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Fantasia Crowns Masaaki's Yuasa's 'Ride Your Wave' Best Animated Feature

The Fantasia International Film Festival- North America's leading genre film festival- is currently in full swing in Montreal, Canada. While the festival is due to run right through until August 1, the festival has already announced the winners of the competition strands. Alongside the Cheval Noir (Black Horse) awards for best films, actors and directors, the Axis strand gives out the Satoshi Kon Awards for Excellence in Animation. Named after the late, great director of Perfect Blue and Paprika, the award is given in both feature and short categories.

The winners were selected by the Axis jury, led by Tapia Munguia (production assistant, Cinesite Studios; marketing and PR chair, Women in Animation Montreal) and also comprising Alaska B (drummer and leader, Yamantaka and Sonic Titan) and Julien Deragon (3D animator, RodeoFX).

This year featured an impressive line-up of animation from countries including Japan, China, Latvia and Hungary, in  2D animation, stop-motion and CG. Beating out competition including Trigger's debut feature Promare and one-man movie Away, Masaaki Yuasa's latest, Ride Your Wave took the top prize.  Cyberpunk thriller Human Lost from director Fuminori Kizaki, was awarded the special mention.

In the short category, south Korean horror short The First Class from director Kim Myung-eun took the top prize. Giant Bear, directed by Neil Christopher and Daniel Gies, won the special mention.

The Jury issued a statement on each winner, explaining the reason they selected each film.

The First Class


Best Animated Feature Film


RIDE YOUR WAVE

For its magical realism and surprising storytelling, the Satoshi Kon Jury would like to grant the award for best animated feature film to the Japanese film RIDE YOUR WAVE. This seamless hybrid of 2D and 3D lively animation, with pastoral scenery and water as its main character, will take you on an emotional ride.



Special Mention (Feature Film)


HUMAN LOST

The Satoshi Kon Jury would like to give a special mention to the feature film HUMAN LOST. With its strong worldbuilding and a gritty vibe reminiscent of 90s anime, this nihilistic film will make you reflect on how far science can go before stripping down your humanity.



Best Animated Short Film


THE FIRST CLASS

The Satoshi Kon Jury would like to grant the award of best animated short film to THE FIRST CLASS. This shockingly, horrifying South Korean short film will catch you off guard using a universally understandable aesthetic and an original approach.



Special Mention (Short Film)


GIANT BEAR

Best described as an ominous Inuit Godzilla, this short film will keep you on the edge of your seat even during its quietest moments. The Satoshi Kon Jury would like to give a special mention to the Canadian film GIANT BEAR.

 [Source: Fantasia Festival]

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