Press release, Stuttgart, March 21, 2023


AniMovie is the name of the international feature-length film competition of the 30th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), which takes place from 25 to 30 April 2023. The films selected this year have a chance to win the coveted Trickstar award. Many directors have announced their attendance at the premieres and screenings.


With their power to tell unique stories in artful images with a distinctive signature style, animated films often create a more intense cinematic experience than many a live-action film. With characters that the viewer can identify with, unfazed by their colours, shapes and language, a projection screen is created. This year’s films in the ITFS programme take us into the past of historical figures such as the artist Charlotte Salomon or Friedrich Hölderlin, we accompany strong women through times of war in Angola or Syria or travel to the North Pole with a small Italian dog. The AniMovie competition includes films for children and adults. In addition, the ITFS shows extraordinary feature-length films in the supporting programme (AniMovie Special) – among them a world premiere.


AniMovie – Feature-lenght Films in Competition


German premiere: „Charlotte“

Directors: Eric Warin, Tahir Rana // Canada 2022 // 92 min.
Friday, April 28, 6:30 pm, Gloria 1

The true story of Charlotte Salomon, a young German-Jewish artist who comes of age on the eve of the Second World War and defies incredible odds to create a timeless masterpiece.

In the original English version with the voices of Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn and Jim Broadbent, among others. Salomon’s autobiographical life’s work, a collection of drawings, texts and scenic notes, is currently on display at the Lenbachhaus Munich. Tahir Rana will be present in Stuttgart.



German premiere: „Titina“

Director: Kajsa Naess // Norway 2022 // 90 min.
Wednesday, April 26, 6:30 pm, Gloria 1

Italian airship engineer Umberto Nobile enjoys a quiet life with his beloved dog Titina, who charmed him into rescuing her from the streets of Rome. One day, Norwegian explorer superstar Roald Amundsen contacts him and orders an airship to conquer the North Pole. Nobile seizes the opportunity to go down in history. He brings Titina along, and the unlikely trio sets out on an expedition to the last undiscovered place on Earth. Their quest is successful but, in the aftermath, the two men start to quarrel over the glory.

Director Kajsa Naess will be present for the German premiere in Stuttgart. The film is based on the true adventures of the dog Titina, who won the hearts of Europeans in the 1920s. Naess presented the film in the Work in Progress series at ITFS 2022.



Director: José Miguel Ribeiro // Portugal, Belgium, France, Netherlands 2022 // 83 min. // Thursday, April 27, 6:30 pm, Gloria 1

Angola. Three generations of women in a 25-year-long civil war: Lelena (the grandmother), Nayola (the daughter) and Yara (the granddaughter). Past and present interlace. Nayola goes in search of her missing husband at the height of the war. Decades later, the country is finally at peace but Nayola has not returned. Yara has become a rebellious teenager and a subversive rap singer. Lelena tries to contain her for fear of the police coming to arrest her. One night, a masked intruder breaks into their house. An encounter like nothing they could have imagined.

With “Nayola”, José Miguel Ribeiro realised the first Portuguese animated feature film ever, which won the prize for best animated feature film at the Guadalajara International Film Festival and the audience award at the São Paulo International Film Festival 2022.



AniMovie Kids – Feature-lenght Films in Competition for Kids


German premiere: “Three Robbers and a Lion”

(Folk og røvere i Kardemomme by)

Director: Rasmus A. Sivertsen // Norway 2021 // 79 min.
Thursday, April 27, 4:00 pm, Gloria 1
Recommended for ages 6 and older, live German narration

Chaos rules the everyday life of the three troublemakers Casper, Jasper and Jonathan – also in their household. As they co-live with a lion, they are in desperate need for a housekeeper and come up with a plan to kidnap Aunt Sophie who is famous to be a domestic goddess. However, her management skills are even better than her housekeeping: She bosses the robbers around and has them do the job. Little by little, the three realize they are in a trap. The only solution is to get rid of Sophie by bringing her back to town.

Director Rasmus A. Sivertsen will be present for the German premiere in Stuttgart. The film is based on one of the best-known Norwegian children’s books and impresses above all with its innovative fusion of miniature buildings with CGI-animated characters.



