Monday, May 30, 2011

Stuttgart 2011

The Stuttgart Trickfilm Festival (trickfilm means animation) has been one of my favorites for a long time. I think I first attended in 1988 when it was just starting out. Now it's moved to a new location right in the heart of the city, next to a beautiful fountain-filled park with 6 large cinema rooms nearby.

As usual, all the theaters were full for the programs, except for the kid's animated features. I got to see Michel Ocelot's new film "Tales of the Night". It's very beautiful (as usual), with wonderful storytelling. My only complaint is that the stories were all very similar – lots of princes and princesses – but I'm sure it will be a big smash.

Parallel with the Trickfilm fest was a wonderful car show out in the park. Old Mercedes, BMW's, Porches, Auto Unions, Ferraris, Lolas, Cobras, and Corvettes. If you love old sports cars like I do, you'd be in heaven.

Nancy Phelps and I used the opportunity to prepare for Annecy Plus (which takes place on June 10th at a beautiful bar where we'll screen films rejected by Annecy, like my beloved "Guard Dog Global Jam"). One of the films included is "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mister Morris Lessmore", created by Brandon Oldenburg and the famous William Joyce. I got to meet both of them and spend some time hanging out. For those out there who don't remember, William Joyce created and designed "Rolie Polie Olie", "Meet the Robinsons" and "Robots". He even showed me his sketchbook with some rough drawings from his new film. What a treat that was! The drawings were magnificent!

On awards night, I'd just sat down in my seat way in the back of the cinema and even though the entire awards was done in German I was somehow able to hear my name. The Germans around me pushed me out of my seat and towards the stage. Apparently, "The Cow Who Wanted to be a Hamburger" had just won some kind of prize. I thanked Biljana Labovic, but she'd already left for Paris. When I returned to my seat and looked up, the prize "The Cow" had won was for MUSIC, and knowing that since Stuttgart was a very rich city I had no doubt that I would be receiving a cash prize. Unfortunately for me, ALL categories of winners won money EXCEPT music! Damn I could really have used it.

"The Cow's" prize from Stuttgart

I hope to return to Stuttgart next year, and you should too. I give it a B+.