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Coyote & Road Runner versus Short Film Competition

While Coyote’s epic quest to capture the Road Runner capture a lot of attention on festival, Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux's The Rabbi's Cat won the Feature Film Crystal at the Annecy Animation Film Festival on Saturday, The Cat was judged by many to be one of the most striking French animation debuts lately. A Japanese drama cartoon about a soul reborn in the body of a suicidal teenager, Colorful won The Best Asian Anime Award in a feature film competition. Moreover, another high-concept piece, Big Bang Big Boom from Italian artist Blue, won the Special Jury Award which is a highly creative animation that used wall paintings to chronicle the evolution of life. There are many more awards that you can actually read about if you stroll down this article, but first things first...

A Short Film Competition/

There are many prizes on 35th Festival International Du Film D’Animation in Annecy and I would like to mention films in short film competition that made a great impression on me. A well known French short Patrick Jean's Pixels won the Annecy Crystal Short, film already well known in France, known as the first short toon to become first feature ‘toon very soon. First Award for The Best Short actually went to Kamil Polak's CG-animated The Lost Town of Switez, the animation that won FIPRESCI Award on Belgrade Short and Documentary Film Festival couple of months ago. Kamil confessed to me that Belgrade award was his first award and foreplay for the big award in Annecy.  


A short film competition of Annecy 2011 featured high quality animations with certain complexity and heaviness relating the subject and content that covers. FIPRESCI Award this year went to Luminaris (Luminaris), directed by Juan Pablo Zaramella, acclaimed illustrator and graphic artist from Argentina. Luminaris (Luminaris) is the most ambitious animated feature done in years in Argentina and features a common man of controlled robotic world that brings light in life with humor and irony. This animation also won Prix du public (Audience Award).

As all three of us: Mathilde from the French Rolling Stone, Gabriel from the University of Turin in Italy and me (the FIPRESCI Jury) are great fan of French Pixels; film that talks about robotic invasion of video games in New York that in nowadays simply erases real life. I personally really liked Polish short directed by Kamil Polak, The Lost Town of Switez (Switez). It is the beautiful animation that uses fresco paintings to convert into a digital 3D combined with CG animation and visual special effects, in order to result with powerful aesthetically magnificent animation. The film that conjoins literature and mediaeval fresco paintings as reference to mediaeval massacre town sank by the big wave into depths of lake.


Another Polish animation caught to my attention but ended with no award is, Millhaven (Millhaven) directed by Bartek Kulas that presented an interesting minimalist, dark and gloomy animation featuring Nick Cave's dark ballad, song performed by Polish Katarzyna Groniec. It shows surreal story of a 15-year-old Loretta, whom the grayness of life in a provincial town of Millhaven led to commit a serial of murders. Film awarded on other festivals with (National  16th - Silver Line for Best Film of OFAFA, Cracow (2011), Koszalin (2010) - Mention for Short Animated Film, Award for Animated Film in Polish Short Movies Competition,  Wrocław (2010) - Award for Animated Film in Polish Short Movies Competition, Animator, Poznań (2010) - Special Mention and Krakow (2010) - Mention in International Competition and Silver Hobby-Horse for Best Animated Film in Polish Competition).In spite of the great Disney production depicted on the festival, an appetite among critics and audience for a handcrafted alternative of a computer-generated fare coming from the great variety of countries simply flourished on the festival.


More to it, I would mention A Lost And Found Box of Human Sensation directed by Martin Wallner and Stefan Leuchtenberg: such a great production and aesthetic of 2D/3D computer generated character of a young man, who after death of his father needs to cope with the grief on a different ways. A great emotional journey presented with a wonderful 3D, with precision of aesthetic and style and memorable characters. The casting of excellent production of film compacts with good marketing, in this case featuring as narrator Joseph Fiennes.  In addition, I find very interesting animation coming from the British artists Grant Orchard for a Morning Stroll. This animation however, also futuristic story, won the Prix du Jury junior pour un court metrage on festival.

 One of the interesting animations for me that ended with no awards is coming from Australia. That is film with unusual title Nullarbor by Auster (Colin) Lochart and Patric Sarell. It is the animation of original and innovative style, of old comic book line art graphics, but hardly any real story in. I would also mention film that won no prize but left the impression on me, directed by jolly Irish director Maria-Elena Doyle, woman that FIPRESCI Jury spent some time with. The film production is from New Zealand and it is New Zealand story called Meniscus. Story featured with almost no animation and no tangible story, but with very potent effective female sensuality of the interpretation of an old Maori folk story that goes with very effective visual effects. Story is based on Maori poem about souls that are coming from the beneath tree roots and come out to jump over the cliff into the see, in order to cross over the other side of realm.    



