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Hiroshima Top Prize Goes To

The 7th biennial Hiroshima International Animation Festival ended on Monday, August 24 with a grand awards ceremony. The top winners are:

Grand Prize: "The Old Lady and the Pigeons" by Sylvain Chomet (Canada).

Hiroshima Prize: The Mermaid by Alexander Petrov (Russia).

Debut (first film) Prize: Busby by Anna Henckel-Donners-Marck (Germany).

Renzo Kinoshita Prize: "L'Aréne (Série "Vermillion")" by Nicolas Jacquet (France).

In addition to the above pre-determined categories, the Hiroshima festival jury also selected 12 special jury prizes. Each jury prize was presented on stage by one of the international jury members, who read the jurys comments on why the film was selected.

Rene Laloux (France) presented a prize to Geris Game by Jan Pinkava (Pixar, U.S.A.) and to the French school, Ecole Nationale des Arts Décoratifs.

Katariina Lillquist (Finland) presented a prize to The Albatross by Paul Bush (U.K.). She commented, This special prize is given to a film which is both experimental and ageless. It combines in a very balanced way the feelings of old wooden engravings, deep poetry and touching music. It also has one of the best sound tracks in the competition. Kateriina also presented a prize to Silence by Sylvie Bringas and Orly Yadin (U.K.). She said, The film handles in a very sophisticated way the common traumas of post-war Europe, with the reality of old photographs and a real witness voice. It has the power of a documentary but by adding in the animated sections it goes deeper into unconscious minds and ends towards a strong humanistic statement.

Celia Van Dijk (Netherlands) presented a prize to Pink Doll by Valentin Olshvang (Russia). She commented, Among the many animations handling modern family problems, The Pink Doll was definitely the best one. The views and actions of the little girl are presented in a down-to-earth way, and the delicate balance between fantasy and reality keeps the audience curious all the way through. Celia also presented a prize to Trainspotter by Neville Astley and Jeff Newitt (U.K.). She said, With this puppet film, you can almost feel the damp air on a platform in the middle of nowhere. The main character is a close relative to Eleanor Rigby in his loneliness and although he manages to enlarge his collection in the end, you cant help but feel sorry for him.

Normand Roger (Canada) presented a prize to On a Full Moon by Lee Whitmore (Australia). He said, For the sensitivity with which it portrays the heroism of combining parenthood and creativity and in a beautiful film. Normand also presented an award to Romance of the Heart by Solweig Von Kleist (France), for its lyrical animation and design combined with an excellent sound track.

Mark Baker (U.K.) presented a prize to Spring by Silke Parzich (Germany). He said, This prize is awarded the special jury prize for the films fresh and simple imagery. Mark also presented a prize to How Wings are Attached to the Backs of Angels by Craig Welch (Canada). He said, The jury admired the films atmosphere of restrained tension.

Hisako Sato (Japan) presented a prize to Locopath by Cristoph Simon (Acme Filmworks, U.S.A.). She said, In this day, young people touch many dangerous things. Its nice that this film makes its point with humor. Hisako also presented an award to Heavy Stock by Michael Salkeld (U.K.). She said, The jury awarded the special prize in recognition of Heavy Stocks beautiful graphics. Animation is like the action in the film. This film has an outstanding personality.

Gigi Hu will review the Hiroshima International Animation Festival in the October issue of Animation World Magazine.