Those talented French animation students have done it again. Benjamin Renner, a graduate of France’s LA Poudriere, has taken home Cartoon Forum’s Cartoon D’Or Award for his graduation project, A Mouse’s Tale (La Queue de La Souris).
The 18th edition of the Cartoon d’Or is the only European prize specific to animated short films. The other finalists were: Vincent Bierrewaerts for The Bridge (Le Pont), Belgium/France; Arnaud Demuynck for Breakout (L”evasion), Belgium; Pierre-Luc Granjon for The White Wolf (Le Loup Blanc), France; and Matthew Walker for John and Karen, U.K.
Renner’s four-minute short uses drawings and cut-out animaton to tell the story of a lion who captures a mouse and is about to devour it when the mouse proposes a deal. Renner made the film while he was attending La Poudriere, an animation film-directing school in France, where he directed several shorts. The 24-year-old is now working at France’s Les Armateurs studio, where he is lead animator on the upcoming movie Ernest and Celestine.
‘I wanted to tell a short, simple story, a tale about a lion and a mouse, an encounter between a tiny harmless creature and an enormous one,” he says. “It was important in the film that the setting helped to transform the viewers into a little mouse, to throw them into a dark and strange forest, a large black mass, a world where appearances are deceiving, where by simply adding an eye to a mountain it becomes an terrifying lion. By using silhouette animation, I had a large degree of freedom for the setting. I was not constrained by technical difficulties and was able to concentrate on the story. Finally, what was most important for me was to be able to tell a fable like the ones I heard as a child and which have stayed in my mind without me really knowing why.’
Since A Mouse’s Tail has now won a major festival award, it will be eligible for the 2008 Animated Short Academy Award race in the U.S. Also up for Oscar recognition is Octopodi by Gobelins students Julien Bocabeille, Fran’ois-Xavier Chanioux, Olivier Delabarre, Thierry Marchand, Quentin Marmier and Emud Mokhberi. Their short took home the Audience and Best of Show prizes at SIGGRAPH in August.
Also at the event, the attendees voted for France 3 as Broadcaster of the Year, Rubber Duck Entertainment as Investor/Distributor of the Year, and Cartoon Saloon (Ireland) as Producer of the Year.
The Cartoon d’Or 2008 jury was composed of directors Enzo D’Alo from Italy, Raul Garcia from Spain and Michael Coldewey from Germany. Cartoon D’Or is part of the annual Cartoon Forum event, which was held at Ludwisgsburg this week. For further information, visit www.cartoon-media.eu.