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GOCRITIC! Animest 2022

Portuguese films dominate at Animest


- João Gonzalez’s Ice Merchants wins the Animest Trophy for Best Short Film, Laura Gonçalves' The Garbage Man earns a special mention, and José Miguel Ribeiro's Nayola triumphs in the Feature Film Competition

Portuguese films dominate at Animest
Vlad Ilicevici (left) and Radu C Pop (right), Audience Award winners for Suruaika (© Larisa Baltă)

The 17th edition of the Animest International Animation Film Festival in Bucharest (running 7-16 October) wrapped on Saturday night after screening nigh-on 400 films. The awards ceremony took place in the Elvire Popesco cinema and was attended both by industry professionals and enthusiastic members of the public.

The Animest Trophy for Best Short Film went to Portugal's João Gonzalez for his Cannes prizewinning film Ice Merchants, which won over the jury comprising Balázs Turai, Abi Feijó and Ioana Nicoară with its “touching and exciting story about a very well-thought-out microcosm, about a strong father-son relationship in a fragile environment”. This qualifies the film for consideration in the Animated Short Film category at the Academy Awards.

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Another Portuguese short, Laura Gonçalves' The Garbage Man, received a special mention while José Miguel Ribeiro's Annecy title Nayola [+see also:
film review
film profile
(Portugal/Belgium/France/Netherlands) triumphed in the Feature Film Competition. The jury, consisting of Florence Miailhe, Fernando Galrito and Frank Mosvold, called it “at once a poetic, realistic and magical depiction of suffering and war across three generations of women, which is an unfortunately relevant story in the world we are facing today.”

Portugal was also Guest Country at this year's Animest, forming the focus of a dedicated section and presentations by the BAP Animation Studio and the animation school Universidade Lusófona.

Among other prizes, Chinese director Zhiheng Wang’s Patient's Mind received the Best Student Film prize, thanks to its “highly original cinematographic puzzle describing a patient’s frustrating relationship with their own condition”, while Joanna Kozuch's Once There Was a Sea… (Slovakia/Poland) was crowned Best Animated Documentary, with its “exploration of a terrible ecological catastrophe and its effects on a survivor’s everyday life, depicting the director’s own personal journey”.

The Audience Award went to local filmmakers Vlad Ilicevici and Radu C. Pop for Suruaika, an engaging, surrealistic, noirstory featuring a cat taxi driver.

Serghei Chiviriga’s honest and humorous Sasha won in the Romanian Competition while the darkly atmospheric Glass Fingers by the emerging director Alina Gheorghe received a special mention.

Meanwhile, Yu Sakudo’s Thank You for Sharing Your World won Best VR Film, while the Prize for Best Short Children’s Film, awarded by a jury aged 7-10 years, went to The Child and the Goose by France's Jade Chastan, Alice Failla, Jérôme Ginesta, Justine Hermetz and Sophie Lafleur.

The full list of Animest award-winners is as follows:

Animest Trophy
Ice Merchants - João Gonzalez (Portugal)

Special Mention for a Short Film
The Garbage Man - Laura Gonçalves (Portugal)

Audience Award
Suruaika – Vlad Ilicevici, Radu C. Pop (Romania)

Best Animated Documentary (Anidoc)
Once There Was a Sea… - Joanna Kozuch (Slovakia/Poland)

Best Student Film
Patient's Mind - Zhiheng Wang (China)

Special Mention for a Student Film
Girl in the Water - Shi-Rou Huang (Taiwan)

Personal Special Mention from jury member Balázs Turai
Sierra - Sander Joon (Estonia)

Personal Special Mention from jury member Abi Feijó
Miracasas - Raphaëlle Stolz (France/Switzerland)

Best Feature Film
Nayola [+see also:
film review
film profile
- José Miguel Ribeiro (Portugal/Belgium/France/Netherlands)

Special Mention for a Feature film
My Love Affair with Marriage [+see also:
film review
interview: Signe Baumane
film profile
- Signe Baumane (Latvia/USA/Luxembourg)

Best Romanian Film
Sasha – Serghei Chiviriga (Romania)

Special Mention for a Romanian film
Glass Fingers – Alina Gheorghe (Romania)

Best Music Video (Animusic)
‘Be Gone’ by Knivesrain - Sijia Luo (China)

Special Mention for a Music Video (Animusic)
‘Pulse at the Centre of Being’ by Max Cooper - Tsz-wing Ho (Hong Kong)
‘Teeth Agape’ by Tanya Tagaq - David Seitz (Canada)

Best VR Film
Thank You for Sharing Your World - Yu Sakudo (Japan)

Special Mention for a VR Film
Surfacing - Rossella Schillaci (Italy/Portugal)

Best Short Children’s Film (Minimest)
The Child and the Goose – Jade Chastan, Alice Failla, Jérôme Ginesta, Justine Hermetz, Sophie Lafleur, Vincent Lenne (France)

Animation Pitch Prize
A Horse in SwanSea - Maria Brudașcă (Romania)

Animation Incubator Prize
Rigby Matei, Marta Crețu, Alexandrina Moldovan

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