The Awards of Festival International Du Film D’Animation

(words from the festival)

There were several moments which made this 35th edition particularly special. Notably, the world exclusive sneak previews of some of the latest short films from Pixar (La Luna), Disney(The Ballad of Nessie) and Warner Bros. (Coyote Falls and Rabid Rider).The Works in Progress were also a great success, offering the chance to discover previously unseen footage and artwork from Space Pirate – Captain Harlock, the 3D feature currently in production at Toei Animation. Equally popular was the session about the touching tale of passion and differences, The Boy With the Cuckoo-Clock Heart, with Mathias Malzieu – who was also on the jury for feature films. There were several highlights within the official events including the awards ceremony and launch of the second YouTube competition, attended by the Minister for Culture and Communication Mr Frédéric Mitterand, the outdoor screenings on the Pâquier, the concert of Bob Sinclar and Big Ali: the surprise screening of some first footage from A Monster in Paris, the next fi lm by Bibo Bergeron, along with an improvised set from singer/songwriter Matthieu Chedid, the announcement of the production of some new Looney Tunes by the Warner Studios and the visit of Leiji Matsumoto, the legendary creator of Captain Harlock.

 The 35th edition of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival finnished in style with the 2011 awards ceremony! And the winners are:

Feature films The Crystal for best feature THE RABBI’S CAT by Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux (France) AUTOCHENILLE PRODUCTION, FRANCE 3 CINÉMA, TF1 INTERNATIONAL Special Distinction Audience Award COLORFUL by Keiichi Hara ( Japan) FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK INC. The members of the jury were: Marc du Pontavice (Producer), Mathias Malzieu (Director), Yoshihiro Shimizu (Producer). Short films The Annecy Crystal PIXELS by Patrick Jean (France) ONE MORE PRODUCTION Special Jury Award BIG BANG BIG BOOM by BLU (Italy) "Jean-Luc Xiberras" Award for a fi rst fi lm THE LOST TOWN OF SWITEZ, by Kamil Polak (Poland, France, Canada, Switzerland and Denmark) HUMAN ARK, SE-MA-FOR FILM PRODUCTION, TELEWIZJA POLSKA SA, PWSFTVIT – THE POLISH NATIONAL FILM, TELEVISION AND THEATRE SCHOOL, DENIS FRIEDMAN PRODUCTIONS, NFB, ARCHANGEL FILM GROUP, PARTYFLEX SYSTEM, ZELIONY POMIDOR Special Distinction PATHS OF HATE by Damian Nenow (Poland) PLATIGE IMAGE SP. 20.0 Sacem Award for original music MASKA by the Quay Brothers, with music by Krzysztof Penderecki (Poland) SE-MA-FOR FILM PRODUCTION, POLISH CULTURAL INSTITUTE Junior Jury Award for a short film A MORNING STROLL by Grant Orchard (Great Britain) STUDIO AKA Audience Award LUMINARIS by Juan Pablo Zaramella (Argentina) JPZTUDIO The members of the jury were: Aleksandra Korejwo (Director), Regina Pessoa (Director) and PES (Director). TV and commissioned fi lms The Cristal for best TV production THE AMAZING WORLD OF GUMBALL "THE QUEST" by Mic Graves and Ben Bocquelet (Great Britain and France) DANDELION STUDIOS Special Award for a TV series LITTLE NICK "AT PLAYTIME WE FIGHT" by Arnaud Bouron (France, Luxembourg and India) M6 STUDIO, METHOD ANIMATION Award for best TV special PRINCESS’S PAINTING by Joannes Weiland and Klaus Morschheuser (Germany) STUDIO SOI GMBH & CO. KG FILMPRODUKTION Educational, scientific or industrial film Award HOW TO FEED THE WORLD? by Denis Van Waerebeke (France) MONTAG, CITÉ DES SCIENCES ET DE L’INDUSTRIE Advertising or promotional film Award CANAL J "ROYAUME DU GNAGNAGNA" by Olivier Jeannel (France) WANDA PRODUCTIONS Award for best music video WAX TAILOR FEATURING CHARLIE WINSTON "I OWN YOU" by Romain Chassaing (France) SO LAB The members of the jury were: Laurence Blaevoet (Director of the Canal+ Youth Unit), Lucineh Kassarjian (Artistic Director) and Tapaas Chakravarti (Producer). Graduation films Award for best graduation film PLATO by Léonard Cohen (France) ENSAD Special Jury Award TROIS PETITS POINTS by Lucrèce Andreae, Alice Dieudonné, Tracy Nowocien, Florian Parrot, Ornélie Prioul and Rémy Schaepman (France) GOBELINS, L’ÉCOLE DE L’IMAGE Special Distinction THE EAGLEMAN STAG by Mikey Please (Great Britain) ROYAL COLLEGE OF ART Junior Jury Award for a graduation film PLATO by Léonard Cohen (France) ENSAD The members of the jury were: Matthew O’Callaghan (Director), David Sproxton (Producer) and Will Vinton (Director).


Aussi pour cette occasion je voudrais que cette occasion pour remercier M. Patrick Even, Serge Bromberg, Tiziana Loschi, Laethitia Masley Festival ;Annecy et toute équipe pour tout. Aussi pour la coopération réussie avec Gabriel Barrera et Mathilde Lorit!


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