The European Film Academy has announced the nominees for the animated feature and short film sections of this year’s 35th European Film Awards.
European Animated Feature Film Nominees:
Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be – Amandine Fredon, Benjamin Massoubre (France, Luxembourg)
My Love Affair with Marriage – Signe Baumane (Latvia, U.S., Luxembourg)
My Neighbor’s Neighbors – Anna-Laure Daffis, Léo Marchand (France)
No Dogs or Italians Allowed – Alain Ughetto (France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal)
Oink – Mascha Halberstad (Netherlands, Belgium)
This year’s field of five films ties last year’s record for the most animated features nominated in a single edition of the European Film Awards. Predictably, French producers and filmmakers have their fingerprints all over the category with four of the five nominees featuring at least a French co-producer.
A likely favorite, although the field looks highly competitive this year, Little Nicholas premiered at Cannes before playing in competition at Annecy where it won the Cristal for best feature. Animated using a “Chinese ink-wash animation” technique, the film boasts a strong festival resume and name recognition heading into this year’s awards.
Little Nicholas wasn’t the only film among the nominees to impress at Annecy this year though. Baumane’s My Love Affair with Marriage scored a jury distinction there after premiering at Tribeca in June. The film recently picked up best feature at the Viborg Animation Festival and a directing award at the Woodstock Film Festival. We spoke with Baumane about her latest indie effort, a semi-autobiographical story featuring a hand-drawn animation superimposed over paper mâché sets.
My Neighbor’s Neighbor features several fantastic stories about a group of neighbors whose destinies are intertwined in ways that become more obvious as the film progresses. Its festival run included stops at Animation First, Buenos Aires Int’l Independent Film Festival, and Viborg International Animation Festival.
Ughetto’s early 20th century immigration tale No Dogs or Italians Allowed also received a jury award after screening in Annecy’s main competition, as well as the Gan Foundation award for distribution at the French festival.
Oink, a stop-motion family comedy about a girl who is gifted a pig by her grandmother, played in the Generation Kplus sidebar at Berlin earlier this year and won best production design, best director (feature), and best film at last month’s Netherlands Film Festival.
For readers in LA who haven’t had a chance to catch some of the nominees yet, both Oink and Little Nicholas will screen this Sunday, October 23, at Animation is Film at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters in Hollywood.
Animated European Short Film Nominees:
Granny’s Sexual Life – Urška Djukič, Émilie Pigeard (Slovenia, France)
Ice Merchants – João Gonzalez (Portugal, France, U.K.)
Love, Dad – Diana Cam Van Nguyen (Czech Republic, Slovakia)
Notably, three of the shorts in this year’s Best European Short field, which is not a dedicated animation category, are animated or hybrid films. We picked two of them, Ice Merchants and Love, Dad, for our list of potential Oscar hopefuls we published in August. The third, Granny’s Sexual Life, enjoyed a rich festival run which included stops at Annecy, Anima in Brussels, and Clermont-Ferrand.
The European short film category is organized by the European Film Academy in coordination with a group of major festivals from across the continent. Each festival submitted one film for candidacy, and from those 29 submissions, the participating festivals then voted on the five finalists.
Now that the nominations have been made, the European Film Academy’s 4,400 members will vote on the winners. The awards will be presented on December 10 at a ceremony in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Pictured at top: Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be, My Love Affair with Marriage, My Neighbor’s Neighbors, No Dogs or Italians Allowed, Oink