Animation du Monde Crowns Accra Fest Pitch Winners

The first edition of the Accra Animation Film Festival has wrapped up in Ghana, featuring the third regional round of the Pan-African Animation du Monde pitch contest preliminaries. The three top contenders selected at AAFFia which will continue on to the Continental Finals at DISCOP Johannesburg later this year are:

Meet the Igwes by Chekwube Okonkwo (Nigeria)

JujuCups by Selorm Dogoe (Ghana)

Message Beats by Natasha Nayo & Lizz Johnson (Ghana)

The inaugural AAFFia highlighted the importance of audience access to animated content, which is crucial for the industry’s growth and evolution. Animation du Monde is another big part of the equation, as it provides education, networking and a platform for creatives to market their ideas.

One of the core missions of Animation du Monde is to enable developing industries like Africa to grow. West Africa as a growth market is attracting the attention of the world. Stories coming from this region have the potential to live alongside well-known commercial properties. With the 60th Annecy International Animated Film Festival and MIFA market celebrating Africa as the region of honor next year, it’s the perfect time to construct a platform for creators across the continent to showcase their work and present it to the world in 2020.

The call for the fourth prelim of the Pan-African Animation du Monde, taking place at Nairobi Comic Con (NAICCON), is currently open. Contestants have until August 11 to submit their project (submit here). Video pitches will be accepted for those not able to attend the preliminary regional round at NAICCON, however, candidates who are able to attend the event will be given preference. The competition regulations can be viewed here.

[Source: African Animation Network]

AAFFIA

AAFFIA

Animation Magazine

Ottawa Int’l Animation Fest Winds Up for Pitch This!

North America’s premiere toon event, the Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), is returning to the Canadian capital this fall, with another edition of Pitch This! The contest has been held for over 15 years as a highlight of OIAF’s industry forum The Animation Conference, running September 25-27.

Pitch This! gives two finalists the rare opportunity to pitch their new, home-grown project to a room of influential industry decision-makers, and win a prize package courtesy of Pitch This! partners. Leading up to the show down, 10 semi-finalists will be partnered with a seasoned industry mentor to help perfect their concept for the big pitch, and give them invaluable feedback on their project.

“This is a solid opportunity to bring your magic to a room filled with industry professionals and creatives. Don’t stress out – this is not Shark Tank,” said Sylvie Rochon, a former mentor and jury member for Pitch This! and a Content Producer for the competition’s presenting partner, Digital Dimension. “Pitching in front of a crowd might sound daunting, so just focus on telling your story in your own unique way. This audience is longing for engaging storytelling. If your story resonates with them, you will make connections. Start here.”

The 10 selections go head to head on Wednesday, September 25 during TAC, where each contestant must impress a small committee of experts in under 10 minutes. The two strongest presentations will be selected for the official event on Thursday, September 26. Finalists pitch to a panel of platform executives, and the entire TAC audience – including more than 350 potential buyers and financiers.

“The OIAF can’t wait to see the fresh, Canadian ideas that come to this year’s Pitch This! We’ve partnered with Digital Dimension, a Montreal-based studio that is providing the successful pitch with a $ 5,000 cash prize – as well as software and legal services from returning partners,” said Azarin Sohrabkhani, Director of Industry Programming at the OIAF. “This package is designed to provide the successful pitch with all the ingredients to get their idea off the ground.”

Pitch This! 2019 is open to Canadian projects only, and pitched series should be aimed at children ages 2-11. Proposals should be emailed to presentations (at) animationfestival.ca by August 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST.

Animation Magazine

DreamWorks Animation Takes Center Stage at Annecy Fest

DreamWorks Animation has unveiled its slate of film and TV programming for the 43rd edition of the Annecy International Animation Film Festival. The line-up includes previews, premieres and special presentations on the studio’s latest hits and highly anticipated releases.

On Tuesday, June 11, the studio will preview its upcoming slate of feature films, headlined by the September 2019 release Abominable, a co-production with Pearl Studio, written and directed by Jill Culton, produced by Suzanne Buirgy with Todd Wilderman serving as co-director. The program, hosted by DreamWorks Animation president Margie Cohn, will include an introduction from Pearl Studio Chief Creative Officer Peilin Chou and an extended preview of work-in-progress footage from the film presented by the filmmakers. The program will also preview footage from the studio’s 2020 slate and will close with the world premiere of the studio’s latest short film, Marooned, directed by Andrew Erekson and produced by Jeff Hermann.

Marooned is a stylized glimpse at the not-too-distant future, which tells the story of a cantankerous, selfish robot named C-0R13. Stranded on an abandoned lunar outpost, C-0R13 longs to return to Earth. With a partially built ship and his last power source, the determined robot’s character is put to the test and his mission challenged when he learns a lesson in selflessness. The 7’35” short features music by composer Amie Doherty.

On Thursday, June 13, DreamWorks Animation Television will assemble a roster of talent for a studio focus session that will explore the diverse and expansive slate currently in production. The panel, moderated by DWA’s Chief Creative Officer of TV Peter Gal will include Noelle Stevenson, executive producer of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power; Tim Hedrick, executive producer of the Fast & Furious animated series; and Rad Sechrist, executive producer of a new upcoming project. The producers will present creative details and footage from each series and discuss the unique challenges and rewards of animated television production.

In addition, two-time Academy Award-nominee and Golden Globe winner Dean DeBlois (also serving on this year’s Jury) will introduce a special open-air screening of the critically acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World on the Paquier Lawn on Thursday evening, June 13.

The DreamWorks Animation Television series Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny, recently launched on Prime Video, has been selected for the Official competition of the 2019 Annecy International Animation Film Festival in the TV films category. Screening times will be released at a later date.

