The first annual ION Int’l Animation, Games and Short Film Festival concluded Monday night with an award ceremony honoring the best of 152 films screened over the weekend at Culver Studios in Culver City, Calif. The kudos were handed out after DPS Film Roman was honored for 20 years of excellence in animation and legendary Fleischer Studios received the first Max Fleischer Lifetime Achievement Award during the opening night gala.
Canadian animator Chris Landreth’s biographical short, Ryan, picked up the Animation of the Year Award. Landreth’s innovative 3D work is based on the life of Ryan Larkin, a former animator who produced works 30 years ago at the National Film Board of Canada and today panhandles for spare change in Montreal. The short is a frontrunner in the Oscar race, having also received the Jury’s Special Award at Annecy, Jury Honors at this year’s SIGGRAPH Animation Fest and most recently the Grand Prix for Independent Short Film at the Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival.
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic from LucasArts and developer BioWare Corp. was honored with the Game of the Year Award. Earlier this year, the role-playing game for Xbox and PC was the big winner at the fourth annual Game Developers Choice Awards, storming off with wins in three categories including Game of the Year. A sequel, Star Wars–Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords will be released for Xbox in December and for PC in February 2005. The follow-up was nominated for Best Role Playing Game at the Game Critics Awards Best of E3 2004.
The TV Spot/Trailer of the Year Award went to a promo for spawn.com, the official site for Todd McFarlane’s Spawn franchise and various toy lines. The other winners are:
Short Film of the Year Award
Directed by Pascal Tosi
Documentary of the Year Award
The Last Stand: Heroes At Bellona Wetlands (U.S.)
Directed by Todd Brunelle and Sheila Laffey
Music Video of the Year Award
In The Waiting Line
Directed by Tommy Pallotta (U.S.)
Experimental Film of the Year Award
You Are My Favourite Chair
Directed by Rob Hardy (U.K.)