Global Events News: Award Winners, Festival Selections & More

And to think, this time last year we were worried there would be no festivals to look forward to! 

SXSW 2021 Film Festival Winners

  • Animated Shorts Winner: Nuevo Rico by Kristian Mercado Figueroa | “Be prepared for this dystopian tragedy to rip your hair out by the roots and pour liquid vaporwave rainbows directly onto your brain’s tongue. A cautionary tale of friendship and fame, Nuevo Rico slaps convention to the ground and stomps on it with steel toed boots of satisfying stylistic innovation. Kristian Mercado Figueroa doesn’t give a f*** — and gives all the f***s at the same time. If you’ve never wrestled a laser snake in a Lambo going two hundred off a cliff into an iridescent volcano, Nuevo Rico will make you feel like you have.”
  • Special Jury Recognition for Innovation: KKUM by Kang Min Kim
  • Special Jury Recognition for Storytelling: Your Own Bullshit by Daria Kopiec
  • Texas Shorts – Special Jury Recognition for Vision: O Black Hole! by Renee Zhan 
  • Virtual Cinema Competition Winner: Samsara by Huang Hsin-Chien
  • Special Jury Recognition for Immersive Journalism: Reeducated by Sam Wolson
Jung and Restless
Jung and Restless

ITFS Announces Highlights of First Hybrid Edition
The Stuttgart animation festival will be held in Germany and globally online from May 4-9. Highlights of this year’s program include:

  • International short film competition (selected from nearly 2,000 film submissions from 80+ countries) includes strong female talent like up-and-comer Liesbet van Loon’s Monachopsis, Sandra Desmazières’ Flowing Home and Joanna Preistley’s Jung & Restless, the German premiere of Joanna Quinn & Les Mills’ Affair of the Art. Plus, Jalal Maghout presents his grad film Have a Nice Dog! and 2018 ITFS Arab Animation Project How My Grandmother Became a Chair (Nicolas Fattough) debuts.
  • AniMovie feature film presentations include Oscar (et a.) nominated Wolfwalkers by Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart, and German premieres for Josee, the Tiger and the Fish by Koutarou Tamura and Strike by Trevor Hardy. 
  • ‘Creating*Diversity’ theme program tackles current social issues, evident in shorts like All Those Sensations in My Belly (Marko Djeska), Anima (Mahboobeh Mohammadzaki) and A Stone in the Shoe (Eric Montchaud).
  • Further themed short programs include ‘Pandemic Animation,’ ‘Animation of the Extreme’ and ‘XPRMTL Animation.’  
  • Focus on ‘Wonderwomen – Women in Games & Animation’ (on site), three programs curated by Tricky Women festival director Waltraud Grausgruber, two by former HAF director Gerben Schermer and GameZone exhibition by Stephan Schwingeier and Judith Ackerman.
  • Retrospectives (on site) on Jochen Kuhn, Jena-Charles Mbotti Malolo and Monique Renault
  • Country focus on France with ‘Copines!’ program and presentations by Folimage, Sacrebleu Prod. and animation school La Poudriere. 
  • Plus Tricks for Kids children’s film fest, GameZone talks, exhibition and presentations (on site); GameZone Kids workshops for youth (online/on site); Edutain Me 7.0 gamification focus, and more. 
Dimensions of Dialog
Dimensions of Dialog

GLAS 2021 Program Announced
Highlights of the Berkeley, Calif.-based festival’s 6th edition, being held online April 5-11:

  • Five international short film competition programs
  • Two family animation competition programs
  • U.S. short film competition
  • International Showcase
  • A conversation with Terry Gilliam
  • Spotlight on Jan Švankmajer and documentary Athanor – The Alchemical Furnace
  • Retrospective + Q&As with Dahee Jong, Kathy Smith, Shen Jie and Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis, plus Q&As with filmmakers Peter Chung and Nick Cross.
  • Panels on ‘How to Get a Gig,’ ‘How to Pitch Your Film’ and ‘The New Wave of Latin American Independent Animation’   
  • Demos with Jonathan Djob Nkondo and Ted Wiggin (Lizard Ladder)
Nahuel and the Magic Book
Nahuel and the Magic Book

Toronto Animation Film Festival Program Announced
TAAFI 2021 will presente a virtual film festival March 24-27, showcasing more than 100 shorts and five features.