From May 11, to June 23, the general public will be able to explore the free exhibition
“The Artistic Journey of the How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy” at the Manège du haras, Annecy. DreamWorks Animation worked with the Art Ludique team to select, in collaboration with director Dean DeBlois and artists from the trilogy, the most impressive artworks representing the creative vision of all three films. After appearing in Paris, nearly 200 traditional and digital artworks will be displayed and brought to life with commentary from the production team through interviews especially created for the exhibition.

Learn more about the festival and MIFA market at www.annecy.org.

Abominable

Abominable

Fast & Furious

Fast & Furious

Marooned

Marooned

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

Suzanne Buirgy

Suzanne Buirgy

Jill Culton

Jill Culton

Tim Hendrick

Tim Hendrick

Noelle Stevenson

Noelle Stevenson

Todd Wilderman

Todd Wilderman

Animation Magazine

New York Children’s Film Fest Announces 2019 Feature Slate

The Oscar-qualifying New York Int’l Children’s Film Festival has unveiled the complete feature film slate for its 2019 edition, taking place February 22 through March 17. Now in its 22nd year, the world-leading Festival will present four weekends of shorts and features, panels with filmmakers, interactive experiences and more — carefully curated for audiences of all ages, across an array of styles, themes and subjects.

NYICFF continues to be a t the forefront of discovering fresh animation talent from around the world. Highlights of the 2019 program include the East Coast premiere of Juan Antin’s Pachamama (which will help open the 2019 Festival) — an enchanting visit to indigenous culture through a history and landscape rarely seen in animation. Michel Ocelot’s latest movie Dilili in Paris, a curious caper set in Belle Epoque Paris, will make its U.S. Premiere. The new TV 2D/3D TV series Moominvalley will have its World Theatrical Premiere. Plus, intriguing anime titles such as Kitaro Kosaka’s Okko’s Inn (English-language World Premiere) and Penguin Highway — the debut film from Studio Colorido, founded by former Ghibli animators.

“We are thrilled to showcase the diversity of outstanding filmmaking from around the world at NYICFF 2019 and demonstrate that multidimensional storytelling and artful approaches know no boundaries in terms of age range, genre or country,” said Programming Director Maria-Christina Villaseñor. “Kids and families are as hungry for artful, meaningful stories as adult audiences, whether told through live action, documentary, or animation, and all will be richly rewarded through an impressive slate of international titles at NYICFF 2019.”

Details on the 2019 animated feature selections below. View the full program (so far) at nyicff.org.

OPENING SPOTLIGHT:

PACHAMAMA, dir. Juan Antin (France/Luxembourg/Canada) — 2018, East Coast Premiere, Animation, 72 minutes; in English
Tepulpai’s your average kid—headstrong and a bit naughty. It may seem unusual that he has a pet armadillo and wants to be a shaman, but not if you live in the ancient Peruvian Andes like he and his wise friend Naïra do. The two embark on a young heroes’ quest to locate their community’s stolen treasure and must confront the Inca and newly arrived Spanish to retain their indigenous ways. With a vibrantly-hued palette and Pre-Colombian soundtrack of ancient flutes and condor wings, Pachamama exuberantly celebrates nature, culture, and community.

Pachamama

Pachamama

DILILI IN PARIS, dir. Michel Ocelot (France/Belgium/Germany) — 2018, U.S. Premiere, Animation, 95 minutes; in French with English subtitles
Travel to the bustling cafe culture of Paris in the Belle Epoque with Dilili, a bright young girl with perfect diction, grace, and eagle-eyed smarts as she begins to investigate a nefarious plot by the ominous Master Men. Together with Orel, a delivery boy who ferries her around jewel-toned Paris as an only expert animator (NYICFF alum and Kirikou creator) Michel Ocelot could conceive, Dilili will stop at nothing until justice is restored. Our supersleuths journey through a turn-of-the-century world so evocative, you just might spot Picasso, Proust, or Marie Curie in the substrates and salons of the City of Lights.

Dilili in Paris

Dilili in Paris

GORDON & PADDY, dir. Linda Hambäck (Sweden) — 2017, East Coast Premiere, Animation, 65 minutes; in Swedish with English subtitles
Gordon is an ace detective, but even he’ll admit he’s ready to hang up his badge. Luckily, he recognizes fresh talent in Paddy, a young rodent wise beyond her years and eager to break the grass — er, glass — ceiling. When Paddy gets the chance to crack the case of the purloined acorns, she’s got a mystery to solve and a slew of woodland creatures’ speculations to manage. This warm and witty police procedural for the junior set shows how generational divides can turn to bridges, and that even baddies have their good sides.

Gordon and Paddy

Gordon and Paddy

MINUSCULE – MANDIBLES FROM FAR AWAY, dir. Thomas Szabo & Hélène Giraud (France) — 2018, U.S. Premiere, Animation, 90 minutes; no dialogue
“Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home…” the rhyme goes, but try heeding that when you’re a quarter of an inch long and home is 4,000 miles away! When accidentally boxed into a chestnut shipment, the ladybug of Minuscule is inadvertently shipped to a Caribbean isle. Its parents embark on an odyssey to find it while, on the island, beachfront developers are threatening native habitats. A wild ride ensues — it’s a bug-eyed ecological view made more eye-popping as a live-action animation hybrid shot in lush Guadeloupe.

