Grand Prix 2021

Grand Award for Animated Film, State of Baden-Württemberg and the City of Stuttgart with a cash prize of 15,000 €

  • Precieux // Precious

    France 2020, 14:00 Min.
    Director: Paul Mas
    Producer: Perrine Capron, Marc Jousset
    Production: Je Suis Bien Content

  • Special Mention: Only a Child
    Switzerland 2020, 6:00 Min.
    Director: Simone Giampaolo
    Producer: Gabriella de Gara
    Production: AMKA Films Productions

Jury Statement

“Tackling subjects familiar to all of us, that of being othered and misunderstood, of bullying and of friendship, ‘Precious’ skilfully handles the sensitive narrative with subtlety and a gentleness of expression. The story presents complex layers of social forces in a seemingly simple narrative. The gentle pace, quiet atmosphere and minimalism of the Mise en Scène, not only gives a sense of isolation, but holds the attention of the viewer, pulling them closer to evoke a deeper sense of empathy. Through the story, there is gradual accumulation of pressure and tension borne by the protagonist as the masterfully constructed narrative presents her painful lessons, yet leaves the viewer to wonder whether the experience has changed her for the better or for the worse. “Precious” is a timeless animation that touched us all and kept us thinking.”

Special Mention:

“‘Only a Child’ deserves the honour of receiving the Special Mention of the 28th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, because it is a collaborative project, celebrating the plethora of designs, styles, and techniques, that a century of animation has brought to the World. By adding animation to an important voice from the past, ‘Only a Child’ reminds us all, that only by believing in and acting as one responsible global community, there is a way forward for humanity on earth.
Some may comment that ‘Only a Child’ is part of a campaign, but this campaign, this movement, that unites young people across countries, cultures, and nationalities, is exactly what we need right now, to understand how humanity can succeed in the great game of evolution.

Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film 2021

Award for best graduation film with a cash prize of 10.000 €, sponsored by MFG Filmfunding Baden-Württemberg

  • Have a Nice Dog!

    Germany, Syria 2020, 13:00 Min.
    Director: Jalal Maghout
    Producer: Karsten Matern
    School: Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF

  • Special Mention: Jestem tutaj // I’m here
    Poland 2020, 15:00 Min.
    Director: Julia Orlik
    Producer: The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School Lodz

Jury Statement

In ‘Have a Nice Dog!’ we are dragged into a waking nightmare, a reality for many people in the world, but which is unimaginable to most. This is therefore an extremely valuable story, told in imaginative ways to express the horrors of war and the desperation of fleeing in an over-crowded rubber dinghy. This is an uncomfortable film to watch. The deformed characters, the woozy, morphing visions. The world appears to be made from fragile paper-mâché, cut-up and distorted. This is Guernica of a modern age, where dreams are Facebook posts and nightmares are at your door. This intelligent film is full of visual metaphors that intensify the viewers interest with every revisit. The aesthetic choices creatively express the confusion, compounding terror and the sense of hopelessness. The Jury found ‘Have a Nice Dog!’ to be a highly impressive and important film.

Special Mention:

“Our special mention goes to ‘I’m here’. The film has a clever film language that never let’s us look away from the main character. While life is moving around her she is always in the centre of our view, and with a minimalistic expression she, and the film, still expresses incredible emotional depth. The jury found this film very touching and empathetic. A film sensitive and intelligently told, cutting into our deepest fears and emotions about death and loss.

Young Animation 2021

Award for the best student film with a cash prize of  2,500 €, sponsored by the Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Württemberg and MFG Film Funding Baden-Württemberg.

  • Have a Nice Dog!

