The University of Balamand is extremely proud of the achievements of two students from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA), Nour Haidar – Master 2 Illustration and Yohann Abdelnour – Master 2 Animation, by winning the online live animation competition of the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS). The event was held between Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at 12 noon and Friday, April 28, 2023, at 12 noon. The competition featured teams from India, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Spain, Italy, and Lebanon, each creating a short animated film featuring the festival's mascot, Trixi, within 48 hours.
Nour and Yohann won the competition with their film, "What's Next?" The jury praised the film's experimental style and the metamorphosis of Trixi, which took the audience on a journey through different interpretations of the character. The jury also expressed their admiration for the attention to detail in the film, which made them want to watch it frame by frame.
This is not the first time students from the ALBA have excelled in this competition. In 2016, Léa Azar and Marylin Haddad won with their film, "Goodnight Trixie," while in 2018, Peter Aoun and Radé Zorkot claimed victory with their entry, "Trixi's Furry Tale." Louay Daoust and Noura Kabbani received a special mention of the jury in 2019 with their film, "Playtime with Trixi." This latest win cements the University of Balamand's and ALBA’s reputation as a breeding ground for talented animators.
The competition was open to animation students from international film, media, and art schools, as well as independent animators and animation producers aged 30 years or younger. The jury nominated by the ITFS festival management voted for the winning film. The two main creators of the winning film will be appointed to the 48h Animation Jam Jury of ITFS 2024 and will receive an invitation to the festival for 2024.
ALBA is renowned for its Illustration and Animation Programs, which offer students the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and work with state-of-the-art equipment and softwares. All of ALBA’s programs emphasize the importance of creativity, collaboration, and innovation, which have resulted in students producing high-quality work that has garnered international acclaim.
Commenting on her success story, Nour stated: “These 48 hours were a very special and unique experience. We spent two sleepless nights at ALBA finishing the project, but it was definitely worth it.” Yohann also expressed: “We had lots of fun animating together and combining our different styles for the first time. This is certainly the beginning of something new!”.
Nour and Yohann's victory at the ITFS competition is a testament to the quality of education and training that ALBA and University of Balamand provide. Their success is also a source of inspiration for aspiring animators, showing that with talent, hard work, and dedication, anything is possible. Congratulations to Nour Haidar and Yohann Abdelnour for their exceptional achievement, and to the ALBA for nurturing such incredible talent.