Jérémy Clapin’s I Lost My Body (France), soon to premiere on Netflix, won the grand prize at Animation is Film, the Los Angeles film festival that concluded its third edition last Sunday.
The jury selected Clapin’s film over nine other features in competition, citing “its surprising and original use of animation as a means to tell an unconventional mystery,” and acknowledging how it “uses visual storytelling in inventive ways, presenting the world from an unexpected perspective while teaching audiences how to interpret this innovative vocabulary as it unfolds.”
I Lost My Body, along with the three other films that won awards, are among the record 32 films competing in the current Oscar race for best animated feature. Besides I Lost My Body, Anca Damian’s Marona’s Fantastic Tale (Romania/France/Belgium) won a special jury prize, while the audience award was split by Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering with You (Japan) and Zabou Breitman and Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec’s The Swallows of Kabul (France, Luxembourg, Switzerland). The three European winners are also currently all nominated for the European Film Award.
In awarding Damian’s film, jury chair Peter Debruge said, “We voted to give a special jury prize to Marona’s Fantastic Tale for its visual artistry and overall emotional impact. Rather than emulating the language of live-action, writer-director Anca Damian uses the native potential of animation to its fullest.” (GKIDS holds U.S. theatrical distribution rights to the film.)
“2019 is a landmark year for animation,” Animation is Film founder and GKIDS founder/CEO Eric Beckman said in a statement. “The diversity, global range, and creative inspiration on display at the festival is testament to the continued emergence of animation as a cinematic artform.”
The 2019 Animation is Film jury consisted of Allison Abbate, Suzanne Buirgy, Justin Chang, Matthew Cherry, Melissa Cobb, Peter Debruge , Carolyn Giardina, Jorge R. Gutierrez, Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Charles Solomon, Mabel Tam, and Anne Thompson.