VFX Animated films' International Stuttgart Festival ends and announces its winners

Animated films’ International Stuttgart Festival concludes with announcement of winners

The 26th International Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film has ended  with the grand award ceremony in Gloria 1. The winner of the Grand Prix, the award for the best animated short film, is called Bloeistraat 11 by Nienke Deutz.

The 26th festival was all about Europe: Already at its opening on 30April, Shadi Adibs animation film for Europe Ode premiered and then ran daily on the big open-air screen. The cinemas were particularly full this year – the first day of the festival attracted around twice as many spectators as last year.

Managing director Ulrich Wegenast: “The ITFS has shown more than ever that it is not only a central place for technological innovation and film art but also a festival that brings together a wide variety of people and positions to celebrate animation and democracy – just as we imagine Europe to be!

Managing director Dieter Kraub: “We have once again succeeded in bringing the international world of animation together in Stuttgart and in changing the state capital with its many guests from all over the world noticeably and visibly during these six days and making it more vibrant”.

In addition to the varied film programme with short and feature films for adults and children, In persona presentations by renowned filmmakers and school and studio presentations, the GameZone at Kunstgebäude showed the latest games developments. For two days the music band Der Plan presented in two concerts how animations can be used for artistic stage sets. Industry representatives could find out about the latest business models for animation and the combination of animation, technology and pop culture. One of many highlights was the German voice actor Award with the nominees Aylin Tezel, Nellie Thalbach and Otto Waalkes as well as Bernd Kohlhepp, Dodokay and Eric Gauthier at Renitenztheater.

Numerous prizes were awarded in the 14 competitions: In addition to the Grand Prix, which automatically qualifies for the Oscar longlist, the competitions Young Animation, Tricks for Kids, AniMovie – Feature Film, German Screenplay Award, Germany’s Next Animation Talent, Animated Games Award, Trickstar Business Award, Arab Animation Forum and Crazy Horse Session – 48h Animation Jam were awarded. Otto Waalkes got the Trickstar trophy for Best German Animation Speaker in the film The Grinch.

Here are the winners:

Grand Prix

State of Baden-Wuerttemberg and the City of Stuttgart Grand Award for Animated Film with a cash prize of $16808.

Bloeistraat 11
Director: Nienke Deutz
Belgium, Netherlands 2018
Production: Lunanime

“The story of the friendship between two young girls, takes us back on a journey to our childhood and lets us almost physically re-live memories. With an unusual use of materials, which are a fundamental part of the storytelling, and subtle design the director evokes a closeness of feelings we all connect to. Pure and honest, the film creates the magical athmosphere that only cinema, in its best way, can achieve.”

Special Mention:

I’m going out for cigarettes
Director: Osman Cerfon
France 2018

“In a fresh combination of bold graphics, absurd humor, a touching coming-of-age-story is told, putting us inside the life of a contemporary family using surprising scenes. The director lets us empathize, in an expressive and edgy way, with a young boy who is trying to cope with the emptiness of a missing father. We are curious to see more films from this director.”


Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award  for Animated film
Award for the best graduation film with a cash prize of $11205, sponsored by MFG Film Funding Baden-Wuerttemberg

Director: Tue Sanggaard
Denmark 2019
Production: The Animation Workshop

“We are set into a social observation scenario that pushes us to face the underlying animal-like behaviour, that challenges our daily life in a controlled civil environment. The lively character design and animation, contributes to this precise analysis of primeval human instincts.”

SWR Audience Award

With a cash prize of$ 6723, sponsored by SWR.

Mind my mind
Director: Floor Adams
Netherlands 2019
Production: CinéTé filmproduktie

Young Animation
Award for the best studend film with a cash prize of $ 2801, donated by the Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Wuerttemberg and MFG Film Funding Baden-Wuerttemberg

Sounds good
Director: Sander Joon
Estonia 2018
Producer: Priit Pärn, Olga Pärn

“Art exhibitions, mushrooms and boom operating are a unique combination, even for animation. Sounds Good explores those under-appreciated topics in a playful and experimental way. The sound-driven film connects an intriguing rhythmical montage with unconventional perspectives and a reduced graphic style and colour scheme. For us, this sounds good. Looks good. Feels good, too.”

Special Mention:

It’s wet! 
Director: Alexis Godard, Nan Huang
France 2018
Producer : Alexis Godard, Nan Huang


Award for the best animated feature film

Mirai No Mirai 
Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Japan 2018
Producer: Yuichiro Saito, Takuya Ito, Yuichi Adachi, Genki Kawamura, Nozomu Takahashi
Studio Chizu

“We would like to thank everyone involved with the festival for inviting the three of us to work together on this jury. First, we would like to acknowledge every filmmaker who submitted a film for consideration, and particularly the ten whose films we viewed in the past week. Each one was a labour of love and clearly born of a deep desire to tell their story. We chose the film “Mirai No Mirai”. We appreciated so much the filmmakers inviting us into this home, and offering us the opportunity to watch this family grow together, and to help us understand our deep and human connection to those who came before us.”


FANtastic Award
The FANtastic Award with a cash prize of $1120.59. Donated by the Animation Family, the most faithful fans of ITFS.

