The 30th edition of the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) in Germany will take place from 25 to 30 April 2023. Since its beginnings in 1982 until today, it has been established as a meeting place, think tank and career springboard for filmmakers and animation artists from all over the world. ITFS has shared the first glimpse of their programme highlights.
The motto of the anniversary edition of this event is ‘Animation Connects’. ITFS 2023 will take place at various venues in Stuttgart, including the Schlossplatz and the Innenstadtkinos.
At the heart of the festival is the International Competition, featuring the latest animated short films from around the world. The diverse programme showcases important themes such as the exploration of migration and trauma, sexuality and gender, environment, social anxiety and loneliness, as well as films on human abysses. OSCAR 2023 nominated short films will also be screened.
Here are the important themes for ITFS 2023
Migration and trauma:
- Letter to a Pig (France/Israel, 01/2022) – In this film, award-winning animator and visual artist Tal Kantor shows a unique technique that combines drawing, photography, video, painting and animation. The story is about a Holocaust survivor reading a letter he wrote to the pig who saved his life. While listening, a young schoolgirl falls into a strange dream, where she is confronted with questions of identity, collective trauma and the extremes of human nature.
- Salvation Has No Name (Czech Republic/France/United Kingdom, 07/2022) – Joseph Wallace’s film is dedicated to the topics of migration and narrow-mindedness. A troupe performs a play about a priest and a refugee woman. As their misguided story unfolds, the boundaries between fiction and reality begin to blur and the situation escalates.
Films with a view to the human abyss:
- Scale (Belgium/France/United Kingdom, 04/2022) – The ITFS will screen the short film by award-winning filmmaker Joseph Pierce (among Screen International’s Stars of Tomorrow in 2008). As Will’s drug addiction gets worse, he tries to unravel the sequence of events that led to his predicament before he is lost forever.
- Pachyderme (01/2022) – French filmmaker Stéphanie Clément’s work offers a glimpse into one of Louise’s summer days in the countryside with her grandparents. But the familiar is overshadowed by anxiety, sadness and a monster – so subtle and frightening.
Gender & Identity:
- Sasha (Serghei Chiviriga, 03/2022) – The Romanian short film is about a teenager in the shape of a snail, who, confused by the whole world and their own body, is forced to discover the truth about their own sexual identity in a strange way.
Environment & Society – With a pinch of humour:
- Sandwich Cat (Spain, 09/2022) – In a humorous short film, David Fidalgo Omil shows us a mirror image of humanity – with all its good and especially bad qualities. David himself plays a decisive role. Can we humans still be saved?
- The Invention of Less (Switzerland, 12/2021) – In 2031, a young female polar bear has to leave her home due to global warming and moves to Zurich. Together with the other animals who have fled, she manages to get by with odd jobs. But then she has a world-changing idea! The Invention of Less by Noah Erni shows in a humorous and entertaining way how the world might be saved by a little trick.
OSCAR Nominated Films at ITFS:
- Ice Merchants (France/Portugal/United Kingdom, 05/2022) – João Gonzalez was the first Portuguese filmmaker ever to be nominated for an Academy Award. In addition to the Jury Prize for Best Short Film in the Critics’ Week Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Ice Merchants received a nomination for Best European Short Film at the 2022 European Film Awards. The film tells the story of a father and his son who parachute out of their vertiginous cliff-mounted cold house every day to go to the distant village on the ground where they sell their ice.
- The Flying Sailor (Canada, 02/2022) – This film by Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby is based on a true incident and a meditation on the unexpected voyage of a sailor.
- My Year of Dicks (Sara Gunnarsdottir, Iceland/USA, 03/2022) – In addition, this OSCAR nominated film will be screened in the ITFS supporting programme.
Social anxieties and loneliness:
- Pasajero (Passenger) (Argentina, 01/2022) – In this film by Juan Pablo Zaramella, we accompany a man on his train journey where he gets into numerous social conflicts. He travels from the solitude of the countryside to the populated city, establishes superficial relationships with random passengers, confronts them with their social codes and finally processes these deep inside himself to find a way to adapt to his surroundings.
- Koerkorter (Dog-Apartment, Estonia, 2022) – The dark stop-motion film by award-winning Priit Tender is about the bizarre relationship between a discarded ballet dancer and his butcher, where he has a job to satisfy his voracious rented apartment. It is a film full of metaphor, about daily routines, broken souls trapped in a bleak world with their anxieties and hardships.
ITFS 2023 tickets for accreditation and festival passes are now available at the their website.