    Germany, Syria 2020, 13:00 Min.
    Director: Jalal Maghout
    Producer: Karsten Matern
    School: Filmuniversität Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF

  • Special Mention: The Song of a Lost Boy
    UK 2020, 10:00 Min.
    Director: Daniel Quirke
    Producer: Jamie MacDonald
    School: NFTS – National Film and Television School Beaconsfield Film Studios

Jury Statement

„A disturbing exploration of a man’s deteriorating psychological state caused by the ravages of war.
Boldly drawing a dotted line between war and the refugee crisis, the film follows the disintegration of the wall between reality and nightmare, leading to isolation and the search for escape that is forever elusive. ‘Have a Nice Dog!’ is layered, atmospheric, visually and emotionally full of grit. It often toys with the right juxtaposition of dynamism and phantasmagorical imagery. However, its real mastery is in its coherence articulation of the consequence of war on the individual. The sound design is bold and its absorbing parallel narratives and scenic nuances will yield on repeat festival viewings.”

Special Mention:

„A light-hearted, finely animated, somewhat ironic look at the sudden emergence of puberty in a young choirboy. Playing with the simple metaphor of the protagonist losing his voice, ‘The Song of a Lost Boy’ is a well- crafted, sublime use of puppetry, light, movement and sound to illustrates themes of self-discovery and “finding your own voice.” It does all this while heavily leaning on themes of the divine with post-futuristic apocalyptic tropes, and it works.”

AniMovie 2021

Award for the best animated feature film

  • Wolfwalkers

    Ireland, Luxembourg, USA 2020, 103 Min.
    Director: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart
    Producer: Paul Young, Nora Twomey, Tomm Moore, Stéphan Roelants
    Production: Cartoon Saloon, Melusine Productions
    World sales: Cartoon Saloon

  • Special Mention: Josep
    France, Spain 2020, 72 Min.
    Director: Aurel
    Producer: Serge Lalou
    Production: Les Films d’Ici Méditerranée, Imagic TV
    World sales: The Party Film Sales

Jury Statement

“‘WolfWalkers’ is the third in a series of animated films by Tomm Moore in which Irish-Celtic motifs from art and myth are translated into stylish animated films. For us, this film, which he directed with Ross Stewart, represents a new high point in this series because it now adds depth to the level, ornamental style without appearing conventional. Almost every shot could be a painting in itself. The cooler colours of the city and interiors contrast with the intoxicating colours of autumnal nature. And even the special perception of the world of wolves, who sense smells much more strongly than humans, is visualized in a surprising and convincing way and the feeling of walking on four legs through the dynamic camera movements. The score and the song about the wolves are the perfect accompaniment. With just a few strokes and excellent voice acting, four strong characters are depicted in a drama about life and death: the foreign English girl who wants to escape the preordained role as a servant, the funny, wild nature girl who needs help and friendship so much, the father, torn between duty to the Lord Protector Cromwell and concern for the disobedient daughter and Cromwell, who does what he believes is his job: to bring order and economic progress to Ireland, which also means to tame and subjugate nature, and, should it not be possible, to destroy it. All this is told in this film at an increasing pace leading up to a furious showdown which breathlessly carries away and emotionally touches the audience, children and adults alike. In the guise of a semi-historical fantasy film, a highly topical message is conveyed to us, namely that we must rethink our relationship to nature. That we must dare to allow wilderness – and also wildness – into our hearts. With the wolves, the filmmakers have chosen the perfect symbol for this message.”

Special Mention:

“’Josep’ by the director and illustrator Aurel sheds light on a largely unknown chapter from the time of European fascism: the fate of the Catalan illustrator Josep Bartoli, who, fleeing from Franco, is imprisoned in a French concentration camp where hunger, disease and violence reign. In a half-documentary, half-fictional narrative framework that spans its arc to the present day, the film portrays one of the former camp guards, who tells his grandson about his friendship with the painter on his deathbed.

The film is appropriately complex in its design, both through the different layers of the narrative and in the artwork, which in the biographical flashbacks is largely based on the impressive drawings by Bartoli, which he made in the camp. The somber, often sketchy, still images of captivity are followed at the end by scenes in the bright, warm colors of Mexican exile.

‘Josep’ surprises with many historical details, it shocks, moves and stimulates reflection, about European history, xenophobia, about courage in difficult times – and about the role of art.”

Trickstar Nature Award 2021

Award for the best international animated short film that deals with the topics of climate protection, biodiversity, environment, and sustainability, with a cash prize of 7,500 €,  sponsored by Verband Region Stuttgart.

