Ars Electronica Animation Screening 2016

THU 8 September 2016 12PM-11PM
FRI 9 September 2016 7PM-11PM
SAT 10 September 2016 10AM-12PM , 8PM-11PM
SUN 11 September 2016 12PM-11PM
MON 12 September 2016 12PM-11PM
Credit: Vitreous / Robert Seidel Photo Credit: Robert Seidel

More than 1,300 works were submitted for prize consideration in the 2016 Prix Ars Electronica’s Computer Animation / Film / VFX category. These entries are the basis on which we’ve compiled the 15 programs that make up this year’s Ars Electronica Animation Festival, a cross-section of the world of digital filmmaking today and its tremendous aesthetic, substantive and technical diversity. They’re by indie and commercial filmmakers working in the arts and sciences, R&D and academia.

15 Programs

A selection of those works constituted the basis for eight one-hour themed programs. The Ars Electronica Animation Festival also includes special programs: the Japan Media Arts Festival Selection of the prizewinning films from the last festival; the IN PERSONA: Mihai Grecu program; the Filmakademie Baden Württemberg Anniversary Screening, the Student Animation Showcase: Digital Media, Hagenberg Campus, as well as the Young Animations lineup from media art festivals that honor excellence in various genres of digital filmmaking by young people; and screenings of student films from around the world, including the best works honored with Japan’s Campus Genius Award, the Osaka-based ISCA – The International Students Creative Award and from Tsinghua University Beijing (CN).

Credit: Nataša Teofilović


Abstraction—that is, the reduction of what’s cinematically depicted to its essence or to certain aspects of it—can make use of a wide array of techniques. They range from abstract sculpture and painting onto film with a laser to mapping and generative art. The result is impressive visual complexity.

Credit: Reinhold Bidner

Deconstructed Realities

Deconstruction in a philosophical sense means breaking down literary or philosophical texts into their component parts and then assembling them anew. And that’s exactly what the filmmakers on this lineup do with architecture, everyday events or urban life: a Los Angeles studded with colorful neon signs in Arabic; a stereoscopic leap into the entrails of Paris; the surrealistic reversal of everyday acts; and microscopic investigations leading into the inner domains of the outer world.

Credit: Mert Kizilay, Frank Riggio

Visuals & Sound

This program features music videos and works of sound art that demonstrate diverse ways of blending imagery and music. The spectrum includes classical music videos, software developments and dancing robots. What they all have in common is the successful interplay of acoustic and visual elements. Come and see/hear for yourself!

Credit: Ronny Trocker


The filmmakers on this lineup take a stance on the big issues of our times—for instance, the current sociopolitical situation in Europe and the refugee problem, global warming, and using resources sustainably. Some of these takes might come across as comical at first, but they’ll soon wipe that smirk off your face and replace it with a pensive look.

Credit: Hamill Industries, Junior Martínez

Expanded & Experimental

Experimental modes of animation are on display here. Real and virtual dance performance is seamlessly combined with quadcopter-mounted cameras that expand the space; macro shots shift the point of view inwards; light painting is technologically expanded; fluid bodies are animated via motion capture; and hybrids of game and reality trigger an impressive shift of perspective.

Credit: Andrew Coats, Lou Hamou-Lhadj (Quorum Films, LLC)


The plots on this classic narrative program include the tragic life story of a young girl in Saigon and tales of friendship and remembrance. A series of touching, poetic encounters.

Credit: James Cunningham (Media Design School)

Comedy & Black Humor

Lots of dark humor is packed into this program: A 12-year-old boy dissects a frog in biology class and speculates about what he would do if he were God; the bedtime story of Father Opossum is an inane alphabet of death; and the Sisyphus-like saga of two mountain climbers in the Alps is a stone-cold stunner.

Credit: BAC12

Late Nite

When darkness falls, it’s time for tales of monsters, zombies, cat-eating wolves, trash as 1980s reminiscence, and sex. This might not be right for our underage friends, but grown-ups are sure to get a kick out of it!

Credit: Mihai Grecu

IN PERSONA: Mihai Grecu

Mihai Grecu’s visual and poetic trips mix several techniques and styles and may be seen as propositions for a new, dream-oriented technology. After studying art and design in Romania and France, he has been pursuing his artistic research at the Fresnoy Studio of Contemporary Arts. Recurring topics such as distress, cloning, hallucination, city life and war articulate the whole of his exploration of mysterious and subconscious beginnings. His work has been shown at numerous film festivals (Locarno, Rotterdam, Festival of New Cinema in Montreal) and exhibitions.

