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OIAF 2020 Winners: ‘KKUM’, ‘Kill It and Leave This Town’ Take Grand Prizes


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OIAF 2020 Winners: ‘KKUM’, ‘Kill It and Leave This Town’ Take Grand Prizes

The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America’s leading animated film festival, has announced the winners of the 44th annual OIAF — taking place virtually from Sept. 23 to Oct. 4. This year’s festival received 1,950 entries from 84 countries, and selected 98 films for competition.

The Oscar-qualifying Nelvana Grand Prize for Independent Short has been awarded to KKUM by Kang-min Kim, which also won the Public Prize. It is only the third time in the long-running history of the OIAF that the same film has won both the public and the grand prize. The black-and-white film centers on a character whose mother’s dreams carry premonitions of important moments in his life. [Trailer]

The Grand Prize for Feature Animation has been awarded to Kill It and Leave This Town by Mariusz Wilczynski. This surrealist piece tells the story of a man who hides in a land of safe memories from his childhood in 1970s-era Poland, fleeing from despair after losing those dearest to him. [Trailer]

The full list of winners can be found below.

Kill It and Leave This Town

Kill It and Leave This Town

This year’s Short, Feature and Young Audience Competition screenings were judged by three official juries:

  • The Competition Feature Jury featured Brandon Blommaert, Lise Fearnley, and Amy Kravitz. Blommaert is a Montreal-based artist who has a diverse practice, including both experimental and narrative film-making, sound and still image creation. Fearnley, who co-founded the Norwegian studio Mikrofilm, has produced more than 30 animated shorts and a broad range of commissioned films. Kravitz’s animation is a testimony to the intimate collaboration between viewer and maker, and her singular teaching methods encourage students to develop individual approaches to the medium of animation.
  • The Competition Short Jury included Pixie Cram, Donald McWilliams and Wong Ping. Cram is a filmmaker and animator whose work centers on themes of nature, technology, and war; her films have screened at festivals across North America, Europe and in China. McWilliams was nominated for an Oscar as producer and editor of Sunrise over Tiananmen Square, taught experimental animation and documentary production in Norway, and has been a part of the NFB Animation Studio for four decades. Ping is a self-taught animator who creates light-hearted, humorous, and accessible approaches to deep psychological issues experienced by the protagonists in his films.
  • The Kids Jury, composed of North American children between the ages of 8-12, judged the Young Audiences: Preschool and Ages 6-12 Competitions.

The Festival award statues are designed by Ottawa-based scrap metal artist Tick Tock Tom. The statues are working phénakisticopes, featuring an animation by New York artist George Griffin.

OIAF continues Oct. 3 and 4. Audiences have an opportunity to watch all the Official Competition screenings On-Demand as well as the Meet the Filmmaker sessions, special screenings, and many of Festival’s professional development talks. Individual tickets are available for $9 or binge-watchers can grab weekend passes for $40, or $30 for Netflix Animation student passes. On Sunday, passholders and ticket-buyers can view two Best of OIAF2020 screenings, which will include the award-winners and some other festival favorites.

In The Shadow of the Pines

In The Shadow of the Pines

OIAF2020 Winners:

Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation Winner: In The Shadow of the Pines | Anne Koizumi | Canada

Honourable mention: Thanadoula | Robin McKenna | Canada

Animation for Young Audiences Competition – Preschool: Shooom’s Odyssey| Julien Bisaro | France / Belgium

Special mention: Patchwork Penguin | Angela Steffen | Germany

Animation for Young Audiences Competition – Ages 6 to 12: Matilda and the Spare Head | Ignas Meilūnas | Lithuania

Special mention: Alastair Moock ‘Be A Pain’ | Wishbone Zoë | USA

Animated Series: Fail in Love – Berlin | Cecile Rousset & Romain Blanc-Tailleur | France

Jury comment: For it’s perfectly balanced narrative and animation along with its unique, humorous and relatable views of modern love.

Best Script: Altötting | Andreas Hykade | Germany / Canada / Portugal

Jury comment: We chose a film narrated with humor and warmth that poignantly explores the themes of love, religion and loss of faith, and that does not shy from the darkness.

