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Annecy 2020 winners Annecy 2020 winners

Halfway through this unconventional virtual edition of Annecy Festival, the awards list is out and the winners are partying (while maintaining social distancing, we hope). Although the ceremony was held online, the disruption caused by the coronavirus didn’t change the prize categories.

The top feature prize went to Remi Chayé’s Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary (pictured top left) a retelling of Calamity Jane’s life, which is currently being developed into a series. Ironically, nobody but the jury has seen the film, which is one of a handful of features to appear on the festival’s platform in excerpted form only. Indie Sales has international sales rights.

Otherwise, the feature categories saw a strong showing from filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe. There were recognitions for The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks, a playful chronicle of Russia’s 20th century from veteran animator Andrey Khrzhanovsky, and Mariusz Wilczynski’s unique Kill It and Leave this Town, an oneiric account of the director’s childhood in the Polish city of Łódź.

My Favorite War, from Latvia’s Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen (the only female director with a feature in competition), won in the Contrechamp category, which showcases films with an indie or offbeat flavor. This animated documentary recounts Jacobsen’s upbringing in the Soviet Union.

Theodore Ushev told us in April that he worried the pandemic might “[kill] my film.” Now, said film, The Physics of Sorrow (pictured top right), has won the Cristal — arguably the most prestigious award an animated short can receive. The award is a triumph for this thorny, fascinating exploration of time, memory, and migration, in which the Bulgarian director draws heavily on his own experiences.

Somber, autobiographical films were clearly in this year. On the whole, the winners in the tv categories were sunnier. The top prize here went to Shooom’s Odyssey, a half-hour special for preschoolers about a baby owl. The special’s director, Julien Bisaro, who also storyboarded on Xilam’s I Lost My Body, will direct the studio’s next feature Le loup (The Wolf), in which a man confronts a wolf in the mountains.

Other tv prizes went to The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Lupus Films’s adaptation of a well-loved British children’s book, and Amazon Prime’s highly regarded adult drama Undone, whose rotoscope-heavy production was overseen by showrunner Hisko Hulsing.

Annecy Online runs until June 30. A complete list of winners can be found below:

Feature Films

Cristal for a Feature Film

Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary — Rémi Chayé, France/Denmark

Jury Award

The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks — Andrey Khrzhanovsky, Russia

Jury Distinction

Kill It and Leave this Town — Mariusz Wilczynski, Poland

Contrechamp Award

My Favorite War — Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen, Latvia/Norway

Contrechamp Jury Distinction

The Shaman Sorceress — Jae-huun Ahn, South Korea

Short Films

Cristal for a Short Film

The Physics of Sorrow — Theodore Ushev, Canada

Jury Award

Homeless Home — Alberto Vázquez, France/Spain

Jury Distinction (tied)

Freeze Frame — Soetkin Verstegen, Belgium

Genius Loci — Adrien Merigeau, France

Jean-Luc Xiberras Award for a First Film

The Town — Yifan Bao, China

Off-Limits Award

Serial Parallels — Max Hattler, Germany/Hong Kong

TV and Commissioned Films

Jury Award for a TV Series

Undone: The Hospital — Hisko Hulsing, U.S.

Jury Award for a TV Special

The Tiger Who Came to Tea — Robin Shaw, U.K.

Cristal for a TV Production

Shooom’s Odyssey — Julien Bisaro, Belgium/France

Cristal for a Commissioned Film

Lucky Chops, Traveler — Daniel Almagor and Raman Djafari, Germany

Jury Award

Greenpeace, Turtle Journey — Gavin Strange, U.K.

Graduation Films

Cristal for a Graduation Film

Naked — Kirill Khachaturov, Russia

Jury Distinction

Sura — Hae-Ji Jeong, South Korea

Jury Award

Pile — Toby Auberg, U.K.

VR Works

Cristal for the Best VR Work

Minimum Mass — Raqi Syed and Areito Echevarria, France/New Zealand

Jury Distinction

Battlescar — Punk Was Invented by Girls — Martin Allais and Nicolas Casavecchia, U.S./France

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