Press Releases

8 May, 2017 - Positive Conclusion to a Successful 11th Animation Production Day

Stuttgart – the 11th Animation Production Day (APD), which took place from 4–5 May in Stuttgart’s L-Bank and ended on Friday evening with the inaugural presentation of the Trickstar Business Award, was a resounding success. APD, the most important co-production and financing market for animation projects in Germany, is held jointly by the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film and FMX, International Conference on Animation, Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia. By yesterday evening, 160 participants from 24 countries had, in over 600 pre-planned one-to-one meetings, negotiated co-operations for the 44 animation projects selected to be showcased in this year’s APD. And over 300 industry representatives attended the APD Conference on Thursday.

“Once again this year APD has grown by around 15%, which naturally delights us. But APD’s continuing growth also demonstrates how important it has become for producers to bring international partners on board to create projects capable of competing in the international market. Today there is no other way to raise the necessary budgets. The demand for more European and international co-operation is great and that is why APD is becoming increasingly important to the German industry,” said Dittmar Lumpp, Managing Director for Organisation and Finance of the Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH.

Prof Andreas Hykade, Head of the Animation Institute at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg and FMX stated: “At APD 2017 the entire spectrum of animation was represented. The showcased projects were of a consistently high artistic quality. I was particularly delighted to see the next generation represented with a series of fresh and new projects. In future I would like to see more submissions containing this kind of innovation: alongside classic animation formats, VR, AR, VFX and games concepts are also welcome. The broader the spectrum, the better it is for APD.”

Prof. Ulrich Wegenast, Programme Manager of the Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH added: “It is great to see the synergies between the Animation Festival and APD develop and how the German and international producers presenting series and films at the Festival use APD as a business platform to introduce their new projects and find partners here. At APD, some of the best and most creative production companies in Europe truly come together.”

High calibre speakers at APD conference attracted more than 300 participants

For the first time this year, APD was supported by Creative Europe MEDIA’s “Access to Markets” programme. Alongside the one-to-one meetings, the APD Conference was, as ever, a key part of the programme. This took place for the first time this year in the Rotunda of Stuttgart’s L-Bank and, with a total of more than 300 participants, also attracted great interest amongst the industry representatives at ITFS and FMX. During the conference the hotly-debated topic of VR was explored with a view to its potential for the animation industry. Stephan Schindler, Chairman of Virtual Reality e.V. Berlin-Brandenburg, Sol Rogers, Founder and Managing Director of REWIND, and Sara Diamond and Brian Collins from Google Spotlight Stories shared their visions of the technical and content possibilities presented by VR for the media landscape of the future.

Insights into a spectacular animation project were then given by Hugh Welchman (BreakThru Films) and Edward Noeltner (Cinema Management Group). The animation film “Loving Vincent” is composed of 160,000 handmade oil paintings by 120 international artists. This also required an unconventional financing concept. Alex Weimer (MovieBrats Pictures) reported in a further case study on the creation and financing of the German-Chinese project “The Dumpling Queen”. In this year’s Content Briefing Sessions Jackie Edwards (BBC Children’s), Dr Astrid Plenk (MDR), Nadine Bernard (Ketnet) and Alix Wiseman (9 Story Distribution International) introduced their current programme requirements and programming strategies.

Another highlight was the presentation of the new “Animation Germany” initiative. In a panel discussion at the APD Conference Dr Christoph Palmer (Producers Alliance), Tania Reichert Facilides (Freebird Pictures), Annegret Richter (AG Animationsfilm) and Dittmar Lumpp (Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH) publicly introduced the initiative for the first time. Its goal is to improve the competitiveness of the German animation industry and strengthen its presentation and presence on the international market.

