Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) reveal their first program highlights -

Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) reveal their first program highlights

The first hybrid Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) scheduled to be held from 3 to 8 May 2022, shared their first programme highlight. As one of the world’s most important festivals for animated film, ITFS 2022 takes place at various venues in Stuttgart, including the Schlossplatz and the Innenstadtkinos, and in addition presents a rich programme online at and in the virtual world of the ITFS VR Hub.

This year’s motto is ‘Black is Back!’. True to this motto, the fundamentals of animation – reduction, simplification, and clarity, but also exaggeration and over-drawing – will be the focus of ITFS 2022 and presented and highlighted in various film programmes and events. Because with the coronavirus crisis, the desire to return to the essence and fundamentals of their existence in everyday life has become clear to many people. 

The International Competition is the central attraction of the festival. It honours:

  • Young Animation honors the best films by students from international institutes of higher education for film, media and art
  • Tricks for Kids the best animated short film for children 
  • AniMovie the best animated feature-length film
  • Trickstar Nature Award for the best animated short film on the topics of climate protection, biodiversity, the environment and sustainability
  • Trickstar Business Award the best innovative and ground-breaking business model for a project or company in the animation sector Animated Games Award Germany the best and most innovative animation-based computer game from Germany
  • German Animation Screenplay Award the best German screenplay for a feature-length animated film as well as the screenplay with the greatest international market potential.

All competition programmes can be viewed on-site at Innenstadtkinos and in the ONLINE+ media centre. In the animation competition Crazy Horse Session – 48 hours Animation Jam, international teams face the challenge of creating an animated film involving Festival mascot Trixi in 48 hours.

In the supporting programme, ITFS 2022 will focus on Austria, along with numerous other highlights. Animation production in the Alpine republic is known for experimentation, innovation, and dark humour. Selected artists, studios and institutes of higher education will present their work. Austrian partner festivals are Tricky Women / Tricky Realities and Ars Electronica. In the themed series Wonderwomen – Women in Games & Animation, curated by Waltraud Grausgruber, ITFS continues the themed programme released in 1996 and curated by Jayne Pilling, and sheds light on how the situation for women in animated film has changed since then and which new artistic positions have emerged. 

In the IN PERSONA series, internationally renowned and artistically outstanding animators give personal insights into their work and their working methods. Scheduled guests for the series include: 

  • Daniel Höpfner (Berlin)
  • Jochen Kuhn (Ludwigsburg)
  • Registra Pessoa (Porto)
  • Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo (Lyon) 
  • Thomas Renoldner (Vienna)

Other guests confirmed for ITFS 2022 so far include:

  • Nick Park (Bristol), Oscar winning creator of the characters Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, 
  • Filmmakers Michelle and Uri Kranot (“Nothing Happens”, “Hollow Land”) 
  • Film producer and Academy member Ron Diamond (Los Angeles) 
  • Jürgen Hagler, professor at the Hagenberg University of Applied Sciences and curator at Ars Electronica. 

Other programme highlights are:

1) The GAMEZONE- Presents innovative and high-quality computer games and interactive projects at the intersection of games and animation that invite visitors to play. The games nominated for the Animated Games Award Germany and a selection of exciting games degree programmes will be presented. Hackathons and the GameZone Kids at Jugendhaus Mitte complete the programme.

2) As part of the children’s film festival TRICKS FOR KIDS, supported by the impulse programme “Kultur nach Corona” of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg, numerous film programmes, workshops, special screenings and participatory activities for children and school classes are offered in cooperation with vhs Stuttgart – Treffpunkt Kinder and Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg.

At the Animation Academy for Kids, in cooperation with Kindermedienland Baden-Württemberg, experienced animators and film professionals provide insights into the world of animation production. Premium partner of the Tricks for Kids children’s film festival and long-standing supporter of the ITFS is L-Bank: Staatsbank für Baden-Württemberg. 

3) A special programme series will be dedicated to the motto ‘Black is Back!’ – a selection of the most beautiful and extraordinary animated films of the last 25 years will be shown, which captivate with their black-and-white aesthetics, reduction, and minimalism, but also with exceptional narrative forms – curated by the Artistic Managing Director of ITFS, Ulrich Wegenast.

During the six days ITFS festival, fans of animated work of all ages will have the opportunity to watch and experience animated short and long films, series and games as well as VR and AR projects. The prize money in various competitions sums up to 70,000 Euros.