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Ottawa festival winners announced

I’m just in from the closing ceremonies and will give you guys a proper recap after I get some rest.  It’s been a busy week, and maybe my best festival experience since I started attending back in 1990.

For now, here are this year’s award winners:


OTTAWA, ONTARIO (October 18, 2009) – The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) comes to an end with the highly anticipated closing ceremonies held this evening at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau. Organizers announced the winners of the official competition during the ceremonies.

This year’s event, held October 14-18, was a tremendous success with packed screenings, sold out workshops, high profile networking events such as the Television Animation Conference and the Recruiting Fair. The Festival is a major international film event that attracts 1500 industry pass holders from across Canada and around the world with a total attendance of over 25,000. Although the final numbers are not officially in, there are strong indications that this year’s Festival reached the highest attendance to date.

The 2009 international jury for Short Program, Student and Commissioned Films include: Amid Amidi (USA), Jim Blashfield (USA) and Suzan Pitt (USA). The international jury for Feature Film Competition include: Thomas Meyer-Hermann (Germany), Christa Moesker (Netherlands) and Marie-Josée Saint-Pierre (Canada).

The Festival has a special jury made up of local kids to select the Best Short Animation Made for Children and the Best Television Animation Made for Children. This year’s kids jury included: Tallie Doyle, Tegwyn Hughes, Jamie McCormick, Felipe Bemfica, Isabelle Birchall, Aditya Mohan, Paris Mullin, Quinn Murphy and Eric Ding.

GRAND PRIZE for Best Animated Feature

Mary and Max, directed by Adam Elliot, Australia

“The film tells a simple and strong story about friendship, deep understanding of the human condition with all its defects. It is a perfect balance between tragedy and comedy.”

Honourable Mention:

My Dog Tulip, directed by Paul and Sandra Fierlinger, USA

“The jury was profoundly touched by one particular film therefore would like to award an honourable mention. This film has an outstanding style and above all, the way in which it allows the audience to identify with the characters and the relationships.”

Nelvana GRAND PRIZE for Best Independent Short Animation

Kaasündinud Kohustused (Inherent Obligations)by Rao Heidmets, Estonia

“We selected Obligations because of its compelling portrayal of sexual politics, its disturbing but effective metaphors and the director’s bold and provocative vision.”

HIT Entertainment GRAND PRIZE for Best Student Animation

Laska (Chick)by Michal Socha, Poland

“This remarkably confident animation takes its exotic graphic style to an extreme as its characters carry out an intense, elegant and brutal mating dance.”

GRAND PRIZE for Best Commissioned Animation

Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, A Journal Diary)by Bastien Dubois, France

“A deeply personal and touching documentary. The film buoyantly realizes 3-D space, and combines a hand-drawn feel with a dimensionality that hovers just off the page.”

Best Animation School Showreel

Rhode Island School of Design (USA)

BEST Narrative Short

Please Say Something directed by David OReilly, Ireland and Germany

“A film that compels us to reassess our notions of aesthetic execution and beauty in computer animation. The film has a fragmented story structure and surprisingly personal character interactions.”

Honourable Mention:

Köögi Dimensioonid (KitchenDimensions)directed by Priit Tender, Estonia

“Visions of the impossible arise from daydreams in the kitchen; imaginings are born out of the mundane and every action has its surrealist counterpart; Tender creates an entire parallel universe.”

BEST Experimental/Abstract Animation

Peripetics directed by Jamie Raap and Henrik Mauler, UK

“A series of lavish and mysterious vignettes which use 3-D animation to suggest sculptural metaphors suspended in space.”

Honourable Mention for Passionate Art Making: Myth Labs by Martha Colburn, Netherlands

“Flying in the face of respectable animation conventions, the director’s approach is both aggressive and seductive.”

Adobe Prize for BEST High School Animation

Did U See That by Yuri Rhee, Ha Jung Kim, Paul Kim and Hyun Jung Lee, Korea Animation High School, South Korea

“With simple and strong line drawings the filmmakers create a modern fairytale.”

BEST Undergraduate Animation

The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! directed by Jake Armstrong, School of Visual Arts, USA

“An expertly designed, scripted and animated tale of a space explorer and a monster who just wants to play fetch.”

Honourable Mention:

Mak the Horny Mac Daddy by Ian Miller, University of the Arts, USA

Mac Daddy is worth this mention because of its uninhibited expressiveness in animation.”

BEST Graduate Animation

Lebensader directed by Angela Steffen, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemburg, Germany

“A moving portrait of a child’s vision is created through the rich realization of natural form, dynamic animation and sophisticated design.”

BEST Promotional Animation

Nick Identsby Ljubisa Djukic, Ole Keune and Bettina Vogel, Dyrdee Media GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

“A funny, spare, well-conceived series of network IDs that use Nick’s iconic orange colour to humourous and clever effect.”

BEST Music Video

Nullsleep “Dirty ROM Dance Mix”by Stieg Retlin, USA

“A mix of pulsing 8-bit graphics and glitch imagery provide a jolting backdrop to the bloops and bleeps of video game-inspired music.”

BEST Television Animation for Adults

Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, A Journal Diary)by Bastien Dubois, France

BEST Short Animation Made for Children

Nicolas & Guillemette, directed by Virginie Taravel, France

Honourable Mention:

Enter the Sandbox, directed by Kevin Adams, Canada

BEST Television Animation Made for Children

Lost and Found, directed by Philip Hunt, UK

Honourable Mention:

Tom and the Slice of Bread with Strawberry Jam & Honey ‘Tom’s Band’ / ‘Tom and the Nice Family’ (Tom und das Erdbeermarmeladebrot mit Honig), directed by Andreas Hykade, Germany

The National Film Board of Canada PUBLIC PRIZE

Madagascar, A Journey Diary (Madagascar, carnet de voyage), directed by Bastien Dubois & Guilaine Bergeret, France

Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation

Le Tiroir et le Corbeau (The Drawer and The Crow) by Frédérick Tremblay, Canada

“A poetic, artfully-realized stop-motion film about alienation, love and memories.”

Honourable Mentions:

– For its visual variety and inventive animated interpretation of a classic French Canadian folk song, the CFI Award goes to Vive La Rose, by Bruce Alcock
– For its daring, dynamic graphic visualization of the Billy Collins poem, The Art of Drowning, by Diego Maclean
– For its intelligence, wit, and achieving maximum impact with minimal means, The Paper Prince, by Hamish Lambert

OIAF 09 was held October 14-18, 2009 in Ottawa. Events at the OIAF included screenings, panels, workshops, parties and the Television Animation Conference. The OIAF is a leading competitive animation film festival, featuring cutting edge programming, catering to industry executives, trend setting artists, students and animation fans. For more information about the OIAF, please visit

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