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Stuttgart Wrap: ‘Bestia’ Wins Grand Prize, ITFS, FMX & APD Close Successful Hybrid Editions

Bestia
Bestia

Festivals & Events

Europe

Stuttgart Wrap: ‘Bestia’ Wins Grand Prize, ITFS, FMX & APD Close Successful Hybrid Editions

The 29th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film came to an end Sunday evening with the grand ITFS awards ceremony after six exciting days. Chilean director Hugo Covarrubias walked away with the International Competition Grand Award for Bestia, adding another accolade to the Oscar-nominated film’s long list of international honors. Another Academy Award nominee and festival favorite, Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee took the AniMovie prize for feature animation.

Read on to find the full list of the international competition and Tricks for Kids award-winning films below. The previously announced Trickstar professional awards, German Screenplay and Games winners can be found here.

Under the motto “Black Is Back!”, the first-ever hybrid ITFS (returning to in-person events after three years) presented a top-class film competition and extensive supporting programs, such as “Wonderwomen – Women in Animation“, the “Focus Austria” and the animation/theater experience Animeo & Humania as well as guests such as Steven Appleby, Joanna Quinn and, online, Nick Park, Alison Snowden and David Fine, showcasing the diversity of animation with films, presentations, talks, workshops and exhibitions. Programs from the online 2020 and 2021 festivals were also available throughOnlineFestival.ITFS.de and the ITFS VR Hub; this media library content is available to ONLINE+ and ONLINE PRO accredited users until May 15, 2022.

Both the general public and industry professionals made intensive use of the offers. Although the number of visitors at ITFS 2022 was lower than in 2019, this was compensated for by the numerous online guests. As of Sunday May 8, organizers reported around 10,000 views in the media library, and expect at least a total of 20,000 views by the online cutoff on May 15. There were about 20,000 audience members in the cinemas and other venues. After a slow start at the Open Air due to the weather, the weekend brought in almost 25,000 viewers.

FMX 2022

FMX 2022

The 26th edition of FMX – Film & Media Exchange came to a successful close on Friday, May 6. Over three days on site at Stuttgart’s Haus der Wirtschaft and one online day, the conference brought the best of media & entertainment creation on stage. Due to the ongoing pandemic, FMX had already decided at the end of April to limit the sale of on-site tickets in order to achieve an audience size that was comfortable for everyone involved, and reached its self-imposed target of 3,300 participants.

Under the theme “Changing the Game,” more than 300 international speakers gave insights into the latest projects and developments in film and media production — from animation, visual effects, immersive and interactive media to storytelling, production management and sustainability — in more than 180 presentations and 60 live Q&As on site and online. Among them were the Oscar-winning film Dune, the stop-motion anthology The House, the hit animation series Arcane and presentations by industry legends such as Chris Corbould and Paul Debevec. The FMX audience was as international as ever, with people from more than 60 countries around the world attending. Most presentations will remain available on the FMX website via video on demand until the end of May.

Animation Production Days

Animation Production Days 2022

Rounding off the bustling Stuttgart schedule, the Animation Production Days (APD) presented Germany’s most important business platform for animation projects in development as a hybrid event from May 4-6. A joint venture by ITFS and FMX, APD 2022 offered a selection of 35 projects to be presented to potential partners. Approximately a quarter of these projects were for preschool children, around half for school children up to 12 (or so) and another quarter for adolescent and/or adult audiences.

A total of 150 participants from 22 countries registered for the event, which in person took place in a somewhat smaller form than usual due to the COVID-19 restrictions — 110 participants were able to attend in person in Stuttgart with another 40 participants accredited for the online program. Almost 700 pre-planned meetings between producers and potential financing and production partners took place at the Württemberg State Museum. Representatives from the most important German and European TV broadcasters and large international corporations such as Disney, WarnerMedia and Wildbrain as well as global distributors including ZDF Studios, Sola Media, Global Screen, Jetpack, Zodiak and many more sought out new material and talent at APD and gave the producers feedback on their newly developed projects.

ITFS 2022 Award Winners

International Competition – State of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Stuttgart Grand Award for Animated Film — Bestia, Hugo Covarrubias, Chile (Trebol 3 Producciones)

  • Based on true events, the film tells the story of a secret police investigator during the military dictatorship in Chile. Her relationship with her dog, her body and her fears reflect the rupture of her soul and the soul of the country.
  • Jury statement: Bestia is a complex, multi-layered, infinitely re-watchable portrait of a torturer. A person who surfaces over and over again throughout human history. It is a puzzling, mysterious, and genuinely disturbing piece of art.

Special Mention 1 — Hysteresis, Robert Seidel, Germany

  • Seidel’s drawings merge with performer Tsuki and machine learning strategies in a feedback system to create a pulsating flow of images in folded spatial configurations. Oval’s music also makes the viewer lose contact with the last points of reference.
  • Jury statement: Hysteresis takes us into the world of fine arts, where painting, body art, dance and contemporary music intertwine. Experimental animation at its best, innovative and enjoyable!

