Press release, Stuttgart, April 23, 2024

Stuttgart Animated Week officially opened yesterday by ITFS, FMX and APD

A “Hidden Champion“ puts the city in the spotlight for six days


The 31st Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) kicks off tonight and will immediately show the first seven films of the International Competition. Yesterday, the three events ITFS, FMX – Film & Media Exchange and Animation Production Days (APD) celebrated a joint Opening Reception of Stuttgart Animated Week in the White Hall of the New Palace with 250 invited guests.


In his welcoming address, Arne Braun, State Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts, emphasised that Baden-Württemberg is probably the most underestimated creative location in Europe. By uniting under the umbrella of Stuttgart’s Animated Week, this “hidden champion” will hopefully be put in the much-deserved spotlight. In order to make it shine, Braun said, financial security and support from stakeholders such as the Animation Media Creators Region Stuttgart or the more than 30 studios as well as universities and art academies is essential.


The State Secretary for the Arts emphasised the synergies between the three events. There are intersections in the common themes of FMX and ITFS, such as the work of women in the animation industry or the country focus on Ireland, which is shared by the animation festival and the APD. Dr Jan Pinkava, Head of the Animation Institute at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, also referred to the cooperation between the three events and pointed out that, for the first time, all three trailers come from the same narrative universe designed by Filmakademie graduates.


“Quite simply, the World of GRA is good art,” said Pinkava. “It is populated by gentle metaphorical beings who show us how to deal with the universal human problems of growth, change and displacement, with poetic and playful grace. In our troubled times these themes could not be more relevant.” The first block of the International Competition continues tonight at the opening of the ITFS with a similarly explosive and relevant programme: “Voids” is the title for seven short films that tell of the power of decision, the importance of memories and the fact that sometimes a small hug can change a lot.


In addition to the competitions and the special programme in the festival cinemas and in the Festival Centre, the Activity Area on Schlossplatz offers a hands-on programme – from sports activities, stop-motion and radio workshops or a spring check-up for your bike. If you want to delve deeper, we recommend the daily Insights from filmmakers talks, panels and masterclasses to studio presentations.


Tomorrow, Wednesday, it gets personal: Two In Personas are dedicated to strong women in animation: the multi-award-winning Slovenian animator Špela Čadež (April 24, 15:00, Cinema) is passionate about analogue animation.  In the evening, a short film programme highlights the work of this year’s ASIFA award winner Michaela Pavlátová (April 24, 20:00, Cinema): The Czech animator is also highly decorated, was nominated for an Oscar among others, her film “Tram” premiered in Cannes and won the Annecy Cristal in 2012.


For families, film fans and those who want to become one we have put together even more selected programme tips on our website: Here’s to an animated week in Stuttgart, with three fantastic events that bring together all the different aspects of animation: Sharing new ideas and experiences, connecting producers with financiers to realise new projects, and finally showing the results to an enthusiastic audience. Let’s celebrate Stuttgart’s Animated Week!



New images from the festival and film stills are available for download in various albums on our Flickr channel:


Download explanation: Click on the desired photo, then click on the icon in the bottom right corner with the downward pointing arrow and select the option “Show all sizes”. You can then download the photo in the size that suits you. The images are free of charge if the photographer is credited.