The first Trickstar Business Award goes to the Polish project “The Shadows”

This year’s APD drew to a glamorous conclusion at Friday night’s presentation of the Trickstar Business Award. This new, 7,500 Euro award recognises national or international innovative and groundbreaking business models for projects or companies in the animation industry and went this year to the Polish project “The Shadows” by BreakThru Films. The Trickstar Business Award is the world’s first animation prize to have an explicit business focus. It is presented by ITFS and endowed by Region Stuttgart. The evening’s other award winners were: “The Journey of the Elephant Soliman” (Juliette Alfonsi, Matthias Drescher) for Best German Animation Screenplay; the Tricks for Kids Award for Best National Series went to Klaus Morschheuser (Studio Soi) for “Trudes Tier” and Best International Series went to “We Bare Bears” by Daniel Chong and Manny Hernandez (Cartoon Network).

As part of the co-operation with CARTOON, European Association of Animation, once again this year three German producers will have the chance to pitch their series projects at the CARTOON Forum in Toulouse in September. The three prize winners are: „Lena’s Farm“ (Studio FILM BILDER), „Brothership – The Adventures of a Legendary Pirate“ (WunderWerk) and „Mabel Cleans Up“ (Viola Lippmann Illustration & Design).

And, for the first time, a German feature film project received a wildcard invitation for CARTOON Movie with the project „Jason and the Nucleonauts“ by Spintop Entertainment securing its place.

The next Animation Production Day takes place from 26 – 27 April 2018.

16 March, 2017 - 45 Outstanding Projects Selected for Participation in Animation Production Day

Stuttgart – this year the Animation Production Day (APD) jury has selected 45 exceptional animation projects from 17 different countries to participate in APD. They were chosen from the 65 submitted projects – up 15% from last year – which demonstrates the continuing growth of APD, now in its eleventh edition. The APD co-production and financing market offers German and international animation producers the opportunity to present their projects in pre-planned, 30 minute one-to-one meetings to potential co-producers, investors, broadcasters, international distributors and funders. Part of FMX 2017, International Conference on Animation, Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia and the 24th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film, APD is taking place on 4 and 5 May in the L-Bank in Stuttgart.     

Thirty-five of the selected projects come from established producers; a further ten ideas being presented at APD are from young German and European talents who have the opportunity to make their first contact with key industry representatives at the event. The expansion of the Talent Programme has been made possible by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme which is funding APD for the first time this year. This means APD can now include six more projects than last year. The total production value of the showcased projects is around 170 million Euros spread across:

  • 29 TV series projects
  • 14 feature film projects
  • one short film and one transmedia project

Around 40% of the selected projects are cross-media, meaning they are designed for more than one delivery format including cinema, TV, online, games, apps and books.

Great Demand, National and International Interest

Nineteen of the selected projects come from Germany, others are from France, Spain, the UK, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Ukraine, Israel and Australia. The interest in new animation projects is high. Numerous national and international broadcasters, distributors and investors have already confirmed their participation in APD, including ZDF, KiKA, SWR, MDR, HR, Super RTL, Turner, Disney Germany, Disney EMEA, France Télévisions, BBC, Ketnet, WDR mediagroup, Beta Film, Koch Media, Technicolor, Cake, DHX, 9 Story Media Group, Sola Media, APC Kids, EastWest Filmdistribution, MFA+ FilmsDistribution, Jetpack Distribution, Studio 100 and Imira.

NEW: The Trickstar Business Award

Because it is becoming increasingly difficult to finance animation films and series solely at a national level, it is ever more important for producers to forge international alliances. And for cross-media or transmedia formats, entirely new financing models must be found. APD’s goal is to support producers in finding suitable partners, developing well-functioning co-production models and creating alternative financing strategies. To this end, on the evening of 4 May the Trickstar Business Award will be inaugurated and presented as part of APD. This new award, worth 7,500 Euros, recognises innovative and groundbreaking national and international business models for projects or companies in the animation industry. This makes the Trickstar Business Award the world’s first animation prize with an explicit economic focus. It is being presented by ITFS and endowed by Region Stuttgart.