  • Migrants

    France 2020, 8:20 Min.
    Director: Hugo Caby, Zoé Devise, Antoine Dupriez, Aubin Kubiak, Lucas Lermytte
    Producer: Carlos De Carvalho

  • Special Mention: Haboob
    Iran 2020, 9:00 Min.
    Director: Mahsa Samani
    Producer: Mahsa Samani

Jury Statement

“Climate change is one of the biggest issues we’ll be facing in the coming decades. Melting glaciers and rising sea levels are just a few of the countless facets which comes along by global warming. Times are changing and many of us won’t have the same environments and societies anymore as they used to know. In order to survive, people need to leave their beloved homelands, so it is the job of the privileged ones to help them to find their new places in our community. Once more the key is cohesion instead of supremacy to overcome this challenge, because we’re all on the same raft.
That’s why the jury chooses ‘Migrants’ as the winner of the Trickstar Nature Award 2021.
This film convinced us not only how the story showing the many levels of this frightening topic. But also in which unique style the film was realized. The film is warming but simultaneously uncomfortable. He is touching but also contradictory. He is on point but leaves enough space too to build our own interpretation about this issue. In other words ‘Migrants’ will stay in our minds and leave a lasting impression. That’s what good films do.”

Special Mention:

“We decided to give a special mention to ‘Haboo’  because we found it to be a very sensitive and touching film with a very clever use of the material it’s talking about as the medium of the film. The ending was especially putting the all film together and shared a light on the phenomenon of the Haboob in south Iran.”

FANtastic Award 2021

Award for the best animation talent, with a cash prize of 1,000 €, sponsored by the FANtastic jury, the most faithful fans of ITFS

  • Cha

    UK 2020, 8:20 Min
    Director: Gagandeep Kalirai
    Producer: James Bowsher
    School: NFTS – National Film and Television School Beaconsfield Film Studios

  • Special Mention : Mon ami qui brille dans la nuit // My Friend who Shines in the Night
    France 2020, 8:40 Min.
    Director: Grégoire De Bernouis, Jawed Boudaoud, Simon Cadilhac, Hélène Ledevin
    Producer: Moïra Marguin
    School: GOBELINS, l’école de l’image

Jury Statement

“Sometimes a smell is enough to reactivate memories. Like in our winning film ‘Cha’ by Gagandeep Kalirai, where a cardamom capsule evokes the Sikh massacre in Delhi in 1984. The unagitated yet haunting narrative style convinced us just as much as the elegant lines, the flowing transitions, the interweaving of then and now, animations and photos and, last but not least, the conciliatory ending. At a time when conflicts between different groups of people are fought out with all vehemence, this personal memoir is a reminder to finally overcome these rifts. “

Special Mention:

“Our Special Mention goes to ‘Mon ami qui brille dans la nuit’ by Grégoire De Bernouis, Jawed Boudaoud, Simon Cadilhac and Hélène Ledevin. We liked the literally friendly shine of the main characters, the helpfulness across the borders of being and the combination of animation and real film.”

Tricks for Kids 2021

Award for the best children’s animated film: Prize money in the amount of 4,000 € sponsored by Studio 100 Media. 

  • Roberto

    Spain 2020, 10:10 Min.
    Director: Carmen Córdoba González
    Producer: Carmen Córdoba González

  • Special Mention: Reven og Nissen / The Tomten and the Fox
    Norway, Sweden, Danmark 2019, 9:00 Min.
    Directors: Yaprak Morali, Are Austness
    Producers: Ove Heiborg, Thomas Gustafsson, Johan Palmberg
  • Special Mention:Les Chaussures de Louis / Louis’ Shoes
    France 2020, 5:15Min.
    Directors: Théo Jamin, Kayu Leung, Marion Philippe, Jean-Géraud Blanc
    Production: MOPA – L’Ècole du Film d’Animation et de l’image de Synthèse
    School: MOPA – L’Ècole du Film d’Animation et de l’image de Synthèse

Jury Statement

Winner:

The theme of “Roberto” was very convincing. Although the film has no dialogue, many emotions are conveyed. We understood many feelings through the appropriate music. The twist at the end was very surprising. The message we got was: “Every person is beautiful just the way they are.”

