APD 2021 conference explores future perspectives for the European animation industry

The Animation Production Days (APD) conference, as well as the co-production and financing market, are going virtual  in 2021. In addition to looking at how the animation industry has got through the past year, the conference will also explore the future perspectives and trends that are emerging for the post-crisis period. APD, the most important business platform for animation projects in Germany, is a joint venture between the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) and the FMX – Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Immersive Media.

The first section of the conference, entitled ‘Enable! Case Studies and Market Trends’, will be hosted by APD curator Prof. Lilian Klages and streamed from 3.00 pm on 6 May, Thursday from the FMX studio in Ludwigsburg. In the first case study, ‘Ainbo – Spirit of the Amazon’, Edward Noeltner from the Cinema Management Group will look at the very exciting and innovative animation market in Latin America and use the example of the Peruvian-Dutch coproduction of ‘Ainbo’ to reveal possibilities for European-Latin American cooperation. The second case study will explore the future of transmedia storytelling as a team of students from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg present ‘NEOSHIN’, their cyberpunk project which combines a narrative series with music and new media to deliver a coherent transmedia experience.

The conference’s second section, the Content Briefing Session, will be streamed from 11.30 am to 1.00 pm on 7 May  from the studio of the International Festival of Animated Film in Stuttgart. APD curator Christophe Erbès will interview four representatives from major broadcasters and streaming platforms about their current animation programming needs. The panelists include – Netflix Kids & Family Original Content manager Janine Weigold; BBC director of Children’s & Education Patricia Hidalgo; The Walt Disney Company vice president of Content Animation & Digital – EMEA, Orion Ross; and ZDF Head of Fiction for Children & Youth Jens Ripke. A subsequent joint panel discussion will look at which animation content is currently in demand and will also explore whether and in what way the pandemic has had an impact on programming strategies and what this means for the animation industry.

APD participants can access the streams via the APD online platform. In addition, the conference will be included in the ONLINE PRO area of ITFS and its first section will be part of the FMX online programme.

More than 160 participants from 25 countries have been accredited for the APD co-production and financing market. From May 4th to 7th, they will be discussing 51 selected animation projects in pre-planned video meetings.

Alongside the co-production and financing market and the APD conference, there will be additional digital networking opportunities to facilitate industry-specific exchanges and discussions.

An overview of the selected projects can be found on the APD website:


An overview of the accredited companies can be found here: