Nyocker! Is Tops at Ottawa

The 2005 Ottawa International Animation Festival concluded over the weekend with the closing awards ceremony honoring the best of the fest. Held at the National Arts Centre on Sunday, the event was followed by a screening of the award winning films.

The Mercury Filmworks Grand Prize for Animated Feature was awarded to Aron Gauder’s Nyocker! (The District!). The entry from Hungary was selected for its "visual innovation, energetic style and fearless satire of contemporary culture and politics.” Meanwhile, the student award went to CalArts grad J.J. Villard’s Chestnuts Icelolly, an edgy, traditionally-animated surreal of an ostracized boy who gets the last laugh.

Winner of the Grand Prize for Commissioned Animation is Die Toten Hosen Walkampf from German Filmmaker Andreas Hykade. The judeges selected the film for its "beautiful choreography of color and shape with riotous set pieces and intimate touching moments.” Taking home the Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short Animation is Igor Kovalyov’s Milch (U.S.), characterized as “oblique but perceptive storytelling, which through a myriad of closely observed details takes us into an atmospheric, touching and sad story of childhood.”

Henry Selick’s new CG short, Moongirl, claimed the Short Film Special Jury Prize in the kids’ competition. The flagship project for Laika (formerly Vinton Studios) reminded the judges of Selick’s charming 1996 stop-motion feature film, James and the Giant Peach.

The award for Television Series for Adults was given to e Adult Swim favorite Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law from Richard Ferguson-Hull. The episode "Birdman of Guantanamole" was singled out for its risque humour and over-the-top parody of the superhero cartoon. On the children’s TV side, the winner is Codename: Kids Next Door, which won for the installment Operation A.R.C.H.I.V.E.

Rounding out the list of top winners are Bruce Alcock’s At the Quinte Hotel (Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation), and fellow Canadian Peter Lepeniotis’ Surly Squirrel (National Film Board of Canada Public Prize).

Other winners are:

School Competition

ENSAD (France) showreel

Special Mention: Supinfocom Valennes, France

New Media Competition

Animation Short Made for the Internet

Mole in the City from Roque Ballesteros/U.S.

Special Mention to Manege Frei/Ljubisa Djukic/Germany and Three Feathers and a Rainworm by Igor Coric/Serbia \

Interactive Animation

American Penguin Project by Minki Park/U.S.

Independent Short Films Competition

Narrative Short Work

Ichthys by Marek Skrobecki/Poland

Experimental/Abstract Work

_grau by Robert Seidel/Germany

Special Mention

Bow-tie Duty for Square Heads by Stephan-Flint Muller/Germany

First Professional Work

City Paradise by Gaelle Denis/U.K.

Student Films Competition

Elementary/Secondary Film

Piper the Goat and the Peace Pipe by Lev Polyakov/U.S.

Undergraduate Film

Fish Heads Fugue and Other Tales for Twilight by Lauren Indovina, Linsey Mayer-Beug/U.S.

Graduate Film

Overtime by Oury Atlan, Thibault Berland, Damien Ferrie/France

Special Mention:

Death by Heart by Malin Erixon/Sweden

Meeting Me by Angela Steffen/Germany

Commissioned Films Competition

Promotional Work

Coinstar ‘Shoe’ by PES/U.S.

Special Mention: Delirium Films Opening Title by Nebojsa Rogic/Serbia

Music Video

Phoenix Foundation "Hitchcock" by Reuben Sutherland/U.K.

Kids Competition

Short Film Made for Children

Gopher Broke by Jeff Fowler and Blur Studio/U.S.

More information on the festival can be found at www.awn.com/ottawa.