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Stuttgart to Include Afro Samurai, Coraline, Missing Lynx

The 16th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (May 5-10, 2009) has chosen a varied selection of 13 animated films for its competition AniMovie. AFRO SAMURAI: RESURRECTION is celebrating its European premiere whilst CORALINE and THE MISSING LYNX are celebrating their German premiere.

THE MISSING LYNX by Manuel Sicilia and Raul Garcia is perfect for all cinema fans -- both the young and the young-at-heart. A band of wild animals led by a lynx called Felix tries to escape a cold-blooded hunter. The co-producer of this fast animal chase, which recently won Spanish film prize the Goya, is Antonio Banderas (THE LEGEND OF ZORRO). Garcia, the co-director, made a name for himself as an animator of Disney hits such as THE LION KING and POCAHONTAS.

The Japanese anime movie SUMMER DAYS WITH COO comes from a completely different corner of the world. Director Hara Keiichi tells the story of Koichi, a boy from Tokyo, who finds Coo, the Kappa baby. The small water sprite grows up in Koichi's family, but soon he begins to miss his real relations. One summer's day the sprite and the boy start out to look for them. SUMMER DAYS WITH COO was nominated by the Japanese Film Academy for the best animated film in 2008.

Jacques-Remy Girerd (THE SECRET OF THE FROGS) brings a completely different being to life in his new animated film MIA AND THE MIGOU. Mia's father is working far away on a large hotel project. On the way to see him Mia meets a mysterious being: the Migou. This French-Italian competition entry is not only distinguished by its attractive images, but also by the voice actors in the original version, like Pierre Richard (THE TALL BLOND MAN WITH ONE BLACK SHOE) and Miou-Miou (SCIENCE OF SLEEP).

Australian Adam Elliot (HARVIE KRUMPET) an Oscar winner and a regular visitor to Stuttgart has used plasticine figures to capture a friendship which is no less bizarre: In MARY & MAX, 8-year old Mary from Melbourne has a pen-pal in New York -- the lonely 44 year old Max. Here again stars were engaged for the voices: Toni Collette (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) and Oscar-award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (CAPOTE).

Two-time Oscar-Nominee Bill Plympton (GUARD DOG, YOUR FACE) aims to shed light on the theory of good and evil. In his newest feature-length work IDIOTS & ANGELS, the American illustrates a morally reprehensible contemporary who wakes up one morning with of all things angel wings on his back. Plympton is again coming to Stuttgart for this year's festival.

The Danish-German animated comedy SUNSHINE BARRY & THE DISCO WORMS, by Thomas Borch Nielsen regales the suffering of a worm which has the most boring job in the compost industry. This cinema film enriched with lively music was sponsored by the MFG -- Film funding Baden-Wuerttemberg.

The European premiere of the Japanese-American Anime production AFRO SAMURAI: RESURRECTION, the sequel to the cult 2007 martial arts film AFRO SAMURAI will be a further highlight. The co-producer of both films and the preceding TV series is Hollywood actor Samuel L. Jackson (PULP FICTION), who also lends his orotund voice to the main figure. Lucy Liu (CHARLIE'S ANGELS), his battle-tried colleague, stands at his side. There is a lot less blood involved in CORALINE, the current film from THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS director, Henry Selick. Dreamy Coraline discovers a parallel version of her everyday life behind a secret door, where all her wishes appear to come true? The screening of this stop-motion fairytale will be a German premiere; the film will not be showing officially until July 30 (from Universal Pictures International). Selick has also announced that he will be coming to Stuttgart.

Last, but not least the AniMovie section will be completed with the films LOST IN TEL AVIV by the Israeli director Guy Dimet, THE PIANO FOREST by Masayuki Kojima (Japan), KURT TURNS EVIL by Rasmus A. Sievertsen (Denmark/Norway), NICO & THE WAY TO THE STARS by Michael Hegner and Kari Juusonen (Finland/Germany/ Denmark/Ireland) as well as IGOR by Tony Leondis (USA).