Minuscule: Mandibles from Far Away

Minuscule: Mandibles from Far Away

MOOMINVALLEY, dir. Steve Box (Finland/U.K.) — 2019, World Theatrical Premiere, Animation, 44 minutes; in English
They may hail from faraway Finland, but artist/novelist Tove Jansson’s cuddly, quasi-philosophical, not-quite-hippo creatures have a huge international following and were last seen at NYICFF 2014. This exciting new series is an evocative mix of 2D and 3D animation bringing the Moomintroll family to vivid life as they adventure through the mystical islets and fjords of their glacial world. Rosamund Pike leads a top-notch voice cast as Moominmamma, wisely grounding the family’s insatiable curiosity as they seek the shadowy Groke and luminescent Hattifatteners.

Moominvalley

Moominvalley

OKKO’S INN, dir. Kitar? K?saka (Japan) — 2018, World Premiere English Language Version, Animation, 94 minutes; in English
Bright-eyed Okko has joined her grandmother at their family-run, hot springs inn, rolling up her sleeves to learn the traditional ways. Her way to deal with the recent loss of her parents is to work diligently and think of others instead of herself. She does great, though as a city kid the country creatures make her jumpy, as does a surprising new friend she finds “spirited” in more ways than one. Okko’s Inn beautifully addresses themes of loss, altruism, and love, while offering that — even in the face of challenges — compassion, and delight, can and will abound.

Okko's Inn

Okko’s Inn

PENGUIN HIGHWAY, dir. Hiroyasu Ishida (Japan) — 2018, Animation, 118 minutes; in Japanese with English subtitles
Precocious Aoyama is crazy for science. He calculates the days until he is grown up and keeps a scientific notebook at the ready. He’s got hypotheses and independent variables down pat. But some topics he hasn’t mastered: How do the laws of attraction operate? What is this emerging feeling for his hygienist-turned-tutor? As if puberty isn’t enough of a mystery, he must uncover what’s causing hordes of kawaii penguins to invade his suburban town, with help from the bright girl in his class. A charming tangle of scientific principles, fantastical physics, and baffling hormonal surges, Penguin Highway’s destination is the journey, all right.

Penguin Highway

Penguin Highway

Animation Magazine

‘North of Blue,’ ‘Floreana’ Top LA Animation Fest Winners

The LA Animation Festival held its awards evening on Sunday at The Mayflower Club, presenting awards across filmmaking and craft categories including. Louis Morton’s experimental film Floreana was named Best of the Fest, while renowned independent experimental filmmaker Joanna Priestley’s North of Blue took Best Feature, and Best Comedy went to Oscar-winning Canadian duo Alison Snowden and David Fine for Animal Behaviour.

Several of the main categories were sponsored by Toon Boom, the popular animation software. The ceremony evening was also used to raise money and awareness for Women in Animation.

The festival also Honored Evette Vargas, for her “Pioneering Work in VR”, a Sangaria Ramune-sponsored Award for Excellence went to animator-composer Ed Skudder for his music video Tectonic, and a Humanitarian Award in animated documentary was bestowed on Land of the Free?, a group project from Sheila Sofian’s USC Documentary Animation class.

Festival Honoree and Titmouse co-founder Chris Prynoski received his Award for “Pioneering Work in Animation” during the festival’s opening night.

The main category winners are below; a complete list can be found online.

Pioneering Work in Animation – Chris Prynoski (Honoree)
Pioneering Work in VR – Evette Vargas (Honoree)
Best of the FestFloreana (USA) Louis Morton
Best FeatureNorth of Blue (USA) Joanna Priestley
Best Comedy Animal Behaviour (Canada) Alison Snowden & David Fine
Best Motion Graphics Equipoise (USA) Simo Liu
Best Short from a Series Lullaby Theories: A Secret (USA) Jonathan Lacocque
Best Short from a Series 2nd Place & Black & White (Croatia) Darko Bakliza
Best Documentary New York City Sketchbook (USA) Willy Hartland
Best Character-Based Little Bandits (USA) Alex Avagimian
Best Experimental Floreana (USA) Louis Morton
Best Music Video – “Emulate” Okay Kaya (USA) Daniel Zvereff
Award of Excellence (Presented by Sangaria Ramune) Tectonic (USA) Ed Skudder
Innovator Award – Evette Vargas
Humanitarian Award Land of the Free (USA) USC Documentary Animation Production class: Alissa Michelle Brasington, Liam Campbell, Brian Cawley, Lakota DodgingHorse, Ken Egu, C. Leigh Goldsmith, Haley Hudkins, Hannah Kreiswirth, Kaitlyn Leewing, Sequoyah Madison, Molly Murphy, Patrice Pinardo, Chenglin Xie
Best Direction Animal Behaviour (Canada) Alison Snowden & David Fine
Best StoryThe Magical Mystery of Musigny (USA) Emmett Goodman
Best Character Design Happy Foot vs. Sad Foot (USA) Mike Hollingsworth
Best Art Direction Unexpected Discoveries (USA) James Mabery
Best Design Diving in a Sea of Light (USA) Micah Buzan
Best Children’s Animation 1st PlaceMi Abuelita (Guatemala) Giselle Pérez

LAAF festival sponsors are Sangaria Ramune, P4STV, Octopie, Toon Boom, Bang Zoom!; event sponsors are Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Yolo Rum, Leese Fitch Wines, Asombrosa Tequila, Gehricke Wines

Photography by Sean Eric Pavon – XP Photography

Animation Magazine

Glass Eye Pix & Beck Underwood’s Creepy Christmas Film Fest Returns

Ten years since it was first conceived, filmmaker and animator Beck Underwood and New York City-based production company Glass Eye Pix are bringing back their “digital advent calendar” for genre film fans for 2018. The Creepy Christmas Film Festival kicks off this weekend, presenting a new Christmas-themed horror short every day from December 1 through 25.

