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'Butterflies' Wins Yoram Gross Award

Butterflies, the stop-motion animated short directed by Isabel Peppard and produced by Warwick Burton, wins the Sydney Film Festival’s Yoram Gross Animation Award, completing its qualifying run for an Oscar nomination in the category of Best Short Animation.

SYDNEY -- Butterflies has won the Sydney Film Festival’s Yoram Gross Animation Award, sponsored by Yoram and Sandra Gross. The award provides a $4,000 cash prize for the Best Australian Animated Short film and is the second Academy Award-eligible win for Butterflies, which qualifies for Oscar nomination in the category of Best Short Animation.

Butterflies is a stop-motion animation featuring fleshy, hyper-real silicon puppets voiced by acclaimed actors Rachel Griffiths and Nicholas Hope. Directed by Isabel Peppard and produced by Warwick Burton, Butterflies previously won the award for Best Animated Short at the 2013 Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, USA. 

Isabel Peppard, the Animator/Director of Butterflies says, “I’d like to thank the Sydney Film Festival and the jury for recognizing the years of hard work that it took to create the handmade world of Butterflies and bring it to life on the big screen. I also want to thank Screen Australia who financed the film, and all of our crew who put so much love into this project.”

Butterflies premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia, and has screened at Sitges International Film Festival in Spain, Santa Barbara, Omaha, and Brooklyn in USA and recently at Annecy Festival International du Cinema d’Animation, France. 

Butterflies tells the tale of a young artist (Claire, voiced by Rachel Griffiths) who struggles to make a living by selling drawings to passersby. A businessman (Dalton Hearst, voiced by Nicholas Hope) recognizes her talents and offers her a paying job. The prospect seems inviting but the reality threatens to kill her imagination. 

Weaving Claire’s childhood memories with her contemporary life and nightmares, Butterflies is a gothic fairytale presented in Peppard’s predominantly bleak but beautifully ornate handcrafted world. 

Butterflies is the second animated film collaboration from Isabel Peppard and Warwick Burton. Their first animation was Gloomy Valentine (2006). 

Sydney Film Festival is one of the world's longest-running film festivals, and is a major event on the NSW cultural calendar. The 12-day festival screens feature films, documentaries, short films and animation from around the world in venues across the city including the State Theatre, Event Cinemas George Street, Dendy Opera Quays, the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne and the Art Gallery of NSW. 

Watch the trailer, below:

Source: Warwick Burton

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.