Ars Electronica Animation Festival 2011

The Ars Electronica Animation Festival screens a selection of outstanding films submitted to the Prix Ars Electronica. These 120 visual highlights have been divided into 13 lineups.

ARS Electronica Animation Festival 2011 – Trailer


02.09.2011 Fr/Fr 10:00-22:00
03.09.2011 Sa/Sat 10:00-13:15
04.09.2011 So/Sun – 06.09.2011 Di/Tue 10:00-22:00

PDF-Download of the Animation Festival Folder

In the 1992 Prix Ars Electronica’s Computer Animation category, “Terminator 2” was awarded an honorary Nica—and thus not a cash prize—to honor it as a superlative display of state-of-the-art computer-generated visual effects. In the jury’s statement, Peter Weibel wrote that industrial & commercial films weren’t just popularizing computer animation; they were also showcasing the manifold array of possibilities it afforded and thus advancing it.

Which was spot on, as we can now see. That’s how it was 19 years ago when “Terminator 2” was produced. Today, we take special effects completely for granted. It no longer takes massive computing power to achieve breathtaking visual design. In the 1990s, it seemed that students and indie filmmakers had to make do with second-rate capabilities; now, they’re restricted only by the boundaries of their imagination.

Works submitted for 2011 Prix Ars Electronica prize consideration conclusively attest to this. Most of the short-listed films are by freelancers. The Ars Electronica Animation Festival has selected and grouped them into lineups that give viewers a concentrated overview of current digital filmmaking.

The Program Lineups

Tales of real life told in cinematic terms—a child solves the problems of everyday existence with drawings; an elderly lady and her difficulties with a hotplate; the abstruse story of a light bulb producer; a family soap opera about a complexly interwoven relationship.

Parallel Worlds
Strange things, the stuff that fables are made of, occur on a regular basis here. War scenarios are turned topsy-turvy; messages-in-a-bottle connect the poles; an art thief becomes the product of his craving; creatures that immerse themselves in shadows end up landing in Nowhere—a fantasy realm emerges!

Individual, chaotic sensitivities, excursions on the verge of psychosis, a midnight car crash, the collision of nature, emotion, evolution and morality, the dynamic impact of highly contrasting realities, and media on the dissection table make up this program.

Short Cuts
In an attempt to rescue a lost ray of light, the Sun destroys a whole city. In a supermarket at night, a tumbling tangerine triggers a chaotic chain reaction. A cute little kitty dreams of being an action star. This lineup is proof positive that even the most animated tales of adventure take only a few minutes to tell.

Fight & Chase
These warriors battle each other or on the same side, struggle for a cause or against one, or maybe with themselves. Japanese sword fighters face off against Nordic Vikings, and a guy just trying to get his food home intact takes on all comers. You better have your seatbelt buckled for this white-knuckle ride!

Dark Stories
Clashes, criminal cases, internal chasms; the shadowy, gloomy, sinister side of life—these disturbing plots draw viewers into a world of absurdities and monstrosities, into the very core of the subconscious sphere. Definitely not a “nighty night, sleep tight” kind of show!
Digital Bestiary

There’s plenty of activity in this highly diverse biotope full of dogs, cats, walruses, fish, birds and God knows what else. You don’t necessarily have to be an animal lover to like this lineup teeming with profound insights into the domain inhabited by our biological kin—environments ranging from tropical rainforests to high alpine meadows.

Position & Message
The crisis in Greece, the consequences of the Chernobyl meltdown, obsessive dieting & eating disorders, global warming, individuals drifting away from stable social structures—filmmakers offer up trenchant statements in this program.

Late Night
The faint-hearted have no business here! Blood will flow, violence will be rampant. Hybrids walk the Earth; monsters proliferate to put quite a different face on normal, everyday life; a city of the headless dictates its own rules & regulations. Bring nerves of steel to this screening!

The perceptions of internal and external worlds undergo striking shifts. Architectural perspectives are reformulated, along with visualizations of interior and exterior spaces. Construction and deconstruction are the essential parameters of this program.

Visuals & Sounds & Music
The interplay of musical and visual imagery just might be the art form with the longest tradition, though one that’s now undergoing a radical reinterpretation. This program showcases a selection of music visualizations and music videos submitted for Prix prize consideration.

Japan Media Arts Selection
Visual imaginativeness and unconventional narrative forms characterize animation made in Japan. This program shows various kinds of Japanese animation from the latest Japan Media Arts Festival.

Young Animations
Witty, off-beat, subtle, tragic and serious animated work produced by young filmmakers.

Filming and photographing during the screenings is prohibited.

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