This year’s yuletide carnage features both live-action and animated shorts from exiting storytellers, ranging from truly haunting holiday tales to whimsical weirdness. Filmmakers include Glass Eye Pix CEO Larry Fessenden (Habit, Wendigo), GEP regulars Jenn Wexler (The Ranger), Glenn McQuaid (I Sell the Dead), Graham Reznick (Shudder’s Deadwax), Mickey Keating (Psychopaths), Joe Maggio (Bitter Feast), James McKenney (Satan Hates You), JT Petty (The Burrowers, Hellbenders), and many fresh faces, including animators Joy + Noelle, (Human Kindof), award-winning puppet theater director Jessica Grindstaff (Phantom Limb Company), Gothic impresario Voltaire (Gothic Homemaking Show), young filmmakers from The Lower East Side Girls Club, and a host of other unexpected contributors.

“In 2008, I made an advent calendar for Glass Eye Pix. After completing the diorama and photos for the original calendar, I felt there were more stories to be had from the little scenarios behind each window. I was lucky enough to find a group of artists who rose to the challenge. They received the objects from the window in the mail, their due date and with no additional direction, whipped up some wicked visions. After 10 years, speaking with filmmaker Ben Duff, who was still a teenager when the first fest premiered, I decided to send out the random missive again with Ben co-curating, bringing his eye to the mix of contributors,” explained Underwood.

“I think of The Creepy Christmas Film Test as being like conceptual art. It explores the trust of community making art in the same spirit we all had as children to put on a show. It’s always nice when I see contributors involving their families, friends, passersby, pets… and the resulting films all have that same charm one hopes blesses the holiday season.”

Fessenden said, “At Glass Eye, we’re always looking for forums to get people to loosen up, forget about budgets, and rekindle their love of filmmaking and mischief making. Beck’s festival does just that, and it’s a real treat to see what artists of all stripes come up with for the assignment: ‘Creepy’ blended with the absurdly iconic, over-saturated imagery of the Christmas Season. ‘Deck the Halls’ indeed!”

A new, original film launches every day for 25 days via the Creepy Christmas Film Festival website (www.creepychristmasfest.com)and social media pages.

Animation Magazine

Manchester Animation Fest Film & Industry Awards Announced

The 2018 Manchester Animation Festival, the U.K.’s largest dedicated animation event, wrapped up Thursday night with an awards ceremony celebrating the best films of the fest, as well as this year’s winners of the Industry Excellence Awards. Nienke Deutz’s stop-motion coming-of-age piece about best friends spending the last summer of their childhood together, Bloeistraat 11, won Best Short Film. And the rebooted stop-motion series The Clangers scored a double win in the IEAs, for Scriptwriting and Character Animation.

Learn more about MAF at www.manchesteranimaitonfestival.co.uk.

MAF 2018 Awards:

Best Short Film: Bloeistraat 11 by Nienke Deutz (France)
Special Mention: Egg by Martina Scarpelli (France)
Audience Award: Facing It by Sam Gainsborough (U.K.)
Best Commissioned Film: Mark of a Free Society by Robert Grieves (U.K.)
Best Student Film: Travelogue Tel Aviv by Samuel Patthey (Switzerland)
Student Film Special Mention: Somewhere Soft by Satoe Yoshinari (Norway)
Best Immersive Film: Back to the Moon by FX Goby & Helen LeRoux (U.S.)

MAF 2018 Industry Excellence Awards:

Storyboarding
Oriol Vidal for Danger Mouse: A Fear to Remember
Krystal Georgiou for Luo Bao Bei: Footsteps of Others
WINNER: Vince James for 70 MPH Tales: Jack and the Beanstalk

Scriptwriting
Evgenia Golubeva and Myles McLeod for Becca’s Bunch: Cute Lil’ Bug
Alex Collier for Danger Mouse: Grand Stressed Auto
WINNER: Daniel Postgate for The Clangers: The Block

Character Animation
Duncan Rudd for Buy Any Part: Farmer
Mark Kilkelly for Danger Mouse
Rachel Thorn for Simon’s Cat: DIY
WINNER: Fabrice Pieton for The Clangers

Character Design
Eimhin McNamara for The Western Spring
Valentina Ventimiglia for Labuntina
Aoffe Doyle for Aurora
WINNER: Leigh Hodgkinson for Olobob Top

Manchester Animation Festival

Manchester Animation Festival

The Clangers: The Block

The Clangers: The Block

Animation Magazine

Manchester Animation Fest Industry Excellence Nominees Announced

With just a week to go until the 2018 Manchester Animation Festival in the U.K. (Nov. 13-15), the nominees for the Industry Excellence Awards have been revealed in the categories of Storyboarding, Scriptwriting, Character Animation and Character Design.

The fest kicks off on Sunday with “Family Day,” with fun all-ages activities such as the LEGO Stop Motion Workshop and Colour Me MAF, the Short Films for Children program, and Scratch ‘n Sniff Cinema Presents: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (in case you wondered what the popular Aardman heroes smell like).

Full festival passes are sold out, but individual tickets are still available. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.manchesteranimationfestival.co.uk.

