There is some justice in the animation world. After being criminally overlooked by Academy members and not garnering even a shortlist nod during last year’s Oscar competition, Niki Lindroth von Bahr’s The Burden (Min Börda) was triumphant last night at the closing night ceremony of the 2018 edition of the GLAS Animation Festival in Berkeley, California.

The Swedish short, which has also won top prizes at Annecy, Fantoche, and the European Animation Awards, took home three awards at GLAS, including both the Grand Prix and Audience Award.

Significantly, The Burden also won the FXX Elevation Award, a first-of-its-kind $25,000 grant to develop an original animated project with FXX.

Other major winners included Steven Subotnik’s Strange Fish in the U.S. competition and Eva Cvijanovic’s Hedgehog’s Home for best children’s film. The new talent award was awarded to Nikita Diakur’s experimental cg short Ugly, the Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival 2017 grand prize winner, which also happens to be the first film produced with funding from Cartoon Brew.

The competition jury for the Grand Prix, New Talent, and High Risk awards was comprised of Jonathan Hodgson, Ruth Lingford, and Boris Labbé. The U.S. Competition Jury was made up of Réka Bucsi, Simon Wilches-Castro, and Michael Frei, and the Children’s Competition Jury consisted of Rachel Sale, Erick Oh, and Sophie Koko Gate.

The complete list of winners from the 2018 GLAS Animation Festival is below:


Grand Prix
The Burden by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

Jury statement: “This film evokes strong and complex emotions. It is both absurd and profound, both humorous and tragic. The extraordinary music and strong cinematography contribute to an intensely powerful film.”

New Talent
Ugly by Nikita Diakur

Jury statement: “This film’s innovative technique injects poetry into the software, where real-world physics combine with unsettling puppet-like movement to create a vision of beauty and humanity into a disturbingly fragmented world.”

High Risk
Who’s the Daddy by Wong Ping

Jury statement: “This film offered a fistful of challenges and made us very uncomfortable in interesting ways. The dark humor and engaging design helped us to endure the experience.”

Special Mention from Jonathan Hodgson
Clemence’s Afternoon by Lénaïg Le Moigne

Jonathan Hodgson’s statement: “For its strong and atmospheric sense of place, its subtle and understated character animation, and its powerful and accurate depiction of the dynamics of bullying as seen from the perspective of the victim.”

Special Mention from Boris Labbé
A Photo of Me by Dennis Tupicoff

Boris Labbé statement: “For its original use of cinema as personal memory and collective experience, a film that plays with three different times: an early photograph, a young child with his family, and a film noir.”

Special Mention from Ruth Lingford
Pussy by Renata Gasiorowska

Ruth Lingford’s statement: “This surprising and playful film mixes sensuality and humor in the story of a woman’s thwarted quest for pleasure. The animator’s freedom from shame liberates the audience.”

Audience Award
The Burden by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

FXX Elevation Award
The Burden by Niki Lindroth von Bahr

FXX statement: “Niki Lindroth van Bahr’s The Burden is truly representative of excellence in animated storytelling. Niki has crafted a world with exquisite attention to detail that enhances a dark mood while shining a spotlight on unforgettable characters. The musical balances comedic lyrics, smart themes, and a distinct point of view on the mundane spectacle of our lives. FX is excited to invest in this visionary artist for her next project.”


U.S. Competition Winner
Strange Fish by Steven Subotnik

U.S. Competition Special Mention
Triangle Up Triangle Down by Conner Griffith


Best Film for Children
Hedgehog’s Home by Eva Cvijanovic

Jury statement: “In children’s animation, we tend to see a lot of clean, shiny depictions of nature. This film breaks the mold. It courageously focuses on some challenging themes without compromising on magic and charm.”

Children’s Competition Special Mention
Birdlime by Evan DeRushie

Jury statement: “We really enjoyed the unexpected development of the story which gradually unfolds with the full attention of the audience. We loved the sensitive portrayal of friendship and the minimal approach to defining a sense of place and time. Also, probably the most beautiful human hands we’ve ever seen on screen.”


Sad Black Friday by JonJon2000

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