Sugar - A Bittersweet Journey

The making of

About the film

"Sugar - A Bittersweet Journey" tells the story of an extraterrestrial exploring the universe for sugar in order to rescue his beloved planet. Since my childhood, I was fascinated by the concept, that we are not alone in the universe. I kept asking myself if there are other beings like us. My goal was to create an extraterrestrial character very different, yet so similar to us; someone with problems, needs and dreams aswell.​ 


The story shows, that no matter how far you venture into deep space, your home will always be the place you cherish most. For just this purpose, the alien, Mr.Green, has undertaken his vast travels. The production took place at the hamburg university of applied sciences troughout 7 semesters (about 4 years).​ The CGI was created in blender, the production´s primary 3d animation software. The sounddesign and music were produced at the university´s sound and foley studio, the Tonlabor Haw Hamburg.  

The film was animated in 16:9 aspect ratio and has a runtime of about 7 minutes. I directed, wrote and created the cgi for the film. The sound design was made by Xuecong Chen and the music by Yinjun Zhang. 


Title: Sugar - A Bittersweet Journey

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

Director, Writer, Producer, Editor, CGI: Ilya Landshut

Sound design: Xuecong Chen

Music: Yinjun Zhang

Studio: HumanArtStudio

Release date: August 31, 2020 

Running time: 7:40 minutes

Language: English

Country of production: Hamburg, Germany

Aspect Ratio: 16:9

Festivals & awards:

Official Selection/Nomination at Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2021

Official Selection at Ivy Film Festival 2021

Official at Selection Ufology Paranormal Phenomena International Film Festival 2020

Silver Award at Sound for Visual Media - AES Show fall 2020

Semi Finalist at Pan African Youths Film & Arts Festival 2021

Finalist at Accordi @ Disaccordi - International Short Film festival 2020

The character

The alien character Mr. Green is the star of the story. He is a friendly creature but a bit clumsy. Mr. Green was born on a planet that was once a beautifully colored world. That is the reason that his appearance is that vivid and sweet as well. 

What makes Mr. Green so special, is the fact that he is so self-sacrificing and dedicated to his home planet.

That is the reason he undertakes such a difficult and dangerous journey through space. He never actually loses his positive attitude and always manages to stay on course to reach his aim.  


The world

The movie contains several uniquely designed scenes. The alien’s own world shows a gray, stony, desert landscape completely unable to support life. During the course of the movie the planet undergoes a remarkable development in that it changes back to a sweet colorful planet, that it had originally been. During the making of the movie, special care was taken that each planet looks very different from the other. 


The water planet, for instance, possesses unreal surroundings of massive mountains and enormous waves.

The red planet on the other hand is clearly a more peaceful but mysterious jungle. The scenes on earth were purposely exaggerated with color and shaped in a surreal way in order to underline the fact that the house is, on one hand, something alien to Mr. Green, though on the other hand something familiar.   

The house possesses a colorful façade. In the living room the alien discovers the birthday cake.

He sees the sweets on top of it and finally sees the lollipop, which he decides to take along.