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‘Dog Apartment,’ ‘Nayola’ Take Top Honors at ITFS 2023

The festival wrapped its 30th edition with an April 30 ceremony honoring winners of the main competitions, with Priit Tender and José Miguel Ribeiro, respectively, taking home the big awards.

The 30th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film came to an end after six days full of highlights from the world of animation. The festival culminated April 30 with the ITFS awards ceremony and the announcement of winners of the competition program, which was preceded by the Animated Games Award Germany, German Animation Screenplay Award, Honorary Trickstar and Trickstar Business Award competitions already announced at the Trickstar Professional Awards ceremony on April 26 and the Tricks for Kids Awards on April 29.

Festival organizers noted that 7,300 guests visited cinemas and around 32,000 spectators watched films at the Open Air. With 5,000 guests in other venues such as VHS TREFFPUNKT Rotebühlplatz, ITFS reached a total of 44,300 visitors. A total of 150 of over 260 invited filmmakers from abroad attended the event as well.

Programming highlights included Disney Legend and animator Andreas Deja’s Master Class “Character Animation;” his first independent animation film, Mushka, which celebrated its European premiere at the ITFS, was also screened.

The categories and winners:

International Competition – Grand Prix

State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Stuttgart Grand Award for Animated Film with a cash prize of 10,000 €.

Koerkorter (Dog Apartment)
Priit Tender, Estonia 2022, 14:07 min
Production: Oü Nukufilm

Jury statement: “Dog Apartment by Priit Tender, is a masterpiece of the surrealism. Even if the story takes place in an eastern oppressive regime, we can all relate to it as artists, having fed the capitalist housing market. The film flawlessly pushes the stop motion medium further, and it takes us deep in to a surrealistic world, that feels real and cruel. The transformation of an apartment into a living creature is striking and unforgettable. We will think of it every time when we have to pay rent.”

Special Mention: 

Koniunkcja (Misaligned)
Marta Magnuska, Latvia, Poland, 2022, 6:55 min
Production: Animoon

Jury statement: “The Jury’s Special Mention goes to Misaligned by Marta Magnuska for the filmmaker´s artistic ability to describe a dysfunctional relationship from a female point of view.”

Jury: Signe Baumane (New York, USA) Chiara Magri (Turin, Italy), Anders Narverud Moen (Oslo, Norway, Izabela Plucińska (Berlin, Germany)

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-Württemberg

Jonatan Schwenk, Germany, 2022, 4:25 min
School: Hochschule Offenbach

Jury statement:

“Lotte Reiniger was a master of creating her own worlds, and Zoon by Jonatan Schwenk is a great example where unique design and perfect timing creates this kind of special world. The jury compliments the filmmaker´s use of different techniques to bring us into a world for both – laughter and contemplation.”

SWR Audience Award

The ITFS Audience Award with a cash prize of 6,000 €, sponsored by SWR (regional broadcasting for southwest Germany)

Pasajero (Passenger)
Juan Pablo Zaramella, Argentinia 2022, 10:00 min

Young Animation Award

Award for the best student film with a cash prize of 2,500 €, sponsored by the LFK Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg and MFG Film Funding Baden-Württemberg

Ressources Humaines (Human Resources)
Isaac Wenzek, Titouan Tillier, Trinidad Plass, France, 2022, 3:30 min
School: EMCA Ecole des Métiers du Cinéma d’Animation

Jury statement:

“We chose Human Resources because we felt it created a rich and beautiful world – with stunning attention to detail at every level – from the choice of materials and camera angles to the concise and economical storytelling. With impeccable timing and performances, this film delivers social commentary, wit and humor in a very short amount of time, showcasing that you can create a complete and satisfying narrative in under 4 minutes. Human Resources is a true stand-out film.”

Special Mention:

Carine Chrast, Leance Volschenk, Lio Neuenschwander, Saskia Bulletti, Switzerland, 2022. 3:08 min
School: Hochschule Luzern – Design & Kunst

Jury statement:

Reprise is a subtle and nuanced short that expertly uses silence, timing and framing to suggest- rather than show – leaving audiences to interpret the full meaning of this powerful film.”

