The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9!
OIAF is a huge event, with lots of activities in numerous venues. As the festival came to a close on Sunday night, it was a pleasure to be able to sink down into the seats of the ByTowne Theatre and watch the Best of the Fest – the award-winning animation shorts.
In my humble opinion, the quality of the animated entries surpassed 2008. Perhaps it is the passion and vision of young student filmmakers that freshened the fare.
The Adobe Prize for Best High School Animation was awarded to Did U See That? by Yuri Rhee, Ha Jung Kim, Paul Kim and Hyun Jung Lee, Korea Animation High School, South Korea. The black-and-white lines of this animation were simple and the story was too – about a young boy haunted by the appearance of a menacing sea turtle and flying hogs. The teen goes to the authorities to report what he’s seen, and is promptly locked up in the loony bin. However, his psychiatrist soon discovers that pigs do fly.
The Best Undergraduate Animation prize went The Terrible Thing of Alpha-9! directed by Jake Armstrong, School of Visual Arts, USA. This short had real comic-book space adventure sensibilities in its design and storytelling. It was also an engaging shaggy-dog story, with the shaggy dog being a goggle-eyed alien monster instead of a mutt.
The Best Graduate Animation award was given to Lebensader, directed by Angela Steffen, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemburg, Germany. This beautifully rendered animation makes bold use of brilliant, flowing colors as a child regards a leaf and witnesses the interconnection of all living things. The animation design has strong kinship Canadian native art styles – simple at first glance but increasingly complex as the eye takes in all the nuances of the presentation.