Hertzfeld Has Top Short at Sundance

Animation was well represented at the 2007 edition of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. This year’s award winners were announced over the weekend and Don Hertzfeldt’s Everything Will Be OK emerged as the top short film. Last year’s Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking aslo went to an animated submission, Adam Parrish King’s The Wraith of Cobble Hill.

In Everything Will Be OK, a series of dark and troubling events force a guy named Bill to reckon with the meaning of his life-’or lack thereof. Written, directed, animated and photographed by Hertzfeldt, the 17-minute film blends color and black-and-white to tell the story in Hertzfeldt’s signature minimalist style.

Hertzfeldt earned an Academy Award nomination for his 2000 animated short Rejected, which employed stick figures to represent bad ideas for TV commercials. His other shorts, The Meaning of Life, Billy’s Balloon, Lily and Jim, Genre and Ah, L’Amour have been festival staples and cult favorites over the years. In 2004, Hertzfeldt and partner Mike Judge received an Annie certificate of merit at for The Animation Show, a touring festival of short animated films that is now entering its third season.

Last year, the Sundance Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking went to Adam Parrish King’s stop-motion black and white film, The Wraith of Cobble Hill (tied with Carter Smith’s live-action Bugcrush).

In addition to the live-action competition, Everything Will Be OK was up against Alex Weil’s SIGGRAPH 2006-winning CG creation, One Rat Short. The other animated films in competition this year were Destiny Manifesto by Martha Colburn, Dreams and Desires–Family Ties by Joanna Quinn, Duct Tape and Cover by Yong-Jin (Gene) Park, Golden Age by Aaron Augenblick, Paulina Hollers by Brent Green and Phantom Canyon by Stacey Steers. To see a complete lit of Sundance 2007 winners, go to http://festival.sundance.org/2007.