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Das Internationale Trickfilm-Festival Stuttgart im Netz

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Ein Klassiker und Highlight des Festivals ist die Sektion Best of Animation, die die wichtigsten und interessantesten Animationsfilme der letzten zehn Jahre vorstellt.
Kuratiert von Ron Diamond.


  • Best of Animation 1
    Mi., 06.05.2009; 19:00 Uhr; GLORIA 1
  • Best of Animation 2
    Do., 07.05.2009; 19:00 Uhr; GLORIA 1
  • Best of Animation 3
    Fr., 08.05.2009; 19:00 Uhr; GLORIA 1
  • Best of Animation 4
    Sa., 09.05.2009; 19:00 Uhr; GLORIA 1


"Short animated films. What’s the attraction? Why make them, why watch them and why would I choose to fly ¼ away around the world three, four and sometimes five times a year, just to see some new ones?


Remarkably most people know to some degree that animated short films do exist, while 99.9% of the world’s population ignores them all together. Not this dedicated group of festival attendees, well knowing that this may be the first and last time that we’ll actually see most of the films shown at festival. And not because the films are not worthy, interesting or inspiring but rather because these films or can I say “art pieces” don’t fit in any conventional programming business model outside of the safe haven of the film festival.

And for this reason I responded enthusiastically to the invitation to program a series of four programs of worthy short films for the 16th edition of the venerable Internationales Trickfilm Festival in Stuttgart.


You see, I have managed to make my way from Los Angeles to attend many editions of the great animation festivals since 1989 in Annecy-France, Hiroshima-Japan, Puchon-Korea, Esphino-Portugal, Ottawa-Canada, Genzano-Italy, Trebon-Czech Republic, Cardiff-U.K., Utrecht-Holland, Brussels-Belgium, Rio de Janerio-Brazil, and Baden-Switzerland but it’s the Trickfilm Festival I attend annually to be sure that I’ve seen a wide array of work and to be truly inspired. I never cease to be inspired, challenged and delighted by the unique selection of films at this festival dedicated to showing the most diverse and highly selective animated short films from around the world.


During the last year, I have been giving a lot of thought to the bigger question of “Why?” What is it that causes animators who have come from all over the globe to explore the short film format? Coming from Hollywood where success is most often and taught to be measured by financial success and awards garnered (that translate into further financial success), one would think that I would be myopic and focus on films that translate into cash. But rather I am myself am inspired by short tales; explorations of personal revelation that flow from the pens of an unexpected array of great and occasionally undiscovered talent. Students and professionals alike have the prospect of dazzling audiences with nuanced works that explore personal themes related to risk, compromise, chance and folly.


Part of “Why?” is answered in the films themselves. Having seen thousands of feature films and far more animated shorts, both student and independent, sometimes I need to make allowances for lack of skill in craftsmanship, success of communication, poorly told stories and obscure concepts. Yet I find it much easier in the safe confines of the festival environ to make exceptions for short comings in short films because there is occasionally some element of true originality or beauty that justifies the experience. Where I find my disappointment much more difficult to stomach is in a cinema where I’m watching one film for 100 minutes and expect more from “professionals”. And it’s this misconception that I think many people make that filmmakers of short films are something less than their feature counterparts for “settling” with the short film format. Personally, I think it’s far more complicated to weave a complex story with compelling characters with often a single pair of hands conceiving, creating and rendering each frame to make a short film that resonates and holds the audience’s unfettered attention for not just the duration of the short film but penetrates within the recesses of their memory for days, months and even years to follow. Granted a film as successful as this is not common. Only once a year if we are lucky does a film of this complexity get to flow innocently through the festival circuit for there is no where else. But more often than not, we wait years, sometimes many for a truly perfect gem to come along. This being a film that EVERYONE talks about and almost unilaterally takes all the praise, admiration and breathe away from its audiences and yes, awards as well.


For the last ten years I have been honored to show many of the best films created each year. Each year I create a selection of many of the best films, in my view, and compile them as a touring film festival of sorts. I named it the The Annual Animation Show of Shows respectfully named after Your Show of Shows, the hugely successful American sketch variety television show created in the 1950’s offering up the early work of many of the most important comedy writers and comedians in the entertainment business today. My aim is to bring some of the best animated films to those most focused on the production of animation and to build a culture of appreciation and interest in these films in hopes that the films they see will influence their future work. Each year The Annual Animation Show of Shows plays at over 40 venues including all of the major animations studios (including Pixar, Disney, Blue Sky and Dreamworks), including ASIFA Chapters in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles and University animation departments in the North America (including Cal Arts, USC, UCLA, NYU, Emily Carr, RISD and Harvard) and a selection of festivals around the world. You can see The 10th Annual Animation Show of Shows this year at the FMX. By the way, you can also purchase 12 volumes of shorts on DVDs here at the festival that feature many of the short films that have played in past animation programs that I have presented and programmed.

In the four programs that I have organized for you to enjoy, I have mixed a selection of films of varying genre and design. I believe for a program to be successful, we must take the audience on a journey. Sometimes portions of the journey are not obviously easy, but rather some films interspersed throughout are important for many reasons and in some cases are intended to challenge the audience. After all, how can we enjoy a range of work if all we watch were just funny or just demanding films.


I have not organized any of the programs to be dependent on one another rather each is it’s own journey of delight and enlightenment. I must admit, I did attempt to avoid films that had been shown repeatedly by my esteemed predecessors who programmed this series in the past. We all fall prey to our beloved favorites and subsequently, I warm you, if you are a regular to this individualized selection year in and year out, you will see a few films repeated. This is because these films are far to important to be ignored by me or anyone. They deserve my praise and I feel it my responsibility to share them with those of you who have not seen them before and trust that you will understand that for those of you who will watch them again and again, these are in my view some of the most important films to ever have been made.


The “Why?” answer I seek is rhetorical. I know that my love affair with the short form stems from their innocence, dedication, brilliance, artistry and messages. I am fortunate to know many of the makers of the films you will see in these programs, and I can assure you, as wonderful as these films are, their makers are some of the most inspired, smartest, clever and nicest people I have ever known. We are fortunate to be amongst them at festivals and I encourage you to seek them out here and at other festivals or through email communications. I do believe that with these great people working in our medium, our lives are improved in numerous ways. And all it takes is one great film and I hope you too will be inspired to make new work, to reach for these heights in creative expression and to internalize the important messages from these masterpieces.

I can share with you this observation. The filmmakers dedicated to the short form are committed to their work much like if they were answering a religious “calling”. Regardless to personal comfort and financial security, many die-hard short filmmakers will continue to make films of substance. And as long as these films continue to get made, I’ll be singing their praises and enjoying the experience of watching them and sharing them with others.


Thanks for attending these programs and if you have a moment afterwards or when you return home, please feel free to write me at rjd(at)acmefilmworks.com and tell me what you thought of the program."

Ron Diamond



Ron Diamond is the president and Executive Producer of Acme Filmworks a leading commercial animation studio in Hollywood, California. Acme Filmworks features a who’s who of animation with a roster of international animation directors. Examples of Acme Filmworks commercial production work can be seen at http://www.acmefilmworks.com. Diamond is also co-founder and President of AWN.com (Animation World Network) the internet publishing group that offers an array of resources to the global animation market including AWN.com, VFXWorld.com, AIDB.com and AWNTV.com. Diamond has served as a jury member at several animation festivals many of which have presented exhibitions featuring original artwork from Acme Filmworks productions."


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