ASIFA-East, the New York chapter of the International Animation Society, held its 38th annual Awards screening Sunday night, May 6, 2007. A near-capacity crowd filled a Greenwich Village auditorium to celebrate and screen the winners in four different categories.
First, second and third-place prizes were awarded in each category, as well as honors for excellence in various crafts. The overall Best in Show award went to Don Hertzfeldt's EVERYTHING WILL BE OKAY, starring Hertzfeldt's well-known stick figures in a dryly observed story of one man's mysterious illness.
Independent Film winners included GAME OVER, PES' stop-motion tribute to first-generation arcade videogames, Patrick Smith's unnerving 2D PUPPET, about a sock puppet with a mind of its own. Craft winners in the category included ASIFA-East president David B. Levy's jaunty GOOD MORNING (Animation), Nina Paley's multi-technique AGNI PARIKSHA (Design) and Bruce P. Knapp's pixilated ode to clutter, KEEP THIS COUPON (Soundtrack).
The two-minute and over Sponsored (actually, commissioned) Film category was dominated by off-the-wall cartoon send-ups, from Augenblick Studio's GOLDEN AGE (tabloid-type exposes of tragic toon lives), JOURNEY TO THE DISNEY VAULT (complete with a peek at Walt's preserved head) from Wachtenheim/Marianetti Animation, Bill Plympton's DON'T DOWNLOAD THIS SONG (a cautionary ditty from Weird Al Yankovic) and KOBAYASHI, again from Wachtenheim/Marianetti (speed eater as anime hero).
Augenblick won twice in the Commercials category with two bizarre, pseudo-educational shorts: AUNT FLO (a young girl's introduction to menstruation) and the bloody-handed MR. BODY. The category encompassed almost every animation technique, from pixilated live action (HUMAN SKATEBOARD by PES), clay animation (Eileen Kohlhepp's CARS), and more stop-motion from PES (HIDE N SEEK).
Student animation winners were all unique, eye-catching efforts, from Mike A. Smith's first prize-winning MISSIONARY (know-it-all colonizers get what they deserve) to Sarah Wickliffe's paintings-come-to-life ARTS DESIRE and Meredith Gran's slapstick POLAR-OID. A standout in the category was Brian Brinkman's GORDY, a spot-on send-up of GERTIE THE DINOSAUR, complete with Winsor McCay stand-in.
Several studios and animators went home with multiple awards in a variety of techniques, but the night's sole CGI winner was Acme Filmworks/Lucas Vigroux's stylish PINK CADILLAC for Excellence in Design in the Sponsored Film category. A full list of the winning films follows, while stills from the films can be seen on ASIFA-East's website, www.asifaeast.com.
Best In ShowEVERYTHING WILL BE OKDon Hertzfeldt/Bitter Films
Independent Films1st PlaceGAME OVERPES
2nd PlacePUPPETPatrick Smith/Blend Films
3rd PlaceCOLE NEEDS WOMENDavid Chai/House of Chai
Excellence in Experimental TechniquesALL THAT REMAINSStephanie Maxwell & Michaela Eremiasova
Excellence in AnimationGOOD MORNINGDavid B. Levy
Excellence in SoundtrackKEEP THIS COUPONBruce P. Knapp
Excellence in DesignAGNI PARIKSHANina Paley
Excellence in WritingTEAT BEAT OF SEXSigne Baumane
SPONSORED FILMS1st PlaceGOLDEN AGEAugenblick Studios
2nd PlaceJOURNEY TO THE DISNEY VAULTWachtenheim/Marianetti Animation
3rd PlaceKNUFFLE BUNNYMagik
Weird Al Yankovic:DON'T DOWNLOAD THIS SONGAcme Filmworks/Bill Plympton
Excellence in DesignJerry Lee Lewis:PINK CADILLACAcme Filmworks/Lucas Vigroux
Excellence in WritingCODENAME: KIDS NEXT DOOR"Operation: Science"Curious Pictures
Excellence in WritingKOBAYASHIWachtenheim/Marianetti Animation
COMMERCIALS1st PlaceSneaux: HUMAN SKATEBOARDPES
2nd PlaceFamily Guy Spot: CARSEileen Kohlhepp
3rd PlaceAUNT FLOAugenblick Studios
Excellence in HumorMR. BODYAugenblick Studios
Excellence in HumorFellowship Bible Church:GO TO THE LOBBYJ.J. Sedelmaier Productions
Excellence in AnimationOrange: HIDE N SEEKPES
Excellence in DesignRiverwind Casino: CARD TRICKAcme Filmworks/Aleksandra Korejwo
STUDENT FILMS1st PlaceMISSIONARYMike A. Smith
STUDENT FILMS2nd PlaceGORDYBrian Brinkman
3rd PlacePOLAR-OIDMeredith Gran
Honorable MentionART'S DESIRESarah Wickliffe
-- Reported by Joe Strike