'Bestia', 'Flee' Win at the 29th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film winners

The 29th Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film came to an end on the evening of May 8, 2022, with the grand ITFS awards ceremony after six days. For the first time, the festival shone in a hybrid version (onsite and online).

'Bestia' by Hugo Covarrubias was once again the winner of a major festival event. The stop-motion, Oscar-nominated film won the International Competition – State of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Stuttgart Grand Award for Animated Film. Another Oscar-nominated film, the animation feature 'Flee' by Jonas Poher Rasmussen won at the Animovie category, reserved for the competition of animation features. 

 Due to Corona and the war in Ukraine, we had more difficult conditions for the festival this year than ever before! It was therefore all the more gratifying that we were not only able to register a record number of entries (approx. 2,100 submissions), but also to offer an intensive programme that dealt with the burning questions of our time and once again made it clear that animation and games are socially and artistically extremely relevant media for adults! - Ulrich Wegenast, Artistic Managing Director of the ITFS:

The greatest success of this year's ITFS is that it could take  place again on site at Schlossplatz and in different locations, thus not only fulfilling the cultural mission of conveying international animation art, but at the same time – for the first time since the pandemic – qualitatively revitalising Stuttgart's city centre - Dieter Krauß, Commercial Managing Director of the ITFS: 

The winners:

International Competition – State of Baden-Württemberg and the city of Stuttgart Grand Award for Animated Film

Bestia, Hugo Covarrubias, Chile 2021, 15:54 min., Production: Trebol 3 Producciones

Based on true events, the film tells the story of a secret police investigator during the military dictatorship in Chile. Her relationship with her dog, her body and her fears reflect the rupture of her soul and the soul of the country.

Jury statement: Bestia is a complex, multi-layered, infinitely re-watchable portrait of a torturer. A person who surfaces over and over again throughout human history. It is a puzzling, mysterious, and genuinely disturbing piece of art.

Special Mention 1:                 
Hysteresis, Robert Seidel, Germany 2021, 5:14 min., Production: Robert Seidel
Seidel's drawings merge with performer Tsuki and machine learning strategies in a feedback system to create a pulsating flow of images in folded spatial configurations. Oval's music also makes the viewer lose contact with the last points of reference.

Jury statement: Hysteresis takes us into the world of Fine Arts, where Painting, Body Art, Dance and Contemporary Music intertwine. Experimental Animation at its best, innovative and enjoyable!

Special Mention 2:
Steakhouse, Špela Cadež, France, Germany, Slovenia 2021, 9:34 min., Production: Finta film, Fabian&Fred, RTV, Miyu Distribution
The steak has been marinating for days. The pan is heated. Franc's stomach is rumbling. But Lisa's colleagues surprise her with a birthday party. Will Lisa be home in time for dinner?

Jury statement: A brave and shocking study of passive aggression in a relationship. A quiet but powerful rebellion against the ordinary familiarity of domestic abuse. The artwork and beautifully observed acting create a suffocating atmosphere. However the window is open and the smoke slowly clears, leaving us some room for hope.

Jury: Steven Appleby (London), Renaud Armanet (Cannes), Joanna Quinn (Cardiff), Thomas Renolnder (Vienna), Anna Samo (New York) 

Lotte Reiniger Promotion Award for Animated Film

L'Immoral / The Immoral, Ekin Koca, France 2021, 4:13 min., School: La Poudrière
The guest of a restaurant collapses. The other guests, except for one, are in a state of shock.

Jury Statement:  A simple and dramatic comment on the savagery and dangers of the group mentality, told with delightfully dark humour and beautifully observed body language.


SWR OnlineFilm Audience Award:

Bis zum letzten Tropfen / To the last Drop, Simon Schnellmann, Germany 2021, 5:46 min., Production: abwerner.ch
During chemotherapy, an infusion stand fights for the life of a patient.

Young Animation:
Underwater Love, Andrea Falzone, Maria Cristina Fiore, Veronica Martiradonna, Italy 2021, 5:45 min., School: Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia
A girl has many questions towards herself and she faces her problems with some monsters. Anger turns her into a wasp, under water she meets a king. She cries excessively, turns all red and finally she grows, big as a giant.

Jury statement: The main award goes to the authentic, punk and imperfect film “Underwater Love”  which is about an emotional carousel called life. The raw, vibrant technique perfectly supports a passionate story of becoming a woman. The jury was amazed by the shameful, courageous animation, and the openness of the directors to risk and explore.

Special Mention:
Les larmes de la Seine / The Seine's Tears, Alice Letailleur, Eliott Benard, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Nicolas Mayeur, Philippine Singer, Yanis Belaid, France 2021, 8:49 min., Production: Je Regarde, School: Pôle 3D

On 17 October 1961, workers from Algeria take to the streets of Paris to protest against the curfew imposed by the police. The day later goes down in history as the "Paris Massacre".

Jury statement: The Special Mention goes to the film „Les Larmes de la Seine“  which is about the clash of ideas and the brutal forces of history that tend to repeat themselves. It is a poetic story made with an impressive cinematographic and technical maestry.

Jury: François Chalet (Zurich), Flavie Darchen (Cannes), Aneta Ozorke (Amsterdam)



Flugt / Flee, Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Denmark, France, Sweden, Norway 2021, 90:00 min., Production: Final Cut For Real, Sun Creature Studio, Vivement Lundi, MostFilms, Mer Film, ARTE France, VPRO - Television

The film tells the story of Amin Nawabi, who struggles with a painful secret he has kept hidden for 20 years that threatens to unravel the life he has built for himself and his future husband. He tells director Jonas Poher Rasmussen for the first time the story of his extraordinary journey as a child refugee from Afghanistan, presented mainly in animated form.

