Two premiere animation events wrapped up in Poland this week, with both the ANIMARKT pitch forum in Łódź and the Warsaw Animation Festival in the capital revealing their competition winners today.
ANIMARKT Stop Motion Forum (animarkt.pl), which this year accepted applications in two categories — short projects in development and feature films/series/special programs, welcomed almost 300 participants from around the world to meet the creators of exceptional animated concepts and join discussions on hot topics like the current situation for women in the industry and the future of sustainable production.
“In recent years, in the stop-motion animation industry, we have seen a tendency to improve cooperation between producers, directors, teams and technical crews. Thanks to this, we can see such diversity and the ability to tackle many topics,” says Agnieszka Kowalewska-Skowron, founder of the forum, who adds that this year’s edition was attended by a record number of participants. “And because of the combination of ANIMARKT with the StopMoLab program, creators from the farthest corners of the world were able to meet producers and representatives of the most important animation studios.”
ANIMARKT Short Project Winners
- Dawn Chorus by Lina Kalcheva — Prize: 60,000 PLN in-kind contribution as a coproduction sponsored by the Audiovisual Technology Center.
- Embroidered Body by Alejandra Jaramillo / Visualization of a Cut by Claudia Munksgaard-Palmqvist — Industry accreditation for MIFA 2023 in Annecy.
- Monstruo Come Palmeras by Juan Camilo Fonnegra — APA Lab Award – residency.
- Embroidered Body — Animond Award – marketing, audience and financing consultation.
- Joko by Izabela Plucińska — Radiator IP Sales Distribution Award – festival and international distribution service and consultancy.
- Houston? by Carina Zidan — CEE Animation Forum Award qualification to the Out of Competition pitching in 2023.
ANIMARKT Feature/TV Project Winners
- Sissi & Caesar by Gabriela Villalobos & Sebastian Bisbal — Kids Kino Industry Award – qualification to the Kids Kino Industry in 2023.
- Sissi & Caesar / Babu in the Night City by Petr Vodicka — Industry accreditation for MIFA 2023 in Annecy.
- The Inner Life by Vincente Mallols — CEE Animation Forum Award qualification to the Out of Competition pitching in 2023.
ANIMARKT Audience Award
- Dr. Hau by Joanna Jasińska-Koronkiewicz / Embroidered Body — Dragonframe software prize.
The Warsaw Animation Film Festival (warsawanimationfest.com) presented 57 short films in competition from around the world, including nine from Polish creators. Highlights of the event also included a special Halloween screening of “Animated Horrors” and a program of Ukrainian films pulled from the Linoleum Festival official selection. This year’s award-winning films hailed from China, Slovenia, France, Switzerland and Poland, reflecting a diverse array of themes as well as artistic approaches.
The jury composed of Ewa Sobolewska, Izumi Yoshida and Alexandre Siqueira presented prizes in the following categories: Grand Prix Student Competition, Grand Prix International Competition and Special Mentions. The Polish Filmmakers Association, this year’s institutional partner of the festival recognized the Best Polish Film, while the Platige Image jury selected their favorite production.
WAFF Special Mentions
- Before Her Body Left by Yuxin Yang (China) — For its “poetic depiction of the search for identity.” The protagonist is a trans woman who looks at her reflection in the mirror. Her strikingly surreal dream illustrates a struggle between her “self” and the need to express herself.
- Granny’s Sexual Life by Urška Djukić & Émilie Pigeard (Slovenia/France) — For “showing the violent side of the world through a relevant animation technique.” Four elderly women who, provoked by the liberated clothing style of one of their granddaughters, reflect on their memories of the old days and how different relations between men and women were.
- Letter to a Pig by Tal Kantor (France/Israel) — For “sensitivity and courage in confronting history.” A Holocaust survivor who writes a letter of thanks to the pig that saved his life. As the filmmaker notes at the beginning, in Judaism the pig is seen as an unclean animal. The picture evocatively deals with the theme of collective trauma, revenge, evil and compassion.
Grand Prix – Student Competition
- Do Not Feed the Pigeons by Antonin Niclass (U.K.) — For “creating a world balancing melancholy and humor in a captivating animation technique.”
Grand Prix – International Competition
- The Record by Jonathan Laskar (Switzerland) — “A story full of magic in a perfect, enclosed, visual and musical form.” The story of an antiques dealer who is offered magical vinyl record that “reads minds and plays back lost memories” by a strange traveler. He becomes almost obsessed with the object and can’t stop listening to it, retracing his memories until the most painful of them is recalled: the moment when he was separated from his mother at the Swiss border during World War II.
Platige Image Award
- Slow Light by Kasia Kijek & Przemek Adamski (Poland/Portugal) — A man who was born blind one day regains his sight, but what he sees turns out to be an image from the past. His eyeballs are so thick that light penetrates seven years through them. Therefore, the hero will never be able to live in the present.
Best Polish Film
- Slow Light by Kasia Kijek & Przemek Adamski (Poland/Portugal)
- Zoon by Jonatan Schwenk (Germany) — A six-minute miniature, set in a dark swamp at the bottom of a nocturnal forest, where a group of shiny axolotls play their lustful games.
- In Harmony by Markus Svendsen Øvre (U.K.) — In a world where the only form of communication is sounds generated by musical instruments or through the body, a young man walks through a lusciously green and moss-covered landscape, and tries to play his rhythmic melodies to create a loving bond.