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ITFS Previews 2014 Program Highlights

From April 22-27, 2014, animated film fans and industry members from around the world gather to watch over 1,000 of the best and latest animated films representing the full range of the medium.

Stuttgart – This April, Stuttgart is again the center of the animation world. The 21st International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) and the FMX 2014, Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia, present all cultural, economic and academic aspects of animation. In addition, the ITFS and FMX host the Animation Production Day, which unites as business platform the international animation industry. Visitors will benefit from the partnership and the temporal and spatial parallelism of the three events.

The ITFS together with the FMX and the APD is one of the world's largest and most important events for animated film. From April 22-27, 2014, animated film fans and industry members from around the world can watch over 1,000 of the best and latest animated films that represent the full range of genre, including numerous German and world premieres. In the International Competition the ITFS will show the Oscar-nominated short film Mr. Hublot by Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigare as well as productions from Germany, Israel, France, China, South Africa, Japan, Canada, Iran and many other countries. The region of Stuttgart is well represented, among others, with the two productions of Film Academy Ludwigsburg, Harald by Moritz Schneider and Contrast by Carmen Büchner.

Next to the competitions with the latest international films, the framework program offers exciting highlights. Studio presentations feature masters and milestones in the field of animation: Constantin Film with the 3D movie Tarzan (the biggest European motion capture project), Laika (Coraline, ParaNorman) with The Boxtrolls and Studio 100 announced their attendance. The Danish “grandmaster of animation” Jannik Hastrup presents the animation studio Tegnefilm. Producer Peter Rommel (Wetlands, Summer in Berlin) and Oscar winner Chris Landreth (The End, Ryan) are also expected to come.

Exclusive Workshops, with national and international renowned animation filmmakers and authors, impart expert knowledge. Expected to attend are, among others, the industry giants Max Howard (former president of Warner Bros. Feature Animation and vice president of Walt Disney Feature Animation) and Emmy winner Eric Shaw, who will both be part of this year’s jury.

Further topics of the festival are World War I, which marks its 100th anniversary this year, the 1970s cult series Barbapapa, and international trends and developments of the animated film, which will be addressed in several program items. From this year’s guest country, Israel, the filmmaker Tsvika Oren presents the highlights of the Israeli short film production, Vibeke Sorensen from the Nanyang University Singapore curates three programs of “abstract experimental animation,” and there will be the Animation Co-production Forum for new projects from the Arab world.

Under the Slogan „Let’s play!” the ITFS 2014 will significantly expand its Gamezone, with numerous workshops and presentations in the area of games, transmedia and digital content. Additionally there are plenty of possibilities to play games at several locations in Stuttgart like the Schlossplatz or the youth center Jugendhaus Mitte.

Another highlight of this year’s ITFS program is the presentation of the German Voice Actor Award which takes place for the first time in co-operation with Renitenztheater, Stuttgarts oldest cabaret theatre, in a special gala. On the shortlist are famous German actors like Ilja Richter, Anna Thalbach, Til Schweiger, also Hannah Herzsprung, Marie Bäumer and Detlev Buck.

Important industry prizes are the Animated Com Award (with partners like ADC Deutschland and Daimler AG), which is given for outstanding work in the areas of advertising, spatial communication, and technology as well as the German Screenplay Award, which aims to promote talented German authors and seeks to contribute to an improving quality of the contents of animated films. The award shows take place in the framework of glamorous galas in the Mercedes-Benz Museum or Neues Schloss.

More Plot-O-Mat adventures, featuring a piano and an anvil, can be seen in the second official Trailer of the ITFS.

Just a few steps away from the ITFS, the FMX 2014,Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia (22 to 25 April, 2014), takes place with the theme “A Realtime Experience”. While the ITFS is primarily intended as a festival for an interested audience, the FMX as Europe's most influential conference addresses the makers of the digital entertainment industry. Thus, international experts from the fields of art, technology, and business come together at the FMX this year to discuss topical issues such as realtime, disruption, gamification and industry aspects ranging from production to distribution and financing. In addition to the conference program, the FMX Forum offers many possibilities of interaction, for example on the Market Place, where international software and hardware companies present research projects from academia and industry as well as interactive installations. In addition, the Recruiting Hub offers digital-production houses the opportunity for talent scouting, and the School Campus introduces 21 international film and media schools and their best projects.

The Animation Production Day (APD), an event within the framework of the FMX 2014 and ITFS 2014, will be held on April 24 and 25, 2014. As business platform for the international animation industry the APD gives international production companies the opportunity to present projects in the fields of animation and digital content, in exclusive 30-minute one-to-one meetings, to potential co-producers, publishers, sales agents, broadcasters, banks and investors. The aim of the event is to bring together the right partners for each project, to find new ways of financing, product strategies and recovery options. The programme is complemented by the APD conference track, where top-level speakers share their strategies and visions for the future of the animation industry.

Source: International Festival of Animated Film

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.