At the opening of the 16th Holland Animation Film Festival, the Association of the Netherlands Animation Producers (VNAP) presented the first Trade Awards for Dutch Animation. Hisko Hulsing won an award for Junkyard , which employs an unusual combination of techniques. The jury was charmed by Hulsing’s superb skills, particularly his impressive oil paintings that serve as backgrounds. Paco Vink and Albert ’t Hooft were also awarded, for their entertaining drama Fallin’ Floyd . Jazz musician Floyd is dumped by his girlfriend, while he has just bought her a ring. The jury especially commended their expertise with respect to character design and animation and their dynamic backgrounds. Mischa Rozema, finally, clinched an award for Stardust . This slow-motion cosmic journey shows violent explosions in staggeringly beautiful imagery. In the jury report, the makers’ craftsmanship is called “awesome and superior.”
The VNAP Trade Award is not intended for a specific film, but for a person or group who raised craftsmanship to a level where it can serve as an example for animation in the Netherlands. The Association hopes that by granting this award, more filmmakers will feel encouraged to submit their work, so they "get the recognition they deserve," said VNAP spokesman and member Lee Ross.
Also on Wednesday, the nominations were revealed for the Grand Prize for Dutch Animation. The professional jury, consisting of Nik Christensen (UK), Ton Gloudemans (NL) and Dennis Tupicoff (AUS), selected three films from thirty entries. The first nominee, Gerco de Ruijter’s stop-motion film Crops , was made on the basis of roughly a thousand images of irrigation circles in the United States. [mu:stərman] - A Flood Story  by Maarten Isaäk de Heer shows a housing estate that is swamped by a flood. Despite the fact that their homes are completely inundated, the residents react quite calmly. And Hisko Hulsing’s Junkyard found favour with this jury, too. This film uses flashbacks to show childhood memories of a man who is stabbed down by a junk.
The Grand Prize for Dutch Animation will be handed out on Sunday 24 March at 16:15 hrs, together with the Audience Award for Dutch Animation and the other awards in the competitions for features, short films, films for 8+, web animations and European student films.
Following the awards ceremony, all the victorious films will be screened once more, at 18:15 in the Louis Hartlooper Complex.
Find the full programme on www.haff.nl .
Source: Holland Animation Film Festival