International Competition

Wildebeest, Nicolas Keppens, Matthias Phlips, BE 2017

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, free compositions, 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 five-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: Donated by Grand Casino Baden. For visionary originality and the uncompromising exploration of the art of animation.
New Talent: Donated by FedEx Express Switzerland Sàrl. For the best film by a student or for a first film.
Best Sound: For the most impressive 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.