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‘I Lost My Body’ Takes Animation Is Film Top Prize

Jérémy Clapin’s intelligent and thought-provoking feature wins grand prize at third annual AIF event; 'Marona’s Fantastic Tale' awarded Special Jury Prize.

Animation Is Film (AIF) announced the winners of its third annual film festival. I Lost My Body, the animated feature film written and directed by Jérémy Clapin, took home the Grand Prize, AIF’s top honor. It is the tale of a severed hand in a Parisian laboratory, that escapes its unhappy fate and sets out to reconnect with its body. Winner of the Cannes Critic's Week prize and the Annecy Cristal, this film explores the complex feelings related to “identity, grief, love and courage.” Using an anthropomorphized lost hand roaming around Paris, searching to bring itself together again with the rest of its body, this original film is at once intelligent, poetic, and humorous.

Marona’s Fantastic Tale took home The Special Jury Prize. Co-written and directed by Anca Damian, the film tells a beautiful and emotional story of life and love, told from the point of view of a mixed breed Labrador puppy.

Weathering with You from director Makoto Shinkai and The Swallows of Kabul from co-directors Zabou Breitman and Elea Gobbe-Mevellec were tied for the Audience Prize.

“The jury salutes I Lost My Body for its surprising and original use of animation as a means to tell an unconventional mystery, one in which the main character is a severed hand that experiences a wide range of emotions and adventures without the use of words,” commented AIF jury chair, Peter Debruge. “French director Jérémy Clapin’s unique feature uses visual storytelling in inventive ways, presenting the world from an unexpected perspective while teaching audiences how to interpret this innovative vocabulary as it unfolds.”

“We voted to give a special jury prize to Marona’s Fantastic Tale for its visual artistry and overall emotional impact,” Debruge added. “Rather than emulating the language of live-action, writer-director Anca Damian uses the native potential of animation to its fullest.”

This year Animation Is Film welcomed over 7,000 guests, hosting several sold out events throughout the weekend. The opening night screenings of Weathering with You by Makoto Shinkai, sold out two screenings. Shinkai was in attendance, leading a Q & A after each screening. Also hosted were multiple special events including a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming Frozen 2 with co-director and Academy Award winner Chris Buck. The event featured scenes and music from the upcoming feature.

AIF offered a sneak peek of the highly anticipated animated feature, Netflix’s Klaus, presented by director Sergio Pablos (live, via satellite) and animation supervisor Matt Williams (in-person). Audiences learned about the production and were treated to a screening of never-before-seen footage.

Additional special screenings included a presentation of Ne Zha, China’s entry to Oscar’s international film race. Coloroom founder and Ne Zha writer and producer, Yi Qiao, led a discussion to a sold-out audience. Also shown was Annecy’s “The Best of Annecy: Spotlight on Women Directors,” a showcase of animated shorts directed by women in 2019.

"We are happy to wrap our third Animation Is Film, with congratulations to the winners and all participating films and filmmakers, and to the city of Los Angeles for embracing our event,” stated Animation Is Film Founder, Eric Beckman. “2019 is a landmark year for animation. The diversity, global range, and creative inspiration on display at the festival is testament to the continued emergence of animation as a cinematic artform.”

AIF took place October 18-20 at the TCL Chinese 6 Theater in Hollywood. It presented a program of ten new animated feature films in competition, with selections from Asia, Europe and North America. The festival was produced by GKIDS in partnership with Annecy International Animation Film Festival, Variety, and Fathom Events. The full 2019 film lineup is available at the festival website.

Source: Animation Is Film