World-Class Speakers on the Future of VR and Fascinating Case Studies

Another essential part of Animation Production Day is its half-day conference which is taking place on the afternoon of 4 May in the new L-Bank rotunda. Topics this year include the much-discussed Virtual Reality with Stephan Schindler, chair of Virtual Reality e.V. Berlin-Brandenburg, giving us a glimpse into the future of VR and animation. A special highlight will be a presentation by Sara Diamond from Google Spotlight Stories. The company, Oscar-nominated for the short VR animation film “Pearl”, is currently exploring with numerous projects the technical and content possibilities of storytelling in interactive virtual reality experiences. In addition, we have case studies from exceptional animation projects with Alexander Weimer, managing director of the Berlin-based production company MovieBrats Pictures, reporting on work on the Chinese-co-financed feature film “The Dumpling Queen” and Hugh Welchman, producer and co-director of “Loving Vincent”, discussing the process of creating this unique Polish-international co-production.

In this year’s Content Briefing Sessions, Jackie Edwards from BBC Children’s, Dr Astrid Plenk from MDR, Nadine Bernard from Ketnet and Alix Wiseman from 9 Story Media Group will introduce their current programme requirements and programming strategies, helping producers to better assess what kind of content the market is seeking in the coming year. Industry guests with ITFS and FMX accreditation gain free entry to the APD Conference.

“Animation Germany” – a New Initiative to Strengthen the Industry

The final part of the Conference will introduce the new “Animation Germany” initiative which aims to strengthen the German animation industry’s competitiveness and improve the presentation and presence of the industry in the international market. This is intended to create more international co-productions involving German partners over the long term, something to which APD already has a long-standing commitment. Animation Production Day is the only business platform in Germany specialising in animation projects and for many years it has been fostering cooperations with international organisations such as CARTOON, the European Association of Animation and Reed Midem, as well as with regional and national funding bodies like the Danish Film Institute, Catalan Films & TV and, for the first time this year, the Netherlands Film Fund and the Film Fund Luxemburg. All this should help to make the financing phase shorter and strengthen the international network.

04 January, 2017 - Projects can now be submitted

Stuttgart – from 4 to 5 May 2017 Animation Production Day (APD) is taking place as part of the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film and the FMX, International Conference on Animation, Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia. For the eleventh time representatives from the German and international animation industry will be negotiating new ideas and formats at the most important coproduction and financing market for animation projects in Germany.

The project submission forms are now available for download on the APD website ( Animation projects in the areas of film, television series, mobile content, games, crossmedia and transmedia projects can all be submitted until 27 February 2017. A total of 35 projects will be selected to participate in APD 2017. The chances of finding suitable production and financing partners at APD are high: around a third of projects presented in previous years have now been successfully produced. Each year in pre-arranged, one-to-one meetings, APD brings together around 130 producers, broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, funding bodies and banks.

Because APD is being supported for the first time in 2017 by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme, the very successful APD Talent Programme can be further expanded. Thirteen places are available for German and European newcomers who want to present their own project at APD. The application forms for the Talent Programme are now available on the APD website. Cooperation with the international Hamburg Animation Award is also part of supporting new talent at APD. The winner of the Hamburg Animation Award will be presenting her new project at APD with support from Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein.

And thanks to the Creative Europe funding, a very special offer is available to delegations from EU countries with lower audiovisual production capacities who are participating in APD for the first time. Producers included in such a delegation can benefit from a one-off 50% reduction in the regular APD participation fee.

In previous years, APD has strengthened its network with national and international partners to accelerate financing pathways for animation projects in order to give German producers better access to the international market and to open up stronger opportunities for international coproductions. In 2017 these cooperations are being continued and expanded further. As in previous years, our collaboration with CARTOON means that up to three German animation series projects showcased at APD can directly qualify to participate in the Cartoon Forum (12 to 15 September 2017 in Toulouse). In addition, a German feature film animation can now qualify for Cartoon Movie (March 2018). As a complement to the “German Alliances in Animation” event being held by the German Producers Alliance, APD is inviting bids for a free accreditation from the best German-Irish or German-British coproduction project. And as part of the cooperation with the MIPjunior showcase, the British project “Bebods” is being presented at APD 2017.