Special Mention: Reven og Nissen / The Tomten and the Fox

The film has a beautiful atmosphere. The characters and the scenery are very lovingly designed. We liked the message of the film: Don’t always think about yourself, but also care about others!

Special Mention: Les Chaussures de Louis / Louis’ Shoes

The film is very lovingly designed. Sharing the mind of an autistic person with the audience is also a very beautiful idea. It can help to understand autistic people better. In addition, the topic is conveyed very well through the images.

New World Classic Animation Award

Award for the best use/the best implemenztation of music in an animated short film with a cash prize of 2,500 €, sponsored by Instant Music Licensing

  • Flower Duet

    Haemin Ko, UK 2020, 02.27 Min.

  • Special Mention: Abadabude
    Kim-Quy Nguyen, Germany 2020, 01:20 Min.

Jury Statement

‘Flower Duet’ by Haemin Ko has realised the mood of the given song very aesthetically. Film composer Yin Lu also managed to perfectly integrate the main theme of Leo Delibes Song ‘Flower Duet’ into the soundtrack. We are pleased to present the ‘New World Classic Animation Award’ to Haemin Ko, as image and sound create a beautiful symbiosis and perfectly underline the drama of the ephemeral.

Special Mention:

As a counterpoint, we would like to give a ‘Special Mention’ to the short film ‘Abudabude’ by Kim Ngyuen. Naïve animation meets classical music, as well as not quite adult content. This entertains and provokes in equal parts. Amoeba copulations in Tchaikovsy’s ‘Nutcracker’ rhythm, including the inevitable climax … definitely worth a mention.

German Screenplay Award 2021

The award for the best screenplay in German language comes with 2,500 € sponsored by the Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart.

  • „Butterfly Tale“

    Heidi Foss and Lienne Sawatsky (Production Germany: Ulysses Filmproduktion GmbH)

  • Special Mention: “The Girl in the Flying Washing Machine”
    Danielle Bouteille (aka Daniel Reittinger, Austria)

Jury Statement

Every year, the monarch butterflies travel up to several 1000 kilometres on their migration. It’s autumn when our BUTTERFLY TALE begins, shortly before the great departure to the South. We get to know our young hero, butterfly Patrick. Patrick has mastered the art of parcour like no other, but unfortunately, he still cannot fly because one of his wings was born too small.
Nevertheless, his deepest desire is to undertake the long migration from Canada to Mexico along with his flock. But not only Patrick struggles with hidden demons. His best friend MARTY is still in the gluttonous caterpillar stage. Against orders, the two friends hide inside JENNIFER’s food freighter who voluntarily carries the emergency ration for the swarm. This way, Jennifer tries to hide her fear of heights. Despite their handicaps, many dangerous adventures and obstacles, the three unequal friends manage that the swarm arrives safely in Mexico. Finally, Patrick can honour his late father and role model, who sacrificed himself for the swarm on last years journey. He discovers his very own way of flying. Jennifer overcomes her fear of heights and Marty becomes a butterfly in Mexico in record time – the swarm has a lot to celebrate.

Butterfly Tale introduces us to the microcosmos of the monarch butterflies, one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world, which unfortunately is increasingly threatened by climate change and crowing cultural landscapes. It is a story about the courage not to give up despite supposed handicaps and to fight for one’s goals. Also, it addresses the threat of environmental destruction by humans without a moralizing undertone.
An adventurous coming-of-age story is told with a lot of dialog humour, which shows us how challenges can become opportunities. Totally hilarious: Patrick’s best friend and buddy, caterpillar Marty, a late bloomer who just won’t turn into a butterfly.

SPECIAL MENTION: The Girl in the Flying Washing Machine

In “The Girl in the Flying Washing Machine” little Hedde, who lives with her sister on an idyllic planet, discovers a flying washing machine and takes the wheel to adventure through space with its infinite frontier.

