French Roast Wins SIGGRAPH’s Best in Show

French Roast, Fabrice O. Joubert’s witty animated short about a Parisian caf’ patron who can’t pay his bill has won SIGGRAPH 2009′s Best in Show Award. The CG-animated project is produced by The Pumpkin Factory.

“This year’s accepted films really overwhelmed us with the level of technical expertise and expert storytelling, which made the awards decision process extremely difficult,” notes Carlye Archibeque, SIGGRAPH 2009 Computer Animation Festival exec producer. “The winners not only exemplify what makes excellent animation today, but also provide a glimpse into the great things we have awaiting us in the future.”

Last year’s Best in Show winner was the Oscar-winning Oktapodi, directed by Gobelins’ students Julien Bocabeille, Fran’ois-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, Thierry Marchand, Quentin Marmier, and Emud Mokhberi. Since 1999, the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has been an official qualifying festival for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Animated Short Film Academy Award.

In addition to French Roast, the following projects also received various honors at SIGGRAPH 2009, which takes place this week in New Orleans.

Jury Award Winner: 
 (BIF Production, The Mill, U.S.

A dark, harrowing short film showing the complexities of psychological and obsessive behavior. An intricate part of the film was how the creators chopped up their main actor. They had to find solutions for every shot in order to achieve the best results. Some of the shots are 2D visual effects while others needed a 3D model animated on top of the actor and then cut revealing the actor’s flesh and blood.

Jury Honorable Mention:Alma
 (Rodrigo Blaas, Cecile Hokes, Spain) 
With dramatic storytelling, Alma explores the possibilities of combining the technical advancements of CG images with the cinematographic medium. Real camera movements are used and adapted to animation, instead of a virtual animated camera. The result created a more believable and intriguing story, making the most out of the cinematographic and CG worlds.

Student Prize Winner:Project: Alpha 
(Matthias Bjarnason, Christian Munk S’rensen, Nicolai Slothus
The Animation Workshop,
Denmark) The race to space is on. As nations compete, we follow the progress of a single chimpanzee that’s been recruited into the Space Program. His results might prove influential for the better of all mankind.

Well Told Fable Prize:Unbelievable Four
 Sukwon Shin, In Pyo Hong
, U.S.) In this satirical take on a music video, a desperate search for salvation takes place as hundreds of evil spaceships are approaching earth. Finally the “Unbelievable 4″ get the call. A superhero team (composed of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Donald Rumsfeld) receives the urgent message that the earth is under attack and they have five minutes to launch a rocket for a preemptive strike. Over the course of the story, the caricatured leaders’ over-heroic personalities slowly merge with the personalities of rock stars.