11 November, 2016 - New Business Award as part of Animation Production Day 2017

Stuttgart – ‘Trickstar Business’ is the name of the new €7,500 prize which is being awarded for the first time during Animation Production Day 2017 by the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS). It recognises national or international innovative and groundbreaking business models for projects or companies in the animation industry. This makes the Trickstar Business Award the world’s first animation prize to be explicitly focused on business. The prize is being sponsored by the Stuttgart Region. 

Dittmar Lumpp, managing director for organisation and finances of the Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH (FMF) and co-organiser of Animation Production Day, devised the concept for the Trickstar Business Award. “I’m delighted that we have initiated this prize together with the Stuttgart Region. With numerous successful companies working in the areas of animation and visual effects as well as the Animation Festival and FMX, the region is an outstanding European location for the industry with a worldwide presence. This prize enables us to send out a clear signal and at the same time offer new incentives for the region’s strength of innovation and international connectivity.”

Professor Ulrich Wegenast, artistic director of FMF, adds: “In the rapidly changing media landscape, alongside innovative content we are also in urgent need of new concepts in the financing and distribution of such content. It is absolutely essential for the future of the industry and that is why the Trickstar Business Award is focusing exactly on this area. As the Animation Festival and FMX’s joint business platform, Animation Production Day presents the perfect context in which to award this new prize.”

And Professor Andreas Hykade, Director of the Animationsinstitut and FMX, International Conference on Animation, Effects, VR, Games and Transmedia adds: “I am convinced that the creation of the Trickstar Business award sends a powerful signal, because the award constitutes a great platform for the young and bright animation talent in the region that will thus be able to initiate exciting innovative projects.”

All projects selected for APD 2017 can put themselves forward for the Trickstar Business Award. The projects can be designed as TV series, feature films, games, mobile content or transmedia formats. Their innovation can be defined in the areas of financing, distribution, marketing or exploitation of rights. Application forms for the Trickstar Business Award will be available on the APD website from December 2016.

With regards to companies, the organisers reserve the right to specifically invite companies to put themselves forward for the Trickstar Business Award.

A five-person industry jury including representatives of the Stuttgart Region and the L-Bank will shortlist three finalists on the strengths of their submitted project and application form. These finalists will have the opportunity to present their business model to the jury in the form of a short pitch during Animation Production Day. The winner will be honoured on the evening of 5th May during a prize-giving ceremony in the rotunda of the L-Bank in Stuttgart.

16 June, 2016 - APD 2017 Receives Funding from Creative Europe MEDIA

Stuttgart — For its 2017 edition, the Animation Production Day receives funding from the Creative Europe MEDIA programme. The APD is the only new addition to the “Access to Markets” section from Germany. As such, it now plays in the premier league of European animation industry events.

The APD has continued to grow over the past few years. Alongside representatives of the German industry, more and more international participants come to the APD to find German and international partners for their projects. This year, more than 140 producers, TV channels, distributors and investors from 18 countries negotiated possibilities for the co-production and funding of the 39 selected animation projects in more than 600 one-on-one meetings. Even though the projects presented at the APD are often at an early stage of their development, more than 30% of them are realised. Apart from the high success rate and the concept of the one-on-one meetings, participants value the proximity to the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) and the FMX, Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia. The 11th APD on May 4 and 5, 2017 will again take place as part of these two internationally renowned industry events.

The first partner of the APD 2017 is already on board: the Hamburg Animation Award. The Hamburg Animation Award is an international competition for young animation designers, organised by the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce for the thirteenth time this year. The competition is aimed at students and young graduates of creative study courses from around the world. The best animated short films are nominated by a jury of fifteen experts and presented to invited industry representatives in the course of an awards ceremony on June 22. Five prizes with a total value of more than € 11,000 will be awarded to the winners. Because of the new cooperation, the winner of the Hamburg Animation Award will receive an accreditiation for the APD 2017 in addition to the prize money. The cooperation is supported by Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein.