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Stuttgart Animation Festival Celebrates 30 Years

Launched in 1982, the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film - ITFS - continues to provide a gathering place for the international animation community while acting as a career springboard for young talent; the event runs April 25-30.

The Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), a gathering of the international animation scene since 1982, returns to Stuttgart April 25-30 for the 30th time. The event’s anniversary will be celebrated with four "Best of Animation" programs featuring artists and films from past years, including talents from Baden-Württemberg in "Best of Locals," as films that have propelled the festival to its status as a notable international event.

ITFS has played an important role as a career springboard for young talents, with multiple success stories emerging from its ranks:

In 1994, Stephen Hillenburg, a California Institute of the Arts student, won best student film in the "Young Animation" category for his film Wormholes(1992). In 2009, the American filmmaker and creator of SpongeBob – SquarePants returned to Stuttgart as the jury president. In 2018, Hillenburg, while working on the third SpongeBob film, received a special Emmy Award for his contributions to the world of cartoons and animation.

French animator, film director, and voice actor Pierre Coffin brought his graduation film, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) to Stuttgart in 1994. Later celebrated for his work on the animated feature films Despicable Me (1-3), and as the creator and voice of the "Minions," he returned to Stuttgart with a “making of” presentation and an Open-Air screening of the movie.

Mark Baker’s The Hill Farm (1988), shown in the competition program at ITFS, was nominated for an Oscar in 1990. However, the British animator is now best known for the popular children's series Peppa Pig (with Neville Astley and Phil Davis), with over 100 episodes broadcast worldwide.

Nominated for the 2023 Academy Awards “Best Short (animated),” Lachlan Pendragon’s short film An Ostrich Told Me The World Is Fake And I Think I Believe It (Australia 2021) screened in the International Competition and Young Animation program at ITFS 2022. It also received a nomination for the Lotte Reiniger Award.

ITFS is an Oscar-qualifying event, with the Grand Prix winner of the International Competition automatically qualifying for the Oscars longlist.

Visit the ITFS website for more information.

Source: ITFS

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.