ITFS Sets Final Program for 29th Stuttgart Animation Fest

The program of the 29th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), which will take place on-site in Stuttgart, Germany and online May 3-8, has been finalized. With the motto “Black Is Back!” and an extensive lineup of films, presentations, talks, workshops and exhibitions on the topic of animation in all its facets with intersections to visual effects, architecture, art, design, music, science, games and more.

In addition, the website with its media library, the ITFS VR Hub and additional online formats will be available from May 2-15.

The ITFS Open Air on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz is the audience highlight in the cultural calendar of the region and offers a free film program every day, which will also be streamed worldwide for the first time. The in-person ITFS 2022 features new partners and venues such as the Hospitalhof, vhs TREFFPUNKT Rotebühlplatz, Delphi Arthaus Kino and FITZ Das Theater animierter Formen and, due to the pandemic, will take place in a more decentralized manner.

Little Allan – The Human Antenna
Little Allan – The Human Antenna

Highlights include the world premiere of Little Allan – The Human Antenna (Amalie Næsby Fick, Denmark, 2022), presentations of triple Oscar-nominated animated documentary Flee (Jonas Poher Rasmussen; Denmark, Norway, 2021) and anthology The House (Nexus Studios for Netflix); a moderated online talk between Oscar winners Allison Snowden, David Fine and Nick Park; the animation theater piece Animeo & Humania” by the Aarauer Theater Marie with ITFS trailer maker François Chalet; and a comprehensive country focus on Austria. The VR Hub and GameZone further broaden the scope of animated possibilities.

The heart of the festival, as ever, are the competitions and film programs. This year, 2,028 submissions (ITFS 2021: 1,981) from 80 countries were received for the various competitions, which offer up to 65,000 euros in prize money awarded by international juries of experts.


The International Competition is the Festival’s centerpiece, presenting artistic animated films of the previous 12 months. Included are the Oscar-nominated Bestia (Hugo Covarrubias, Chile), Black Slide (Uri Lotan, Israel), Steakhouse (Špela Čadež; France, Germany, Slovenia), Pig (Jorn Leeuwerink, Netherlands), Slouch (Michael Bohnenstingl, Germany) and Deep Water (Anna Dudko, Ukraine).

The Young Animation competition presents the best films by students at international film, art and media schools and universities. Among this year’s picks are An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It (Lachlan Pendragon, Australia), BusLine35A (Elena Felici, Denmark), Goodbye Jerome! (Adam Sillard, Chloé Farr, Gabrielle Selnet, France), The Boy and the Fire (Haomin Lu, China) and In His Mercy (Christoph Büttner, Germany).

An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It
An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It

The best animated short films and series episodes for children are presented in Tricks for Kids, including Battery Daddy (Seung-bae Jeon, South Korea), Mum Is Pouring Rain (Hugo De Faucompret, France), The Soloists (Celeste Jamneck, Feben Elias Woldehawariat, Mehrnaz Abdollahina, Razahk Issaka, Yi Liu, France), Pip & Posy – “Night Pip” (Matt Tea, U.K.), The Bridge of the City (Klym Klymchuk, Ukraine) and Lost Brain (Isabelle Favez, Switzerland). Arranged by curator Iris Loos (vhs stuttgart “Treffpunkt Kinder”), the imaginative program will also feature an Open Air world premiere of the short film Hidden Heroes from animation studio monströös, which was created for “MACH DICH STARK – Die Initiative für Kinder im Südwesten”.

Film fans can look forward to highlights and premieres in the AniMovie feature film competition. Screenings include Flee (presented by the Haus des Dokumentarfilms), Bob Spit – We Do Not Like People (Cesar Cabral, Brazil, 2021), Inu-Oh (Masaaki Yuasa; China, Japan, 2021), The Crossing (Florence Miailhe; France, Germany, Czech Republic, 2021), My Sunny Maad (Michaela Pavlátová; France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, 2021), Poupelle of Chimney Town (Yusuke Hirota, Japan, 2020), Even Mice Belong in Heaven (Jan Bubeníček, Denisa Grimmová; Czech Republic, France, Poland, Slovakia, 2020) and the world premiere of Little Allan – The Human Antenna.

Maya the Bee – The Secret Kingdom (Noel Cleary, Alexs Stadermann; Germany, Australia, 2020, presented by Studio 100) will be shown Out of Competition.

The complete competition selections can be found here.

The Bridge of the City
The Bridge of the City

Three short film programs on “Women in Animation” curated by Waltraud Grausgruber (Festival Director Tricky Women/Tricky Realities, Vienna) present the diversity of the international female animation scene. The popular Cult Nights will take place a total of four times, in 2022 with short film programs “Best Animated Music Videos” (in cooperation with Pop-Büro Region Stuttgart), “Animation of the Extreme”, “Pandemic Animation” and “Sous le tapis rouge (Under the Red Carpet)” (presented by Tigobo Animation).

The “Black Is Back!” program curated by Ulrich Wegenast (Artistic Director of ITFS) focuses on the potential as well as the fundamentals and principles of animation by showing international animated films of the last 30 years. Under the headings of “Anticipation”, “Staging”, “Condensation”, “Abstraction” and “Exaggeration”, the entire spectrum of black and white animation will be presented, ranging from reduction to abstraction to exaggeration.

“XPRMNTL Animation” includes contemporary positions of experimental animation, which on the one hand take up the traditions of abstract film, and on the other hand formulate personal reflections on identity and home as well as subversive media practices. In addition, the program shows artistic psychedelic studies that visualize the relationship between cinema and dream. XPRMNTL Animation was put together in 2021 by Max Hattler (City University of Hong Kong), Giovanna Thiery (Wand 5, Stuttgarter Filmwinter) and Wegenast.

ITFS stage
Those unable to travel to Stuttgart can tune in online to catch special presentations and programs streamed from the ITFS.

In the In Persona series of talks, in which artistically outstanding animators personally give insights into their work and their working methods, this year includes:

  • Marion Rasche (artistic director of the GDR’s state-run animation studio in Dresden)
  • Steven Appleby (comics artist, Dragman)
  • Regina Pessoa (The Tragic Story with Happy Ending, Uncle Thomas)
  • Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo (The Sense of Touch)
  • Daniel Höpfner (Anhalter, Botschaften)
  • Jochen Kuhn (Neulich 1-3, Sonntag 3)
  • Daniel Kothenschulte (film critic and pianist)

Directors Paloma Baeza and Marc James Roels and production manager Joost Zoetebier will participate in a talk about their stop-motion Netflix event series The House. A talk with National Film & TV School alumni Alison Snowden (worked on Peppa Pig, Shaun the Sheep) and David Fine (Bob’s Birthday), both Oscar-winning or multiple Oscar-nominated, and Nick Park (Aardman Animations; Oscar-winning creator of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep) will present talks online.

ITFS will again present an extensive selection of workshops and masterclasses offering practical industry insights. The offerings include:

  • Graphic artist Sheree Domingo and writer Patrick Spät will present the creation of their comic Madame Choi and the Monster
  • Masterclass: Meet Ze Artists: Magic of marriage between sound and image with instructor/director/composer Renaud Armanet
  • “Workshop Talk: VR Animation Film with Studio LAVAMACHINE
  • Uri Kranot presents “ANIDOX:LAB”, a tailor-made workshop for documentary and animation creators.
  • Script workshop “Sisters of the Mist: When comics & animation overlap”

More information and ticketing available at



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