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‘Love Games’ Wins Grand Prix at Animafest Zagreb

Winners of the Animafest 2014 Grand Competition are announced, with the prize for best short film awarded to the South Korean film ‘Love Games’ (2013) by Yumi Joung.

After five days of intense film schedule (144 films selected for this year's edition) the juries of the 24th Animafest Zagreb reached their decisions and announced the festival award winners at the Award Ceremony held at Europa Theatre on June, 7th.

The best short film of Animafest 2014 Grand Competition (Grand Prix) -- with a 2500 € cash reward and honorary chairing at the next Festival -- went to the South Korean film Love Games  (2013) by Yumi Joung. In their explanation, the jury (Joan Ashworth, Marie-Hélène Girod, Lei Lei, Edo Lukman and Emma De Swaef) highlighted their enjoyment in deep emotions, calm and placed rhythm and simplicity of design of the story’s subversive use of children’s play to express the rules of a grown-up relationship. For the first time in the history of Animafest, Grand Prix goes to Korea, ensuring Love Games an Oscar nomination qualification.

The Golden Zagreb Award for creativity and innovative artistic achievement, with a 2000 € cash reward, was given by the Grand Competition jury to Jochen Kuhn (1954) and his film Sunday 3 (Germany, 2013). This satire, starring the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, thrilled the jury with its innovative and unusual idea of setting a political personality in an intimate situation and its cynical and humorous take on fame.

Zlatko Grgić Award for the best first non-institutional film, with a 1500 € cash reward, at the discretion of the Grand Competition jury went to Ziegenort  (2013, Poland) by Tomasz Popakul (1986). A story about a young man-fish who faces the difficulties of growing up boasts outstanding technical qualities, ambitious and complex narrative which carefully explores the issues of self-harm and youth relationships and supporting drawings that contribute to the tactile experience.

Every Grand Competition Jury member also awards one Special Mention to a Grand Competition entry.Joan Ashworth chose the film Baths (Poland, 2013, dir: Tomek Ducki) for its captivating jewel-like colour drawings and beautiful combination of past (or imaginary) and present dimensions. Marie-Hélène Girod chose Hipopotamy  (Poland, 2014, dir: Piotr Dumała), because she believes it is important for animation to tackle difficult topics like violence against women. Lei Lei gave his Special Mention to Astigmatismo  (Spain, 2014, dir: Nicolai Troshinksy) for correct use of optical effects placing the viewer in the protagonist’s shoes and the beautiful final kiss, and Edo Lukman chose Choir Tour  (Latvia, 2012, dir: Edmunds Jansons) for simple but alluring use of graphics playing with space and form, and the outstanding use of singing voices. Emma De Swaef was impressed by Futon (Japan, 2012, dir: Yoriko Mizushiri), for a sensual portrayal of the most pleasant sensations in life in a subtle and daring way.

The Student Competition and Commissioned Film Competition Jury consisting of Chintis Lundgren, Wiktoria Pelzer and Krešimir Zubčić decided to give the Dušan Vukotić Award for best student film, with a 1000 € cash reward, to the film Anal Juke - Anal Juice (Japan, 2013) by Sawako Kabuki, for impressive honesty and freedom to express her state of mind. As the jury explanation says, the viewers were overwhelmed by the provocative language and raw energy as the author transforms her anger and frustrations into an explosion of color and music.

Sawako Kabuki graduated from the Department of Graphic Design, Tama University in 2013, and in 2012 she made the film Ici, là et partoutAnal Juke was inspired by a personal break-up, but also by the powerful earthquake in Japan in 2011.

The Student Competition and Commissioned Film Competition Jury awarded Special mentions to the films Plug & Play (Switzerland, 2013) by Michael Frei, Maze King  (Japan, 2013) by Hakhyun Kim and The Shirley Temple (UK, 2013) by Daniela Sherer.

The best commissioned film is Shape (Japan/Poland, 2013) by Kijek/Adamski, this playful music video uses cut-out in an innovative and fascinating way to portray surprising forms that appear and transform, perfectly synchronized to music, says the jury’s explanation.

The Films for Children Competition Jury, consisting of Marta Bregeš, Noah Maričak, Nina Mileta, Marea Vodopija and Nika Vundać, the best film for children is The Centipede and the Toad (France, 2013) by Anna Khmelevskaya. The jury was impressed by the elegant animation of the centipede’s movements, gentle colors, music and narrative with a moral.

Special Mentions of the Children’s Jury went to My Strange Grandfather  (Russia, 2012) by Dina Velikovskaya for excellent character development and their nature and approach to stop-motion; Rabbit and Deer  (Hungary, 2013) by Péter Vácz because of the characters who survive through life’s adventures together in a great combination of 2D and stop-motion; Virtuoso Virtual  (Germany, 2013) by Maja Oschmann and Thomas Stellmach for its innovation, magnificent animation and music that accompanies the fine lines and movements.

Source: Animafest Zagreb

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