APOLLO © 2010 Felix Gönnert


More than 40 years after the first step on the moon and almost 50 years after the first manned space flight - finally an answer to the question why boys love rockets.

Animated short


Character & Story

The Idea for ‘APOLLO’ was inspired by my childhood. I always liked miniature models, rockets, space images and astronauts. Flipping through my sketchbook, I found this cheeky boy character. This compelled me to tell a short story about escaping from an adult-dominated world, seen through the eyes of an imaginative child and the ensuing conflicts.



I started my research by contacting NASA and ESA, to ask whether I could use their archive photos or even film material for my animated short. After some time, I thankfully received several high-resolution images from ESA and one from NASA, which were extremely helpful for making the film. They give key moments an authentic quality I could never have obtained with CGI.

I experimented in various techniques, but when the final script was finished, I knew I would work in 3D again. The smooth, gravity-defying movements in outer space, as well as the repetitive patterns of the city, would be almost impossible to convey with any other medium. In addition, I wanted to experiment with the scale of objects and with static motion blur.

The following steps were modelling, rigging, shading, animation and rendering. This took more than two years and was quite a task, because I didn’t have a permanent team. At the same time, I had begun my guest professorship at the HFF ‘Konrad Wolf’ University of Film and Television, an exciting and demanding job. Fortunately, there were great people who helped me.

Max Knoth did the sound design and music. Because the film has no dialogue, the sound becomes even more important. The re-recording was made in a thrilling two-day session, which tied together all of the elements of the film.



The story went through a lot of changes. The sound layout, made by Max Knoth, helped me find the right timing for the animatic, which I constantly refined throughout the animation process.

Slide show

Slide show



Felix Gönnert
Ina Marczinczik, Martin Freitag, Felix Gönnert
Felix Gönnert
Felix Gönnert
Dennis Rettkowski, Felix Gönnert
Dennis Rettkowski
Martin Freitag
Nesch’et Al Zubaidi, Miriam Fritz, Torsten Wolber
Rudi Zieglmeier
Max Knoth
Max Knoth
Max Knoth
Günter Röhn
Rudi Zylka, Cedric Ziouech
Hannah Pirot
Max Knoth
Ansgar Frerich

Tech Specs

Length 6’03” min | 166 m (544.5 ft)
Format 1:2.35 | 35 mm & 2K DCP | color | 24 fps | Dolby Digital SRD | animation without dialogue

Awards & special attributes

  • interfilm short film festival 2010: The Jury for the German Competition awards APOLLO with the “SAE Institue Short Film Prize“ a stipendium with a value of 2.000 €, Berlin, Germany.
  • Anima Mundi 2010: The Festival Directors award APOLLO with the "Anima Mundi Itinerant Award” with a cash price of R$ 700, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasília in Brazil.
  • DOK Leipzig 2010: The International Jury for Animated Films and Videos awards APOLLO with the “Award for the Best German Animated Film“ with a cash price of 3.000 €, granted by Saturn Leipzig, Germany.
  • Nantucket Film Festival 2010: Nantucket Film Festival 2010 Audience Award, USA.
  • F.W.Murnau Stiftung 2010: The jury of the F.W.Murnau Stiftung awards APOLLO with the Murnau Kurzfilmpreis 2010 with a cash price of 2.000 €, Wiebaden, Germany.
  • BERLINALE 2010: The international jury of the Generation kPlus Competition awards APOLLO with the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk “Special Price for the Best Short Film” with a cash price of 2.500 €, Berlin, Germany.
  • FBW-Wiesbaden, Prädikat: “Besonders Wertvoll“, FSK-Wiesbaden: freigegeben ab 0 Jahre.

Film Funding

  • German Federal Film Board (FFA)
  • Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media (BKM)

Production & Festival Correspondence

Felix Gönnert
Linienstr. 51
D-10119 Berlin

E-Mail: felix@animaflix.com

Theatrical Distribution

interfilm Berlin Short Film Distribution
Tempelhofer Ufer 1a
D-10961 Berlin

Tel: +49 (0)30.259 42 904
E-Mail: distribution@interfilm.de

TV Sales

Georg Gruber

Tel: +49 (0)163.801 07 53
E-Mail: georg.gruber@magnetfilm.de