The Quickdraw Animation Society’s Giant Incandescent Resonating Animation Festival (GIRAF) announced the jury and audience award winners for its 2017 short film fest, giving top honors to rich and whimsical sci-fi hunt story Scavengers in the international category, and to dark historical fantasy Skin for Skin in the Canadian competition. Held in Calgary, the 13th GIRAF received more than 1,500 submissions from 77 countries.
This year’s jury was comprised of visiting artist Sean Buckelew, Calgary-based filmmaker and Calgary Underground Film Festival programmer Cameron MacGowan, journalist and photographer Helen Pike, and Karilynn Thompson, a short film programmer at the Calgary International Film Festival. We greatly appreciate the time and consideration of the jury in selecting this year’s winners.
Best International Short: Scavengers by Joseph Bennett & Charles Huettner (USA, 2016)
This spectacular science fiction short impressed the GIRAF13 jury with its constant sense of imagination and wonder. A tale of survival on a foreign planet, it provides a glimpse of world full of marvels and dangers, all connected in intricate and surprising ways.
(*Note: Jury member Sean Buckelew recused himself from the selection discussion due to his contributions to this film.)
Honorable Mention: Garden Party by Théophile Dufresne, Florian Babikian, Gabriel Grapperon, Lucas Navarro, Vincent Bayoux & Victor Claire (France, 2016)
The jury praised this graduate film for its darkly whimsical depiction of enjoying life in a chaotic and violent world.
Audience Favorite: Yin by Nicolas Fong (Belgium, 2017)
This story of a jealous god trying to keep his creations apart won over our audience through its mix of striking black-and-white imagery, impossible structures, and constantly escalating drama.
SPECIAL JURY MENTIONS
Best Use of a Line Graph: Extrapolate by Johan Rijpma (Netherlands/Japan, 2016)
The jury wanted to celebrate this hand-drawn short for its artistically adventurous but geometrically systematic approach to animation.
Most Relatable Coming-of-Age Story: That Long and Lonesome Road to Grandma’s House by Felipe Di Poi Tamargo (USA, 2017)
Also our runner-up for international audience favourite, Felipe Di Poi Tamargo’s film is recognized for its utterly charming storytelling.
Best Canadian Short: Skin for Skin by Kevin D.A. Kurytnik & Carol Beecher (Canada, 2017)
The jury praised this dark historical fantasy, which uses an innovative 3D art style and consistently compelling imagery to draw an allegory on Canada’s roots in the fur trade.
Honorable Mention: The Tesla World Light by Matthew Rankin (Canada, 2017)
An animated documentary on the last days of inventor Nikola Tesla, Rankin’s film blends techniques from animation and avant-garde cinema to create a film that’s every bit as electrifying as its subject.
Audience Favorite: Birdlime by Evan DeRushie (Canada, 2017)
The stop-motion story of a plucky bird recovering from a brush with the exotic bird black-market struck a chord by tackling a potentially dark subject with warmth and wit.