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Ottawa International Animation Festival Prize Winners Announced

The Ottawa International Animation Festival
is the largest and longest-running event of its kind in North America. This year's festival ran from September 20-24 and attracted many of the biggest names in animation. As always, the festival climaxed with the announcement of the winners of the festival prizewinners.

OIAF awarded Miserable Miracle, directed by Ryo Orikasa, the Grand Prize for Short Animation, and When Adam Changes, directed by Joël Vaudreuil, the Grand Prize for Feature Animation. Canadian film Families' Albums directed by Moïa Jobin-Par, won Best Non-Narrative Short.

The DGC Award for Best Canadian Animation winner, A Crab in the Pool directed by Alexandra Myotte and Jean-Sébastien Hamel,  focussed on how imagination can transform trauma. The newest OIAF Award, named in honour of the late Hélène Tanguay, the Hélène Tanguay Award for Humour, was awarded to Pipes, directed by Kilian Feusi, Jessica Meier, and Sujanth Ravichandran.

Hot on the heels of its win at Toronto International Film Festival. Daria Kashcheeva's Electra, a film which combines stop-motion and live-action won the Wacom Public Prize. The Best Narrative Short was awarded Zima, directed by Tomek Popakul and Kasumi Ozeki.

This year's Jury was made up of Jessica Borutski (Canada), Xi Chen (China), Joel Frenzer (United States), Alla Gadassik (Canada), Parissa Mohit (Canada), and Matthew Rankin (Canada).  Borutski, Frenzer, and Rankin served at the Feature Jury and of Chen, Gadassik, and Mohit were the Shorts Jury.

The Kids' Jury was made up of kids from the Ottawa area between the ages of 8 and 12, who selected the winners of the Young Audiences 7+ Competition. The Teen Audiences 13+ competition was decided by the Teen Vote @ OIAF Public Prize.

All winners took home a work of art by Ottawa Ottawa-based scrap metal artist Tick Tock Tom. The statues are working phénakisticopes featuring an animation by New York artist George Griffin.

Full List Of Winners


Grand Prize for Short Animation
Winner: Miserable Miracle (dir. Ryo Orikasa)
Jury Comment: This film embraces animation as an intoxicating cocktail of image, word, and movement. It activates the spectator’s hallucinatory and synaesthetic sensibilities. For exploring the boundaries of animation and affirming it as a timeless and poetic art form, the jury awards the grand prize to Ryo Orikasa’s Miserable Miracle.

Grand Prize for Animated Feature
Winner: Adam change lentement (When Adam Changes) (dir. Joël Vaudreuil)
Jury Comment: This film about an impressionable teenager left an impression on us.  For the filmmaker’s skillful walk of the delicate line between irony and sincerity; for his mastery of the absurd; for the detail and precision of his artistic approach; and for authentic heartfelt humour, this year’s Grand Prize winner for Best Animated Feature is Adam change lentement (When Adam Changes) by Joël Vaudreuil.

Wacom Public Prize
Winner: Electra (dir. Daria Kashcheeva)

DGC Award for Best Canadian Animation
Winner: Un trou dans la poitrine (A Crab in the Pool) (dirs. Alexandra Myotte and Jean-Sébastien Hamel)
Comment: For its daring, inventive, and sensitive approach to a difficult subject, and for its representation of how the imagination can transform trauma, the DGC Award for Best Canadian Animation goes to Un trou dans la poitrine (A Crab in the Pool) by Alexandra Myotte and Jean-Sébastien Hamel.
Honourable Mention: La fille au béret rouge (The Girl with the Red Beret) (dir. Janet Perlman)
Comment: For its playful, joyful, kinetic, irrepressible exploration of Canada's oldest metropolis, Montréal, we give an Honourable Mention to Janet Perlman's La fille au béret rouge (The Girl with the Red Beret).
Honourable Mention: A Bear Named Jesus (dir. Terril Calder)
Comment: For its witty, insightful, and penetrating exploration of the cultural consequences of European Christian colonization on Indigenous people, we give an Honourable Mention to Terril Calder's A Bear Named Jesus.
Hélène Tanguay Award for Humour
Winner: Pipes (dirs. Kilian Feusi, Jessica Meier, and Sujanth Ravichandran)
Comment: This year, we are presenting the Hélène Tanguay Award for the first time. Hélène loved to laugh and this award crowns a film whose humour matches her irreverent spirit. The Hélene Tanguay Award goes to a festive film which reminds us to always maintain the right level of pressure. Because, whether it’s blood circulation, sexual health, or plumbing, happiness is often a matter of pipes. The winner is Pipes by Kilian Feusi, Jessica Meier, and Sujanth Ravichandran.
Animated Short Competition - Category Prizes
Best Non-Narrative
Winner: Albums de familles (Families' Albums) (dir. Moïa Jobin-Paré)
Jury Comment: Best Non-Narrative: This film expertly combines a number of animation techniques into a meditation on photographic memory and materiality. For embracing cinematic experiences that exceed description, the jury recognizes Moïa Jobin-Paré’s Families' Albums.
Best Narrative
Winner: Zima (dir. Kasumi Ozeki and Tomek Popakul)
Jury Comment: The jury spent half of the night deliberating and discussing this haunting film. The filmmaker offers a deeply unsettling portrait of a world turned inhospitable and asks what it means to survive such a world physically and spiritually. For its striking narrative and artistic vision, the jury recognizes Kasumi Ozeki and Tomek Popakul’s Zima.

