MAF 2021 ANNOUNCE WINNERS
The winners of the 2021 Manchester Animation Festival Industry Excellence and Film Awards has been revealed recently.
As the UK’s largest animation festival, it’s proud to have been able to continue our annual tradition of celebrating animation, which went ahead in spite of the pandemic virtually from HOME Manchester with Animation Festival Awards to some worthy winners.
This year’s Film Awards, which is the Festival’s international film competition, have categories of Best Feature Film (for the first time), Best Short Film, Best Student Film, Best Commissioned Film and special mentions of films that highly impressed the judges this year.
Earlier this year, MAF introduced the feature film category aiming to showcase the skills of international filmmaking talent across four dedicated titles. This year, short films for children were also eligible for an award (Supported by BBC Children’s and Education), highlighting some of the best family friendly short films from across the globe.
BEST FEATURE FILM
Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee scooped the first ever Feature Film Award at MAF, the brand new award gives the Festival the opportunity to commemorate the international animated feature films that have been celebrated at MAF since it was established. The jury said:
“This was a unanimous decision for the jury, once you’ve seen Flee there’s no arguing with the quality of work on display in it’s craft, it’s deeply emotive story, and it’s incredible art design.
It’s a story that we’ve heard before in documentary and feature, but told so personally and so intimately, with a level of craft that is both masterful in itself whilst also serving the story, it’s rare to see story and animation working so harmoniously and for that reason it is our clear winner.”
There was also a special mention for My Favorite War Directed by Ilze Burkovska- Jacobsen, the Jury noted:
“We found it to be another incredibly personal story from an under-represented part of the world, depicting experiences that none of us had seen before on film, in an accessible, entertaining way. For that reason we felt it deserved a special mention.”
BEST SHORT FILM
WINNER: NAVOZANDE, THE MUSICIAN
Directed by Reza Riahi, Navozande, the Musician is the era spanning tale of power, empire, love and music was the top pick among the jurors who said:
“Navozande, the Musician is an exquisitely captivating film. We were entranced by its handcrafted visuals and hypnotic-like score. This beautiful and heartbreaking tale feels timeless, both aesthetically and in its message of the enduring nature of love”
The jury also handed out special mentions for Affairs of The Art Directed by Joanna Quinn and All Those Sensations in My Belly Directed by Marko Djeska and praised both shorts by saying:
“A special mention goes to Affairs of The Art by Joanna Quinn for its brilliantly entertaining portrait of obsession, artistic perseverance and stuffed beetles. Another special mention goes to All Those Sensations in My Belly by Marko Dješka for its vivid and highly expressive depiction of someone’s journey to find love and the space to be themselves.”
BEST STUDENT FILM
BusLine35A is Elena Felici’s powerful film about societal responsibility, the film from The Animation Workshop struck a chord with the jury who noted:
“Visually and narratively rooted in the mundanity of everyday life, BusLine35A ponders the question “what happens when we see something terrible happening, and fail to act?” Ratcheting up a creeping sense of dread with a spectacular deftness of touch, Felici has created an unassuming but truly unforgettable and effective piece of work.”
The jury also took the time to give a special mention to My Grandmother Is an Egg by Wu-Ching Chang
BEST COMMISSIONED FILM
WINNER: SAVE RALPH
Directed by Spencer Susser the feature quality film about animal cruelty took two years to produced and stars some big name actors and big name animation stars that animation fans will be familiar with. The jury had this to say about Save Ralph:
“The film touched the jury in many different ways. Aside from the fact that it is an artistically perfect animated film, it tackles a non-human subject of animal testing in a sensitive, humane and profound way. And this is rare in animation films. The way the main character, Ralph the rabbit, unfolds his life as an animal, who works every day as a “tester” for cosmetic products in the film is the ideal way of depicting the magnitude of the problem and conveying the message against animal testing.”
A special mention was declared for What Really Happened During the Attica Prison Rebellion by Tomás Pichardo Espaillat
“The Jury would like to give a special mention to the film What really happened during the Attica Prison Rebellion for highlighting a significant and universal story of claiming human rights with an interesting animation technique and powerful narrative pace.”
BEST CHILDREN’S FILM
SUPPORTED BY BBC CHILDREN’S AND EDUCATION
WINNER: BLUE CURRY
A key component of MAF’s Family Day has always been Children’s Short Films, where we take films that have been submitted and share them with younger audiences and families. For 2021 the Festival is delighted to present these films with the opportunity to win an award that was supported by BBC Children’s and Education.
The winner was selected by Into Film’s Youth Advisory Council to ensure that the winner was selected by the most discerning and qualified audience.
The jury selected Blue Curry by Gobelins students Magali Dunyach, Chien-Ju Hung, Jimin Jung, Vajra Pancharia & Léa Pietrzyk as their winner.
WINNER: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DREAD
This audience award gives the MAF audience the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the most enjoyed film of the Festival. Delegates are able to choose from all of the short film competition categories to pick a winner. Ida Melum’s NFTS student film Night of the Living Dread took home the 2021 prize.
Entries for Manchester Animation Festival’s Film Awards will open again in 2022 so stay subscribed to this newsletter and follow the social media channels to stay up to date with plans for 2022.
INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2021
The Industry Excellence Awards, which recognise individuals working in industry in the fields of scriptwriting, storyboarding, character design and character animation have been judged by Mark Oswin, Kenneth Anderson, Althea Aseoche and Kevin Spruce who all led amazing, in person workshops on their specialist fields.
THE 2021 INDUSTRY EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS ARE:
Sophie Dutton for Hey Duggee : The Pet Badge
Graeme Young for It’s Pony
Daniel Amar for Sunrise
Phillip Ward for Obki
Congratulations to all of the winners! The Industry Excellence Awards will open again in the spring of 2022 where you can nominate yourself or a colleague you believe to be worthy of recognition.
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