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ITFS21 Online and Onsite Coming May 4-9

Highlights for this year’s Stuttgart Animation Festival include the international competition for short films; German premieres of ‘Wolfwalkers’ and ‘Josee, the Tiger and the Fish;’ ‘Creating*Diversity and Pandemic Animation’ film compilations hitting on current social and political topics; and ‘Wonderwomen – Women in Games & Animation.’

The 28th ITFS will be held in a hybrid format, running May 4- 9. The event is introducing new film programs on "Creating*Diversity" and "Pandemic Animation" as a means of addressing current social and political topics.

This is in addition to the competition categories for short and feature-length films, showcasing artistically high-quality animated films and innovative interactive and transmedia works.

The event attracts audiences and industry representatives from all over the world to celebrate the art of animation – this year events will be hosted both onsite in Stuttgart and online.

Highlights from the film programs (Onsite & Online)"

A total of almost 2,000 films from over 80 countries were submitted in all competition categories. The International Competition, the heart of the Festival, features some of the best animated short films from around the world; in addition, prize money totaling 60,000 EUR will be awarded in the various competitions this year.

The International Competition for short films is dominated by themes such as exclusion and loneliness, interpersonal relationships and diversity, age, and care, and war and death. Women directors are represented by a sizeable contribution of international films.

Some of the films to be highlighted in this year’s programs include:

  • Liesbet van Loon - Monachopsis (07/2020, Belgium)
  • Sandra Desmazières - Comme une Fleuve (Flowing Home, 11/2020, France)
  • Joana Priestley - Jung&Restless (2021, USA)
  • Emmy winner Joanna Quinn & screenwriter Les Mills - Affairs of the Art (2021, Canada)
  • Jalal Maghout - Have a Nice Dog! (09/2020, Germany, Syria)
  • Nicolas Fattouh - How my grandmother became a Chair (03/2020, Germany, Lebanon, Qatar)

Highlights and premieres in the AniMovie feature film competition include:

  • Wolfwalkers by Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart (2020, Ireland, Luxembourg, USA) - The mystical adventure film and Apple+ original was most recently nominated for the Annie Awards and at the 2021 Golden Globes in the Best Animated Film category.
  • Josee, the Tiger and the Fish (Koutarou Tamura, Japan, 2020) – The film will celebrate its German premiere.
  • Strike (Trevor Hardy, United Kingdom, 2019), The feature-length film celebrates its German premiere at the ITFS.

Diverse, pandemic & experimental: New film programs on current social issues (Onsite)


The new film program takes on current social issues including transgender, sexual orientation, migration, religious and other cultural diversity. Featured animated short films include:

  • All Those Sensations in My Belly (Marko Djeska, 09/2020, Croatia/Portugal)
  • Anima (Mahboobeh Mohammadzaki, 11/2020, Iran)
  • A stone in the shoe (Eric Montchaud, 11/2020 France)

"Pandemic Animation"

For over a year we have been living in and with the coronavirus pandemic – this is also reflected in animated films. The short-film compilation program includes films about isolation in everyday life, dystopias, diseases, and environmental scenarios to technology and science.

Focus: Wonderwomen – Women in Games & Animation (Onsite)

Based on the "Women in Animation" program curated by Jayne Pilling at ITFS 1996, ITFS 2021 – 25 years later – presents new and historical positions in female animated film. This year's focus not only shows innovative animation art by women, but also, presents an exhibition dedicated to computer games created with women in key roles.

Three short film programs curated by Waltraud Grausgruber (festival director of Tricky Women, Vienna) present the diversity of the international female animation scene. Two more film programs curated by Gerben Schermer (former director of the Holland Animation Film Festival), will focus on Chinese female filmmakers.

ITFS will also present a curated exhibition in the GameZone (curators: Stephan Schwingeler, Judith Ackermann) of the diversified work of female game designers from the beginnings of games culture to the present day.

Other highlights for ITFS21 inlcude:

  • Retrospectives of Great Filmmakers (Onsite)
  • Focus Country France
  • Tricks for Kids: The ITFS Children's Film Festival
  • GameZone (Onsite & Online): Talks, Exhibition and Presentations
  • GameZone Kids (Onsite & Online): Workshops for Kids & Teens

Onsite events are subject to change based on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free live streaming is planned on the already established platform.

Additional programming and is available here and ticket information is available here.

Source: Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film