“Dounia & the Princess of Aleppo” (Dounia & la Princesse d’Alep)

Directors: Marya Zarif und André Kadi // Canada, France 2022 // 72 min.
Friday, April 28, 2:00 pm, Gloria 1
Recommended for ages 8 and older, live German narration.

A few nigella seeds tucked in the palm of her hand, 6-year-old Dounia leaves Aleppo with the Princess of Aleppo’s help and travels towards a new world.

In her debut film, director Marya Zarif tells her own story of escape from Aleppo in a fabulously impressive way.



“Yuku and the Himalayan Flower” (Yuku et la fleur de l’Himalaya)

Directors: Arnaud Demuynck, Rémi Durin // Belgium, France 2022 // 65 min. // Saturday, April 29, 2:00 pm, Gloria 1
Recommended for ages 4 and older, German version

On top of the highest mountains on earth grows a plant that feeds on the most perfect sunlight – the Himalayan flower. Yuku, a young mouse, leaves her family to search for this flower of eternal light and give it to her grandmother, who will soon have to follow the little blind mole through the twists and turns of the earth. But to succeed, there is a long journey ahead, full of obstacles. Arnaud Demuynck will be present.



AniMovie Special – Feature-length Films in the Supporting Programme


ITFMX Screening: „Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

Director: Guillermo del Toro // USA 2022 // 116 min.
Thursday, April 27, 8:30 pm, Gloria 2

In a joint screening, ITFS and FMX – Film and Media Exchange will show a darker version of the story about the famous wooden boy by Hollywood filmmaker del Toro. Present at the screening will be Georgina Haynes, Head of Character Creation on “Pinocchio”. The film won the OSCAR 2023 in the category “Best Animated Feature”.



World Premiere: „Hölderlins Echo“

Directors: Hannes Rall, Susanne Marschall // Germany 2023 // 90 min.
Saturday, April 29, 6:30 pm, Gloria 1

One famous poet, hundreds of famous composers: the work of Friedrich Hölderlin was set to music about 1800 times in the 20th century. In the history of modern music, Hölderlins poetry has been transformed into avant-garde Liedkunst, which is interpreted globally, but especially in Asia. “Hölderlins Echo” resonates with many voices in the film’s elaborately designed animations, which were created by an international team. Four poetic animated scenes show episodes from Hölderlin’s life and constantly reinterpret the figure of the restless, loving, ever-breaking, multi-faceted poet through the individual styles of the animation artists. Susanne Marschall (director live-action film) and Hannes Rall (director Animation) will be present at the world premiere.



„Teheran Tabu“

Director: Ali Soozandeh // Germany, Austria 2017 // 96 min.
Thursday, 27. April, 6:30 pm, Delphi

Pari, Babak, Sara and Donya live in the Iranian capital Tehran. In order to earn a living for herself and her five-year-old son Pari works as a prostitute and sells her body to an influential judge, who supposedly helps her lead a better life. life. Her neighbour Sara, who ekes out an obedient existence as a housewife under her husband and his devout parents, also dreams of a better life, but would much rather go back to work. Young Donya faces a similar fate. In a few days she will get married. Nevertheless, she agrees to spend the night with the young musician Babak and afterwards demands that he pays for an operation to restore her virginity.

The ITFS will also show a film about the Islamic Revolution in Iran at the free open-air cinema on Schlossplatz: “Persepolis” (directed by Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi, France 2007), at 8:15 pm on Wednesday, 26 April.


„My Love Affair with Marriage”

Director: Signe Baumane // Latvia, Luxembourg, USA 2022 // 108 min. // Thursday, April 27, 8:00 pm, Cinema

From an early age, songs and fairytales convinced Zelma that Love would solve all her problems as long as she abided by societal expectations of how a girl should act. But as she grew older something didn’t seem right with the concept of love: the more she tried to conform, the more her body resisted. A story about the acceptance of the inner female rebellion.

Signe Baumane will be present for the screening. The Open Air programme will also feature her feature-length film “Rocks in My Pockets”.