Saturday evening saw the 46th edition of the Ottawa International Animation Festival distribute its prizes, and Japanese animation was the beneficiary of the jury’s good will this year, taking both the best animated feature and best animated short prizes.
Koji Yamamura’sDozens of Norths (a Japan-France co-production), having topped Annecy’s Contrechamp section earlier this summer, continues the Oscar-nominated filmmaker’s red-hot festival run with another major win for best animated feature. The jury explained their choice, saying:
This film engages the spectator to use their five senses. It breaks the boundaries and structures of storytelling. The imagery used is consistent with the creative process. The author successfully describes a world and an ecosystem of the senses. Everything is beautifully tied together: creativity, the senses, and visual poetry.
This year’s top prize for an animated short went to Atsushi Wada’sBird in the Peninsula. The film is on a similar hot streak of its own, having just scooped a jury pick and the audience award at Hiroshima last month and top prize at Switzerland’s Fantoche two weeks later. The Ottawa jury said of the film:
By challenging the medium through its cryptic universality, the following short film is glacially paced with captivating movement. Expressive, comedic, complete, and concise.
Charged with selecting the festival’s top Canadian animation, the Canadian Film Institute picked The Flying Sailor from multi-Oscar-nominated and multiple Ottawa-award-winning duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis:
For its striking, inventive combination of animation styles and its thoughtful, poetic evocation of the dignity of humanity in times of catastrophe.
From the animated shorts category, Iizuna Fair from director Sumito Sakakibara won the festival’s award for best non-narrative short “for its immersive unearthing and exploratory polyrhythm which creates a kinetic experience within its medium,” according to the jury.
Best narrative short went to Tal Kantor’sLetter to a Pig, which also took the Zlatko Grgic Award for a short at Zagreb and won the Israeli Film Academy award earlier this summer. Ottawa judges said:
By viscerally tearing down walls for internal conversation, the affecting narrative and structure at the core of the following film provide a challenging, hard-hitting story exploring multi-generational trauma through a fresh new lens.
The Ottawa public had their say too, picking Sander Joon’sSierra for this year’s Wacom Public Prize.
2022 Ottawa International Animation Festival Winners
GRAND PRIZE FOR SHORT ANIMATION
Bird in the Peninsula – Atsushi Wada
GRAND PRIZE FOR ANIMATED FEATURE
Dozens of Norths – Koji Yamamura
WACOM PUBLIC PRIZE
Winner: Sierra – Sander Joon
First runner up: The Flying Sailor – Wendy Tilby, Amanda Forbis
Second Runner Up:Dog Apartment – Priit Tender
CANADIAN FILM INSTITUTE (CFI) AWARD FOR BEST CANADIAN ANIMATION
Winner: The Flying Sailor – Wendy Tilby, Amanda Forbis
Special Mention: Animal Collective – We Go Back – Winston Hacking, Michael Enzbrunner
Animated Short Competition – Category Prizes
Iizuna Fair – Sumito Sakakibara
Letter to a Pig – Tal Kantor
The Humane Society International – Save Ralph – Spencer Susser
BENTO BOX AWARD FOR BEST STUDENT ANIMATION
The Seine’s Tears – Alice Letailleur, Eliott Benard, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Nicolas Mayeur, Philippine Singer, Yanis Belaid
ANIMATION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES 3+ COMPETITION
Winner: My Name is Fear – Eliza Plocieniak-Alvarez
Special Mention 1: Toddler Talks – Diane Reichenbach
ANIMATION FOR YOUNG AUDIENCES 7+ COMPETITION
Winner: Luce and the Rock – Britt Raes
Special Mention: Lost Brain – Isabelle Favez
ANIMATED SERIES COMPETITION
Winner: My Year of Dicks ‘The Sex Talk’ – Sara Gunnarsdottir
Special Mention: Safe Mode: Lana Among the Lilies – Justin Tomchuk
VIRTUAL REALITY COMPETITION
Biolun – Abel Kohen
CANADIAN STUDENT COMPETITION
Winner: I Had a Dream of A House at Night – Charlie Galea McClure
Special Mention 1: Sculptor – Andreas Fobes
Special Mention 2: Mileage – Jennifer Wu, Kym Santiana, Ruyee Lu, Christopher Hsueh, Joy Zhou, Miranda Li, Nicole Taylor-Topacio, Saul Benavides
Animated Short Competition – Craft Awards
Drone – Sean Buckelew
Backflip – Nikita Diakur
Hotel Kalura – sophie koko gate
BEST SOUND DESIGN
Zoon – Jonatan Schwenk
Pictured at top: Dozens of Norths, Bird in the Peninsula