Special Mention 2 — Steakhouse, Špela Čadež; France, Germany, Slovenia (Finta film, Fabian&Fred, RTV, Miyu Distribution)

  • The steak has been marinating for days. The pan is heated. Franc’s stomach is rumbling. But Lisa’s colleagues surprise her with a birthday party. Will Lisa be home in time for dinner?
  • Jury statement: A brave and shocking study of passive aggression in a relationship. A quiet but powerful rebellion against the ordinary familiarity of domestic abuse. The artwork and beautifully observed acting create a suffocating atmosphere. However the window is open and the smoke slowly clears, leaving us some room for hope.

Jury: Steven Appleby (London), Renaud Armanet (Cannes), Joanna Quinn (Cardiff), Thomas Renolnder (Vienna), Anna Samo (New York)

The Immoral

The Immoral

Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film — The Immoral, Ekin Koca, France (La Poudrière)

  • The guest of a restaurant collapses. The other guests, except for one, are in a state of shock.
  • Jury Statement: A simple and dramatic comment on the savagery and dangers of the group mentality, told with delightfully dark humor and beautifully observed body language.

SWR OnlineFilm Audience Award — To the Last Drop, Simon Schnellmann, Germany (abwerner.ch)

  • During chemotherapy, an infusion stand fights for the life of a patient.
Underwater Love

Underwater Love

Young Animation — Underwater Love; Andrea Falzone, Maria Cristina Fiore, Veronica Martiradonna; Italy (Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia)

  • A girl has many questions towards herself and she faces her problems with some monsters. Anger turns her into a wasp, underwater she meets a king. She cries excessively, turns all red and finally she grows, big as a giant.
  • Jury statement: The main award goes to the authentic, punk and imperfect film Underwater Love, which is about an emotional carousel called life. The raw, vibrant technique perfectly supports a passionate story of becoming a woman. The jury was amazed by the shameful, courageous animation, and the openness of the directors to risk and explore.

Special Mention — The Seine’s Tears; Alice Letailleur, Eliott Benard, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Nicolas Mayeur, Philippine Singer, Yanis Belaid; France (Je Regarde, Pôle 3D)

  • On 17 October 1961, workers from Algeria take to the streets of Paris to protest against the curfew imposed by the police. The day later goes down in history as the “Paris Massacre”.
  • Jury statement: The Special Mention goes to the film Les Larmes de la Seine which is about the clash of ideas and the brutal forces of history that tend to repeat themselves. It is a poetic story made with an impressive cinematographic and technical mastery.

Jury: François Chalet (Zurich), Flavie Darchen (Cannes), Aneta Ozorke (Amsterdam)

Flee

Flee

AniMovie — Flee, Jonas Poher Rasmussen; Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway (Final Cut For Real, Sun Creature Studio, Vivement Lundi, MostFilms, Mer Film, ARTE France, VPRO – Television)

  • The film tells the story of Amin Nawabi, who struggles with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years that threatens to unravel the life he has built for himself and his future husband. He tells director Jonas Poher Rasmussen for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan, presented mainly in animated form.
  • Jury statement: The ITFS Festival gave us — the jury — quite a challenge. Various films, each with its own unique and beautiful characteristics, were put before us. Some films were driven by deep humanitarian content and cruel displacement of families living under the unbearable rule of authoritarian leaders. Some featured colorfully vivid journeys where friendships were forged and heroes were born. Some were a mixture of the above.

We are in 2022, emerging from a global pandemic. And yet the world has become an even more dangerous and unpredictable place. What have we truly learned? We know that repression by dictatorial authorities has an unacceptable impact on people’s lives on a daily basis. From not being able to speak up, to how we interact with those around us — even our own family and loved ones. The fact is, this authoritarianism exists, it is all around us, and it affects us. Repression underlines the visual language of this film. Its hybrid documentary and animation style is visually artistic and moving. It touched us all so profoundly.

Special Mention — My Sunny Maad, Michaela Pavlátová; France, Czech Republic, Slovakia (Negativ Film Production, BFILM, Sacrebleu Productions)

  • When Herra, a young Czech woman, falls in love with Nazir, an Afghan, she has no idea what kind of life awaits her in post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2011. In the family she integrates into, there is the liberal grandfather, the highly intelligent adopted son Maad and the sister-in-law Freshta, who would do anything to escape her husband’s violent grip.
  • Jury Statement: First we would like to draw attention to the position of women in a patriarchal society, not east, west but globally. In her film, director Michaela Pavlátová highlights not only the harsh clash between the European and Afghan cultures, but also the warm relationship between the more progressive patriarch of the Kabul family and the young European wife of his son. The character of the little adopted son was strongly developed, drawn and placed in a picturesque cinematographic setting. The little boy was, for us, the real hero of the film.

