Ryan, Cats and Frogs Reign at Ottawa

Canadian animator Chris Landreth’s biographical Ryan took the Grand Prix for Independent Short Film and French director Jacques-Rémy Girerd’s La Prophétie des grenouilles (Raining Cats and Frogs) received the Grand Prix for Feature Film at the 2004 Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival. Winners were announced during its closing ceremonies held Sunday evening at the National Arts Center in Ottawa.

Ryan was commended for "exploring a new visual style of groundbreaking documentary storytelling." Landreth’s innovative 3D work is based on the life of Ryan Larkin, a former animator who produced works 30 years ago at the National Film Board of Canada and today panhandles for spare change in Montreal. The short received the Jury’s Special Award at Annecy earlier this year and took Jury Honors at this year’s SIGGRAPH Animation Fest.

The hand-drawn, 2D La Prophétie des grenouilles received top honors "for its eccentricity, moral vision and its French fry-munching carnivores." The film tells the story of a family of zookeepers who must recreate Noah’s ark when they are told by frogs that the next great flood is coming. The jury comments, "Remarkable design, splendid acting and fully realized characters combine to make La Prophétie Des Grenouilles an animated feature infused with charm."

After burning up the Internet, the political satire, This Land, by www.jibjab.com founders Gregg Spiridellis and Evan Spiridellis, took the Grand Prix for New Media Work. Set to the tune of Arlo Guthrie’s classic song, "This Land is Your Land," the short uses animated images of George W. Bush and John F. Kerry to spoof both presidential candidates. The jury notes, "Sharp and to the point, the perky satire, design and performances of This Land combine to create a complete and completely satisfying internet short."

Grand Prix for Commissioned Film went to A Room Nearby by Paul Fierlinger and Sandra Fierlinger of the U.S. The film about solitude was honored "for its simplicity and profound emotion."

Other 2004 Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival winners:

Independent Short Films Competition

Narrative Short Film Under 35 Minutes

La Piccola Russia by Gianluigi Toccafondo (France, Italy)

Special Mention

Lorenzo by Michael Gabriel (U.S.)

Non-Narrative Film Under 35 Minutes

Bathtime in Clerkenwell by Alex Budovsky (U.S.)

National Film Board of Canada Award for Best First/Student Film

Son of Satan by JJ Villard (U.S.)

Special Mention

Ward 13 by Peter Cornwell (Australia)

Special Mention

L’inventaire Fantôme (Phantom Inventor) by Franck Dion (France)

Special Mention

How to Cope with Death by Ignacio Ferreras (U.K.)

Films made for Children

A Musical Shop by Sonya Kravtsova (Russia)

New Media Competition

Animated Short made for the Internet

Candy Venery by Sergey Aniskov (Russia, U.S.)

Internet Series

The Shining In 30 Seconds, Re-enacted By Bunnies by Jennifer Shiman (U.S.)

Special Mention

Hotel by Han Hoogerbrugge (The Netherlands)

Commissioned Films Competition

Educational, Scientific or Industrial Film

Helping Little Kitten by Jennifer Oxley (U.S)

Advertising Film

Caisse D’ Epargne ‘Les Triples’ by Jean-Christophe Saurel and Sophie Deiss (France)

Special Mention

Guardian "Calf" by Simon Henwood (U.K.)

Station/Program Identification/Title Sequence

Catch Me If You Can by Kuntzel Deygas (U.S., U.K.)

Music Video

Prudence "À Tort Ou À Raison" by Joris Clerte (France)

Television Special

Saddam and Osama by David Wachtenheim and Robert Marianetti (U.S.)

Television Series for Adults

Creature Comforts: Cats or Dogs?

" produced by Richard Goleszowski (U.K.)

Television Series for Children

My Life as a Teenage Robot "Speak No Evil" produced by Rob Renzetti and Tim Walker (U.S.)

AKA Cartoon Public Prize (voted by the audience)

The Crab’s Revolution (La Revolution des Crabes) by Arthur de Pins (France)

Mike Gribble Peel Of Laughter Award (Presented to the most hilarious film in competition)

Saddam and Osama by David Wachtenheim and Robert Marianetti (U.S.)

Special mention

Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law "Peanut Puberty" produced by Richard Ferguson-Hull (U.S.)