The 2018 MAF Industry Excellence Award nominees are:

Storyboarding
Oriol Vidal for Danger Mouse: A Fear to Remember
Krystal Georgiou for Luo Bao Bei: Footsteps of Others
Vince James for 70 MPH Tales: Jack and the Beanstalk

Scriptwriting
Evgenia Golubeva and Myles McLeod for Becca’s Bunch: Cute Lil’ Bug
Alex Collier for Danger Mouse: Grand Stressed Auto
Daniel Postgate for The Clangers: The Block

Character Animation
Duncan Rudd for Buy Any Part: Farmer
Mark Kilkelly for Danger Mouse
Rachel Thorn for Simon’s Cat: DIY
Fabrice Pieton for The Clangers

Character Design
Eimhin McNamara for The Western Spring
Valentina Ventimiglia for Labuntina
Aoffe Doyle for Aurora
Leigh Hodgkinson for Olobob Top

The winners will be announced during the MAF 2018 Awards Ceremony and each will receive one of our awards designed by Beth Jupe at Mackinnon and Saunders.

Animation Magazine

Eleven Arts Sets ‘Maquia’ & ‘Liz and the Blue Bird’ for LA Femme Fest

Two beautiful, emotional anime features will be screening at the LA Femme International Film Festival this weekend (Oct. 11-14), thanks to event sponsor ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio. A special showing of award-winning movie Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms will be held Friday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m., and an in-competition screening of LIz and the Blue Bird is set for Sunday, Oct. 14 at 12 p.m. Both films will play at LA Live’s Regal Theater Stadium 14

Founded in 2005, the LA Femme International Film Festival is a premier festival that focuses on platforming women filmmakers and works “by women, for everyone.” Tickets available at www.lafemme.org/tickets.

“We could not be prouder to have these two incredibly powerful titles screen at the LA Femme. Director Mari Okada and director Naoko Yamada are incredible women whose work continues to shape the anime industry. We are honored to be bringing the films to this festival and to the broader North American audience,” says Ko Mori, President and CEO of ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio.

Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms is the directorial debut of renowned screenwriter Mari Okada. The film dives into the dilemmas of motherhood, adolescence, femininity, and leadership. Okada wraps all these poignant themes into a sweeping epic with well-developed characters, emotional gravitas, stunning visuals, and an exhilarating score by composer Kenji Kawai (Ghost in the Shell animated movie and sequel). The film, hot off its initial February release, quickly made its way across the globe to premiere at the Glasgow Film Festival, where it captivated audiences. Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms also won the Best Animated Film Award at Shanghai International Film Festival.

An Official Selection of the festival, Liz and the Blue Bird is a coming-of-age story from Naoko Yamada, the director of A Silent Voice. ELEVEN ARTS Anime Studio has set November 9, 2018, as the theatrical release for the film. The film made its premiere at Anime Expo in the U.S. and will screen with the original Japanese dialogue and English subtitles.

Liz and the Blue Bird

Liz and the Blue Bird

Animation Magazine

Ottawa Int’l Animation Fest 2018 Winners: ‘Solar Walk’ Wins Grand Prize

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America’s leading animation film festival announced the winners of its 2018 competition today at an awards ceremony held at the National Gallery of Canada. The OIAF received a total of 2,469 entries from 84 countries and selected 110 for competition.

The Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short went to Solar Walk, by Réka Busic (Denmark). The Grand Prize for Features went to This Magnificent Cake! by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels (Belgium, France, Netherlands).

Solar Walk – trailer from Reka Bucsi on Vimeo.

Ce magnifique Gâteau ! – teaser from Marc and Emma on Vimeo.

This year’s Short, Feature and Young Audience Competition screenings were judged by three official juries. The Competition Feature Jury featured Chintis Lundgren, an award-winning Estonian-born animator, Steven Subotnick, an independent animator, director, illustrator and author. Chel White is the co-founder of Bent Image Labs and has done work for Saturday Night Live, David Lynch, Al Gore and Thom Yorke.

The Competition Short Jury included Nicolas Brault, is a Canadian award-winning director. Igor Prassel is a lecturer on the history and theory of animation film in Slovenia, an author and Artistic Director of Animateka. Kelly Sears is an award-winning experimental animator in collage. Her work has been screened around the world. She’s also Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

The third and final jury is comprised of Ottawa-area children between the ages of eight and 12 who judged the Young Audiences: Preschool and Ages six to 12 Competitions.

A selection of the Festival’s award-winning films will be screened on Sunday, September 30th at 7PM and again at 9PM in the Best of OIAF18, screening at the ByTowne Cinema (325 Rideau Street). Tickets are available online at www.animationfestival.ca and can also be purchased at the box office.

Full Competition Prize Winners List:
ANIMATION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES COMPETITION: PRESCHOOL

Winner: Koniguri-Kun Music Box by Mari Miyazawa
Second Place: The Highway Rat by Jeroen Jaspaert

ANIMATION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES COMPETITION AGES 6 TO 12

Winner: The Green Bird, by Maximilien Bourgeoi, Quentin Dubois, Irina Nguyen-Duc, Marine Goalard and Pierre Perveyrie
Second Place: Funny Fish, Krishna Chandran A. Nair

CANADIAN FILM INSTITUTE CANADIAN STUDENT COMPETITION

Winner: Bird Milk, Christopher Strickler, Emily Carr University
First Special Mention: Concatenate, Simone Northey, OCAD University
Second Special Mention: 1992, Una di Gallo, Sheridan College
Third Special Mention: GIF Me Something To Hold, Chhaya Naran, Emily Carr University

My Dead Dad's Porno Tapes

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes

BEST CANADIAN ANIMATION

Winner: My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes by Charlie Tyrell
Special Mention: Turbine, by Alex Boya
Special Mention: Biidaaban, Amanda Strong

BEST SCRIPT
Biidaaban (The Dawn Comes) by Amanda Strong, Canada
Jury Comment: “For script, the jury was looking for stories that urgently needed to be told in out time. We were struck by the layered and political narratives; ones that spanned the past, present and future in Amanda Strong’s Biidaaban.”

