Fantoche Fantoche

Switzerland’s Fantoche International Festival of Animated Film wrapped over the weekend after six days of screenings, industry activities, and awards in Baden.

This year’s Fantoche was all about non-conformism and embraced the mantra “Punk is not dead.” With that in mind, Basque director Fermin Muguruza hosted three screenings of his sequel Black is Beltza II: Ainhoa, a protest film set in the 1980s that heavily features punk, ska, and folk music. Another music-fueled film about rebellion, Masaaki Yuasa’s Inu-Oh, fit the punk-rock bill despite being set in 14th-century Japan.

Around 20,000 admissions were tallied at this year’s event, slightly down from last year’s 20th-anniversary edition. “It’s almost fittingly nonconformist in the cultural sector not to report an increase in audience every year,” said festival director Ivana Kvesić.

Stephen Vuillemin’s A Kind of Testament was the big winner this year, taking the best film prize from the international competition category. The eerie short is the story of a young woman who discovers that her selfies are being used by a stranger to make animated videos that are shared online. It previously screened in competition at the Berlinale and Zagreb, winning the Zlatko Grgić Award at the latter.

This year’s best Swiss film prize went to Charlotte Waltert and Alvaro Schoeck’s Greylands, a minimalist piece that unspools on the first night of winter in the high mountains, where animals and humans cross paths. Waltert has shared some fantastic making-of videos and artwork on her website.

Pirate and Cello from Andrei Sokolov won both the jury and audience awards in this year’s Kids Films Competition. The charming short tells the story of a street musician and his canine best friend.

Here is the complete list of Fantoche 2023 award winners.

International Competition

Best Film
A Kind of Testament, Stephen Vuillemin (France)

High Risk
Our Pain, Shunsaku Hayashi, (Japan)

New Talent
Drijf, Levi Stoops, (Belgium)

Best Sound
Cyclepaths, Anton Cla (Belgium)

Special Mention, International Jury
The Tobos, Tobias Rud, (Denmark)

Audience Award
Our Uniform, Yegane Moghaddam, (Iran)

Swiss Competition

Best Swiss
Greylands, Charlotte Waltert, Alvaro Schoeck

High Swiss Risk
Pipes, Kilian Feusi, Jessica Meier, Sujanth Ravichandran

New Swiss Talent
Crevette, Sven Bachmann, Noémi Knobil, Jill Vágner, Elina Huber

Fantastic Swiss
Crevette, Sven Bachmann, Noémi Knobil, Jill Vágner, Elina Huber

Special Mention Swiss Jury
Armat, Élodie Dermange

Audience Award
Pebble Hill, Marjolaine Perreten

Swiss Youth Award
Pebble Hill, Marjolaine Perreten

Special Mention Youth Jury
Think Something Nice, Claudius Gentinetta

Flying Anidoc Award
Beautiful Figures, Soetkin Verstegen

Kids Film Competition

Best Kids
Pirate and a Cello, Andreï Sokolov (Russia)

Special Mention Kinds
To Be Sisters, Anne-Sophie Gousset, Clément Céard (France)

Audience Award
Pirate and a Cello, Andreï Sokolov (Russia)

Swiss Animation Industry Award

Swiss Animation Industry Award
Never shake a Baby, Guillaume Mégroz

Special Mention: Art Direction
Crows – Nature is watching us, Patrick Graf

Special Mention Excellent Craftsmanship
IWC – Ingenieur, Roman Kälin

Special Mention Storytelling
Megawhat!? Thierry Schwob

Pictured at top: Greylands, A Kind of Testament, Pirate and a Cello

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