In the animation film QUEST, a sand figure leaves the desert in search of water. It wanders through other worlds made of paper, stone and iron, following the sound of dripping water. After overcoming obstacles and dangers the sand puppet manages to reach the water … in a very tragic way.
This puppet animation film was made by Tyron Montgomery and me during studies at the Animation Department of the Kassel College of Art.
The 11:30 minutes film got the Academy Award (OSCAR©) in 1997 for the Best Short Animation Film of 1996.
Watch excerpt of the award ceremony.
The animation was shot frame by frame with an own 35mm ARRI II BV camera and a self-constructed single frame motor.
The position of the character, the flying paper, the falling stones and the rotating machines were manipulated and photographed 19.000 times and reviewed by video control.
The 12m² sets had to be rebuilt and altered 30 times, the 20m² background was replaced five times by various air brush designs. It took the mostly two-man crew 3/4 of a year to build the “metal” scenery.
The production lasted from 1992 to 1996, one year for the story development, two years for set building and shooting and one year for the sound design.
The sound was recorded edited and mixed in surround by ourselves with a hard disk recording system on PC, synchronised with a 35mm editing table.
A “making of”- interview is part of Olivier Cotte’s book: “Secrets of Oscar-winning Animation”. It is available in French, English, Spanish and Japanese.
Certificate: “especially commendable”, German Film Quality Assessment Board (FBW), Germany
Suitable for ages 6+
Voluntary Self-Regulation Organization of the Film Industry (FSK)
The film is offered by various institutions for educational use.
QUEST was shown at 180 international film festivals and received over 40 awards.
“The Award for the Best European Short went to the outstanding German animation film “QUEST”. This film presented a philosophical statement about mankind and its goals, the striving and searching of the human spirit for a personal answer; and it made this topic most accessible to a wide audience by its exceptionally artistic production design, photography, model animation and editing.”
International Film Festival Cork 1996, Irland
OSCAR© – Best Short Animation Film 1996 awarded 1997 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Los Angeles
CARTOON D’OR 96, best film of the European Animated Prize Winner Films, awarded by the European Association of Animation Film, Brussels, Belgium
Grand Prix for best school film 1997, European First Film Festival of Angers, France
GRAND PRIX of the European Short Film Competition 1997, Brussels, Belgium
Best Debut Film 1997, World Animation Film Festival, Los Angeles, USA
Special Jury Prize 1997, Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival, France
ALVES COSTA PRIZE, Special Award of the Journalists, International Animation Film Festival Espinho, CINANIMA 96, Portugal
For the intensity, symbolism, for the suspense kept up to the end, for being a different film, for the original idea, and sound effects.
Golden Damby award International Animation EXPO Seoul 1997, Korea
Bronze Worldmedal 1997, New York Festival, USA
Best European Short Film, International Film Festival Cork 1996, Irland
Best Animation 1996, Albany International Short Film Festival, USA
Best Animation 1997, MEDIAWAVE, International Festival of Media Arts, Gyor, Hungary
Best Animation 1996, Molodist – Kyiv International Film Festival, Ukraine
DON QUIJOTE – Prize of the critics FICC International Short Film Festival of Krakow, Poland
CITY OF MELBOURNE AWARD for Best Animation Film 1996, International Film Festival of Melbourne, Australia
Grand Prix for Best School Film 1997, International Film Festival Huy, Belgium
GOLD HUGO, 1996, Student Animation Category, International Film Festival Chicago, USA
Grand Prix 1997, International Film Festival of Environment, “Green Vision“, St. Petersburg
The opinion of the jury was unanimous. They all agreed that it is another level much higher than other films. Though it is a short animated film it poses all features of the big one. The history of a small man pushes us to think about the state of our environment and the responsibility of people to save their environment.
Grand Prix International Mountain and Adventure Film Festival Graz 1997, Austria
Category Award (10 to 30 min), International Animation Film Festival “Krok”, Kyiv 1997, Ukraine
First Audience Prize of the German TV Station – SDR 1996, International Animation Film Festival of Stuttgart, Germany
SILVER DANZANTE for the best Animation Film 1996, International Short Film Festival of Huesca, Spain
Nominated for the German Short Film Award 1996, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Germany
First Audience Prize of the 7 nominated german short films 1996, Federal Ministry of the Interior, Germany
ANIMAT’T Award, Sitges International Fantasy Film Festival of Barcelona 1996, Spain
First Audience Prize 1996, International Film Celebration of Dresden, Germany
Jury Special Award 1996, Festival international du film d’environnement, Rienna, France
SECOND PRIZE 1996, International Short Film Festival Drama, Greece
Best Animation Film 1996, International Short Film Festival of Hamburg, Germany
OEKOMEDIA Award for the Best Artistic Achievement 1996, International Ecological Film Festival of Freiburg
Germany Special Prize of the Federal Minister of the Enviroment for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Enviroment Education 1996, Oekomedia, International Ecological Film Festival of Freiburg
Special Prize of the National Park Administration “Lower Saxony Mud-flats” 1996, Maritime Film Days of Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Laudable Mention of the audience 1996, Maritime Film Days of Wilhelmshaven, Germany
Second Prize 1996, Exground on screen, Wiesbaden, Germany
Tour Prize of the University Kassel 1996, Germany
Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau-Prize 1996 Wiesbaden, Germany
Compilation Best of Ottawa 1996, International Animation Film Festival of Ottawa, Canada
ZLATKO GRIGIC – Prize for Best Debut Film, International Animation Film Festival Zagreb 1996, Croatia
Best Debut Film 1997, Hiroshima – International Animation Film Festival 1996, Japan
Special Mention 1997, International Film Festival, Sydney, Australia
Certificate of Merit 1997, International Film Festival, San Francisco, USA
Best Animation 1997, Algarve – International Film Festival, Portugal
Best Animation 1997, Valencia – International Film Festival, Spain
Audience Award 1996, Baume & Mercier, Switzerland
direction, direction of photography, screenplay
story, animation, producer
PROF. PAUL DRIESSEN
supervising model maker
2nd model maker
assistant model makers
editing and sound-recording
OPTICAL EFFECTS METTMANN
IRMA K. THEIMER
production, copyright, 1996
THOMAS STELLMACH ANIMATION
Cultural Film Fund of the Federal State of Hesse
German Federal Film Board FFA
Thomas Stellmach Animation, 1996
mp4 1080p stereo, DCP 2K stereo, 35mm Dolby SR, 16mm mono