First she has to flee from the space police because washing machines are not permitted for interstellar travel. Then she has to discuss the laws of highly complex topics of physics with the ghost of the residual intelligence of her really, very clever sister.

She eventually discovers the Voyager 1 and 2 space probes on the edge of our universe, and
meets a Russian cosmonaut, she travels with her to earth in her washing machine.

And that’s really just the beginning of a chaotic, bizarre and very charming journey through the endless expanses of space, where you can already look forward to what to expect on the next page while reading the script. We have read this lively work, which should be told with a very simple and hardly elaborate aesthetic. We want to pay tribute to this somewhat different story because it is refreshing, with overwhelming imagination that awakened the child in us.

Animated Games Award Germany

Prize for an animated computer game from Germany with the best visual design and aesthetics in the amount of 5,000 € sponsored by MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg. 

  • „Endzone – A World Apart“

    Developer: Gentlymad Studios, CEO/ Founder Stephan Wirth; Publisher: Assemble Entertainment, CEO/ Founder Stefan Marcinek)

  • Special Mention:Lost Ember”
    Developer: Mooneye, Producer: Sinikka Compart; Publisher: Mooneye

Jury Statement

Endzone is a building strategy game set in a post-apocalyptic world. After humans had destroyed their planet’s livelihood through a nuclear disaster, only some survived in underground bunkers. 150 years later, they go back to the surface to start a new life – this is where the story begins. But the traces of destruction are still visible everywhere, the dangers of radiation not yet completely disappeared.
The strategy-building game by the Wiesbaden-based studio Gentlymad is characterised by numerous visual details as well as technical features that allow good accessibility despite complexity. The jury is amazed by such a complex work, that sums up to a whole in both micro and macro aspects. Every aspect of the game contributes to the atmosphere, from the delicate swaying of trees up to massive thunderstorms.
Due to the multitude of playful possibilities and the steadily increasing level of difficulty, players are challenged above all strategically. Different scenarios also offer various narrative approaches, which are reinforced by the character design. The result is an willfull, yet a varied strategy-building game with survival characteristics – that is convincing both – on the gameplay and visual level.

Special Mention:

Lost Ember tells the story of a soul who uncovers the history of a perished culture. In a hybrid manner, somewhere between game and film, the player discovers a vast and impressively crafted world, allowing them to look back in time at certain spots. Mostly in the shape of a wolf, the player has the opportunity to hijack the fauna, and make use of the special abilities of several animals’. This creates a wonderful degree of freedom, because every player is invited to explore the virtual nature in a way that they prefer – including the wide view through the eyes of a bird or shoveling through the earth.
Lost Ember convinces as solid team work for a rounded and well balanced gaming experience. The jury praises that the studio succeeds well in transporting the calm and mystical atmosphere of the story, and realizing it consequently. This is for the visuals as well as for the sound and gameplay, which draws the player into the world immediately, and carries them lightheartedly through the game. Thereby, the character design is reduced enough to capture the player’s imagination: The protagonist remains silent, while the narrator has no body. This leaves, besides all visual opulence, enough white space for one’s own interpretation.

Trickstar Business Award

The award honours innovative business models in the field of animation and comes with prize money in the amount of 7,500 € sponsored by Verband Region Stuttgart. 

  • Mitmalfilm UG

    with Uli Seis (Producer, Filmmaker)

Jury Statement

This year the jury of the Trickstar Business Award is pleased to reward Mitmalfilm UG, for the company perfectly embodies the Award’s core. Mitmalfilm UG develops crossmedial animation that sparks creativity amongst children; a worthwhile purpose with a convincing business model behind it. Their documentation showed relevance to the market and business potential, as well as an innovativity and promise that the Trickstar Business Award stands for.

Also from the point of view of the industry, Mitmalfilm UG stood out amongst this year’s submissions. Their way of making animation accessible for children brings the medium even closer to new generations, and perhaps plants some seeds for future creators to be screened at ITFS. And lastly, the jury was taken by the company’s aim to find a commercial way to fund animated shorts.