Festival Winners
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF ANIMATED FILMS, MAY 10 - 15, 2022 LIBEREC, CZECH REPUBLIC

Festival Winners 2021

International Competition: Feature Films For Adults 

Jury: Petr Oukropec (Czech Republic), Ivana Laučíková (Slovakia), Olga Bobrowska (Poland)

 

Main Prize

Kill It and Leave This Town
(Zabij to i wyjedź z tego miasta)

Director: Mariusz Wilczyński
Poland, 2020, 88 min
Technique: drawing on paper, cut out, ink on paper
Produced by: Bombonierka

Jury statement:
After long ang very deep consideration of brilliant films The Nose or The Conspiracy of Mavericks, Kill It and Leave This Town and Cryptozoo we decided to give the award for the Best Feature Film for Adults to the film, that brought us unexpected cinematografic experience, developing the best tools of European cinema of 20th century. The film itself can be seen as a monument of 20th century in Europe. With the resonance of WWII, communists, Bulgakov, Disney TV serieses, our parent's lovers, rockers and saddness in which it is very easy to sink.

Synopsis:
After losing the people closest to him, the film’s hero – the director’s alter ego – shuts himself away in a safe world of memories. In this world, time has stopped and everyone he has lost is still alive. As years go by, the world in his mind keeps on growing and is being populated by uninvited literary characters and heroes of animated films from his childhood. But the characters, who are the same age in all of their stories, suddenly start ageing. When the protagonist realises that there is no such thing as eternal youth, he decides to return to reality. Luckily, he has all these amazing characters accompanying him on his complicated journey. This magical and imaginative journey through the subconscious mind of Mariusz Wilczyński is characterised by mesmerising images and music by Tadeusz Nalepa which are irreplaceable and complement the film’s melancholy atmosphere. In his feature debut, this self-taught director of many acclaimed short films imprinted not only his memories, but also allusions to contemporary Poland. After eleven years of work, he created an artistic opus which gives the viewers no time to breathe but in return off ers a unique and unrepeatable personal experience. The film premiered at the Berlin IFF.

 

International Competition: Feature Films For Children

Jury: Petr Oukropec (Czech Republic), Ivana Laučíková (Slovakia), Olga Bobrowska (Poland)

 

Main Prize

Wolfwalkers

Directors: Ross Stewart, Tomm Moore
Ireland, Luxembourg, United Kingdom, United States, 2020, 102 min      
Technique: 2D and 3D computer
Produced by: Mélusine Productions, Cartoon Saloon

Jury statement:
The award for the Best Feature Film for Children goes to the film that the jury members appreciated on many levels. It deals the globally important topic of saving wildlife against the human selfishness. It touches the deep children’s need of acceptance, sisterhood and existence of miracles. We also value its evaluation of local national cultural heritage, what we find a right clue how European culture should enrich the world's audience.

Synopsis:
In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumoured to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the Wolfwalkers and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy. Wolfwalkers is the highly anticipated new feature fi lm from the renowned Irish studio Cartoon Saloon and its similarly renowned filmmakers. Director Tomm Moore’s filmography already includes two unforgettable feature films (The Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea) and many awards and Academy Award nominations. Ross Stewart, the co-director of Wolfwalkers, worked with Moore on his first film.

 

Special Jury Mention and Audience Award – the Liberec Region Award

Even Mice Belong in Heaven
(Myši patří do nebe)

Directors: Denisa Grimmová, Jan Bubeníček
Czech Republic, France, Poland, Slovakia, 2021, 87 min
Technique: 3D computer, puppet
Produced by: Fresh Films, Hausboot Production, Animoon, Les Films du Cygne, CinemArt SK

Jury statement:
We are giving the Jury Special Mention to a film that encourages children to confront their fears to find a true friendship and it is doing it in a visually captivating way. 

Synopsis:
The story behind the film Even Mice Belong in Heaven began in 2010, when director and graphic artist Denisa Grimmová came up with the idea to adapt Iva Procházková’s successful book into a puppet film. Its originality lies, among other things, in its approach to death, which the author can present to children with ease and playfulness. The creative team approached the book with great ambitions, screenwriters added plotlines and characters and this Czech production became a coproduction between four countries. After almost ten years of preparation, development, filming and post-production, viewers can look forward to a thrilling adventure set predominantly in the afterlife. Two animals, considered by their close friends to be weirdoes and outsiders, Quickfeet the mouse and Whitebelly the fox, have an accident and run into each other in animal heaven. Despite being archenemies in life, together they set out on a journey to overcome old sorrows, find a new beginning and develop an eternal friendship. The film off ers not only an original story full of intense emotions but also an unforgettable spectacle enhanced by the puppet design, decorations, setting and meticulous animation.

