Top 7 Animation Festivals in Europe

Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

The Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), founded in 1982 and celebrated annually, is one of the most significant events for animation worldwide and the largest of its kind in Germany. Taking place every spring in Stuttgart, ITFS brings together animation enthusiasts, artists, and industry professionals in an inspiring festival atmosphere to celebrate the diverse world of animation. The festival is known for its artistic animated films, encompassing short and feature-length competitions, innovative transmedia works, and the promotion of emerging talent. ITFS offers a unique experience with its free open-air cinema on Stuttgart's Schlossplatz, attracting visitors with international flair and family-friendly programming suitable for all ages and backgrounds.

The ITFS also includes the Animation Production Days, a business platform for the international animation industry, and collaborates closely with FMX - Film and Media Exchange, Europe's largest professional event for animation, effects, games, and transmedia. The festival's range extends from classical cartoons and artistic animated films to full-length 3D computer animation and real-time animations. With various competitions, including a student competition, the festival showcases a plethora of films from film and art schools. ITFS is also an Oscar-qualifying festival, enhancing its prestige and influence in the animation world.

Viborg Animation Festival

The Viborg Animation Festival (VAF), celebrated as Denmark's largest animation festival, offers a rich array of world-class visual storytelling for kids, families, enthusiasts, and industry professionals. Held annually in Viborg, the festival showcases a diverse film program, emphasizing the artists' storytelling and experimentation with animation as a craft. The festival's multifaceted offerings include not just film screenings but also workshops, exhibitions, talks, cultural events, and a comprehensive industry track featuring seminars and conferences. VAF is a non-profit event.

VAF distinguishes itself with its commitment to diversity and innovation in animation. It hosts a variety of competitions, offering awards in categories like Best Short Film, Best Experimental Short Film, and Best Graduation Film. The festival also includes unique awards such as the ANIDOX:VR Award for virtual reality projects and the Open Workshop Danish Talent Award, encouraging local Danish animation talent. With its emphasis on inclusivity and artistic expression, VAF not only showcases established talents but also provides a platform for emerging artists and experimental works, fostering a vibrant community around animated storytelling.

Anima: The Brussels Animation Film Festival

Anima: The Brussels Animation Film Festival, a premier event in the world of animated films, is held annually in Brussels, Belgium. The event presents an official selection with national and international competitions for both short and feature films.

Anima is known for its rich and diverse program, which includes more than 120 screenings of animated films at Flagey, as well as workshops, exhibitions, and professional meetings focused on sound and music in animation. The festival also emphasizes interaction with the audience through events such as the digital playground for children, creative workshops, and various thematic programs. Recognized as a qualifying festival by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the Oscar for best animated short film, Anima plays a significant role in highlighting the talents of animators from around the globe and promoting dialogue between professionals, filmmakers, and the public.


Ort der VeranstaltungBaden

Fantoche, held in Baden, Switzerland, is one of the leading animation film festivals in the world, celebrated for its diverse and innovative range of animated films. Established as a platform for animators to showcase their work, Fantoche draws both industry professionals and the general public, with over 25,500 ticket sales recorded in recent years. The festival typically occurs in September and spans six days, featuring more than 300 animated short and feature films from around the globe. Its program is enriched with presentations, panels, lectures, and exhibitions, highlighting contemporary animated production and offering insights into new, multimedia-based forms of animation.

At the core of Fantoche are its international and Swiss competitions for short animated productions, emphasizing innovation and artistic independence. The festival celebrates a wide range of animation techniques and is particularly receptive to projects that challenge genre conventions, whether through aesthetics, content, or technique. Fantoche’s commitment to fostering both young talent and established filmmakers is evident in its award categories, which include Best Film, High Risk, New Talent, and Best Visual/Sound.

Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Annecy, France

The Annecy International Animated Film Festival, a prestigious event in the global animation calendar, has been a cornerstone in the industry since its inception in 1960. Held annually in Annecy, France, this festival celebrates a diverse range of animation styles and techniques, attracting esteemed professionals and enthusiasts from around the world. It has evolved to include various categories such as feature films, short films, TV and commissioned films, and VR works. The festival not only showcases competitive screenings but also features open-air night projections in the heart of Annecy, adding to its unique charm and appeal.

Annecy Festival is renowned for its role in promoting innovative and creative animated works. Each year, it awards several prizes across different categories, including the prestigious Cristal du court métrage for short films and Cristal du long métrage for feature films. The festival serves as a strategic meeting point for producers and distributors, providing an invaluable platform for networking and the exchange of ideas. Additionally, it hosts the Mifa Pitches, offering a chance for authors and creators to bring their animation projects to life. The festival’s impact extends beyond screenings, with activities such as workshops, masterclasses, and exhibitions, enriching the experience for all participants.

Animac International Animation Film Festival

Ort der VeranstaltungLleida

Animac International Animation Film Festival, held in Lleida, Spain, is a distinguished cultural event dedicated to the art of animation. Organized by Lleida City Council and supported by various public and private bodies, Animac stands out as a non-competitive festival that emphasizes animation as a tool for personal expression. The 28th edition of Animac, scheduled for February 15 to 18, 2024, invites filmmakers from all countries to submit their animated short films, without constraints on length or production year. The festival is particularly noted for its focus on shorts, allowing for personal visions and styles to be expressed with maximum experimentation in new languages, aesthetics, and techniques.

Animac showcases a diverse range of animated films, including narrative and visual experiments, across various sections like Shorts, Future Talent, Little Animac, and These sections feature a selection of the best and most recent animated short films from around the world, highlighting works from animation schools and catering specifically to young audiences and families. The festival’s audience awards for best short films in different categories further amplify its commitment to recognizing emerging talents and innovative storytelling in animation. Animac is renowned for its exploration of new dimensions in animation, making it an essential platform for animators, students, and enthusiasts alike.

Paris International Animation Film Festival, Paris, France

The Paris International Animation Film Festival (PIAFF) is a celebrated event in the animated film industry, held in Paris, France. Known for showcasing a diverse array of national and international independent animated creations, PIAFF offers a platform for artists to explore animated cinema in various short formats. The festival is open to all techniques and styles, providing an opportunity for young creators, professionals, and amateurs to gain recognition. PIAFF emphasizes the importance of animation as a form of personal expression and encourages the exploration of new languages, aesthetics, and techniques in animation.

PIAFF is unique in its non-competitive nature, focusing on the artistic and innovative aspects of animation. The festival awards various categories, including direction, interpretation, screenplay, sound, music video, and command film in its Pro, Student, and World Films Selections. Additionally, it hosts an Audience Award, highlighting the festival's commitment to connecting creators with their audience. PIAFF is a crucial event for animators and enthusiasts alike, fostering a social and cultural blend and serving as a network for collaboration and artistic promotion.