Bye Little Block

Bye Little Block

Best Design: Bye Little Block! | Éva Darabos | Hungary

Jury comment: We live in a world where we often feel something is missing, despite surface appearances of health and prosperity. Something brought to the fore by the Pandemic. Bye Little Block, with its clean, witty design caught that world and carried a feeling of deep unease in this world of planned happy, high rises and well laid out gardens. A Utopian place questioned by the central character in a film with just the right amount of surrealism, in the settings, the character design and events.

Best Technique: I, Barnabé | Jean-François Lévesque | Canada

Jury comment: We chose a film that married seamlessly and carried off with both precision and panache, various techniques as it told a story relevant to us today – the loss of faith. A most appropriate film in these days of great uncertainty, and a lack of moral leadership.

Best Sound Design: Mother Didn’t Know | Anita Killi | Norway

Jury comment: An intimate and intricately layered soundtrack that immediately draws you into the world of the little girl and holds you there.



E.D. Films Award for Best Virtual Reality Work: Dislocation | Milivoj Popović & Veljko Popović | Croatia / France

Jury comment: This powerful and timely narrative captures the fear and desperation experienced by many refugees. Having the narrative be driven by the physical act of stepping into this person’s experience and fragmenting memories of home, made the experience feel that much more potent, especially at a time where many countries are becoming increasingly hostile and antipathetic towards refugees and immigrants.

Commissioned Animation: Jo Goes Hunting ‘Careful’ | Alice Saey | France / Netherlands

Jury comment: This music video is a good example of how visual can improve the listening experience. The animation loop is a lecture of nature under a microscope, keep drawing me in and want the song to never end. Simply a well done commissioned work.

Non-Narrative Animation: The Sea Is Too Much to Drink | Charlotte Arene | France

Jury comment: Using household objects, pixilation and stop-animation technique to evoke a seascape, Charlotte Arène’s La Mer à Boire is our choice for Best Non-Narrative short. The strength of this film lies in its simplicity, focus and technical execution.



Bento Box Award for Best Student Animation: Naked| Kirill Khachaturov | Russia

Jury comment: This is by far one of the best films I’ve seen involving a superhero. The cinematic camera movement, the boldness use of minimal sound design, the rendering texture and the experimental spirit in this work created an unsettled and weird tension. All of this in contrast with the beautiful dialogue is purely romantic.

Narrative Animation: In the Shadow of the Pines | Anne Koizumi | Canada

Jury comment: A beautifully written script, which married perfectly with a collage technique, a film that spoke directly to the heart about a universal situation – connections between parents and offspring.

Canadian Student Animation: Yarlung | Kunsang Kyirong | Emily Carr University of Art and Design

2nd place: The Lighthouse Man | Matthew Walton | Sheridan College

3rd place: Moundform | Catherine Slilaty | Concordia University

Vimeo Staff Pick Award: Kuricorder Quartet ‘Southpaw’ | Sawako Kabuki | Japan

Vimeo Jury Comment: In these solemn times, this colorful ditty provides two solid minutes of uninhibited dance, humor and joie de vivre. Its complete lack of diffidence is a testament to the boldness and brightness of its creator, whose work we have admired for years.

Public Prize: KKUM | Kang-min Kim | South Korea / USA

The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks

The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks

Animated Feature Honorable Mention: The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks | Andrey Khrzhanovsky | Russia

Jury comment: The honorable mention goes to a cautionary tale in which free expression and dissent are controlled and crushed by the powerful to disastrous and deadly ends. We laud its cerebral style of humor, it’s use of pastiche, metaphor and documentary evidence to weave a structure that questions power, control and who truly governs historical narrative.

Grand Prize for Animated Feature: Kill it and Leave This Town | Mariusz Wilczynski | Poland

Jury comment: A wise person once said, “there is nothing as whole as a broken heart” and this film broke our hearts. Light, color and pure drawing are used to knit broken dreams and scattered memories into a magical reality in which all ages become one organism.

Nelvana Grand Prize for Short Animation: KKUM| Kang-min Kim | South Korea / USA

Jury comment: The director shared with us his life journey through this intimate work. It caught us attention not only by the story, but also the amazing execution of lighting on this particularly minimal set design. I especially love the open ending scene. This black and white film wins our heart in different craft categories. Professional in every aspect.


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