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18th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film is ready to start

Today the 18th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, one of the largest animated film festivals in the world, will be opening its gates. And so for six days animation in all its glory will again be the order of the day with controversial issues, colourful worlds and well-known figures. The very best animated films from all over the world are competing against one another in the competitions and expected guests include famous animated artists such as Oscar-winners Andrew Ruhemann and Thomas Stellmach, Donald Duck's voice actor Peter Krause and animation legend Bill Plympton. Popular actors, Alexandra Neldel, Christoph Maria Herbst and Boris Aljinovic have also announced their participation.

Just two of the films competing in the AniMovie competition for animated feature films are the colourful 3D-CGI spectacle "Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror" by Shinsuke Sato and "Chico y Rita" a touching love story set in Cuba in the 1940's. Unfortunately the film "O Apostolo" by Fernando Cortizo could not be completed in time for the Festival. Instead we are delighted to be able to present Michel Ocelot‘s most recent film, "Les Contes de la Nuit" (Tales of the Night). This poetic fairy tale film by doyen Ocelot combines classic silhouette film techniques with current 3D technology to create unique worlds of colour and space which emphasise the magical character of the stories.

The Festival also focuses on the alpine country of Switzerland, where in recent years a flourishing animated industry has developed which is held in high esteem by the international community. On Friday, the programme Revolutionary Films from the Middle East and Maghreb offers an exciting insight into the current political situation in North Africa and the Arab region as seen by filmmakers there. There is also no shortage of film history: the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film in co-operation with the German Institute for Animated film is paying tribute to Kurt Weiler in celebration of his 90th. birthday. Weiler is one of the most important protagonists of East German animated film. And there are other things to celebrate: on Saturday the black-humoured series "South Park" will be celebrating its 15th anniversary with a cult night which will include previously unreleased and uncensored episodes.

Expected guests include animated artists and actors such as director Andrew Ruhemann, whose film "The Lost Thing" won the Oscar 2011 in the category "Best Animated Short Film", the well-known African filmmaker Moustapha Alassane, Thomas Stellmach and a number of international filmmakers and animation experts. Anthony Shafer from Disney, Saschka Unseld from Pixar and Pierre Coffin, director of "Despicable me", will be presenting their studio's most recent productions. Famous filmmakers such as Bill Plympton, Andreas Hykade, whose most recent episodes of "Tom and the slice of bread with strawberry jam and honey"  are now showing on TV, sound designer Andrea Martignoni and other international animation experts will also be passing on their experience in various workshops.

The best animated films in the world will be selected in the presence of the winners at the grand Award Ceremony Gala, this Sunday at 8.00 pm in the Gloria 1 cinema. German actors Alexandra Neldel, Christoph Maria Herbst and Boris Aljinovic nominated for the award for the best voice actor or voice actress in an animated film have also announced their participation.


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