The second annual ION Int’l Animation, Games & Short Film Festival concluded over the weekend at the UCLA Campus in Westwood with the awarding of best-of-the-fest kudos. This year’s event saw a total of 47 animated films screening and competing for ION’s top prize.
Nabbing the Animation of the Year Award was Josh Staub’s The Mantis Parable, a short CG fable of longing, rebirth and redemption set in the insect world. The film has racked up a number of awards over the year, including Best Animation at the Palm Springs Int’l Festival of Short Films and the Winnipeg Int’l Film Festival.
Staub worked on Mantis at night while holding down a day job as an art and visual design director for Cyan Worlds Inc., where he most recently helped develop the video game Uru: Ages Beyond Myst. He has worked in video game development for the past 11 years and notes on his website (www.themanisparable.com) that this film marks his first foray into linear storytelling.
Last year’s Best Animation ION award went to Shane Acker’s dark, CG-animated adventure short, 9, which eventually caught the eye of famed filmmaker Tim Burton. Burton is now developing into a feature film with Acker set to direct.
ION’s Game of the Year Award for 2005 was given to Activision’s /I>Call of Duty 2, while James P. Gleason’s Antebody left with Short Film of the Year. Meanwhile, Music Video of the Year went to Con Toda Palabra from Canadian filmmakers Brigitte Henry and Ralph Dfouni. More information on the ION Festival can be found at www.ionfilmfest.com.