The 45th annual ASIFA-East Animation Festival Awards took place last Sunday in Manhattan. The long-running ceremony, which celebrates achievements in East Coast animation, is making an effort to gradually transform its annual ceremony into a more upscale affair.

The ceremony this year took place in the New School’s brand-new Tishman Auditorium, featured a professional comic host (Liz Miele), and introduced a new trophy called the Peggy, which is a twisty sculpture of a pegbar [see below]. Even so, the awards retained a casual artist-friendly vibe, especially in contrast to its overly serious Los Angeles counterpart, ASIFA-Hollywood’s Annie Awards.

The top prize, Best in Show, was awarded to Arthur Metcalf’s In the Beginning. Metcalf also won ASIFA-East’s Best in Show prize in 2008 for his debut film Fantaisie in Bubblewrap. The complete list of winners is below:

In the Beginning by Arthur Metcalf.

BEST IN SHOW PEGBAR (PEGGY) AWARD
In the Beginning (Arthur Metcalf)

INDEPENDENT FILMS
1st prize: Eye in Tuna Care (John Walter Lustig)
2nd prize: Monkey Rag (Joanna Davidovich)
3rd prize: My Kingdom (Debra Solomon)

CRAFT AWARDS
Excellence in Writing: A Life with Asperger’s (Jaime Ekkens)
Excellence in Design: Helium Harvey (Daniel Savage)
Excellence in Animation: Lego Superman (David Pagano)
Excellence in Education: Why Is Yawning Contagious? (Biljana Labovic)

MUSIC VIDEO
1st prize: Retreat! (Lizzi Akana/Slanted Studios)

COMMISSIONED FILMS
1st prize: Five Steps to Slam Poetry (Jeremiah Dickey)
2nd prize: Imagine (Richard O’Connor/Ace & Son Moving Picture Co.)

STUDENT FILMS
1st prize: Breadheads (Cody Walzel, Pratt Institute)
2nd prize: Why Do I Study Physics? (Xiangjun Shi, RISD)
3rd Prize: Medical Adventure Power!! (Josh Weisbrod, University of Southern California)
3rd Prize: Two Ghosts (Amy Lee Ketchum, University of Southern California)
Honorable Mention: Fakie (Ricardo Manlapig, Pratt Institute)
Honorable Mention: Owl & Mouse (Emma Noble, NYU Tisch)
Honorable Mention: Bears (Daniel Costales, NYU Tisch)

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