Acid Rain, Almost There, Teofrastus Get Animateka 2019 Awards
The acclaimed film Acid Rain by Tomek Popakul took home 2 awards, both the Grand Prix and the Audience Award at the 2019 Animateka festival in Ljubljana.
The jury consisted of: Waltraud Grausgruber, Edmunds Jansons, Ana Nedeljković, Jonas Odell and Marie Paccou.
All award details:
Jury Grand Prix (Awarded for films in the Eastern and Central European Competition Programme. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000).
The award goes to:Acid Rain, Tomek Popakul (ANIMOON) / POLAND, 2019, DCP, 26:16
Somewhere in the Eastern Europe. A young girl runs away from her depressing hometown. That’s how she meets Skinny – a kind of unstable weirdo who lives in a camper and runs his not-so-legal errands. Their journey gradually leads them towards more and more eerie settings.
Justification: A well-told story about being lost mentally, emotionally and geographically. From the point of view of a young woman we see the shimmering reflection of a world that feels almost physically real. We are drawn into this frighteningly familiar setting which captures the reality and psychology of a generation. All these aspects make the film unique and unforgettable.
;DSAF Audience Award (Awarded for films in the Eastern and Central European Competition Programme. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000 is presented by the Slovenian Animated Film Association.)
The award goes to: Acid Rain, Tomek Popakul (ANIMOON), POLAND, 2019, DCP, 26:16
Read Also : Our Review of Acid Rain
Young Talent: A School of Arts (University of Nova Gorica) and Academy of Fine Arts and Design (University of Ljubljana) Award. Awarded for films in the European Young Talents Competition Programme. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000 is presented jointly by the School of Arts (University of Nova Gorica) and Academy of Fine Arts and Design (University of Ljubljana).
The award goes to: Kmalu prispemo / Almost There, Nelly Michenaud (NATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION SCHOOL), UK, 2019, HD, 8:44
On an everyday train journey quite unlike any other, a not-so-casual observer goes to extreme lengths to avoid other passengers, a giant baby runs away from his parents, a romantic woman starts an ill-fated relationship with a cuckoo, and a naïve boy discovers that some problems can’t be fixed by pictures of unicorns.
Justification: Although the film was very meticulously planned, it managed to retain much of the author’s imagination. Despite its brevity, we could easily trace each character’s development. The young talent award goes to a masterful blend of animation techniques.
The Elephant: Children Jury Award (Awarded for films in the Elephant in Competition programme. A monetary award in the amount of €1,000).
The award goes to: Teofrastus, Sergei Kibus (Nukufilm), ESTONIA, 2018, DCP, 15'''
A tale of freedom and compassion, set in the 1980s Soviet Estonia, as experienced by a cat and recounted by its owner. Cat Teofrastus lives a homeless life at a train station. One day, he is offered a home by a family living in a nearby countryside house. However, the happy life is short-lived when the cat is taken to the big city and gets lost on the streets.
Justification: We liked the winner because it has a good story and is technically well made. It is a little bit sad and the animation is very complex.
Jury special mentions
Special mention by Waltraud Grausgruber: Pustiti oditi / Lah Gah / Letting Go, Cécile Brun (VIRAGE FILM), SWITZERLAND, 2019, HD, 6:32
Gurgling dough runs through laughing eyes past father and horizon. An intimate moment, so simple. Through the base of the pan into the world. Lost hands. Lost touches. And trying to grasp What is not tangible.
Justification: This very personal film lets us dive into sunny childhood memories as well as emotional depths of loss and disappearance. Its experimental visual language captures strong bonds in deep sadness in a touching way only animation can depict.
Special mention by Edmunds Jansons: Dont Know What, Thomas Renoldner (SELF-PRODUCED), AUSTRIA, 2018, DCP, 8:07
The basic idea of Dont Know What is to combine entertainment cinema and avant-garde film / video art. With the method of single frame editing, which in the first step focuses on the sound, the hyper-realistic film transforms into a fantastic, surreal, structural and even abstract film.
Justification: The playful way in which the author observes such fundamental things as time, space and movement gives me a feeling that we as humans still have some hope.
Special mention by Ana Nedeljković: Kids, Michael Frei (PLAYABLES), SWITZERLAND, 2019, DCP, 9:00
An animated short exploring group dynamics. How do we define ourselves when we are all equal?
Justification: A successful example of presenting our society and patterns of mass behaviour through a precise visual language. If you look carefully, you are bound to find yourself in the film.
Special mention by Jonas Odell: Mačka je vedno ženska / Mačka je uvijek ženska / A Cat Is Always Female, Martina Meštrović, Tanja Vujasinović (KREATIVNI SINDIKAT) CROATIA, 2019, DCP, 15:43
Through a feminist lens, the filmmakers pay homage to their professor Marija Ujevic Galetovic – one of Croatia’s most important sculptors. Marija's life story and views are told through a combination of video footage and animation of her feminine sculptures.
Justification: A highly personal portrait that leaves the audience curious to get to know both the artist and her art better.
Special mention by Marie Paccou: Kozmonavt / Kosmonaut / Cosmonaut, Kaspar Jancis (EESTI JOONISFILM) ESTONIA, 2019, DCP, 11:37
A hero remains a hero. The story of a senior soviet spaceman.
Justification: I was astonished by the superb construction of the film, its perfect timing, and moved by the inner dramas of the members of this family. The author cleverly managed to keep the story always on the edge between comedy and tragedy, building suspense and delighting us with visual gags. A thank you to him for this elderly and touching hero.
Student jury special mention: Blieschow, Christoph Sarow (FILMAKADEMIE BADEN-WÜRTTEMBERG) / GERMANY, 2019, DCP, 9:38
Vast plains, colourful sceneries, a red dog that seems to reach into the sky. This is how Tom experiences summer in Blieschow, his grandfather’s farm. He feels overwhelmed by the exuberance of nature and finds himself in constant competition with his cousin, who is seemingly better at everything. Envy starts to grow in little Tom. Doing everything to be recognized and loved, Tom soon reaches his limits.
Justification: While there were two other strong candidates for our special mention – Metro and Patchwork – we ultimately decided to honour a film that speaks of a holiday experience through the eyes of a child and demonstrates inspired originality in animating animal symbolism.
The 16th International Animated Film Festival Animateka took place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2-8 December 2019.