Best Commissioned
Winner: 14th Anibar Animation Festival Trailer 'Love' (dir. Sander Joon)
Jury Comment: This commissioned film captures the sense of celebration and communion at the heart of a film festival. For its economic worldbuilding and joyful design, the jury recognizes Sander Joon’s 14th Anibar Animation Festival Trailer 'Love'.
Bento Box Award for Best Student Animation
Winner: Cyclepaths (dir. Anton Cla)
Jury Comment: This film takes confident risks with its aesthetic choices and allows for ambiguity. For its uncanny and foreboding portrait of societal disorder, the jury recognizes Anton Cla’s Cyclepaths.

NBCUniversal Award for Best Canadian Student
Winner: Between You and Me (dir. Cameron Kletke, Emily Carr University of Art + Design)
Honourable Mention: Ruines d'équinoxe (Ruins of Equinox) (dir. Philippe Shewchenko, Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema - Concordia University)
Honourable Mention: Bliss (dir. Nadya Aubrey, Université du Québec à Montréal)

Animation for Teen Audiences 13+ Competition
Winner: Daffy in Wackyland (dir. Max Winston)

Animation for Young Audiences 7+ Competition
Winner: The Goose (dir. Jan Mika)
Honourable Mention: Swimming With Wings (dir. Daphna Awadish Golan)
Honourable Mention: Indlela Yokuphila (The Soul's Journey) (dirs. Dylan McGarry and Marc Moynihan)
Animated Series Competition
Winner: Haha, You Clowns 'Episode 1: Movie Night' (dir. Joe Cappa)
Comment: Flipping the teen trope on its head, this is a work about how masculinity can be compassionate, kind, and gentle. It’s also a strangely touching work about grief and family that celebrates kindness, something we desperately need in this divisive and distracted time. The winner of the Best Animated Series goes to Ha Ha, You Clowns by Joe Cappa.

Virtual Reality Competition
Winner: My Inner Ear Quartet (dir. Koji Yamamura)
Comment: For its handcrafted feel and heartfelt storyline that weaves simple interactivity with a gentle but powerful narrative voice, the jury awards the Award for Best Virtual Reality Animation to My Inner Ear Quartet by Koji Yamamura.
Animated Short Competition - Craft Awards
Best Script
Winner: Box Cutters (dir. Naomi van Niekerk)
Jury Comment: Narratives of gender-based violence were a recurring theme in this year’s Festival. The jury recognizes Naomi van Niekerk’s Box Cutters for its sensitive and carefully plotted storytelling approach to this theme. The film loosely adapts a poem into a complex witness testimony with a thought-provoking conclusion.
Best Design
Winner: Furrie (dir. Lucie Grannec)
Jury Comment: This film’s design has an architectural sensibility and a juicy colour palette. For its clever blend of analog and digital aesthetics, the jury would like to recognize Furrie by Lucie Grannec.
XPPen Award for Best Animation Technique
Winner: The Miracle (dir. Nienke Deutz)
Jury Comment: This film’s central technique is essential to its multilayered portrait of the character’s relationship to her body and environment. For its powerful use of transparent and opaque materials, the jury recognizes Nienke Deutz’s The Miracle.
Best Sound Design
Winner: Eeva (dirs. Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak)

Jury Comment: The precise balance of sonic effects and silence was integral to the atmosphere and themes of this film. For its compelling use of sound to reveal character interiority and build audiovisual humour, the jury would like to recognize Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak’s Eeva.