The animated biopic Josep won best animated feature at the European Film Awards (EFA), which held a livestreamed virtual edition on Saturday.
Josep marks the feature directorial debut of French comic artist and political cartoonist Aurelien Froment (better known by his pen name Aurel), and tells the story of Spanish illustrator Josep Bartoli, who fled Franco’s dictatorship in Spain in 1939, only to end up interned in a French concentration camp that had been set up to detain political refugees. Bartoli later escaped to Mexico, where he became Frida Kahlo’s lover.
The film has enjoyed a positive reception this year; it was one of four animated features selected for the official Cannes line-up, but after the festival was cancelled, it ended up debuting at the online Annecy festival in June. It has earned received excellent reviews. “As real people buffeted by history go,” wrote Lisa Nesselson in Screen Daily, “Bartoli is entirely worthy of a feature-length animated film. His authentic artwork is used throughout the film to great effect … A harsh history lesson as well as a good yarn, this visually arresting endeavour registers strongly at a time when refugees account for a record 1% of the world’s population.”