Glucose, the indie short by 23-year-old American filmmaker Jeron Braxton, has won the Short Film Jury Award for Animation at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

This is the short’s official description via the Sundance program: “Sugar was the engine of the slave trade that brought millions of Africans to America. Glucose is sweet, marketable, and easy to consume, but its surface satisfaction is a thin coating on the pain of many disenfranchised people.”

Cartoon Brew offered the online premiere of Glucose last July through our CB Fest event. The short can be viewed in its entirety below:

“The internet was a huge inspiration to the film, and it created the film’s structural framework,” Braxton told Cartoon Brew. “I’ll go from looking at puppies, to dance videos, to police murdering an innocent man in the streets.”

The short’s fragmentary narrative can indeed seem as disorienting as the experience of spending a few hours online, but Braxton ties it all together with a compulsively watchable cg style and an underlying message that resonates, particularly for people living in the United States.

Kudos to the Sundance short film jury that picked Braxton’s film. That jury was comprised of Garbage lead vocalist Shirley Manson, cartoonist Chris Ware, and filmmaker/tv director Cherien Dabis (Amreeka, The L Word, Empire).

Ware, who presented the award, gave the following jury statement:

“This film traces a thread of American history both damning and complex, with a mind-blowing and fresh language of imagery, avatar, and sound. As a cartoonist myself, I know how much thought and effort something this dense, trippy, and serious takes to make.”

It sometimes seems like major film events just don’t get it when they honor animated filmmaking, but with Jeron Braxton and Glucose, Sundance couldn’t have chosen a more exciting and fresher voice on the American animation scene.

To learn more about Glucose, check out our visual essay with comments from the filmmaker.

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