KKUM KKUM

Kangmin Kim’s stop-motion film KKUM (pictured at top) won the grand prize for independent short and the public prize at the Ottawa Int’l Animation Festival, marking just the third time in the 44 editions of the OIAF that the same short film has won both prizes. (For the public prize, the voting was virtual as North America’s largest and oldest animated film festival did not host an in-person edition owing to the pandemic.)

Kim, an L.A.-based Korean filmmaker who holds both a BFA and MFA from Calarts’s Experimental Animation program, has created numerous animated shorts that have had success on the festival circuit, including 38-39°C, Deer Flower, and Jeom. Back in 2012, I called him “a major talent to watch.”

The competition short jury, comprised of Pixie Cram, Donald McWilliams, and Wong Ping, said about their selection of Kim’s work: “The director shared with us his life journey through this intimate work. It caught our attention not only by the story, but also the amazing execution of lighting on this particularly minimal set design. We especially love the open ending scene.”

On the feature side, the Polish feature Kill it and Leave This Town by Mariusz Wilczynski took home the grand prize. The feature jury, which included Brandon Blommaert, Lise Fearnley, and Amy Kravitz, said of the film: “A wise person once said, ‘There is nothing as whole as a broken heart,’ and this film broke our hearts. Light, color, and pure drawing are used to knit broken dreams and scattered memories into a magical reality in which all ages become one organism.”

If you’ve been paying attention to the site, you may recall that we interviewed Wilczynski a few months ago about the 14-year production of his hand-crafted autobiographical film. The film also won a jury distinction honor at Annecy earlier this year.

Another notable short that earned two honors was Anne Koizumi’s In The Shadow of the Pines, honored in the narrative short and Canadian animation categories.

Here is the complete list of winners from the 2020 edition:

GRAND PRIZE FOR FEATURE ANIMATION
Kill it and Leave This Town by Mariusz Wilczynski, Poland
Honorable Mention: The Nose or the Conspiracy of Mavericks by Andrey Khrzhanovsky, Russia

NELVANA GRAND PRIZE FOR SHORT ANIMATION
KKUM by Kang-min Kim, South Korea/USA

CANADIAN FILM INSTITUTE AWARD FOR CANADIAN ANIMATION
Winner: In The Shadow of the Pines by Anne Koizumi, Canada
Honorable mention: Thanadoula by Robin McKenna, Canada

ANIMATION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES COMPETITION: PRESCHOOL (Note: The Kids Jury, comprised of North American children between the ages of 8-12, judged the Young Audiences: Preschool and Ages 6-12 Competitions.)
Winner: L’odyssée de Choum (Shooom’s Odyssey) by Julien Bisaro, France/Belgium
Special mention: Patchwork Penguin by Angela Steffen, Germany

ANIMATION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES COMPETITION AGES 6 TO 12
Winner: Matilda and the Spare Head by Ignas Meilknas, Lithuania
Special mention: Alastair Moock “Be A Pain” by Wishbone Zoë, USA

ANIMATED SERIES
L’amour a ses réseaux “Petit Piment” (Fail in Love “Berlin”) by Cecile Rousset and Romain Blanc-Tailleur, France
Jury Comment: For its perfectly balanced narrative and animation along with its unique, humourous, and relatable views of modern love.

BEST SCRIPT
Altötting by Andreas Hykade, Germany/Canada/Portugal
Jury Comment: We chose a film narrated with humor and warmth that poignantly explores the themes of love, religion, and loss of faith, and that does not shy from the darkness.

BEST DESIGN
Pá kis panelom! (Bye Little Block!) by Éva Darabos, Hungary
Jury Comment: We live in a world where we often feel something is missing, despite surface appearances of health and prosperity. Something brought to the fore by the Pandemic. Bye Little Block, with its clean, witty design caught that world and carried a feeling of deep unease in this world of planned happy, high rises and well laid out gardens. A Utopian place questioned by the central character in a film with just the right amount of surrealism, in the settings, the character design, and events.

BEST TECHNIQUE
Moi, Barnabé (I, Barnabé) by Jean-François Lévesque, Canada
Jury Comment: We chose a film that married seamlessly and carried off with both precision and panache, various techniques as it told a story relevant to us today – the loss of faith. A most appropriate film in these days of great uncertainty, and a lack of moral leadership.

BEST SOUND
Mor visste ingenting (Mother Didn’t Know) by Anita Killi, Norway
Jury Comment: An intimate and intricately layered soundtrack that immediately draws you into the world of the little girl and holds you there.

E.D. FILMS AWARDS FOR VIRTUAL REALITY WORK
Dislocation by Milivoj Popović and Veljko Popović, Croatia/France
Jury Comment: This powerful and timely narrative captures the fear and desperation experienced by many refugees. Having the narrative be driven by the physical act of stepping into this person’s experience and fragmenting memories of home, made the experience feel that much more potent, especially at a time where many countries are becoming increasingly hostile and antipathetic towards refugees and immigrants.

COMMISSIONED ANIMATION
Jo Goes Hunting “Careful,” Alice Saey, France/Netherlands
Jury Comment: This music video is a good example of how visual can improve the listening experience. The animation loop is a lecture of nature under a microscope, keep drawing me in and want the song to never end. Simply a well done commissioned work.

NON-NARRATIVE ANIMATION
La mer à boire (The Sea Is Too Much to Drink), Charlotte Arene, France
Jury Comment: Using household objects, pixilation, and stop-animation technique to evoke a seascape, the strength of La Mer à Boire lies in its simplicity, focus, and technical execution.

BENTO BOX AWARD FOR STUDENT ANIMATION
Naked, Kirill Khachaturov, Russia
Jury Comment: This is by far one of the best films I’ve seen involving a superhero. The cinematic camera movement, the boldness use of minimal sound design, the rendering texture and the experimental spirit in this work created an unsettled and weird tension. All of this in contrast with the beautiful dialogue is purely romantic.

NARRATIVE SHORT
In The Shadow of the Pines by Anne Koizumi, Canada
Jury Comment: A beautifully written script, which married perfectly with a collage technique, a film that spoke directly to the heart about a universal situation – connections between parents and offspring.

CANADIAN STUDENT
Winner: Yarlung by Kunsang Kyirong, Emily Carr University of Art and Design
2nd place: The Lighthouse Man by Matthew Walton, Sheridan College
3rd place: Moundform by Catherine Slilaty, Concordia University

VIMEO STAFF PICK AWARD
Kuricorder Quartet “Southpaw” by Sawako Kabuki, Japan
Vimeo Jury Comment: In these solemn times, this colorful ditty provides two solid minutes of uninhibited dance, humor, and joie de vivre. Its complete lack of diffidence is a testament to the boldness and brightness of its creator, whose work we have admired for years.

PUBLIC PRIZE
KKUM by Kang-min Kim, South Korea/USA

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