Winners of Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

Last Sunday the 17th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film announced its winners. I’ve seen about half of the films on the list, and it’s a very strong line-up. It encourages me to see so much excellent animation being produced nowadays, even if virtually none of it is made in the US. The Grand Prix was awarded to Joseph Pierce’s A Family Portrait (view a clip here). Pierce’s graduation short, Stand Up, left an indelible impression on me when I saw it a couple years ago and it’s exciting to see him pushing his style further. His work transforms the clunky rotoscope technique into a striking and artful form of personal expression that proves the viability of the technique when placed in the hands of a gifted artist.

The Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film was won by David López Retamero for his Royal College of Art short Sam’s Hot Dogs. Again, it’s not online, save for this tantalizing clip.

One of the award-winning films at Stuttgart that is available online is Nina Bisyarina’s A Trip to the Seaside, a beautiful and sensitively drawn piece of animation hailing from Russia:

The Norwegian short Sinna Mann (Angry Man) by Anita Killi took home the Audience Award. Here is its trailer:

In the student category, a special mention went to Lebensader by Angela Steffen, which has a full website with clip at When I was on the Ottawa jury last year, we awarded her film the festival prize for graduate animation. She was also an animator on Andreas Hykade’s film Love and Theft which was featured on Cartoon Brew a few days ago.

The top student prize belonged to Parade by Pierre-Emmanuel Lyet, an exercise in graphic minimalism:

  • I can’t get over how beautiful Travel to the Seaside looks.

    Simple loose drawings, watercolour treatment and even some photo montage! (*the waves)

    I’d love to see that one on the big screen. To really get lost in the looseness of it all. Well done.

  • Angry Man looks awesome too. Interestingly stylized.

  • Clement

    Sinna Mann is very good and deep, it really deserved the award. But wow A Family Portrait winning the grand prize is hard to understand. They gave the grand prize to a rotoscoped film that copies the style of Plympton while he was in the selection. It’s not really the fact that he beats him with a gimmick but it’s just strange to be able to win an animation festival with rotoscopy.

  • Anne

    Why is it strange to win a festival with rotoscopy? It is just as legit as any other form of animation and this one is beautifully done.

  • Clement

    Because rotoscopy makes most people believe it was drawn and animated like any other animated film. A bit like if someone was making a mould and telling it was a sculpture.

  • I really like the Parade short. Awesome. Minimalism nice.