‘Freeze Frame’ by Soetkin Verstegen; ‘Yes-People’ by Gísli Darri Halldórsson; and ‘Pearl Driver’ by Margrethe Danielsen take home awards.
The 24th edition of the Fredrikstad Animation Festival, a leading animation festival in the Nordic region, took place October 22-25. The event is highlighted by the Nordic-Baltic animated short film competition. It is also a professional arena for the animation industry, as well as an important event for students and educational institutions within animation, graphic design, and digital media production. Each year the event hosts top animation industry professionals who participate in seminars and lectures.
Out of 141 films submitted this year, 67 films were chosen for the competition program; all Nordic-Baltic countries were represented, with more than 50% of selections in the short film and student film categories directed by women. The winners include:
Nordic-Baltic Grand Prix:
Freeze Frame -Soetkin Verstegen
- The film takes the viewer on a journey through the deepest layers of arctic ice showing gradually more complex beings getting excavated from dark waters. The animals trapped in ice cubes while in motion, show the history of all living things. The animation technique and the storyline perfectly match the contrast between persistence and fragility.
Best Nordic-Baltic Short Film:
Yes-People - Gísli Darri Halldórsson
- A tight knit story of diverse human characters that are bound together by the restrictions of time and space. The lighthearted but efficient usage of pace and visual information makes it a rediscovery with every viewing.
Best Nordic-Baltic Student Film:
Pearl Diver - Margrethe Danielsen
- A beautiful and skillfully structured story explores the impossibilities and contradictions between the desires of its characters and their opportunities. The vividly crafted stop-motion film illuminates a paradox because of each pair's incompatible nature.
Special Mention Nordic-Baltic Student Film:
Room with a Sea View - Leonid Shmelkov
- A nightmare in black, white, and green… and sometimes red; the film uses surreal imagery to tell a story that is immediately relatable and connects to the pitfalls of a mundane life where one avoids taking chances.
Best Nordic-Baltic Feature Film:
Two Buddies and a Badger 2 - The Great Big Beast - Rune Spaans and Gunhild Enger
- The film celebrates the richness of ideas and the joy of finding meaning in something meaningless - in a time where we strive to find meaning in absolutely everything. It is playful in its references, both universal and local. The animation is well crafted and mirrors the story in an elegant way, making the whole a joyful and colorful trip for all ages.
Special Mention Nordic-Baltic Feature Film:
The Old Man Movie - Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa
- The film has a jaw-dropping quality, creating a country environment ruled by bad taste and milk-starved residents, and armed with sterling production values and a bouncy tempo that leads the viewer on a bumpy ride into vulgarity.
Best Nordic-Baltic Children’s Film:
The Tomten and the Fox - Yaprak Morali og Are Austnes
- It is a good story and a great film that shows that you can trust Santa.
Best Nordic-Baltic Commissioned Film:
FOR - Kim Holm
- An appealing design ascetic with every frame a piece of art; the film features strong technical skills which complement the narration without detouring from its striking design choice.
Special Mention Nordic-Baltic Commissioned Film:
Basic Self Disturbances - Julian Nazario Vargas
- A film that conveys a very personal and distinct choice of styles that are melted together with ease; it reflects the filmmaker’s confidence with the medium.
Nordic-Baltic Audience Award:
Tales from the Multiverse - Magnus Igland Møller, Mette Tange, Peter Smith
Source: Fredrikstad Animation Festival