Jury statement: The ITFS Festival gave us - the jury - quite a challenge. Various films, each with its own unique and beautiful characteristics, were put before us. Some films were driven by deep humanitarian content and cruel displacement of families living under the unbearable rule of authoritarian leaders. Some featured colorfully vivid journeys where friendships were forged and heroes were born. Some were a mixture of the above.  We are in 2022, emerging from a global pandemic. And yet the world has become an even more dangerous and unpredictable place. What have we truly learned? We know that repression by dictatorial authorities has an unacceptable impact on people’s lives on a daily basis. From not being to able to speak up, to how we interact with those around us - even our own family and loved ones. The fact is, this authoritarianism exists, it is all around us, and it affects us. Repression underlines the visual language of this film. It’s hybrid documentary and animation style is visually artistic and moving. It touched us all so profoundly.

Special Mention:
Moje Slunce Maad / My Sunny Maad, Michaela Pavlátová, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia 2021, 81:00 min., Production: Negativ Film Production, BFILM, Sacrebleu Productions

When Herra, a young Czech woman, falls in love with Nazir, an Afghan, she has no idea what kind of life awaits her in post-Taliban Afghanistan in 2011. In the family she integrates into, there is the liberal grandfather, the highly intelligent adopted son Maad and the sister-in-law Freshta, who would do anything to escape her husband's violent grip.

Jury Statement: First we would like to draw attention to the position of women in a patriarchal society, not east, west but globally. In her film, director Michaela Pavlátová highlights not only the harsh clash between the European and Afghan cultures, but also the warm relationship between the more progressive patriarch of the Kabul family and the young European wife of his son. The character of the little adopted son was strongly developed, drawn and placed in a picturesque cinematographic setting. The little boy was, for us, the real hero of the film.

Jury: Jan-Dirk Bouw (Amsterdam), Romy Roolf (Halle/Saale), Mark Shapiro (Portland)


Trickstar Nature Award:

Varken / Pig, Jorn Leeuwerink, The Netherlands 2022, 8:17 min., Production: Studio Pupil (Tünde Vollenbroek)
A group of animals connect a power grid to the socket-shaped snout of a large, sleeping pig. At first, the animals use the pig's energy for simple things, but soon they become dependent on a city where everything is automated. How long can this go on?

Jury statement: The film shows the immeasurable audacity of human incorrigibility, in all its facets, in an entertaining and cheeky way; the short movie weaves together everyday stories about an electric blanket, a kettle, or a smoothie blender, revealing a paradoxical, exploitative, selfish system. The film gets to the point.

Jury: Isabelle Favez (Zurich), Jürgen Hagler (Hagenberg / Linz), Marcel Majer (Ludwigsburg)


FANtastic Award:
The Soloists, Celeste Jamneck, Feben Elias Woldehawariat, Mehrnaz Abdollahina, Razahk Issaka, Yi Liu, France 2021, 7:58 min., Production: GOBELINS
In a village with ridiculous rules, two old ladies and their forbidden dog have lost their sister, which is why they now need a replacement singer for their next show.

Jury statement: We have never been so united in the FANtastic jury as this year – because we all liked one film in particular. Produced by an international team and in view of the political developments worldwide, this year's award-winning film convinced us above all with its exuberant creativity full of pop-cultural references and simultaneous return to the traditions of animated film. Filling such a serious and depressing topic as systematic gender injustice with humour is a special art - which is why we are awarding Mehrnaz Abdollahinia, Razahk Issaka, Celeste Jamneck, Yi Liu and Feben Elias Woldehawariat with the FANtastic Award 2022 for their film "The Soloists". Welcome to the animation family!

Special Mention:                        
Les larmes de la Seine / The Seine's Tears, Alice Letailleur, Eliott Benard, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Nicolas Mayeur, Philippine Singer, Yanis Belaid, France 2021, 8:49 min., Production: Je Regarde, School: Pôle 3D
On 17 October 1961, workers from Algeria take to the streets of Paris to protest against the curfew imposed by the police. The day later goes down in history as the "Paris Massacre".

Jury statement: We give our Special Mention for a film that has inspired us in a unique way. As we all know, democracy is fragile and not available everywhere or to everyone – this is what "Les Larmes de la Seine" by Yanis Belaid, Eliott Benard, Alice Letailleur, Nicolas Mayeur, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Philippine Singer and Lisa Vicente clearly shows us. With a coherent overall concept, impressive music, sophisticated technique and convincing metaphors, this film makes the massacre of Algerian immigrants in Paris 1961 visible without being moralising.

Jury: Folke Damminger, Jürgen Frick, Sebastian Heck, Dorothea Kaufmann, Michaela Rehm, Karen Schmitt, Sven Schoengarth, Sabine Willmann

Crazy Horse Session – 48H Animation Jam
Bath, Shantanu Karkare, Siddhi Vartak, India

ITFS outdoors (c)Reiner Pfisterer

The winners of the Animated Games Award, German Animation Screenplay Award and Trickstar Business Award competitions have already been presented at the Trickstar Professional Awards on May 4 – and the Tricks for Kids Award on May 7.

The content of the media library will be available to ONLINE+ users and ONLINE PRO accredited users until May 15, 2022. The next Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film will take place from April 25 to 30, 2023.

Want to read more free articles like this?


Keep this professional animation journalism effort relevant and updated. Become our patron


Related Articles



Zippy Frames is the premier online animation journal promoting European and Independent Animation animation since 2011

[email protected]

Zippy Frames

Quick Links