‘Ugly’ and ‘Night Is Short’ Win Grand Prizes at Ottawa

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

The 2017 Ottawa International Animation Festival wrapped this weekend with the announcement of this year’s Official Competition winners. This year’s festival received 1,992 entries, and selected 105 short films and five features from 85 different countries. The awards ceremony was held at Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts.

The Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short went to Nikita Diakur’s Ugly, a simulated short film about two beings trying to find peace in a dystopic neighborhood. The Grand Prize for Features went to the surrealist romantic comedy Night Is Short, Walk on Girl, directed by Masaaki Yuasa — the acclaimed Japanese director made OIAF history this year as the first filmmaker to have two nominations in the features category.

This year’s OIAF had three official juries staffed with many award-winning and notable animation filmmakers. The Competition Short Jury featured Janice Nadeau (Canada), Marta Pajek (Poland), and Theodore Ushev (Bulgaria/Canada). The Competition Feature Jury comprised Christophe Gérard (France), Peter Millard (UK), and Elise Simard (Canada). Ottawa-area children between the ages of 8 and 12 judged the Young Audiences: Preschool and Ages 6-12 Competitions. In addition, members of the Canadian media picked the Media prize: Di Golding, Ramin S. Khanjani, and Pat Mullen awarded Matthew Rankin’s experimental NFB short The Tesla World Light.

OIAF 2017 Award Winners:
Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short Animation: Ugly
Nikita Diakur (Germany 2017) [TRAILER]
Jury comments: “An apocalyptic and heartwarming vision of deconstructive reality.”

Grand Prize for Best Animated Feature: Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
Masaaki Yuasa (Japan 2017) [TRAILER]
Jury comments: “Masaaki Yuasa’s manic masterpiece is unexpected and delightful from beginning to end.” “This inventive and daring film takes animation storytelling to another level.”

HONORABLE MENTION: Torrey Pines, Clyde Petersen (USA). [TRAILER]
Jury comments: “The film brings a real freshness to the art of paper cut out animation. Without a spoken word, Clyde Petersen gives a vivid and humorous representation of what it was like to question one’s gender identity in the ’90s.”

Cartoon Network Award for Best Narrative Short Animation: Wicked Girl
Ayce Kartal (Turkey 2016) [TRAILER]
Jury comments: “[An] unforgiven ode to resilience.”

Award for Best Non-Narrative Animation: Any Road
Boris Labbé (France 2016) [TRAILER]
Jury comments: “Familiarity versus strangeness.”

Award for Best Student Animation: End of Recording
Lukas Conway, Stefan Jaroszonek & Olivier Sommelet (Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University, 2016)
Jury comments: “[A] disturbing and itching line.”

Award for Best Commissioned Animation: Mark Lotterman “Happy”
Alice Saey (Netherlands, France 2017) [WATCH]
Jury comments: “Hypnotizing choreography.”

Award for Best Animated Film or Series for Young Audiences – Preschool: The Little Bird and the Caterpillar
Lena von Döhren (Switzerland 2017)

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Konigiri-Kun Kitchen Sports Day, Mari Miyazawa (Japan)
Island, Max Mörtl & Robert Löbel (Germany)
The Cloud and the Whale, Alyona Tomilova (Russia) G
George & Paul “Sleepwalking”, Erik Verkerk & Joost van den Bosch

Award for Best Animated Film or Series for Young Audiences – Ages 6-12: Mountain of Sgaana
Christopher Auchter (Canada 2017)

HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Unicorn, Rémi Durin (France, Belgium)
Regular Show “Meet the Seer”, JG Quintel (USA)

Award for Best Script: Manivald
Chintis Lundgren (Canada, Croatia, Estonia; Narrative Short 2017)

Award for Best Design: Spectacle of the Real
Buck Design; Orion Tait, Thomas Schmid & Daniel Oeffinger (USA, Commissioned Animation 2016)

Award for Best Animation Technique: The Tesla World Light
Matthew Rankin (Canada, Narrative Short Animation 2017)

Award for Best Sound: Airport
Michaela Müller (Switzerland, Croatia; Non-narrative Short 2017)

Public Prize: Decorado
Alberto Vazquez (Spain, France; Narrative Short 2017)

Canadian Film Institute Award for Best Canadian Animation: Four Faces of the Moon
Amanda Strong (Canada, Narrative short 2017)
Jury comments: “[A] poetic, passionate, and powerful evocation of Canada’s troubled history.”

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Insect Express, Emily Pelstring (“[an] inventive experimental approach to animating music”)
Hedgehog’s Home, Eva Cvijanovic (“marvelous craft and impressive storytelling”)

Award for Canadian Student Animation Film: End of Recording
Lukas Conway, Stefan Jaroszonek & Olivier Sommelet (Concordia Univ. 2017)

HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Lost Soul, Marie-Josée Doutre (Concordia)
Quarters, Airin Budiman (Sheridan)

Media Prize: The Tesla World Light
Matthew Rankin (Canada, Narrative Short Animation 2017)
Jury comments: “The jury was impressed by the outstanding range of styles and stories among these shorts, but The Tesla World Light stood out with the technical ingenuity, madcap humour, and haunting beauty in Matthew Rankin’s experimental rendition of an obsessed mind.”

Ugly

Ugly

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl

Night Is Short, Walk on Girl