Festival Winners
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ANIMATED FILMS, MAY 4 – 9 2021, LIBEREC, CZECH REPUBLIC

Festival Winners 2020

International Competition of Animated Feature Films for Grown-ups

Jury members: David Silverman (USA), Luce Grosjean (France), Pierre Yves Drapeau (Canada)

Main Prize

On-Gaku: Our Sound

(音楽)
Director: Kenji Iwaisawa
Japan, 2019, 71 min
Technique: drawing on paper, 2D computer rotoscoping
Produced by: Rock’n Roll Mountain

Jury statement:
The staging, rhythm, use of stillness and silence combined with minimalist dialogues result in a hilarious film that breaks standards. On-Gaku also presents a great rotoscoping concert and all the musical sequences have great artistic directions. Playing unexpectedly with our expectations and thus captivating the audience, the jury was dazzled by the director's skills, his finesse and his keen sense of humor. The film is a playful representation of what it's like to be part of a group, a great experience to live together, ideally in a cinema to be surrounded by laughing people.

Synopsis:
Music is their life and the relentless sound of drums and wailing of guitars has always been their passion. At least since the moment they plugged them into an amp. But that was hardly yesterday. And after that, it actually wasn’t undying love at first sight – every proper band has its ups and down. But the most important thing is finding your sound. This independent film based on a manga by Hiroyuki Ohashi depicts the story of this future musical legend currently dealing with teething problems. Its minimalist artistic style is underlined by the film’s dry humour, and static shots alternate with exaggerated emotional reactions typical for mainstream romantic and comedy anime films starring high school kids. Director Kenji Iwaisawa spent seven years working on his crazy and completely hand-drawn film about the power of music and the need for self-fulfilment. Its artistic style respects the original, but in many scenes it transforms itself into energetic and wild drawings, surreal spectacles and rotoscoping. Whether you are an aficionado of various artistic styles, a die-hard rock fan or an alternative music fan, come and see the first show of the band Kobujutsu.

International Competition of Animated Feature Films for Children

Jury members: David Silverman (USA), Luce Grosjean (France), Pierre Yves Drapeau (Canada)

Main Prize


Marona’s Fantastic Tale

(L’extraordinaire voyage de Marona)
Director: Anca Damian
Romania, France, Belgium, 2019, 92 min
Technique: 2D computer, 3D computer, cut out
Produced by: Aparte Film, Sacrebleu Productions

Jury statement:
A film that could only have been made in animation and which brilliantly uses the specificity of this art form. With quirky graphics, bold animation techniques, and highly realistic characters, an inspired director reminds us that happiness lies in little things. And with a sensitive musical score perfectly in tune with the visuals, this author film offers a particularly artistic and original artwork.

Synopsis:
The visitors of last year’s Anifilm had a chance to get to know Romanian director Anca Damian as an author of animated documentaries (Crulic – The Path to Beyond, 2011; The Magic Mountain, 2015). The tale of a dog called Marona (whose mother represents the best of street dogs and whose father the worst of the purebred Dogo Argentino) seems to be an unexpected turn in Damian’s career. In collaboration with Belgian graphic artist Brecht Evens, she managed to create a lavish and colorful world seen through the eyes of the film’s heroine who has to overcome many obstacles in life just like the heroes of the aforementioned documentaries. And in the case of Crulic, also a tragic fate: the charming voyage taking us through all the important events of Marona’s life begins at its very end – a busy street... Marona was the ninth puppy of the litter and it shows. Her reminiscing about her former masters is filled with an honest desire to have a permanent and steady home, melancholic moments, her ability to stay on top of things and her warm kindness. Marona’s Fantastic Tale is a film for children and grown-ups alike, but mainly for people who are not afraid to look at the world through different eyes.

Special Mention of Jury

The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily

(La fameuse invasion des ours en Sicile)
Director: Lorenzo Mattotti
France, Italy, 2019, 81 min
Technique: 2D computer, 3D computer
Produced by: Prima Linea Productions

Jury statement:
Beautiful techniques, unusual story telling. The jury wanted to emphasize the quality of the animation, of the graphic design and the revelant use of the CGI.

Synopsis:
Gedeon and his mate Almerina are here for everyone who likes to have a good laugh or cry and who loves legends and adventures. Together, they wander through the land and tell incredible stories reminiscent of Italian Commedia dell’Arte. Thanks to their tales, we learn about a story from a time when bears ruled the Sicilian mountains. One day, hunters kidnap Tonio, son of the bear king Leonzio. To find his long-lost son and food to survive the winter, the great bear king leads his clan down from the mountains and into the world of men. After escaping terrible monsters and defeating an evil duke, the bears and men live together in peace – for a time. The film is based on the popular children’s book of the same name written by Dino Buzzati and was designed and made by the renowned Italian illustrator and comic book artist Lorenzo Mattotti. His feature debut bears his unique artistic signature using symbolism and expressionism. Despite this extravagant style that was surely demanding for animators, Mattotti managed to tell a thrilling story as unusual as its artistic style. The result is an extraordinary family film with no parallels in contemporary cinema.