Jury: Jan-Dirk Bouw (Amsterdam), Romy Roolf (Halle/Saale), Mark Shapiro (Portland)

Pig

Pig

Trickstar Nature Award — Pig, Jorn Leeuwerink, The Netherlands (Studio Pupil – Tünde Vollenbroek)

  • A group of animals connect a power grid to the socket-shaped snout of a large, sleeping pig. At first, the animals use the pig’s energy for simple things, but soon they become dependent on a city where everything is automated. How long can this go on?
  • Jury statement: The film shows the immeasurable audacity of human incorrigibility, in all its facets, in an entertaining and cheeky way; the short movie weaves together everyday stories about an electric blanket, a kettle, or a smoothie blender, revealing a paradoxical, exploitative, selfish system. The film gets to the point.

Jury: Isabelle Favez (Zurich), Jürgen Hagler (Hagenberg / Linz), Marcel Majer (Ludwigsburg)

The Soloists

The Soloists

FANtastic Award — The Soloists; Celeste Jamneck, Feben Elias Woldehawariat, Mehrnaz Abdollahina, Razahk Issaka, Yi Liu; France (Gobelins)

  • In a village with ridiculous rules, two old ladies and their forbidden dog have lost their sister, which is why they now need a replacement singer for their next show.
  • Jury statement: We have never been so united in the FANtastic jury as this year — because we all liked one film in particular. Produced by an international team and in view of the political developments worldwide, this year’s award-winning film convinced us above all with its exuberant creativity full of pop-cultural references and simultaneous return to the traditions of animated film. Filling such a serious and depressing topic as systematic gender injustice with humor is a special art — which is why we are awarding Mehrnaz Abdollahinia, Razahk Issaka, Celeste Jamneck, Yi Liu and Feben Elias Woldehawariat with the FANtastic Award 2022 for their film The Soloists. Welcome to the animation family!

Special Mention — The Seine’s Tears

  • Jury statement: We give our Special Mention for a film that has inspired us in a unique way. As we all know, democracy is fragile and not available everywhere or to everyone — this is what Les Larmes de la Seine by Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Alice Letailleur, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Philippine Singer and Lisa Vicente clearly shows us. With a coherent overall concept, impressive music, sophisticated technique and convincing metaphors, this film makes the massacre of Algerian immigrants in Paris 1961 visible without being moralizing.

Jury: Folke Damminger, Jürgen Frick, Sebastian Heck, Dorothea Kaufmann, Michaela Rehm, Karen Schmitt, Sven Schoengarth, Sabine Willmann

Crazy Horse Session – 48H Animation Jam — Bath; Shantanu Karkare, Siddhi Vartak; India

The Most Boring Granny in the Whole World

The Most Boring Granny in the Whole World

Tricks for Kids Award Winners

Award for the best children’s animated film — The Most Boring Granny in the Whole World, Damaris Zielke, Germany (Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg)

  • Greta has the most boring grandma in the whole world. When she falls asleep on the sofa, Greta gets the idea, to play funeral with her grandma. This confronts them with some questions they didn’t ask themselves before. Because what remains when you have to leave life behind?
  • Statement of the children’s jury: The film convinced us by explaining the serious topic of death in a humorous way. We could easily understand the granddaughter’s thoughts. Younger children can access the subject matter that way. We think that it is a film suitable for all ages. The animation is so detailed and the perspective of the images so fascinating that we felt as if we had slipped under the covers, too. We also noticed a good mood in the audience. The film leaves us thoughtful, but not sad, with the following idea: If there are no beautiful memories, then we should make some.

Special Mention — Mum Is Pouring Rain, Hugo De Faucompret, France (Dandelooo, Laïdak Films)

  • This Christmas special relates the story of Jane, a tenacious eight-year old, who thinks she will spend the holidays with her mom, but to her surprise is sent to her grandma’s in the countryside instead. Against all odds, Jane’s holidays turn out to be a real adventure: She meets Cloclo, a gigantic bum with equal talent for jokes and music.
  • Statement of the children’s jury: The film has touched us all very much. The topic of depression is very relevant for many people. That’s why we think it is important that films deal with the disease and educate people about it. The portrayal of depression seemed very credible to us. We think that younger children should also be introduced to the topic. The film made this possible in a beautiful way.

Tricks for Kids Audience Award— Giuseppe, Isabelle Favez, Switzerland (Nadasdy Film)

  • This year, Giuseppe, the little hedgehog, doesn’t want to hibernate because his greatest wish is to see snow for once in his life. In search of the snow that is not coming this year, Giuseppe will have a great adventure and make new friends.

The next Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film will take place from April 25 to 30, 2023 (itfs.de). The 27th FMX will be held April 25-28, 2023 (fmx.de). Animation Production Days will take place in coordination with both events (animationproductiondays.de).

 

 

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