A Wild Ride

FMX

FMX

FMX is set to blend realities as the top talents in effects and animation prepare to descend on Stuttgart, Germany, for the annual conference.

Get ready for a trippy experience at FMX 2016, which has declared Blending Realities to be the theme for this year’s edition of the conference on animation, effects, games and transmedia.

Set for April 26-29 in Stuttgart, Germany, the event produced by the acclaimed Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in cooperation with the Visual Effects Society, ACM SIGGRAPH, World Building Institute and Eurographics.

Program highlights include cinematographers, renderers and lighters talking about how their crafts work together, an extensive look into at VR and AR with panel topics including Realtime Storytelling, and presentations exploring the techniques behind such high-profile projects as Inside Out, The Little Prince, The Martian, The Peanuts Movie and The Jungle Book.

Jean-Michelle Blottière

Jean-Michelle Blottière

Q&A with Jean-Michel Blottière, FMX executive director

Animation Magazine: How do you think FMX has evolved in the last several years? Are there any trends you notice in the types, quantity or quality of presentations?

Jean-Michelle Blottière: We don’t want FMX to get bigger in size, but to get more and more influential. For this reason, talks about business models and access to finance constitute an integral part of the program, as well as the VES and FMX CEO Summit and Commercials Summit – two invite-only events for decision makers from the industry. In addition, the Directors’ Panel assembles renowned personalities such Steve Martino (director for Peanuts) and Kevin Margo (director for Construct). These platforms come to life because more and more key people come to FMX from year to year.

Animag: What do you think makes FMX an essential event for VFX professionals to attend?

Blottière: We offer an event that is comprehensive, high level and intimate. We bring together communities that are not necessarily in close contact — animation, VFX, visual arts for games, VR, transmedia — and we cover various aspects of each community — art, technology, business. We offer a program with a strong structure, which allows people to understand quickly where they want to go and what they want to listen to.

Animag: How many attendees do you expect this year? And can you give us an idea of who attends and from where they come?

Blottière: In 2015, FMX had 3,200 visitors per day. These visitors came from 55 different countries. Professionals made up 60 percent of this number, among them one third that held management or senior management positions. Thirty percent of all attendees were female. We expect approximately the same number of attendees this year, maybe even an increase in the numbers for female attendees and management.

Animag: What is your personal favorite part of attending FMX?

Blottière: I love the feeling of creating this moment of collective intelligence, which makes us fly higher than usual for four days.

Stuttgart: Germany’s Animation Celebration

The 23rd edition of the International Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart runs April 26-May 1 and features multiple competitions and awards: International, young animation, tricks for kids, AniMovie, Animated Com Award, German Animation Screenplay Award, German Voice Actor Award, The Crazy Horse Session 48-hour animation jam and the Tele 5 “Leider Geil!” Special Award.

The festival also includes Animation Production Day, which consists of one-on-one meetings in which producers present films, TV or transmedia projects to TV channels, global distributors, publishers, banks and equity investors to find partners for co-production, financing and distribution.

A new section of the program, “Producers meet Producers,” helps producers, service producers and service providers find partners, while the APD Conference looks at production trends, financing and media policy topics.

The festival and the charitable group Robert Bosch Stiftung present this year’s Arab Animation Forum, which connects young animation directors and artists from the 22 member nations of the Arab League with producers from Germany. The winning project is nominated for the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s film prize.

Rounding out the offerings are a digital Animated Video Market lets accredited guests view all films submitted to the festival and an academic symposium, this year themed “Narrative Structures and Visual Storytelling.”