BEST DESIGN

III, by Marta Pajek, Poland
Jury Comment: “The jury was delighted by the luscious and haptic visual textures, feeling with our eyes the most delicate and sensuous details in III.”

BEST TECHNIQUE
Fest, Nikita Diakur, Germany
Jury Comment: “For making 3D animation a puppets theatre where ugly, possessed characters are raving their lives away…”

BEST SOUND

Ride, by Paul Bush, Portugal and United Kingdom
Jury Comment: “For bringing hundreds of museum bikes on the street again for letting us hear them!”

Nothing Happens

Nothing Happens

VIRTUAL REALITY
Nothing Happens, by Michelle Kranot and uri Kranot, Denmark and France
Jury Comment: “By adapting their film to a cinematic VR experience, the authors literally immerse us into their visual world.”

COMMISSIONED ANIMATION
Kensington Market, by Bruce Alcock, Canada
Jury Comment: “The jury was struck by the colourful and dynamic animation that depicted the vibrant growth of a community shop in Kensington Market.”

STUDENT ANIMATION

Hedge, by Amanda Bonaiuto, USA
Jury Comment: “For a risk-taking, delightfully animation technique and peculiar character design.”

NON-NARRATIVE ANIMATION
La Chute (The Fall) by Boris Labbé, France

Jury Comment: “For a formal exploration of a Dante-esque world that resonates through a precise and ornamental choreographic staging.”

CARTOON NETWORK AWARD FOR BEST NARRATIVE SHORT
Guazuma, by Nara Normandie, France and Brazil
Jury Comment: For a breathtaking and intimate journey through friendship that spans time and distance.”

VIMEO AWARD

My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, by Charlie Tyrell, Canada
Jury Comment: Honest, funny, nostalgic and incredibly inventive, it tells the story of a young man sifting through his late father’s belongings in an attempt to uncover the intimate details of his life. A perfectly arranged menagerie of old film footage, audio recordings and meticulously crafted stop motion animation, it is a beautiful tribute to a complicated but loving and devoted father and son relationship.”

PUBLIC PRIZE

Facing It, by Sam Gainsborough, United Kingdom

This Magnificent Cake

This Magnificent Cake

FEATURE ANIMATION

Winner: This Magnificent Cake! by Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels, Belgium, France, Netherlands
Special Mention: On Happiness Road by Hsin-Yin Sung

Solar Walk

Solar Walk

NELVANA GRAND PRIZE FOR SHORT ANIMATION
Solar Walk, by Réka Busic, Denmark
Jury Comment: “The Jury was enveloped by a playful animation that drifted outward, defying gravity. The colourful utopic world’s transports is far away from where bodies were sitting, that resulted in an overwhelming feeling of joy that evoked infinite possibility.

Animation Magazine

VIZ Sets NYCC / Anime Fest 2018 Sessions

Leading anime and manga company VIZ Media has revealed the details of its panels, special guests, autograph sessions, in-booth activities, retail exclusives and can’t-miss screenings lined up for next month’s New York Comic Con and Anime Fest @ NYCC X Anime Expo 2018, running concurrently October 4-7 at the Javits Convention Center and Pier 94, respectively.

At both events, VIZ will welcome notable talent from the anime and manga spheres. Catch the creator of Radiant, Tony Valente; Sailor Moon/Boruto voice actor veteran, Amanda Miller; and Boruto anime series voice actor, Colleen O’Shaughnessy, for a variety of panels and autograph sessions. Additional guests include Lord Gris, illustrator and character designer for The World Next Door video game and Adi Shankar, executive producer of the animated adaptation of Castlevania.

VIZ Media will be at NYCC booth #1336, where fans can find variety of retail exclusives and advance releases for Boruto, Dragon Ball, Homestuck, Magic: The Gathering, My Hero Academia, Naruto Shippuden, Sailor Moon and many more. VIZ Media’s booth will also host various activities and giveaways throughout the con including a Dr. Stone arm sleeve, an exclusive My Hero Academia poster and digital manga offer, as well as a special demo for The World Next Door video game, which is set for release in early 2019!

VIZ EVENTS SCHEDULE

Thursday, Oct. 4
12:15 p.m. VIZ Media Official Panel (Javits, Rm. 1A06) Come hang out with us and special guests, Tony Valente and Adi Shankar, as we share upcoming releases and other announcements!

2 p.m. Castlevania Producer Signing (VIZ Media Booth) Meet Adi Shankar, the executive producer behind the hit animated adaptation of the Castlevania video game in an exclusive signing session.

3:30 p.m. Radiant Creator Signing (NYCC Autograph Area*) Come see Tony Valente, the creator behind the Radiant manga, and receive a personalized signed art card.

Friday, Oct. 5
2 p.m. ReedPOP and VIZ Media Present Tony Valente, Creator of Radiant Panel (Anime Fest, Mirai Stage**) Hear from Tony Valente himself as he discusses his career and creative journey from pen to panel and from manga to anime!

3:30 p.m. Radiant Creator Signing (Anime Fest, Autograph Area**) Don’t miss your final chance to meet Tony Valente!

4 p.m. RWBY Creative Talent Signing (VIZ Media Booth) Meet members of the RWBY creative team and receive a signed RWBY poster.

Saturday, Oct. 6
11 a.m. Shonen Jump Panel (Javits, Room 1A10) Hang out with your Shonen Jump pals and awesome guests including the voices of Boruto, Amanda Miller, and Cho-Cho, Colleen O’Shaughnessey.

