Apply for Fantoche International Animation Film Festival

Deadline Date: May 12, 2024

Donor Name: Fantoche

Grant Size: $10,000 to $100,000

Fantoche 2024 is open to films applying all animation techniques, including combinations of live action and animation, lasting a maximum of forty minutes and completed after 31st December 2022.

Fantoche is Switzerland’s most prestigious animated film festival and is one of the leading events for the medium in the world. It takes place every year in September over the course of six days in the Swiss town of Baden. The festival, which benefits from broad media coverage, attracts both industry professionals and the general public – over 25,500 ticket sales were recorded in 2021 (during covid 20,000 tickets on site and 5,000 tickets online).

The diverse festival programme comprises more than 300 animated short and features films from around the world every year. The schedule is augmented by a wide range of presentations, panels, lectures and exhibitions. Each year, Fantoche holds both an international and a Swiss competition for short animated productions. Under the guidance of the curators, it addresses and explores an array of key themes and shines the spotlight on new, multimedia-based and interactive forms of animation. Fantoche maintains various partnerships with national and international cultural events and festivals, and is involved in cultural exchange throughout the year.

Awards & Prizes

  • International Competition
    • In its “International Competition”, Fantoche showcases the best and most interesting new examples of animated short film production worldwide. The competition is a potent mix of contemporary animated film and illustrates the impressive diversity and power of this medium. The “International Competition”, together with the “Swiss Competition”, is the heart of the Fantoche festival.
    • Films using all types of animation techniques can be entered, including the combination of live action and animated film, with a maximum duration of 40 minutes. Student films, independent productions, art-film commissions and game sequences will be treated equally. Commercial advertising films are excluded from the competition.
    • Experimentation and tradition
      • The main criterion for film selection is innovation. Fantoche’s “International Competition” principally offers a forum for animated films which veer away from conventions of the genre in terms of aesthetics, content or technique, which scrutinize them skillfully or which are audacious enough to turn them on their head. It particularly welcomes projects which push the boundaries of expression of animation further, which seek to experiment and which stand apart thanks to their artistic independence.
      • However, Fantoche is interested, at the same time, in classical, conventional auteur films, and its selection includes animated films which offer a striking, persuasive blend of idea and implementation, and of content and form. They are deliberately juxtaposed with experimental entries. This is because Fantoche is trying to locate the friction that exists between vision and tradition, offering an insight into the creative wealth of animated film-making.
    • Selection and prize concept
      • To judge the competition projects submitted, Fantoche engages experts from all areas of film production and training, storytelling and sound design. The composition of the jury changes from year to year. The prize concept adopts the selection criteria and gives equal weight to student films and experimental competition contributions as well as the already established festival films.
      • An international three-person jury will select films for awards in the categories:
        • Best Film: For a convincing combination of idea and implementation, content and form.
        • High Risk: For visionary originality and the uncompromising exploration of the art of animation.
        • New Talent: For the best film by a student or for a first film.
        • Best Visual/Best Sound: For the most impressive visuals/sound design.
      • The public also chooses its favorite film – the Audience Award.
      • A total prize fund of CHF 25’000 is awarded in the International competition.
    • Young talent and established filmmakers
      • Fantoche has refined the profile and the prize categories for its “International Competition” over the years. Its preference for the unconventional, audacious and visionary means that it also offers a prominent platform to young talent and students, in particular. And Fantoche occupies a significant position within the international animated film fraternity by deliberately juxtaposing eccentric, artistic auteur films and outstanding classical works.
      • Fantoche launched the “Swiss Competition” in 2009 to give home-grown animators a chance to gain a prominent footing on an international festival stage. All Swiss film productions entered in the “International Competition” are automatically entered in the “Swiss Competition” too. They can be nominated simultaneously for both competitions.
    • Students, new talent and renowned film-makers
      • As for the “International Competition”, submission is open to films of all kinds of animation techniques, including combinations of live action and animation, which last a maximum of fourty minutes. Student films, independent productions, films by well-known directors and art-film commissions are given equal consideration and evaluated together. Commercial advertising films are excluded from the competition.
  • Swiss Competition
    • The selection criteria for the “Swiss Competition” correspond to those of the “International Competition”: They want to see new trends, fresh talents and interesting experiments, alongside established auteur films and animation. All Swiss productions which are entered in the “International Competition” are also added to the selection for the “Swiss Competition” and can be nominated for both competitions at the same time.
    • Selection: Open, independent, refreshing
    • The entries in the “Swiss Competition” are selected by experts who are not involved in Swiss animated film production, which means that the films can be judged from outside the local scene, without bias.
    • Awards
      • An international three-person jury will select films for awards in the categories:
        • Best Swiss: For a convincing combination of idea and implementation, content and form.
        • High Swiss Risk: For visionary originality and the uncompromising exploration of the art of animation.
        • New Swiss Talent: For the best Swiss film by a student or for a first film.
        • Fantastic Swiss: For the best fantastic Swiss film.
      • A Swiss Jury of six young Swiss cineasts from various provinces and language regions will select the winner of the „Swiss Youth Award“.
      • The winner of the Swiss Audience Award will be selected by the viewers.
      • A total prize fund of CHF 20’000 is awarded in the Swiss competition.
      • The Fantoche “Swiss Competition” is the only animated film competition in the country which has an international dimension and which is judged by an international jury.
  • Kids Film Competition
    • Every year, Fantoche screens current animated film productions for kids and young people in two programmes of short films for the age groups 4 to 7 and 8 to 12. Since 2009 the films have been judged by a children’s jury and by the younger members of the public.
    • The short films of the “Kids Film Competition” are chosen from the entries for the “International Competition” and for the “Swiss Competition”. The selection is always made in close consultation with the “Zauberlaterne” (The Magic Lantern), the film club for kids. The main criteria applied are that they have good, clever story lines, are packed with ideas, cover a variety of themes and exemplify different techniques.
    • They’re keen to know what the youngest visitors think
    • The films are judged by a jury of seven children aged between 6 and 12 which will award the “Best Kids” Award. These children are picked from among the members of the children’s film club. Fantoche and “Zauberlaterne” will look after them as they get together at the festival to watch, discuss and judge the films. At the official awards ceremony, they outline their impressions, explain how they reached their decision and award the prize to the winning filmmaker. The younger members of the general public also get the chance to pick their favorite film using a voting slip, and so select the “Young Audience Award”.
    • Kids and young people are very drawn to animation, they particularly value the opinions of the youngest visitors. The Kids Jury and the Audience Award give them a say, which also matters greatly to filmmakers.
    • A total prize fund of CHF 2,000 is awarded for the Kids Film Competition.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The Competitions are open to any audiovisual animation, created frame by frame, with a maximum running time of forty minutes and completed after 31st December 2022.
  • Eligible for the Swiss Competition are films by Swiss filmmakers, filmmakers living in Switzerland or with Swiss producers or co-producers.

For more information, visit Fantoche.

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