© Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

09 Aug 2018

25th Festival of Animated Film Immerses Global Creative Industry & All Of Stuttgart in A Shared Passion

Described by its artistic director Uli Wegenast as "a combination of Woodstock, a beer fest, and a creative global meeting for animation" the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film is at once both intimate and global... professional yet laid back

For six days each spring Stuttgart transforms into a utopia for local and global animation experts & artists, fans, and families as the acclaimed Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) unfolds – creating a city-wide experience centered on a shared passion. In 2018 the ITFS celebrated its 25th edition.

© Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

A Woodstock, Beer Fest, Global Meeting Mash-Up for Animation Lovers

If festivals are at their best a joyful celebration and a rich and immersive experience around a common interest, then this one ticks all the boxes... and then some!!

The highlights are many and cool.

A children's session featuring the director of The Simpsons drawing Bart, Homer and Co. and playing his tuba. Yes we said tuba!

6,000 animation experts meeting and collaborating in multiple co-located conferences to jam on new ideas, technologies and projects.

A massive animation video wall in the city shopping district where anyone can have an AR or gaming experience from their smart phone.

© Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

Open air, public screenings of feature films on the lawns of the Schlossplatz (palace square) like Cars 3, Loving Vincent, The Lego Batman Movie where the head of Pixar might just be sitting next to you on the grass.    

An all-access Game Zone in an inflatable “light cloud” pop-up – in front of the baroque New Palace – that gives you a haven to build virtual worlds of your own and hear from experts on topics like e-Sports, edutainment, and the role that music and sound play in animation.

"The feeling of the festival is what I would describe as a combination between Woodstock, a beer fest, and a creative global meeting for animation,” said Ulrich Wegenast, Creative Director of ITFS from Stuttgart’s Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH. “It is both big and small, intimate and worldwide. People come to enjoy, learn, and embrace creativity. It’s also very open to all as there are many activities you can participate in for zero Euros. It showcases the best of our creative, welcoming and truly international city."

The Meetings Component

Many co-located professional events and symposiums come together during the ITFS week drawing thousands of animation, game and transmedia experts, artists, directors, producers and distributors.

FMX (the International Conference on Animation, Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia) is a great place to jam on ideas and best practices. This is also a place to touch and feel the latest animation tech and match up filmmakers and artists with investors and their creative "tribes."

A ITFS and FMX symposium called SAS has a scientific bent created with the Society of Animation Studies, the School of Art, Design and Media of the Nanyang Technological University Singapore, the Institute for Media Studies of the Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, the AG Animation and the Literature House Stuttgart.

And The Animation Production Day (APD) features pre-planned one-on-one meetings of film creators and artists with 150 national and international producers, broadcasters, distributors, and investors to get promising works closer to "prime time".

Finally, the Arab Animation Forum - organized by the Robert Bosch Foundation and ITFS - connects young directors and artists from the Arab states with up and coming producers from Germany to support joint animated film projects.

Fest Stats

To give you a feel for the true breadth and depth of this mega-happening, here's just a few numbers:

  • Over 100,000 fans, families, educators, academics, and animation professionals, artists, investors and technologists take part.
  • Various event venues stretch across the city and into the surrounding region -- from the Stuttgart State Opera, theatres, cinemas, cafes and schools, the House of Literature and the city library... to the Stuttgart Museum of Art, House of Commerce, the Mercedes-Benz Museum, shopping centers, the Wilhelma zoological and botanical garden, and more.
  • In all 1,000 animated films are presented at over 200 events.
  • 50,000 visitors enjoyed the open air cinema at the Schlossplatz.
  • Over 80 partners help pull it all off including the Stuttgart Convention Bureau, Stuttgart State Opera, Creative Europe, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart, FILMAKADEMIE Baden-Württemberg (film academy), Stuttgart Museum of Art, State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart, University of Applied Sciences Stuttgart, Jazz Open Stuttgart, and many, many more.

Bill Plympton, Cult Indie, Oscar-nominated filmmaker and animator about ITFS Stuttgart