  • Feature film special presentations: Wolfwalkers, Nahuel and the Magic Book (live Q&A with director Germán Acuña), Violence Voyager (Q&A with director Ujicha), Heavy Metal 40th Anniversary (Q&A with director Gerald Potterton), The Croods: A New Age
  • Short film competition programs themed ‘Mysteries of Life,’ ‘Darkest of Dawns,’ ‘Universally Remote,’ ‘Kids Cartoons,’ ‘Student Shorts,’ ‘The Oddball Collection’ and ‘Cartoon Party’
  • Rough cut screening of Hullaboo, with director James Lopez and VFX supervisor Jake Akuna. 
  • Panels on ‘Adult Swim’s Doomsday Brothers: From Pitch to Screen’ and ‘The Evolution of Cloudrise Pictures’; plus Gerald Potterton retrospective and remembrance of John Rooney
Your Own Bullshit
Your Own Bullshit

World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb Selection
The established Croatian toon celebration announced the films in its Grand Competition short film categories. The 31st Animafest will be held in Zagreb June 7-12. Feature Film, Films for Children, VR and World Panorama selections to be announced. 

  • 44 Short Films in competition, from 820+ submissions. Selections include award-winning works and new films from acclaimed artists like Marina Scarpelli’s A Little Too Much, Joanna Quinn’s Affairs of the Art, Alberto Vazquez’s Homeless Home, Joe Hsieh’s Night Bus, Paul Bush’s Orgiastic Hyper-Plastic, Tomasz Popakul’s The Moon, Franck Dion’s Under the Skin, the Bark and Daria Kopiec’s Your Own Bullshit
  • 45 Student Films in competition, from 840+ submissions. Catch sterling works from up and coming filmmakers at schools across Europe, Asia, the U.S. and beyond — such as Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb, FAMU, The Animation Workshop, RISD, MOPA, Gobelins, CalArts, Taipei Nat’l University of the Arts, Nat’l Film School Lodz, Filmakademie Animationinstitut, SVA and the Royal College of Art.      
  • 23 Croatians Films in competition, representing both professional artists and aspiring students across the country. 
Thank You by Julian Gallese
Thank You by Julian Gallese

59th Ann Arbor Film Festival Begins March 23
The six-day festival features a total of 36 programs of experimental, documentary, narrative, and animated films, consisting of 15 shorts-in-competition programs, 11 feature films, five special programs, three juror presentations, and two winners shows.

  • Films in Competition 11 – Animation presents 10 recently completed films fro around the world, live streaming on March 26 at 4:30 p.m. PT, available on demand until midnight ET on March 31.  
  • Out of competition special program on BIPOC Experimental Animation, curated by Emmy-nominated filmmaker, designer and artist Carrie Hawks (Jerome @ Carmargo Resident, Leslie Lohman Queer Artist Fellow, and Jerome Foundation Artist Fellow).
Roberto”>DRAWTASTIC Golden Pencil Awards
Having held its 10th event, the DRAWTASTIC Animation Festival presents its third online award show available to watch through the rest of March. The 2021 edition curated films from 16 countries with a 1 hr. 43 min. show including two Honorable Mention films, 10 Finalists and five Golden Pencil Award winners. This year, the first-ever Junior Golden Pencil Award was offered to 10-year-old Alice Botvinik.

  • Honorable Mentions: My Happiest Moments in Tokyo (Alice Botvinik), Sky Sun, Tile Sun (Ziba Arzhang
  • Finalists: 2B1 (Nica Petrova), A Town Where We Live (Nat Yoswatananont), Lost and Found (Éva Adorján), Any Instant Whatever (Michelle Brand), The Bird and the Whale (Carol Freeman), Flap (Jessica Gallaher), The Memory of Li Qingzhao (Shi Wuxuan), Uplifted (Rachel Immel), The Winter (Xin Li), Two Little People (Xin Li)
  • Winners: Roberto by Carmen Córdoba González (Best All-form Animation), Pray by Joe Chang (Best 2D Animation), Memories for Sale by Manuel Lopez (Best Student Film Animation), Waters of March by Elizabeth Lewis (Best Music-based Animation), My Tagalong by Jerry Wang (Best Student Film Animation)


  • Kaboom Industry Days lineup (March 29 & 30)
  • KingstOOn Animation Festival and Sesame Workshop announce an animated short film pitch competition for the 2021 virtual festival (April 21-25), with the winner to be produced for Sesame Street Season 52. 
  • FMX (May 4-6) adds Open Source track, presentation on Pixar collaborative short Cat and Moth
  • Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival (Sept. 22-26) has opened its call for entries, deadline May 31. 
  • Free Comic Book Day 2021 (August 14) announced the full lineup of 50 available titles — 12 Gold Sponsor comics and 38 Silver Sponsor comics. And, Skottie Young was announced as the commemorative artist for FCBD’s 20th anniversary.
  • gamescom (Aug. 25-29) is being planned as a hybrid event, partly on site in Cologne, Germany. 


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