Search form

‘Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero’ Wins Best Animated Feature at PSIAF 2018

‘Changyou’s Journey,’ ‘Hybrids’ and ‘Ugly’ among the group of 40 short films awarded by festival audiences across a number of technical and thematic categories.

The 2nd Annual Palm Springs Intl. Animation Festival & Expo has announced its extensive list of Audience Choice Award winners, with Richard Lanni’s Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero taking the prize for Best Animated Feature. Perry Chen’s Changyou’s Journey, Florian Brauch’s Hybrids and Nikita Diakur’s Ugly are among the 40 short films selected as winners in a wide range of technical and thematic categories by audiences during the three-day festival.

This year, the festival, held at the historic Camelot Theater, now known as the Palm Springs Cultural Center, partnered with Comic-Con Palm Springs (CCPS), screening 10 features and 250 short films from 103 countries, in addition to hosting a number of panels, masterclasses and live animation demonstrations.  Brian Neil Hoff, the festival’s founder and director, and Chris Spellman, founder of Comic Con Palm Springs, combined their audiences to bring some of the top comic book and animation artists to the Coachella Valley for the 5-day event.

The Audience Choice awards were given out in 40 short film and one animated feature category. The winning animated feature, Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero, tells the true story of a stray dog who befriends a soldier during WWI, traveling from battlefield to battlefield – for his heroic efforts, he becomes one of the most decorated dogs in American history. Produced by Fun Academy Motion Pictures, Sgt. Stubby was animated by Mikros Animation.

During the festival, autistic animator Dani Bowman hosted the Academy of Dream awards panel, featuring animators with disabilities, who share their powerful stories of challenges and overcoming the odds to create their animated films.

The festival also featured a masterclass with DreamWorks animator Cinzia Angelini, who shared with the audience her international co-op project Mila, which combines the work of over 350 artists from 35 countries working remotely to create the powerful animated short film.

In addition, Hoff interviewed Canadian animation director Nancy Florence Savard, who is known for being one of the first females to direct an animated feature in Canada.  She shared her journey to bring the animated adventure Mission Kathmandu: The Adventures of Nelly & Simon to the big screen.

The complete list of winners:

Animated Feature

Sgt Stubby: An American Hero

Studio: Fun Academy

Director: Richard Lanni

Producer: Jordan Beck

Distributed by Paramount Pictures & Fun Academy

Short Films by Category


Machine - 2:54 - Mexico - Director: Fer Saldaña


The Balloonatic - 3:00 - UK - Director: Eoin Mcloughlin


Free Wheels - 3:36 - Belgium - Director: Jacinthe Folon

3D Drama: Teens / Family

The Stained Club - 6:39 - France - Director: Mélanie Lopez

3D Drama: Love, Loss and Second Chances

No Gravity - 7:56 - France - Director: Charline Parisot

3D Drama: Heartwarming

Joy Story - 3:19 - Australia - Director: Kyra & Constantin

3D Drama: Fantasy 

Lillandril - 9:42 - France - Director: Margaux Tamic

3D Drama: Strange

Hooked - 7:50 - France - Director: Lucil Lepeuple

3D Drama: Sci-Fi Fantasy Adventure

Or Bleu - 6:40 - France - Director: Nicolas Chiarot, Amandine Comes, Eva Fekete, Haunu Maeta, Baptiste Miquel, Thomas Rousvoal

2D Comedy

Frank - 9:01 - USA - Director: Cameron Gavinski

Winter Holiday Family Drama

Snow in Love - 2:38 - USA - Director: Trey Solberg

3D Comedy: Family

Like an Elephant in a China Shop - 6:12 - France - Director: Louise Chevrier

3D Comedy: Dark

Slug Invasion - 6:01 - Denmark - Director: Morten Helgeland

2D Twisted, Dark, Odd and Out There

Life Smartphone - 3:06 - China - Director: Xie Chenglin

3D Award-Winning Dark Fiction

Hybrids - 4:53 - France - Director: Florian Brauch

3D Dark Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Mystery

Flutter - 10:00 - USA - Director: Vladimir Todorov

Dark and Mysterious: Stop-Motion

La Mort, Pere & Fils - 13:32 - France - Director: Paronnaud Vincent

Dark and Mysterious: Hand-Drawn

The Backwards Astronomer - 10:02 - USA - Director: Jacob Nelson

2D Drama: Hand-Drawn / Painted / Watercolor 

Home is Here - 2:53 - USA - Director: Suejee Lee

2D Drama: Family

Changyou's Journey - 5:35 -USA - Director: Perry Chen

2D Drama: Mystery / Contrasting Visions

Black - 14:32 - Italy - Director: Sara Taigher

Fun: Stop-Motion

Kaliska - 2:00 - France - Director: Objectif 3D

Fun: VFX & Rotoscoping

The Sandman - 10:15 - USA - Director: Richard Duan

Hand-Draw:n Inner Journey 

Egg - 12:07 - France - Director: Martina Scarpelli

Hand-Drawn: Abstract

Wandering Bondy - 2:13 - Czech Republic - Director: Veronika Zacharova

Hand-Drawn: Light Hearted

The Big Adventure of a Little Line - 7:26 - France - Director: Antoine Robert


Silent London - 2:46 - UK - Director: Ivelina Ivanova

Global Issues - Socially Relevant

The Driver is Red - 14:46 - USA - Director: Randall Christopher


Ugly - 11:54 - Germany - Director: Nikita Diakur

Stop-Motion: Comedy

Enough - 2:19 - UK - Director: Anna Mantzaris

Stop-Motion: Powerful and Interesting Drama

Dolls Don't Cry - 20:00 - Canada - Director: Frédérick Tremblay

Stop-Motion: Thought Provoking Drama

The Burden - 14:10 - Sweden - Director: Niki Lindroth von Bahr

Stop-Motion: Love and Romance

Him and Her - 7:48 - Germany - Director: Nathalie Lamb

2D Women, Sexuality and the Complexity of Love

Tabook - 2:44 - Netherlands - Director: Dario van Vree

3D Sexuality on a Roller Coaster of Love, Romance and Insanity

Sailor’s Delight - 5:54 - France - Directors: Louise Aubertin, Eloise Girard, Marnie Meneyrol

Academy of Dream Award

My Heart Flies - 3:27 - USA - Director: Faith Butterfield


Expiration Date - 4:21 - USA - Director: Shwenn Shunya Chang

2D | 3D Kids / Family

Rocket Boys - 4:04 - South Africa - Director: Karien Benz

3D Pre-School / Kids

Diddl Zapping - 3:00 - Spain - Director: Thomas Goletz

Animated Documentary

Lotte the Silhouette Girl - 9:59 - USA - Director: Carla Patullo

Source: PSIAF