Jury: Sander Joon (Tallinn, Estonia) Piotr Kardas (Lodz, Poland) Vanessa Pfeiffer (Los Angeles, USA)

AniMovie: Award for the best animated feature film

José Miguel Ribeiro, Portugal, Belgium, France, Netherlands 2022, 83 min
Production: Praça Filmes

Jury statement:

“Our unanimous choice for Best Animated Feature is a spectacular example of the power of animated storytelling. From the compelling narrative and bold, vivid use of color to the unique production design, layout and camera work, and sound design and music, this film tells a story that leaves you reeling from its intensity and emotional honesty. A well-crafted tapestry of three generations of women and the choices they made to protect and defend their humanity in the face of the horrors and oppressive consequences of a civil war.”

Jury: Mike Buckland (Cape Town, South Africa) Kathrin Rothe (Berlin, Germany) Dan Sarto (Los Angeles, USA)

Trickstar Nature Award

Award for the best international animated short film that deals with the topics of climate protection, biodiversity, environment and sustainability, with a cash prize of 7,500 €, sponsored by Verband Region Stuttgart

A World in Chaos
David Crisp, Hungary 2023, 9:46 min
Production: Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest

Jury statement:

“A lot of issues that are very relevant for our times, presented in a way, that an audience can relate to. The jury’s decision was unanimous.”

Jury: Carina Borgards (Ludwigsburg, Germany), Nancy Denney-Phelps (Gent, Belgium), Lena von Döhren (Lucerne, Switzerland)

The Fantastic Award

Award for the best animation talent with a cash prize of 1,000 €, sponsored by the FANtastic Jury, the most faithful fans of ITFS

Le Cri de Silence (The Silent Scream)
Camille Anne, Camille Leroy, Elisa Torris, Julie Vandenbergue, Lucas Foutrier, Martin Laurent, France 2022, 7:12 min
School: Pôle 3D

Jury statement:

“Where people are not heard, animated film can give them a voice. Where society is not looking, animated film can point a finger. Where hardly any jury has awarded a prize before, we are doing so now. With Le Cri de Silence we are honouring a film that conveys a difficult subject in a visually impressive way, while maintaining a balance between compassion and wordless rage. Camille Anne, Camille Leroy, Elisa Torris, Julie Vandenbergue, Lucas Foutrier, Martin Laurent, welcome to the Animation Family!”

Special Mention:

Jessica Meier, Kilian Feusi, Sujanth Ravichandran, Switzerland 2022, 4:08 min
School: Hochschule Luzern – Design & Kunst

Jury statement:

“Our Special Mention goes into unknown territory for many, where there is a lot of pressure on the kettle. This is the place to be when laying pipes – Jessica Meier, Kilian Feusi, Sujanth Ravichandran: thanks for the great fun with I in dark times.”

Jury: Folke Damminger, Jürgen Frick, Sebastian Heck, Dorothea Kaufmann, Michaela Rehm, Karen Schmitt, Sven Schoengarth, Sabine Willmann

Crazy Horse Session – 48H Animation Jam

What’s Next?
Yohann Abdelnour und Nour Haidar, Lebanon

Jury statement:

“As the jury, we fell in love with the metamorphosis of the Trixie and the experimental style of this film. It was like diving into a multiverse of Trixie. Each new scenario gave us a new interpretation of the main character. Even after watching the film multiple times, we discovered new things and perspectives. We wanted to watch it frame by frame to catch every little detail. Amazing work. Thank you for displaying so much passion and talent in your work.

We would also like to give a special mention to the Swiss team, Sarah, Anna-Lena and Lara, and their film Trixie’s Evolutionary Journey. This film stood out with its clear message and moving visualisation. Well done.”

The next Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film will take place from April 23 to 28, 2024.

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.