12:30 p.m. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations English Voice Cast Signing (NYCC Autograph Area*) Catch the voice of Boruto, Amanda Miller, and Cho-Cho, Colleen O’Shaughnessey, in this signing session!

4 p.m. The World Next Door Signing (VIZ Media Booth) Stop by and meet illustrator Lord Gris, character designer for The World Next Door video game, and receive a signed art card!

4 p.m. Shonen Jump Fun & Ninja Games Panel (Anime Fest, Main Stage**) Laugh it up with the U.S. editors of Weekly Shonen Jump as they face off against special guests behind some of our favorite titles in a fun game or two!

5:45 p.m. Boruto: Naruto Next Generations English Voice Cast Signing (Anime Fest, Autograph Area**) An encore chance to meet Boruto voice actors Amanda Miller and Colleen O’Shaughnessey at Anime Fest!

6:45 p.m. K: Seven Stories Lost Small World Premiere (Javits, Room 1A10) View the special U.S. premiere of Lost Small World, an all-new anime work set in the mesmerizing world of K!

Sunday, Oct. 7
1 p.m. Sailor Moon Voice Actor Signing (Anime Fest, Autograph Area**) JUPITER POWER MAKE UP! Meet Sailor Jupiter’s English voice actor, Amanda Miller, and receive a personalized signed poster.

1:30 p.m. K Anime Marathon Screening (Anime Fest, Mirai Stage**) Catch three works from the K: Seven Stories series, which includes Side: Blue, Side: Green, and Lost Small World.

1:30 p.m. The World Next Door Signing (VIZ Media Booth) Another opportunity to meet artist Lord Gris!

*NYCC official signings are ticketed before the event. Please visit newyorkcomiccon.com/Guests/Autographs for more information.

**Anime Fest badges are required; this is a separate ticketed event located at Pier 94.

K: Seven Stories Lost Small World, Radiant, and Boruto

K: Seven Stories Lost Small World, Radiant, and Boruto

Animation Magazine

Raindance Film Fest Reveals Immersive Program Details

The 26th Raindance Film Festival — taking place in London from September 26 to October 7 — has revealed an artistic and tech-savvy lineup of virtual, augmented and mixed reality projects for its Immersive Stories and Interactive Worlds strand (Oct. 4-7). The program will feature the annual showcase, Gallery of Immersive Stories and Interactive Worlds, Summit and Awards Ceremony. Notably, this year two much-buzzed-about animated VR experiences are nominated for Raindance’s immersive track Grand Jury Prize.

The selection features 33 experiences, created by established directors and artists such as Judi Dench (My Oak Tree VR), Elijah Wood (Transference), Eric Darnell (Crow: The Legend); leading VR directors and Raindance alumni such as Eugene YK Chung (Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall), Angel Manuel Soto (Dinner Party), Martin Taylor (Awake: Episode One); first-time VR creators and directors such as Chagall (Ukiyo Cave: Surely), Orly Rodriguez (The Archivist), Maximilian Sacker and Ioulia Isserlis (KOBOLD), Landia Egal and Thomas Pons (Umami), Taylor Myers (King of Infinite Space), Kenneth Henderson and Alyssia Frankland (Opinions), James A. Castillo (Madrid Noir), Kristina Buozyte (Trail of Angels), Bin Gu (The Apple), John Lynch (Crackle Pop), and many more.

Seventeen of these selections will be world premieres, including 7 Miracles. Produced by Vive Studios and created by an acclaimed team of producers and directors — Joel Breton (Pirates of the Caribbean), Enzo Sisti (Aquaman), Rodrigo Cerqueira (Jesus VR: The Story of Christ) and Marco Spagnoli (Hollywood Invasion), the live-action Italian production takes viewers into the biblical story of Jesus.

The Raindance Immersive Stories Awards are given in 10 categories: Interactive Narrative, Animation, Cinematic, Documentary, Social Impact, Music Experience, Multi-Person (new), Discovery Award: Best Debut Experience (new), British Award: Best UK Experience (new), and Grand Jury Prize: Best Immersive Story.

The winners will be selected by an international panel of jury members consisting of industry visionaries such as Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLAB; Curtis Hickman, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at THE VOID; Wesley Allsbrook, the artist behind Dear Angelica, last year’s winner of Best Animation Experience award; Jérôme Blanquet, director of Alteration, last year’s winner of Best Cinematic Experience award; Grace Boyle, founder and director of THE FEELIES, one of last year’s winners of Best Social Impact Experience award, and many more.

The 2018 Best Animation Experience nominees are:

Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall (also nominated for Grand Jury Prize)
Crow: The Legend (also nominated for Grand Jury Prize)
Madrid Noir – Prologue
Shennong: Taste of Illusion
Yeti and Spaghetti

Arden's Wake: Tide's Fall

Arden’s Wake: Tide’s Fall

Crow: The Legend

Crow: The Legend

Animation Magazine

Palm Springs Intl Animation Fest Announces Lineup

The 2018 edition of the Palm Springs Intl. Animation Festival has announced its lineup of animated features and shorts for the event, which takes place Aug. 22-25 at the Palm Springs Cultural Center.

