The District, Jasper Morello Nab Top Annecy Kudos

The Mysterious Geographic Exploration of Jasper Morello by Aussie animator Anthony Lucas and The District by Hungary’s Aaron Gauder nabbed the top prizes for Best Short Film and Best Feature Film at the 29th edition of the International Festival of Animated Film at Annecy, France on Saturday. The night’s other big winner was Germany’s bad boy director Stephan-Flint Muller who took home both the jury’s special award and the audience award for his short, Bowtie Duty for Squareheads (Fliegenpflicht FurQuadrat Kopf).

"As always, there was a great mix of eclectic and artistic fare screening at the competition," says Animation Magazine’s president Jean Thoren, who served as one of the judges at this year’s festival. "What was truly amazing was the artistic and technical merits of the student projects. The festival has always been a frontrunner in providing an idyllic forum for animation lovers and professionals to view the best projects from all over the world and this year was no exception."

Among the evening’s other newsmakers were animators Gaelle Denis’ City Paradise and Ali Taylor’s Puleng which were awarded the Special Dstinction Award and the Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for Best First Film respectively.

In the School and Graduation Film category, it was UCLA grad Shane Aker who made news once again as the winner of the Jury’s Special Award and Junior Jury Award for his innovative CG short, 9 (which has also received a student Oscar nom and a Siggraph 2005 honor). The Award for Best School or Graduation film went to French students Oury Atlan, Thibaut Berland and Damien Ferrie for their project, Overtime. Karla Nielsen’s The Shadow in Sarah (Denmark) and Anita Lebeau’s Louise (Canada) were also award recipients.

On the television front, the Cristal for best TV production went to Peppa Pig: Mummy Pig at Work by Mark Baker and Neville Astley (U.K.s Contender Entertainment), while the TV special award was given to Aardman Animation’s Angry Kid: Who Do You Think You Are? Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants’ new season premiere episode Fear of a Crabby Patty also took home a Special Award for a TV Series.

Among the other honorees at the event were

Educational, Scientific or Industrial Film Award:

Red Sheep by Ranko Andejelic (U.K.)

Advertising or Pomotional Film Award:

Honda GRRR by Sjith & Foulkes (U.K.)

Best Music Video:

Badly Drawn Boy’s Year of the Rat by Ray Ken Wong (Canada)

Special Distinction:

Cheval Soleil (Sun Horse) by Jean-Jacques Prunes (France)

Net Surfers Award:

Long Distance Relationship by Bernard Derriman (Australia)

FIPRESCI Critics Award:

Vent by Erick Van Schqaaik (The Netherlands)

UNICEF Award:

Skyggen I Sara (The Shadow in Sara) by Karla Nielsen (Denmark)

The Prix TPS/Teletoon Award for a New Film:

Annie and Boo by Johannes Wetland (German)

For more info about the festival, visit www.annecy.org.