The 23rd edition of Norway’s Fredrikstad Animation Festival has come to a close, posting a record number of participants both in the number of passes sold — up 70% — and screening attendance — 4,200 visitors took part in the films and other activities. In fact, the 2018 event was the largest FAF ever.
“The record-breaking pass-sale and the big turnout for the festival are very touching,” commented festival director Anders Narverud Moen. “We have been working hard for this for years and it is so satisfying to now see the fruits of all that work. With this edition, Fredrikstad Animation Festival has proven its position on the international animation arena and is the biggest celebration of animation in the Nordic countries.”
The 2019 FAF will be held October 24-26. (animationfestival.no)
The festival wrapped up Friday with a series of seminars featuring internationally renowned animation luminaries Carter Goodrich, Goro Fujita and Eric Daniels, as well as the awards ceremony.
This year’s Golden Gunnar Grand Prix winner is Night Walks by Lizete Upite (Latvia) — a seven-minute paint-on-glass piece that follows a young girl named Anna and her father as they walk through a silent, nocturnal forest, haloed by the protective light of a torch. The Nordic-Baltic Short Film award went to Quiet, the debut short from Trollfilm animator Marianne Bundgaard Nielsen (Norway). Quiet digs into childhood emotions from a dysfunctional family.
The 2018 short film Jury was Christin Berg, David Doutel and Riina Vilén. Nick Simons, Lena Ólafsdóttir and Mats Grorud juried the commissioned films. The children’s film competition was juried by a group of local youngsters.
Pioneering Latvian animator Roze Stiebra was this year’s FAF Guest of Honor and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Read on below the video for a complete list of FAF winners.
Golden Gunnar Grand Prix 2018
NIGHT WALKS by Lizete Upite
Jury’s comments: This year’s Grand Prix winner was chosen for its ability to transport us into an atmosphere of mysticism with simple, but carefully crafted visuals, its immersive sound design and its beautifully paced dialogue that made us walk along with the characters.
Nordic-Baltic Short Film Competition
QUIET by Marianne Bundgaard Nielsen
Jury’s comments: The winner of this year’s Nordic-Baltic Short Film Competition is a film that is consistent in its approach, giving an unsentimental portrayal of a painful everyday life. Through its animated and original tableaux, this film shows the quiet children who, each in their own way, become the victims of their parents’ struggles. The theme is sadly universal and relevant. This film manages to give these children a voice in a reflected, touching way.
LITTLE BOY by Kristian Pedersen
Jury’s comments: A very powerful portrayal of a nuclear destruction. Beautiful visuals paired with violent sound makes for an intense viewing experience. By looking back to Hiroshima,1945, the film carries an important message for the future.
Nordic-Baltic Student Film Competition
MUTEUM by Äggie Pak Yee Lee
Jury’s comments: We have chosen to award a film that inspires with its exuberance. The film is colorful and informal, juxtaposing the seriousness of the art establishment with children’s natural playfulness. The animation is precise, and the line elegant, playful and consistent.
NÅR KNOKLENE BLIR TIL GELÉ by Kristian Pedersen
Jury’s comments: We felt that we were watching talented, instinctive and virtuosic artists, practicing true craftsmanship of animation within the framework of a commission for a client. The director is a discreet genius, overseeing a perfect package of detail, subtlety, pacing and blending of style, that brought it together as an organic whole. While not the first to use lyrics on screen, this was both gloriously retro and genuinely original. The strength of concept, musicality within the animation, and seamless interplay made this.
The Downfall of Santa Claus by Robert Depuis
Jury’s comments: This year’s children’s film award winner is really cool. We like how it’s put together. It just captivates you. A really funny Santa.
The Robot and the Whale by Jonas Forsman
Jury’s comments: This film is about emotions, sorrow and joy. It makes you think about the future.