 

International Competition of Short Films

Jury: Serge Besset (France), Eliška Děcká (CZ), Anna Mantzaris (Sweden)

Main Prize

Acid Rain

(Acid Rain)
Director: Tomek Popakul
Poland, 2019, 26 min 15 s
Technique: 2D computer, 3D computer

Jury statement:
We decided to give the main prize to Acid Rain because it's a strong powerful film which fills every moment of its 27 minutes with almost on-your-own-skin-felt emotions, drama and visual persuasiveness. It let us sink right into the story from the very beginning till its bittersweet end.

Synopsis:
This raw and naturalistic road movie drama takes place somewhere in Eastern Europe. A girl depressed by her life in a joyless town decides to hitch a ride to get away from what she loathes. In the middle of the night, she meets a weirdo named Skinny and together they set out on a journey with no destination. As their ride continues, a particular affection grows between the two of them.

Special Mention of Jury


Uncle Thomas, Accounting for the Days

(Tio Tomás, a contabilidade dos dias)
Director: Regina Pessoa
Portugal, Canada, France, 2019, 13 min
Technique: 2D computer, drawing on paper, others
Produced by: Abi Feijó (Ciclope Filmes), Julie Roy (ONF/NFB), Reginald de Guillebon (Les Armateurs)

Jury statement:
We decided to give the special mention to Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the days because we were truly captivated by the magnificent craftsmanship and aesthetics in this very personal, human and curious story. 

Synopsis:
The renowned Portuguese director decided to portray her memories of her uncle who worked as an accountant and led a very humble and ordinary life. Regardless of that, Regina Pessoa saw her uncle as a very important person and that’s exactly what she is trying to convey in her latest artistically polished film: even an ordinary man can be extraordinary.

 

International Competition of Student Films

Jury: Serge Besset (France), Eliška Děcká (CZ), Anna Mantzaris (Sweden)

Main Prize

Daughter

(Dcera)
Director: Daria Kashcheeva
Czech Republic, 2019, 14 min 50 sec
Technique: stop-motion, puppet
Produced by: Martin Vandas (MAUR film), FAMU

Jury statement:
We decided to give the main prize to Daughter. With an original and impressive animation technique, and a very captivating and strong storyline dealing with the complex emotions in the relationship between a daughter and her father. This is a truly touching, awe-inspiring and beautiful film.

Synopsis:
This Academy Award nominated and Student Oscar and Annecy Cristal winning film is the biggest success of Czech animation in recent years. Made by a Russian director studying at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, this impressive puppet film uses dynamic hand camera and detailed close-ups of the puppets’ faces to emphasize the story about a not-so-ideal relationship between a father and his daughter.

 

Special Mention of Jury

In Her Boots

Director: Kathrin Steinbacher
United Kingdom, Austria, 2019, 6 min 2 sec
Technique: 2D computer, drawing on paper, mixed media
School: Royal College of Art

Jury statement:
We decided to give our special mention to In Her Boots because it narrates a beautiful story highlighting important humanistic values of how nicely we could treat each other if we just decided to go with our hearts instead of society's opinions about normalcy. We also appreciated the beauty of the fittingly chosen colors and the whole visual style of this short yet unforgettable film.

Synopsis:
Hedi is experiencing strange things. While her granddaughter is visiting, she suddenly embarks on a hiking journey, to the deepest parts of the Alps, revealing the reason for her devoted attachment to her hiking shoes. The author managed to portray this tragicomic story from her life with humour and detachment without belittling it.

 

International Competition of Abstract and Non-narrative Animation

Jury: Michaela Čopíková (Slovakia), Milen Alempijević (Serbia), Joost Rekveld (Netherlands)


Main Prize

Average Happiness

Director: Maja Gehrig
Switzerland, 2019, 7 min 7 s
Technique: 2D computer
Produced by: Langfilm

Jury statement:
For the successful transfiguration of featureless statistical charts and graphs into a distinctive and vivid visual language. We travel through the tedious world of excel sheets and anonymous numbers and witness its transformation being into a world that is seems even more surreal and alive than the real world they represent. 

Synopsis:
During a boring PowerPoint presentation, statistical diagrams are breaking free from the strait-jacket of their coordinates. A trip into the sensual world of statistics begins. Pie charts are melting, arrow diagrams twisting, scatter plots, bar graphs and stock market curves join in a collective climax.

 

Special Mention of Jury

 

Wind

Director: Dana Sink
USA, 2019, 1 min 53 sec
Technique: 2D computer
Produced by: Dana Sink

Jury statement:
For a peculiar and witty display of odd apparatuses which all of a sudden reveal the invisible beauty of a mechanical dance. An animation of disconnected parts with incomprehensible functions transforms into a deep meditation on the human body as a machine and about the essence of animation. 

