Persepolis, Kafka, Betty Win in Ottawa

It was no surprise when Vincent Paronnaud’s and Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis was named best feature at the 2007 Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival on Sunday. The beautifully crafted, black-and-white, autobiographical tale was the talk of the fest and played to sell-out crowds during the event, which saw a wealth of great animation splashed on screens at various venues around Ottawa, Canada over a five-day period. The closing award ceremony was particularly kind to entries produced with more traditional techniques.

Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Satrapi, Persepolis is a poignant and controversial true story of one young woman’s struggle to find her way amid war and political oppression in Iran during the ’70s and ’80s. The film was a shoo-in to win over two crazy comedies. Aachi & Ssipak, a South Korean movie from Bum-Jin Joe and JTeam Studio, and Free Jimmy from Christopher Nielsen and Storm Studio are both entertaining features, but were a bit out of their league with the Cannes winner.

Another film everyone was talking about was a French short titled Sleeping Betty (Isabelle au bois dormant) from filmmaker Claude Cloutier. The hilarious, hand-drawn fairytale spoof proved to be a major crowd pleaser. Audience voting handed it the National Film Board of Canada’s Public Prize, while a jury also named it Best Canadian animation. It was the only film to win two major awards.

Japan’s Koji Yamamura made the animation scene with his Annecy-winning and Oscar-nominated 2002 short Mt. Head (Atama-yama), and now he’s proven he is here to stay with his mesmerizing adaptation of Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor. The hand-drawn masterstroke won the Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Animation. Yamamura also had a Greenpeace-commissioned short titled Man and Whale in competition. He produced the piece with Whit Friese and Hidekazu Sato.

Cannes favorite Madame Tutli-Putli from Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski added to its growing list of festival kudos. Fresh from successful campaigns in Toronto and Palm Springs, the innovative and haunting stop-motion film snagged the award for Best Narrative Short at Ottawa. It’s the first fully animated film for the two directors, who created the ambitious piece with the support of the National Film Board of Canada. An honorable mention went to Teat Beat of Sex, a funny and frank discourse on intercourse by Signe Baumane.

Watch a video featurette on the making of Madame Tutli-Putli on AniMagTV and stay tuned for more video from Ottawa.

Full list of winners:

Best Feature

Persepolis

Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi

France

Best Independent Animation

Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor (Franz Kafka‘s Inaka Isha)

Koji Yamamura

Japan

NFB Public Prize

Sleeping Betty (Isabelle au bois dormant)

Claude Cloutier

Canada

Best Canadian Animation

Sleeping Betty (Isabelle au bois dormant)

Claude Cloutier

Best Narrative Short

Madame Tutli-Putli

Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski

Canada

Best Music Video

OOIOO ‘UMO’

Shoji Goto

Japan

Best Promotional Short

The Big Win National Lottery

Marc Craste/Studio AKA

U.K.

Best Commissioned Animation

Golden Age

Aaron Augenblick/Augenblick Studios

U.S.

Best Commissioned TV for Adults

John and Karen

Matthew Walker/Arthur Cox Ltd.

U.K.

Best Experimental Short

Framing (Bildfenster/Fensterbilder)

Bert Gottschalk

Germany

Adobe Student Awards:

Best Student Showreel

Bezalel Academy of Art Design

Israel

Bioware Best Student Animation

Milk Teeth

Tibor Banoczki

U.K.

Best High School Animation

Herbert

Aven Fisher

King’s View Academy

Canada

Best Undergraduate Film

Doxology

Michael Langan

Rhode Island School of Design

U.S.

Best Graduate Film

t.o.m.

Tom Brown, Daniel Gray

Int’l Film School of Whales

U.K.