Mary and Max Wins Top Movie Prize at Ottawa

Adam Elliot’s emotionally charged stop-motion movie Mary and Max won the Ottawa International Animation Festival’s Grand Prize for Best Animated Feature this weekend. Elliot’s feature also received the top prize at Annecy earlier this year and was picked as Sundance Film Festival’s opening feature in January. The movie recently completed a brief run in Los Angeles to qualify for the Academy Awards.

‘The film tells a simple and strong story about friendship, deep understanding of the human condition with all it’s defects,’ said the festival jury. ‘It is a perfect balance between tragedy and comedy.’ The jury also gave an Honorable Mention to Paul and Sandra Fierlinger’s wonderful and eccentric My Dog Tulip. ‘The jury was profoundly touched by one particular film therefore would like to award an honorable mention. This film has an outstanding style and above all, the way in which it allows the audience to identify with the characters and the relationships.’

Germany-based indie animator David O’Reilly’s acclaimed festival favorite Please Say Something also added the festival’s prize for Best Narrative Short to its growing list of awards.

Here is the complete list of this year’s winners:

Grand Prize for Best Animated Feature:

Mary and Max, directed by Adam Elliot, Australia

Nelvana Grand Prize for Best Independent Short Animation

Kaas’ndinud Kohustused (Inherent Obligations) by Rao Heidmets, Estonia

HIT Entertainment Grand Prize for Best Student Animation

Laska (Chick) by Michal Socha, Poland

Grand Prize for Best Commissioned Animation

Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, A Journal Diary) by Bastien Dubois, France

Best Animation School Showreel

Rhode Island School of Design (USA)

Best Narrative Short

Please Say Something directed by David OReilly, Ireland and Germany

Honorable Mention:

K”gi Dimensioonid (Kitchen Dimensions) directed by Priit Tender, Estonia

Best Experimental/Abstract Animation

Peripetics directed by Jamie Raap and Henrik Mauler, UK

Honorable Mention for Passionate Art Making: Myth Labs by Martha Colburn, Netherlands

Adobe Prize for Best High School Animation

Did U See That by Yuri Rhee, Ha Jung Kim, Paul Kim and Hyun Jung Lee, Korea Animation High School, South Korea

Best Undergraduate Animation

The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! directed by Jake Armstrong, School of Visual Arts, USA

Honorable Mention:

Mak the Horny Mac Daddy by Ian Miller, University of the Arts, USA

“Mac Daddy is worth this mention because of its uninhibited expressiveness in animation.”

Best Graduate Animation

Lebensader directed by Angela Steffen, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemburg, Germany

Best Promotional Animation

Nick Idents by Ljubisa Djukic, Ole Keune and Bettina Vogel, Dyrdee Media GmbH & Co. KG, Germany

Best Music Video

Nullsleep Dirty ROM Dance Mix by Stieg Retlin, USA

Best TV Animation For Adults

Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, A Journal Diary) by Bastien Dubois, France

Best Short Animation Made for Children

Nicolas & Guillemette, directed by Virginie Taravel, France

Honorable Mention: Enter the Sandbox, directed by Kevin Adams, Canada

Best TV Animation Made for Children

Lost and Found, directed by Philip Hunt, UK

Honorable Mention:

Tom and the Slice of Bread with Strawberry Jam & Honey ‘Tom’s Band’ / ‘Tom and the Nice Family’ (Tom und das Erdbeermarmeladebrot mit Honig) directed by Andreas Hykade, Germany

The National Film Board of Canada Public Prize

Madagascar, A Journey Diary (Madagascar, carnet de voyage) directed by Bastien Dubois, France

Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation

Le Tiroir et le Corbeau (The Drawer and The Crow) by Fr’d'rick Tremblay, Canada