Synopsis:
A ball goes through various gear mechanisms and tracks. It appears and disappears in various pits without an apparent meaning. As the rhythm of the cycle accelerates, the viewers recognize a hidden life of the entire apparatus. The American author of this short film makes use of a minimalist artistic style which he eventually turns into an unusual dance.

 

International Competition of Music Video

Jury: Michaela Čopíková (Slovakia), Milen Alempijević (Serbia), Joost Rekveld (Netherlands)

Main Prize

P/\ST: Tíseň

Director: Bety Suchanová, Nora Štrbová
Czech Republic, 2020, 4 min 40 sec
Technique: 2D computer
Produced by: Bety Suchanová, Nora Štrbová

Jury statement:
The jury gives the prize because of the bold statement, the nicely intertwined and funny combination of images, the combination of rhythm and lyrics, the artistic animation, and the proof that sometimes with less you can elegantly go BIG. Feel the distress (tíseň) with joy!

Synopsis:
The critical, angry and offensive style of Czech rap duo P/\ST is accompanied by a no less disturbing video made by two female directors. They naturally use black and white stylization and alternate between simple, yet strong motifs. The personified anxiety from the song’s title transforms its form – it grows, spills, crawls on the walls, creeps out of woods and brooks and cannot be trapped.

 

Special Mention of Jury

Resina: In (Ian William Craig rework)

Director: Mateusz Jarmulski
Poland, 2019, 5 min 55 sec
Technique: 2D computer, drawing on paper, painting on paper
Produced by: Mateusz Jarmulski

Jury statement:
In a refined visual style and on the limits of what is still a videoclip, Jarmulski makes human absence very present in this piece. Through a series of minimal vignettes we circle around what seems to human protagonist, coming closer and closer, but only encountering a fading memory.

Synopsis:
This captivating music video building on a strong film-like atmosphere was done in frame-by-frame animation and was visually influenced by works of Jonas Mekas and Stan Brakhage. The author gained experience in the famous Polish studio Se-Ma-For.

 

International Competition of Independent Computer Games

Jury: Lukáš Medek (Czech Republic), Marek Plichta (Germany), Rafael Varona (Netherlands)

Main Prize: Excellence in Arts

Pilgrims

Amanita Design - Jakub Dvorský, Czech Republic, 2019

Jury statement:
The jury appreciates the originality of artistic expression that feels both familiar and strange at the same time. It is impossible to find any detail that feels out of place, or of lower quality than the rest of game assets. 

Synopsis:
Pilgrims is a playful adventure game by the makers of Machinarium and Samorost. Wander around a fairy-tale world, find new friends and decide their fate as well as the fate of the whole little kingdom.

 

Best game for children

Heaven's Vault

Inkle Studios, United Kingdom, 2019

Jury statement:
The jury hoses this game as an experience that can be shared with a parent as we see a value in that as a bonding experience. The game also represents an innovation in the areas of design, theme, diversity and educational element that does not feel forced.

Synopsis:
Aliya Elasra is an archaeologist exploring a strange region of space called the Nebula with her robot sidekick Six, hoping to uncover the secrets of the long-forgotten past. When a roboticist goes missing, she starts down a trail of discoveries that will lead to the very edge of her world.

 

International Competition:  VR films

Jury: Bára Anna Stejskalová, Lukáš Medek, Radim Pultera (all Czech Republic)

Main Prize

BattleScar – Punk Was Invented by Girls

Martín Allais, Nico Casavecchia, France / USA 2019

Jury statement:
The jury decided to award a project which uses a female perspective to take us into 1970’s New York. The authors make an exceptional use of the potential of virtual reality – in an original way, they work with the scale of characters and objects and inventively combine typography with 3D animation accompanied by unique score. The winner of the first ever VR competition in the Czech Republic is BattleScar – Punk was Invented by Girls by Martín Allais and Nico Casavecchia.

Synopsis:
BattleScar follows a year in the life of Lupe, a Puerto Rican-American living in late 1970s New York City. The film utilizes Lupe’s handwritten journal to guide us through her experiences spanning across the year 1978, when she meets Debbie. Debbie introduces Lupe to the Punk scene of the Bowery and exposes her to the secret worlds co-existing on the Lower East Side in the late 70s.

Special Jury Mention

Passenger

Isobel Knowles, Van Sowerwine, Australia, 2019

Jury statement:
The jury decided to award its special mention to a project in which we become an immigrant animal coming to a new fantastic land. The film takes us to the unexplored field of stop-motion animation in the medium of virtual reality and resourcefully plays with suspense and powerful sound design. The special mention goes to Australian film Passenger by Isobel Knowles and Van Sowerwine.

Synopsis:
A stop-motion VR film that tells the story of arriving in a new country to live. Your taxi driver navigates the new terrain with you, acting as your guide while also revealing small parts of his own story. Passenger recreates and investigates the geographic and visual dislocation of arriving somewhere unfamiliar, and beginning the journey of finding a new home in a foreign land.