Emma de Swaef and Marc James Roels’ This Magnificent Cake! (Ce magnifique Gâteau!), the mid-length feature (or if you prefer, very long animated short), has topped the prestigious Clermont-Ferrand Int’l Short Film Festival, winning the grand prix for its national competition. The winners were revealed on Saturday in France.
Clermont-Ferrand is one of those festivals in which animation and live-action compete alongside each other. The national competition screened a total of 55 shorts (35 live-action shorts, 15 animated shorts, and 5 documentaries), which were selected from a total of 2,033 entries. It’s always noteworthy when an animated film wins in a setting where animation is competing alongside live-action. It reaffirms that animation at its best can be just as impactful and meaningful as any live-action film. Those of us in the field already know that, of course, but it’s a wake-up call for the rest of the film community, which has only recently started to acknowledge animation as a worthy equal to live-action filmmaking.
The national jury at Clermont-Ferrand, which selected This Magnificent Cake!, was comprised of Jackie Berroyer, Hubert Charuel, Céline Devau, Vincent Macaigne, and Dominique Reymond. They cited the film as their top choice for “its visual and narrative elegance, its never-cynical humor, and for the mixture it displays of sagacity and kindness.”