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:
Cristal for a Feature Film
Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary — Rémi Chayé, France/Denmark
The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks — Andrey Khrzhanovsky, Russia
Kill It and Leave this Town — Mariusz Wilczynski, Poland
My Favorite War — Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen, Latvia/Norway
Contrechamp Jury Distinction
The Shaman Sorceress — Jae-huun Ahn, South Korea
Cristal for a Short Film
The Physics of Sorrow — Theodore Ushev, Canada
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
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
Greenpeace, Turtle Journey — Gavin Strange, U.K.
Cristal for a Graduation Film
Naked — Kirill Khachaturov, Russia
Sura — Hae-Ji Jeong, South Korea
Pile — Toby Auberg, U.K.
Cristal for the Best VR Work
Minimum Mass — Raqi Syed and Areito Echevarria, France/New Zealand
Battlescar — Punk Was Invented by Girls — Martin Allais and Nicolas Casavecchia, U.S./France