‘Bird in the Peninsula,’ ‘Dozens of Norths’ Take Top OIAF 2022 Honors

The 46th Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF), North America’s leading animation festival, has announced its winners. Back in-person (and virtual) after a 2-year pandemic shift to online only editions, this year’s festival received 2,457 entries from 96 different countries, of which 69 were selected for official competition.

The Grand Prize for Short Animation was awarded to Bird in the Peninsula, by Japanese animator Atsushi Wada. The Grand Prize for Feature Animation was awarded to Dozens of Norths, by fellow Japanese animator Koji Yamamura. To complete Japan’s awards sweep, Japanese animator Sumito Sakakibara took home the award for Best Non-Narrative Short for the film, Lizuna Fair.

The Wacom Public Prize was awarded to Sierra (Sander Joon). Oscar-nominated Canadian animating duo Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis took home the Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation for their film, The Flying Sailorwhich depicts an explosive moment in Canadian history.

This year’s Shorts Competition Jury included Terril Calder (Canada), Jonni Phillips (United States), and Marko Tadic (Croatia), while the Features Competition jury included Hugo Covarrubias (Chile), Marc Bertrand (Canada), and Pilar Newton-Katz ( United States).

The Kids Jury was made up of children from the Ottawa area between the ages of 8-12, who selected the Young Audiences 3+ and 7+ winners.

As per tradition, the OIAF ’22 award statues were designed by Ottawa-based, scrap metal artist Tick Tock Tom. The statues are working phenakisticopes featuring an animation by New York artist George Griffin.

OIAF ’22 continues through September 25.

Full Competition Prize Winner List­

Grand Prize for Short Animation

Winner: Bird in the Peninsula (dir. Atsushi Wada)

Jury Comment: By challenging the medium through its cryptic universality, the following short film is glacially-paced with captivating movement. Expressive, comedic, complete, and concise.

Grand Prize for Animated Feature

Winner: Dozens of Norths (dir. Koji Yamamura)

Jury Comment: This film engages the viewer 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.

Wacom Public Prize

Winner: Sierra (dir. Sander Joon)

First Runner Up: The Flying Sailor (dirs. Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis)

Second Runner Up: dog apartment (dir. Priit Tender)

Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation

Winner: The Flying Sailor (dirs. Wendy Tilby and Amanda Forbis)

Comment: For its striking, inventive combination of animation styles and its
thoughtful, poetic evocation of the dignity of humanity in times of
disaster.

Special Notice: Animal Collective – We Go Back (dirs. Winston Hacking & Michael Enzbrunner)

Comment: For its witty, unpredictable, and imaginative journey through pop
culture history and personal memory

Animated Short Competition – Category Prizes

Best Non-Narrative

Winner: IIzuna Fair (dir. Sumito Sakakibara)

Jury Comment: For its immersive unearthing and exploratory polyrhythm which creates a kinetic experience within its medium.

Best Narrative

Winner: Letters to a Pig (dir. Tal Kantor)

Jury Comment: 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.

Best Commissioned

Winner: The Humane Society International – Save Ralph (dir. Spencer Susser)

Jury Comment: Whilst artfully playing with the viewer’s emotions, the following film breaks beyond the confines of traditional marketing. With an empathetic character at its core that resonants long past the film’s initial viewing.

Bento Box Award for Best Student Animation

Winner: The Seine’s Tears (dirs. Alice Letailleur, Eliott Benard, Etienne Moulin, Hadrien Pinot, Lisa Vicente, Nicolas Mayeur, Philippine Singer & Yanis Belaid)

Jury Comment: Firmly standing on all levels of narrative, directing, visual design, sound, technique, and editing — the following film addresses a relevant historical event which echoes into our current political landscape.

Animation for Young Audiences 3+ Competition

Winner: My Name is Fear (dir. Eliza Plocieniak-Alvarez)

Special Notice: Toddler Talks (dir. Diane Reichenbach)

Animation for Young Audiences 7+ Competition

Winner: Luce and the Rock (dir. Britt Raes)

Special Notice: Lost Brain (dir. Isabelle Favez)

Animated Series Competition

Winner: My Year of Dicks ‘The Sex Talk’ (dir. Sara Gunnarsdottir)

Comment: For its visually innovative mix of collage, rotoscope, archival footage and drawings that all enhance the clash between imagination and real life.

Special Notice: Safe Mode: Lana Among the Lillies (dir. Justin Tomchuk)

Comment: For its refreshingly bizarre and bold non-linear approach along with its striking designs.

Virtual Reality Competition

Winner: Biolum (dir. Abel Kohen)

Comment: For its storytelling that guides and sparks curiosity, and use of light to reveal the darker parts of an underwater world…and maybe humanity.

Canadian Student Competition

Winner: I Had a Dream of A House at Night (dir. Charlie Galea McClure)

Jury Comment: For its clever use of collage, cut-outs, engravings and assorted techniques to create an unstable, uncertain and mystifying environment.

Special Mention 1: Sculptor (dir. Andreas Fobes)

Special Mention 2: Mileage (dirs. Jennifer Wu, Kym Santiana, Ruyee Lu, Christopher Hsueh, Joy Zhou, Miranda Li, Nicole Taylor-Topacio, & Saul Benavides)

Animated Short Competition – Craft Awards

Best Script

Winner: Drone (dir. Sean Buckelew)

Jury Comment: Introducing contemporary issues told through a romantic protagonist, the following satire provokes a sympathetic response with its timely narrative and proficiently-crafted screenplay.

Best Design

Winner: backflip (dir. Nikita Diakur)

Jury Comment: Experimenting with conceptual design which goes beyond the traditional expectations of animation, the following film questioned our perceptions on sentience. The film is a visual exploration, a scientific examination, a social experiment, and even a radical slapstick comedy.

Best Technical

Winner: Hotel Kalura (dir. sophie koko gate)

Jury Comment: Imagine a parallel dimension where Andy Warhol teamed up with Nico from The Velvet Underground, and created a 1940’s noir. Working with a classical love story which implements a fresh rhythm with the delicious aesthetic.

Best Sound Design

Winner: Zoon (dir. Jonatan Schwenk)

Jury Comment: Working in tandem with the other-worldly visuals with a soundscape which provides texture to the ambient environments, the following film exemplifies a symbiotic & complementary relationship between sound and image.

Source: OIAF 2022

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.

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