From films drawn by hand to those made using digital techniques, the unique festival in Stuttgart has plenty to offer visitors. Screening over 1,000 films, the festival knows no limits when it comes to style and content.
Two pirates row in small nutshells, hurling insults at one another. A moment later, however, they're overtaken by two giant ships in the midst of a battle. This lively animation is part of the trailer for the 24th International Festival of Animated Film in Stuttgart. The trailer is witty and engaging, yet short and colorful, much like many of the films on display.
The festival is one of the best-known in the animation field and attracts entries from all over the world. Many are serious and contemplative and take on political topics, such as recalling grievous dictatorships, political persecution and even war.
The length and variety of films shown at the festival vary. Many are shorter than one minute, while some are over two hours long. Some entries are made in private studios, while others are created in film schools. Many are debuts by animation artists who may go on to achieve fame in the field. As a result, spectators at this year's festival, held between May 2 and 7, will have difficulty deciding what to watch. What other festival can offer 1,000 films in just a few days?
This year, 80,000 visitors are expected to fill cinemas and outdoor venues to watch films and attend a wide variety of events held during the period. One area, for example, is dedicated to gaming. The GameZone "shows the link between games and animation with the latest developments of virtual and augmented reality," according to event organizers.
Animated films in Arabic
Music, too, plays an important role in this year's festival. Not only will numerous music videos be presented; live performances of jazz, opera, film music and world music will also take place.
There will also be retrospectives focusing on the works of animation masters. Country-specific focuses will shine the spotlight on Croatia and the Arabic-speaking world.
And like many other festivals, the best films will receive awards. Films in nine different categories compete to receive a total of 7,000 euros ($7,600).