Among this year’s highly anticipated screenings are:

  • The Wall. Cam Christiansen’s rotoscoped NFB documentary is inspired by British Oscar-winning screenwriter and playwright David Hare’s trip to the wall separating Israel and Palestine.
  • Marnie’s World. The latest CG feature by Oscar-winning German brothers Christoph and Wolfgang Lauenstein (Luis and the Aliens) about a naive house cat who joins three other animals on a road trip.
  • Mission Kathmandu: The Adventures of Nelly and Simon. Directed by Nancy Florence Savard and Pierre Greco, family adventure film about an apprentice detective and a research assistant in search of the legendary Yeti.
  • North of Blue.  Award-winning Portland-based indie animator Joanna Priestley’s stunning abstract take on natural beauty of the Yukon.
  • Hoffmaniada. Russian master Stanislav Sokolov’s much-anticipated stop-motion epic based on tales of E.T.A. Hoffmann  has been in the works for 17 years.
  • Cowboys and Indians. Farbrice du Welz’s documentary follows the careers of talented Belgian animation duo Vincent Patar and Stephane Aubier (A Town Called Panic, Ernest and Celestine).
  • Kikoriki Déjà vu. The third installment of the popular Riki Group’s animated franchise finds the gang traveling through different time periods, directed by Denis Chernov.

The festival also features numerous showcases of the best of animated shorts (CG, 2D, stop-motion, family projects, abstract, LGBTQ themes, special needs, etc.). Among some of the better-known titles are:

  • E-Delivery by Young Gul Cho
  • Garden Party by Florian Babikian, Vincent Rayoux, Victor Caire, Théophile Dufrense, Gabriel Grapperon and Lucas Navarro
  • Lux by Eva Campin
  • Hybrids by Florian Brauch, Kim Tailhades, Matthieu Pujol, Yohan Thireau and Romain Thirion.
  • Le Mort, Pere & Fils by Vincent Paronnaud and Marc Jousset
  • Egg by Martina Scarpelli
  • Ugly by Nikita Diakur

To find out more about the festival and purchase tickets, visit www.psiaf.org

Mission Kathmandu

Mission Kathmandu

North of Blue

North of Blue

The Wall

The Wall

Ugly

Ugly

Animation Magazine

‘Caracol Cruzando’ Brings Child Migrant’s POV to PBS Online Fest

Caracol Cruzando

Caracol Cruzando

A new animated short highlighting the plight of refugees from Latin America will bring a distinct perspective to logged-on viewers as Pamela Maria Chavez’s Caracol Cruzando (“Snail Crossing”) debuts Monday as part of the PBS Online Film Festival (July 16-27). The film follows one family’s difficult journey from Costa Rica to the US, as seen through the eyes of a young girl named Anais.

“We’ve seen the dehumanizing rhetoric, the polarizing politics; I wondered, is there a way to re-humanize without picking the conversation up from this negative paradigm? How do I take control of my narrative again?” writer-director Chavez says in a Q&A for the festival’s blog. “By telling this story from a child’s perspective, you have an opportunity to look at the motivations and implicit qualities that are required to make this journey – something genuine and authentic. I also wanted to make something fun, funny and playful. This eases the tension in the film, and I believe allows an entry point for children and families to talk.”

In the story, Anais and her father cross the border separately from her mother and brother, but hit trouble when she tries to enter the US with her pet turtle tucked in her backpack — and leading to doubt about whether the family will be reunited.

All films in the PBS Online Film Festival will stream at pbs.org, YouTube and PBS social media channels and apps. A “Most Popular” award will be determined by viewer vote, in addition to the juried award.

See more of Chavez’s work at pamelachavez.com.

[Source: Variety, PBS]

Caracol Cruzando

Caracol Cruzando

Caracol Cruzando

Caracol Cruzando

Caracol Cruzando

Caracol Cruzando

Animation Magazine

RTX Fest Presents Exclusives from Titmouse, Mondo Media and More

Ballmastrz: 9009

Ballmastrz: 9009

RTX Animation Festival returns to Austin, TX, running alongside the 2018 Rooster Teeth Expo. This year’s lineup features exclusive screenings, panels and special guests from acclaimed toon houses Titmouse, Mondo Media, Studio Yotta, Mashed and Machinima. The fest runs August 3-5 at the JW Marriott.

Titmouse, the animation production company known for popular cartoons on Adult Swim, Amazon, Netflix and others networks, will present behind-the-scenes perspectives on the Emmy award-winning Niko and the Sword of Light and the wild, anime-inspired Ballmastrz: 9009. President and owner Chris Prynoski will appear, as well as Christy Karacas (creator, director and exec producer, Ballmastrz: 9009) and Rob Hoegee (showrunner, head writer and exec producer, Niko and the Sword of Light). The Titmouse panel will be held on Saturday, August 4 at 5:30 pm at the JW Marriott. Prynoski will also appear on an animation writing and directing panel with other industry leaders.

Mondo Media will bring a panel focused on Gary and His Demons to the fest this year, moderated by CEO Brendan Burch, and will also premiere new shorts series including the Season 2 premiere of Turbo Fantasy. Studio Yotta will bring a small contingency of lead animators and founders. Mashed channel manager Tom Jenkins also will appear. Machinima will screen the final chapter of the Transformers: Prime Wars Trilogy, Transformers: Power of the Primes, and host a Q&A with showrunner FJ DeSanto.

Additional guests and reps from hit content creators who will surely pack more exciting exclusives in their RTX bags include: Cyanide & Happiness, How It Should Have Ended, Flashgitz, Frederator, Neebs Gaming, OnlyLeigh, ScrewAttack, Paul “OtaKng” Johnson, Kirsten Lepore, Bobbypills, SexuaLobster, Okay Samurai and Gamma Girls.

RTX Animation Festival is open to all RTX ticket holders. Single day and weekend passes for the eighth RTX Austin are still available at www.rtxaustin.com, starting at $ 50. Children ages six and under get free admission with a paying adult.

Ballmastrz: 9009

Ballmastrz: 9009

Gary and His Demons

Gary and His Demons

Transformers: Power of the Primes

Transformers: Power of the Primes

Animation Magazine