 

International Competition: Short Films 

Jury: Kate Jessop (UK), Momoko Seto (Japan), Alexandra Májová (Czech Republic)

 

Main Prize

Annah la Javanaise  

Director: Fatimah Tobing Rony
Indonesia, 2020, 5 min 59 s
Technique: 2D computer
Produced by: Fatimah Tobing Rony

Jury statement:
We would like to commend the wide range of films this year that were addressing the female experience and deploying the female gaze. This film explores dark themes with a colourful and vibrant realisation. It reveals a story of the previous century but shows us prevalent issues such as child slavery, pedophilia, human rights abuse and racism. In addition it also brings up important questions of the role of the artist, the notion of privilege and ethical codes of conduct which are a contemporary issue.

Synopsis:
His fascination with Tahiti is mentioned in every biography of French painter Paul Gauguin. This film, however, re-enacts the life of Annah, who was sold to France from Java when she was 13 years old and served the famous painter without payment, as his maid, cook, model for his famous painting and more…

 

Special Jury Mention

Wochenbett
(Postpartum)

Director: Henriette Rietz
Germany, 2020, 4 min 36 s
Technique: 2D computer
Produced by: Henriette Rietz

Jury statement:
A charming and engaging account of the rarely discussed subject of post maternity, body image and wellbeing. A film with strong visual direction employing thoughtful metaphors we give the special mention to Post Partum by Henriette Rietz

Synopsis:
This film offers a very personal and sincere insight into the world of a new mother swamped with new tasks and worries and trying to grasp her new role as well as she can. It seems, however, that this task is very challenging and even unmanageable. This film is a humorous and deeply truthful testimony to the chaos caused in life by a newborn who is alternately crying and calm, hungry and full, awake and asleep.

 

 

International Competition: Student Films

Jury: Kate Jessop (UK), Momoko Seto (Japan), Alexandra Májová (Czech Republic)

 

Main Prize

Jestem tutaj
(I’m Here)

Director: Julia Orlik
Poland, 2020, 15 min
Technique: stop-motion, puppet
Produced by: PWSFTviT

Jury statement:
We would like to commend the quality of all student films in the programme this year. This film had a powerful and emotive portrayal of the imminent decline of a family elder. It sensitively addresses a universal theme effectively using precise cinematic language. The film got unanimity from the jury due to its moving and emotive nature. The jury was crying behind their masks.

Synopsis:
An elderly man looks after his paralysed wife. His daughter helps him, trying to balance the care with her work in a hospital and her family life. Everyone has a diff erent view on how to properly care for the sick, which often causes arguments. The film portrays the hopelessness of the end of a life with uncompromising authenticity.

 

Special Jury Mention

Thank You

Director: Julian Gallese
UK, Costa Rica, 2020, 7 min 30 s
Technique: 2D computer
Produced by: Julian Gallese

Jury statement:
We would like to give special mention to a film which entertained us with its absurd humour and brought a welcomed lightness. The cartoon arrow hit our target in the right place. 

Synopsis:
A small town is preparing for a long-awaited event – the birthday party of one of its inhabitants. Who is invited and what will the party be like? The comicality and ease of this film also stem from its varicoloured and deliberately naïve artistic style from a Costa Rican director studying in London.

 

International Competition: Abstract and Non-Narrative Animation

Jury: Vojtěch Domlátil, Milan Cais, Lucie Jančová (all Czech Republic)

 

Main Prize

Abandoned Village

Director: Mariam Kapanadze
Georgia, 2020, 14 min
Technique: 2D computer, drawing on paper
Produced by: Mariam Kandelaki

Jury statement:
It is an incredibly bold film whose single static shot speaks volumes and keeps audience on tenterhooks for several long minutes, using only light modelling and a couple of unexpected micro-dramatic moments. Limited morphology offers a surprisingly wide range of sensations from impenetrable fog to blinding glare that turns the landscape into an abstract painting.

Synopsis:
Dispersing fog reveals tree stumps. As it clears, the static shot shows more details of a mountain landscape with the remnants of houses. Only the soothing soundtrack of this contemplative film evokes the memories of life once nourished by this place. A village, just like a human being, is born out of love. A village, just like a human being, is ruined if left without love.