Credit: Miriam Prinz

Young Animations

Witty, off-beat, subtle, tragic and serious animated work produced by young filmmakers will be screened during the Festival Ars Elctronica. Every year, gifted young filmmakers submit their movies to u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD (Austria), bugnplay (Switzerland), MB21 (Germany) and C3<19 (Hungary). The greatest hits will be featured in Young Animations.

Credit: Hiroyasu Ishida, Kyoto Seika University

Japan Media Arts Festival Selection

This program introduces eight video works which reflect everyday life in contemporary Japan through very Japanese depictions of the human emotions. The House of Small Cubes, the first Japanese film to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, conveys an important, moving awareness through its precise, nostalgic world view. Other works in this program use minimalist techniques to excite the viewer’s imagination. Issey Miyake *A-Poc Inside*, for example, begins with simple graphics made from white dots, which fuse with music and rhythm to generate the movement of fashion models in a fashion show.

Credit: Sayaka Kihata

Campus Genius Award

The Campus Genius Award (Gakusei CG Contest) honors digital artworks created by students. The continuity of this contest, which has been held for 21 years, underpins its important role in Japanese media arts. Incorporating new media and technology forms of expression that change with the times, the contest forms a gateway not only for computer graphic artworks, but for a wide range of diverse genres. Many past award-winners have also won high acclaim in the Ars Electronica, the Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale and the Japan Media Arts Festival and are working at the front line of several creative fields, such as art, design and entertainment.

Credit: Saho Nanjo

ISCA–The International Students Creative Award

The International Students Creative Award is an international arts and information media competition sponsored by the Knowledge Capital Association. It is for Japanese and international university, graduate school and vocational school students.

Credit: Joachim Dieplinger, Clemens Gaisbauer, Hannah Oberherber

Student Animation Showcase: Digital Media, Hagenberg Campus

This screening features current student works from the Department of Digital Media at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Campus Hagenberg: from classical animation to hybrid forms as well as from narrative to experimental shorts.

Credit: Elena Walf

Filmakademie Baden Württemberg Anniversary Screening

The prestigious Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016. The Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction is integral to the Filmakademie’s international acclaim: founded in 2002, the Institute offers hands-on training in animation and interactive media. Its award-winning student projects cover the whole range of animation and explore transmedia aspects—from drawn animation to 3D projects and fully-fledged VFX productions. This screening features a hand-picked selection of outstanding student projects from the last 25 years.

Credit: Wang Siyue

Tsinghua University

This program features selected works of animation art by students at the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University in Beijing (CN). Tsinghua is considered one of China’s best universities for engineering and the natural sciences. It’s a member of the C9 League, an association of the country’s nine most prestigious institutions of higher learning.


THU September 8, 2016

12PM – 1PM Narration
1PM – 2PM Comedy & Black Humor
2PM – 3PM Young Animations
3PM – 4PM Visuals & Sound
4PM – 5pM Tsinghua University
5PM – 6PM Filmakademie Baden Württhemberg Anniversary Screening
6PM – 7PM Abstract
7PM – 8PM Deconstructed Realities
8PM – 9PM Statement
9PM – 10PM Late Nite
10PM – 11PM Expanded & Experimental

FRI September 9, 2016

7PM – 8PM Expanded & Experimental
8PM- 9PM Deconstructed Realities
9PM – 10PM Statement
10PM – 11PM Late Nite

SAT September 10, 2016

10AM-12PM Student Animation Showcase: Digital Media, Hagenberg Campus
8PM – 9PM IN PERSONA: Mihai Grecu
9PM – 10PM Expanded & Experimental
10PM- 11PM Visuals and Sound

SUN September 11, 2016

12PM – 1PM Comedy & Black Humor
1PM – 2PM Young Animations
2PM- 3PM Narration
3PM – 4PM Campus Genius Award
4PM – 5PM ISCA–The International Students Creative Award
5PM- 6PM Japan Media Arts Festival Selection
6PM- 7PM Deconstructed Realities
7PM – 8PM Statement
8PM – 9PM IN PERSONA: Mihai Grecu
9PM – 10PM Abstract
10PM – 11PM Late Nite

MON September 12, 2016

12pM – 1PM Young Animations
1PM – 2PM Campus Genius Award
2PM – 3PM ISCA–The International Students Creative Award
3PM – 4PM Japan Media Arts Festival Selection
4PM – 5PM Narration
5PM- 6PM Tsinghua University
6PM – 7PM Filmakademie Baden Württhemberg Anniversary Screening
7PM – 8PM IN PERSONA: Mihai Grecu
8PM – 9PM Abstract
9PM – 10PM Visuals & Sound
10PM – 11PM Comedy & Black Humor