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Ottawa Awards Top Prize to Ryan & Raining Cats & Frogs

The 2004 Ottawa International Animation Festival announced the winners of the official competition during its closing ceremonies held Sept. 26, 2004 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Taking the top prize was Chris Landreths groundbreaking short RYAN, an animated documentary about the famed NFB animator Ryan Larkin. The French feature RAINING CATS AND FROGS won the top feature prize and Paul and Sandra Fierlinger garnered the top prize for commissioned work for their film, A ROOM NEARBY. Despite legal wrangling over the use of Woody Guthrie's THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND tune, JibJab Medias THIS LAND took home the grand prize for new media. Annecy winner LORENZO landed a special mention. Following the award presentations, attendees enjoyed the best of the festival film screening that showcased the award winning films.

Compete list of winners:

GRAND PRIXNelvana Grand Prix for Independent Short Film RYAN / Chris Landreth / Canada "for exploring a new visual style of groundbreaking documentary story telling."

Grand Prix for Feature Film LA PROPHÉTIE DES GRENOUILLES (RAINING CATS AND FROGS) / Jacques-Rémy Girerd / France"Remarkable design, splendid acting, and fully realized characters combine to make LA PROPHÉTIE DES GRENOUILLES (RAINING CATS AND FROGS) an animated feature infused with charm. For its eccentricity, moral vision, and its French fry munching carnivores, the 2004 jury awards LA PROPHÉTIE DES GRENOUILLES (RAINING CATS AND FROGS) the festival's best feature."

Grand Prix for Commissioned Film A ROOM NEARBY / Paul Fierlinger & Sandra Fierlinger / USA"for its simplicity and profound emotion. This film goes directly to the heart of its subject, which is solitude. It's a film that talks about us."

Grand Prix for New Media WorkTHIS LAND /Gregg Spiridellis & Evan Spiridellis / USA"Sharp and to the point, the perky satire, design, and performances of THIS LAND combine to create a complete and completely satisfying Internet short."

INDEPENDENT SHORT FILMS COMPETITIONNarrative Short Film Under 35 MinutesLA PICCOLA RUSSIA / Gianluigi Toccafondo / France, Italy"Inspiring emotional passionate film. Each frame looks like a beautiful painting. Each frame feels so fresh."

Special Mention - LORENZO / Michael Gabriel / USA"for excellence in style and storytelling."

Non-Narrative Film Under 35 MinutesBATHTIME IN CLERKENWELL / Alex Budovsky / USA"for the perfection of music with fantastic imagery."

National Film Board of Canada Award for Best First / Student FilmSON OF SATAN / JJ Villard / USA"A great adaptation of a Charles Bukowski story. Brutal, Fucked up, raw, wonderful. Did I say fucked up?"

Special Mention - WARD 13 / Peter Cornwell / Australia"for amazing timing and extreme imagination in animation."

Special Mention - PHANTOM INVENTOR (L'INVENTAIRE FANTÔME) / Franck Dion / France"for its cinematic quality and variety of visions."

Special Mention - HOW TO COPE WITH DEATH / Ignacio Ferreras / U.K."for clever use of surprise with dark humor and excellent draftsmanship."

Films made for Children A MUSICAL SHOP / Sonya Kravtsova / Russia"One of the qualities of this film is that it appeals to both children and adults. The filmmakers speaks poetically about her love for music."

NEW MEDIA COMPETITIONAnimated Short made for the Internet CANDY VENERY / Sergey Aniskov / Russia, USA"Visually innovative, disturbingly violent, surprisingly satiric, and poppy, CANDY VENERY makes the most of its time and medium."

Internet SeriesTHE SHINING IN 30 SECONDS, Re-enacted By Bunnies / Jennifer Shiman / USA"Funny, entertaining and an excellent use of the medium, THE SHINING IN 30 SECONDS is our choice for Internet Series."

Special Mention - HOTEL / Han Hoogerbrugge / The Netherlands "We would like to award a special commendation to hotel for its graphic design and unique approach to story telling."

MachinimaNo Award"New and inventively weird, machinima straddles the line between visual fan fiction and filmmaking, a genre filled with potential for engaging complete visual expression. While the Jury does not wish to discourage filmmakers, we will not present a prize for this category as we feel the award needs to represent a certain level of excellence of expression. We hope to see more entries in future festivals."

COMMISSIONED FILMS COMPETITION Educational, Scientific or Industrial Film HELPING LITTLE KITTEN / Jennifer Oxley / USA" for its simplicity and endearing quality."

Advertising Film CAISSE D' EPARGNE 'LES TRIPLES' / Jean-Christophe Saurel & Sophie Deiss / France"for the tenderness and the humor."

Special Mention - GUARDIAN 'CALF' / Simon Henwood / U.K.

Station-Programme Identification / Title SequenceCATCH ME IF YOU CAN / Kuntzel & Deygas / USA, U.K."Smart stylish animation that introduces a motion picture with a special graphic flair that we have not seen in years. Inspired by Saul Bass' work, it succeeds in its interaction of type and story."

Music VideoPrudence 'À TORT OU À RAISON' / Joris Clerte / France"for its simplicity and delicacy."

Television SpecialSADDAM AND OSAMA / David Wachtenheim & Robert Marianetti / USA "Clever. Hilarious. Biting. Extremely well produced piece that throws a rock into the eye of popular culture and the unique times that we live, and hits a bulls eye."

Television Series for Adults CREATURE COMFORTS 'Cats Or Dogs?' / Richard Goleszowski / United Kingdom"because of its natural yet surreal usage of humor."

Television Series for ChildrenMY LIFE AS A TEENAGE ROBOT 'Speak No Evil' / Rob Renzetti & Tim Walker / USA "Impressed with mature stylized look. Inspired by 20-30's animation design and French graphic poster look. They re-create a look that feels fresh and appropriate for today and create characters that are engaging and funny."


MIKE GRIBBLE PEEL OF LAUGHTER AWARD (Presented to the most hilarious film in competition) SADDAM AND OSAMA / David Wachtenheim & Robert Marianetti / USA

Special mention - HARVEY BIRDMAN, ATTORNEY AT LAW 'Peanut Puberty' / Richard Ferguson-Hull / USA

The Ottawa International Animation Festival is the largest festival of its kind in North America and one of the most respected animation festivals in the world. Bringing art and industry together, the festival attracts production executives, artists, students and animation fans from across Canada and around the world. For further information regarding the festival, visit or call (613) 232-8769.

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Rick DeMott
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