 

Special Jury Mention

Beyond Noh

Director: Patrick Smith
USA, Japan, 2020, 4 min
Technique: stop-motion
Produced by: Kaori Ishida

Jury statement:
We appreciate the highly skilled animation of objects in perfect synch with the pure rhythm of harmonic music which introduces the omnipresent theme of masks and pretence that penetrates all layers of life from politics and society to families and intimacy. This film with a strong social message uses thousands of masks from ancient icons to modern Batmen and latex presidents. 

Synopsis:
Beyond Noh rhythmically animates 3,475 individual masks from all over the world, beginning with the distinctive masks of the Japanese Noh theatre and continuing on a cultural journey through ritual, utility, deviance and politics. The mesmerising experience is enhanced by a purely percussive soundtrack.

 

International Competition: Music Videos

Jury: Vojtěch Domlátil, Milan Cais, Lucie Jančová (all Czech Republic)

 

Main Prize

Jo Goes Hunting: Careful

Director: Alice Saey
France, Netherlands, 2020, 3 min 58 s
Technique: 2D computer
Produced by: De Nieuwe Oost, Miyu Productions

Jury statement:
A perfect intertwining of music with graphic morphology of images and synchronized animated movement makes it possible to have an almost physical experience. The clip offers a rich visual torrent which creates a captivating world full of vibrating, shining and bubbling motives and hallucinogenic micro worlds. 

Synopsis:
On the borderless map of a magical planet, little beings pick, brush, weave, fish and collect elements from their natural environment to sustain their lives as a group. In this original music video, a surreal landscape transforms into other, no less remarkable images, which the viewers are soon unable to follow.

 

Special Jury Mention

Jacob Collier: He Won’t Hold You (feat. Rapsody)

Director: Daniel Bruson
Brazil, United Kingdom, 2020, 5 min 25 s
Technique: 2D computer, painting on paper, painting on glass, ink on paper
Produced by: Daniel Bruson

Jury statement:
This dark video clip full of sophisticated work with long light and shadows does not excel only in animation but also in evoking a perfect jazz mood. Unique images and extraordinarily impressive visual moments slowly build up and come alive in a symbiotic relationship with the music.

Synopsis:
For the song He Won’t Hold You by multi-Grammy winner Jacob Collier, the Brazilian director animated a series of atmospheric paintings. Just like the song, the music video offers two points of view on dealing with a breakup. Colours appear only at the song’s consensual finale.

 

International Competition:  VR films

Jury: Vojtěch Domlátil, Milan Cais, Lucie Jančová (all Czech Republic)

 

Main Prize

Replacements

Jonathan Hagard
Japan, Indonesia, Germany, 12 min, 2020

Jury statement:
A series of fleeting everyday moments is a documentary film about the development of urban life in Indonesia. The well-known format of 360° video seen from a different perspective shows that a testimony on changes occurring in an ordinary street and troubled lives of its inhabitants can be successfully captured thanks to virtual reality. Strong social moments and simple details make us want to discover other layers of changes in life, home and its surroundings. 

Synopsis:
Jakarta, 1980. We find ourselves before a small house with a porch. From time to time a breeze comes up and someone passes by. The neighborhood is peaceful, an ideal place to live. But as time goes by, it changes; we see a growing number of shops, mosques, people, cars and also demonstrations and political unrest. We observe a static animated time-lapse shot of this neighborhood in Jakarta, which in 40 years has become a symbol of change of the values of contemporary society.

 

International Competition: Computer Games

Jury: Barbora Podhorská (Czech Republic), Cedric Babouche (France), Petr Motejzík (Czech Republic)

 

Main Prize: Excellence in Arts

Creaks

Radim Jurda
Czech Republic, 2020

Jury statement:
The visual art of Creaks is a wonderful tapestry of dark caroony house we keep wanting to explore. It is just one layer of the game though. The game’s remaining two layers - the mechanics and the music all compose an intertwined mixture where none is more important than the other. 

Synopsis:
The ground starts shaking, light bulbs are breaking – and something rather unusual is happening right behind the walls of your room. Equipped with nothing but wit and courage, you slowly descend into a world inhabited by avian folk and seemingly deadly furniture monsters.

 

Main Prize: Kid Game

Carto

Lee-Kuo Chen
Taiwan, 2020

Jury statement:
Carto smartly support kids’ imagination by inviting them to have fun experimenting and does not punish for errors. It rewards with interesting characters, story pieces and cut scenes. Its gentle art nicely complements the mechanics. Last but not least it is fun even for the smallest kids and is great for playing for parent with kids, creating a wonderful bonding experience.

Synopsis:
Carto is a charming adventure game centered around a unique, world altering puzzle mechanic. Use this power to explore mysterious lands, help a quirky cast of characters and guide Carto on her journey back to her family.