above all, the handcrafted quality of the backdrops used makes Trüberbrook *the* game of the year.”
Arab Animation Forum Pitching Award
Traitors of the Eye from Abdelrahman Dnewar and Saad Dnewar
“The jury was impressed by the high standard of all projects. We were touched by all the pitches and those stories the world needs to see. It was a difficult choice but there was one story that really moved us. Traitors of the Eye is a story of loss, identity and secrets, a personal and yet universal exploration that says a lot about families around the world. It uses strong symbolism to convey a moving message. We know how challenging this will be for the creators, but we trust that their story needs to be told.”
Crazy Horse Session – 48h Jam
Team China (ZiYi Jin, ZiQian Zhao) with Horse
Special Mention: Team Libanon (Noura Kabbani, Louay Daoust) with TR1-X1
“All of the films in this year’s competition are equally impressive and it is always a shame that there can only be one winner. We would like to firstly give a special mention to Noura and Louay from Lebanon for their film TR1-X1.
This year’s winning entry goes to the team from Beijing, China. The strength of the story was matched by the skills of the artists. The film was strong in content, nicely animated in the time allowed and the camera, timing and overall storytelling really stood out. Congratulations to Jin and Zhao!“
The next International Festival of Animated Film in Stuttgart will take place April 30 to May 5, 2019.
Source: Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.