Press release, Stuttgart, 26 April 2023


The first award winners of the 30th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) have been chosen: In a joint awards ceremony – the Trickstar Professional Awards – the German Animation Screenplay Award, the Animated Games Award Germany, the Trickstar Business Award, and the Honorary Trickstar of the ITFS 2023 were presented on the evening of 26 April 2023 at the L-Bank Rotunde. Anja Lange hosted the event with numerous guests.



German Animation Screenplay Award

The aim of the two screenplay awards is to promote promising authors, to contribute to the improvement of content quality and the international market potential of animated feature films, as well as to highlight the importance of professional screenwriting and the more attractive films that come with it.


The prize for the best German screenplay for an animated feature film in the amount of € 2,500 sponsored by the Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart (AMCRS), goes to:



Screenplay: John Chambers

Production: XFilme Creative Pool GmbH,

Producer: Uwe Schott


The jury found:

Based on the popular IP and German board game KAKERLAKAK, Clarissa’s journey from hated underdog insect to rising star shows how rewarding it can be to pursue your dreams without fear rather than hiding in the shadows and doing what’s expected of you because it has always been so. The story is also a modern appeal for equality, inclusion, and acceptance of gender diversity, supported by lots of humour, songs, and dance. CLARISSA – The Musical is born.


The prize for the German screenplay with the greatest international market potential in the amount of € 1,500 sponsored by Pink Parrot Media goes to:



Screenplay: Richie Conroy

Production: Ulysses Filmproduktion GmbH

Producer: Emely Christians


From the jury statement:

Pirate Mo is a search for her own identity, armed with a strong sense of justice and lots of wit: Mo is a modern pirate, just like Madame Chen and will be loved by kids and parents alike all over the world Strong and witty characters, an exciting adventure, lots of humour and fun – Pirate Mo and the Legend of the Red Ruby is a fresh and new take on pirate stories – brave, courageous, and funny.


A Special Mention goes to:



Screenplay: Nina Wels, Kristina Yee

Production: Traumhaus Studios

Producer: Michael Luda


With references to ancient fairy tales and medieval past, this exciting and original story is set in our modern times. It contains a powerful message to all who are bullied or oppressed to courageously stand up to those who try to rule with fear, lies and manipulation and to save the world with love and truth. It’s a message that is desperately needed in these times of hate speech, fake news, and alternative truths.


The jury consisted of: Peter Keydel (Producer Mago Production, Barcelona/Düsseldorf), Tania Pinto de Cunha (President and Director of Int. Sales and Acquisitions, Pink Parrot, Media, Madrid), Lilian Klages (CEO & Executive Producer, Zooper Film, Ludwigsburg), Holger Weiss (CEO & Founder, M.A.R.K. 13 Group, Stuttgart), and Silke Wilfinger (Founder, SilkWayFilms, Munich).


Animated Games Award Germany

Prize for the best and most innovative animation-based computer game from Germany in the amount of € 5,000 sponsored by MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg:



Developer: Barbara Wittmann, rose-engine

Publisher: Humble Games


From the jury statement:

“Signalis” convinced us with a particularly strong visual language that honors the 90s art style, but does not limit itself to it and skillfully mixes genres. Inspired by pop culture it uses familiar elements and through technical innovation, this develops into a modern aesthetic. While playing the game, one can feel the passion for storytelling in an immersive, meticulously crafted game world that captivates not only visually. The reduced but skillful use of sound and music underlines the thrilling atmosphere of this classic survival horror game.


The jury consisted of: Anna Katharina Brinkschulte (Senior Lecturer Interactive Media, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg – Animationsinstitut, Ludwigsburg), Stephan Jakob (Professor for Game Design and Development, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (h_da) & Founder, BiteTheBytes, Darmstadt), and Lea Schönfelder (Co-Founder, Fein Games, Frankfurt am Main).


Trickstar Business Award

Prize for the best innovative and forward-looking business model in the animation sector in the amount of € 7,500 sponsored by Verband Region Stuttgart:


PentoPix Inc.

Founders: Volha Paulovich, Amid Pate

United Kingdom


The Jury found:

Pentopix clear business idea is offering a promising tool to bring ideas faster to live allowing more time to focus on story development. It’s generated AI tool transforms texts into 3D animated storyboards saving film or game studios valuable hours in their pre-production phase. Thus it’s groundbreaking relevant for any professional working within the animation industry from studios, advertising agencies, game developers, to film schools, independent creatives and writers.


A Special Mention goes to:


Those Production Girls (PTY) LTD

Founder: Kaya Kuhn
Mellville/South Africa


A Special Mention, close to an award, is deserved, in the jury’s opinion, by an entrepreneurial initiative that offers animation producers a comprehensive range of qualifications as well as mentoring in production management and project supervision, thus also optimising recruiting. This way, it not only creates important prerequisites for efficient networking among filmmakers, which, as we all know, is an important prerequisite for successful work in the film industry.


The jury consisted of: Jens Gutfleisch (Managing Director, Film Commission Region Stuttgart, Stuttgart), Marc König (Partner, Venue Gate, Stuttgart), Dieter Krauß (Freelance Consultant, Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH, Stuttgart), Viola Gabrielli (Media Consultant, Film Festival & Market Curator, Reutlingen) and Gabriele M. Walther (CEO & Founder, Caligari Film- und Fernsehproduktions GmbH, Munich / Traffix Entertainment GmbH, Stuttgart).


Honorary Trickstar of ITFS 2023


The Honorary Trickstar of the 2023 Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film goes to Latvian animation artist Signe Baumane. She accepted the award personally at the ceremony. Uwe Schmitz-Gielsdorf, Managing Director of Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH (ITFS), stresses:


“In Signe Baumane’s wonderful films, one can experience that philosophy and the art of animation are like siblings: Both of them abstract and thus clarify something that previously had been blurred in the abundance of appearances. Her film My Love Affair with Marriage is a fine example of this.”


Signe Baumane studied philosophy in Moscow, then worked for an animation studio in Riga and moved to New York City in 1996, where she first worked for independent director Bill Plympton while continuing to make her own films. In 1998, she founded her own studio and, with irrepressible energy, perseverance, and creativity, tackled the realisation of her feature-length films over many years.


Complementing the Honorary Trickstar Award, the ITFS presents her early films in a short film programme, including: The Witch and the Cow, (Latvia, USA, 1991), The Tiny Shoes (Latvia, USA; 1993), Gold of the Tigers (Latvia, 1995), Love Story (Latvia, USA, 1998). As a special highlight, the ITFS presents her two feature-length films, the multi-award winning “My Love Affair with Marriage” (Latvia, Luxembourg, USA, 2022) on 27 April, 8 p.m. at Cinema, and “Rocks in my Pockets” (Latvia, 2014) on 28 April, 8:15 p.m. at the Open-Air.