1. Mai 2023 Johannes Wolters

Stuttgart ITFS 2023: Awards & Winners – Connections that touch and animate

Press release, Stuttgart, 30 April 2023

merlin flügel itfs 2023

After six exciting festival days, the 30th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) ended on the evening of 30 April 2023 with the grand Awards Ceremony. True to the motto „Animation connects!“, guests, audiences and filmmakers celebrated the world of animation together at the Innenstadtkinos and on Schlossplatz in Stuttgart. With touching animated films, stimulating events and an inspiring festival atmosphere, the ITFS attracted numerous people from all over the world.

The general public as well as professionals and filmmakers made intensive use of the offers. The organizers recorded 7,300 guests in the cinemas and around 32,000 spectators at the Open Air. With the 5,000 guests in the other venues such as VHS TREFFPUNKT Rotebühlplatz, the ITFS reached a total of 44,300 visitors. On the mostly sunny days with pleasant temperatures, the audience enjoyed a happy and peaceful celebration of animated film on the packed Schlossplatz. But the ITFS was not only very popular in Stuttgart, but also internationally: A total of 150 of over 260 invited filmmakers* from abroad visited the ITFS.

A visitor highlight of the ITFS were the events with Disney Legend and animator Andreas Deja. His Master Class „Character Animation“ was packed to capacity and his first independent animation film „Mushka“, which celebrated its European premiere at the ITFS, was also screened in a fully booked cinema. The GameZone with its animated games attracted a particularly large crowd of gaming fans: Over four days, well over 1,500 people tested and played the best animated computer games from Germany. Kids were also able to enjoy animated films at this year’s ITFS: all events and workshops at the VHS were fully booked. A special highlight in the cinema: „Bugs Bunny’s Builder & Batwheels“ celebrated its preschool premiere in front of 350 children in the fully booked cinema hall Gloria 2.

Uwe Schmitz-Gielsdorf, Managing Director of ITFS, draws up a summary: „We were able to show so many wonderful films. Personally, I remember Tal Kantor’s film „Letter to a Pig“ with its complex images.“

The competitions are the heart of the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film and, as every year, the results were announced on Sunday evening, at the Awards Ceremony on 30 April 2023. Awards included the Grand Prix (State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Stuttgart Grand Award for Animated Film which also qualifies the winning film directly for the Oscar longlist), the Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film (sponsored by MFG Film Funding Baden-Württemberg), the Young Animation Award (sponsored by the LFK Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg and MFG Film Funding Baden-Württemberg), the AniMovie Award, the Trickstar Nature Award (sponsored by Verband Region Stuttgart) and the FANtastic Award (sponsored by the FANtastic Jury). For the SWR Audience Award, which is sponsored by Südwestrundfunk, audiences chose their favourite from all the entries in the International Competition. The winning team of the Crazy Horse Session – 48H Animation Jam in cooperation with The M.A.R.K. 13 Group was already announced on Saturday afternoon at the Open Air.

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
Estinia 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

Jonathan 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

Homemade Teaser – National 2023 – „Ressources humaines“ from ClermontFd Short Film Festival on Vimeo.

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 it‘s 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 ‘Pipes’ 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 (Libanon)

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.

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