Bear with me
Director & Producer: Daphna Awadish
Netherlands 2018

“It’s the little things that count. Everyday life, small rituals after a hard days’ work, a stroll at the lake. These little things mean so much, especially if they cannot be enjoyed daily. Our winning film tells these miniature stories, underlining in the truest sense of the word the experiences of immigrants and points out that home is where the heart is. We are very happy to award the FAN-tastic Price to “Bear with me” and welcome Daphna Awadish to the Animation Family!”

Tricks For Kids:
Award for the best children’s animated film with a cash prize of 4,000 €, sponsored by Studio 100 Media | m4e

The Kite
Regie: Martin Smatana
Czech Republic, Slovenia 2018
Production: Bfilm

“… because it’s beautiful. We liked the way the subject of aging and dying was presented. The film was sad, but it also gives courage and shows that beloved people never really leave us, but live on through our memories… perhaps above the clouds, perhaps with a dragon.”

German Animation Screenplay Award
Award for the best German-language screenplay for an animated feature film with a cash prize of $2799.88, donated by Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart.

Aisha’s Light from Xavier Romero and Llorenç Español

“AISHA’S LIGHT is a classic and at the same time ever-so-current tale about friendship and the bringing together of different religions and traditions. It is also an action-packed adventure which seeks to illuminate the screen with the “fireworks of enlightenment” – and we are very much looking forward to seeing it!”

 German Voice Actor Award

Award for the best German voice actor in an animated feature film.
Otto Waalkes in The Grinch

“Often in animated films one expects a firework of gags and overwhelming images – and The Grinch certainly has that to offer – but here, thanks to Otto’s art of language, quite universal and fundamental questions of community and living together are posed, which we have increasingly lost lately.
Germany’s Next Animation Talent
Award for a creative, innovative project with a cash prize for nominees and the winner in total of $39198.25 , donated by Studio 100 Media GmbH | m4e AG

Juli auf dem Zauberberg from Elisabeth Jakobi

“Juli auf dem Zauberberg is full of witty details and interesting visual solutions, and the series captivates us by being close to reality and far from it at the same time. This is all the more astonishing, as the outlandish characters have absolutely nothing to do with writer Elisabeth Jakobi’s family environment! The visual style, the first scribbles and mood pictures for Juli auf dem Zauberberg give us an idea of its international potential, while the created life-world could serve as a blueprint for any German patchwork family. With its subtle humour, sometimes absurd storylines, and droll cast of characters, the series project never comes across as patronising or tiring. At every turn, new adventures and surprises await us, fascinating young and old alike. And when Juli can overcome her fear of spiders alongside the course of the series too, it has a marvellous pedagogical side effect. But, same as everything else in Juli auf dem Zauberberg, this is a matter of sheer coincide.

Trickstar Business Award
Award for innovative business concepts in the field of animation with a cash prize of $8399.63, donated by Verband Region Stuttgart

CoboStories from Copenhagen Bombay

“CoboStories is an app and a physical stand that allows teachers and pedagogues to create stop motion movies and digital books with children and pupils. The tool supports teaching in a creative process and is based on the 21st century learning skills as well as the four C’s: Creativity, Critical thinking, Collaboration and Communication. CoboStories, developed by the Danish media house Copenhagen Bombay, impressed us not only with an exceptionally well-developed and scalable business model but also with a great product that is worth of promotion and support. We particularly admire CoboStories’ mission to tackle a socially relevant issue by offering children a playful approach to digital media that encourages creativity through a unique combination of digital and physical tools. There is no doubt in our minds that Sarita Christensen and her team will lead CoboStories to the successful future it is deserving of.

Special Mention: Smosh Mosh von Kinky Udders

Animated Games Award Germany
Award for the best animation based German computer game, which is characterized by the best visual design an aesthetics with a cash prize of $5599.75, donated by MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg

Developer: btf GmbH, Florian Köhne, Publisher: Headup GmbH
Special Mention: The Longing from Studio Seufz GbR and Anselm Pyta

The degree of innovation of the design is outstanding. The warm, hand-made backdrops invite you to explore and linger. Above all, the handcrafted quality of the backdrops used makes Trüberbrook the game of the year.

Arab Animation Forum Pitching Award

Traitors of the Eyes from Abdelrahman Dnewar and Saad Dnewar

The jury were impressed by the high standard of all projects. We were touched by all the pitches and those stories the world needs to see. It was a difficult choice but there was one story that really moved us. Traitors of the Eye is a story of loss, identity and secrets, a personal and yet universal exploration that says a lot about families around the world. It uses strong symbolism to convey a moving message. We know how challenging this will be for the creators, but we trust that their story needs to be told.”

Crazy Horse Session- 48h Jam
Team China (ZiYi Jin, ZiQian Zhao) with Horse.
Special Mention: Team Libanon (Noura Kabbani, Louay Daoust) with TR1-X1.

All of the films in this year’s competition are equally impressive and it is always a shame that there can only be one winner. We would like to firstly give a special mention to Noura and Louay from Lebanon for their film TR1-X1.

This year’s winning entry goes to the team from Beijing, China. The strength of the story was matched by the skills of the artists. The film was strong in content, nicely animated in the time allowed and the camera, timing and overall storytelling really stood out. Congratulations to Jin and Zhao!”

The next Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film will take place from 5 to 10 May 2020.