Anima Festival 2024 Winners: 'Wander to Wonder', 'Sultana's Dream', 'Conte Sauvage'

Anima Festival 2024 Winners collage

Two women ruled the big awards of this year's Anima Festival (23 February - 3 March 2024). Dutch animation director Nina Gantz (Edmond) won the festival's Grand Prix for another puppet film, 'Wander to Wonder'. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival last September.

Mary, Billybud, and Fumbleton are three miniature human actors who perform in a TV series for kids from the 1980s called Wander to Wonder. After the creator of the series dies, they are left alone in the studio. With their slowly decaying costumes and growing hungry, they continue to make increasingly strange episodes for their fans.

The film also won the Press Award for Best Short film.

In the feature film category, Isabel Herguera won the Best Animated Feature Award for her 'Sultana's Dream', and her first feature. In her interview with Zippy Frames, she explains the many decisions she had to make to create a multi-culturally minded film about women in need of empowerment. 'Chicken for Linda!' (Chiara Malta & Sébastien Laudenbach) won the corresponding award in the Children's Feature competition.

The National (Belgian) short film competition had the whimsical but beautifully made 'Conte Sauvage' by Aline Quertain winning the festival's prize. A lot of other special prizes were awarded. Find the full line-up below:


INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: FEATURE FILMS
 (Jury: Krešimir Zubčić, Nienke Deutz & Michiel Philippaerts)

AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
SULTANA'S DREAM, Isabel Herguera, ES/DE/IN, 2023, 83'

"With its dreamy and playful esthetics this film took us along on the journey of the main character, exploring complex ideas about femininity and identity. Never explaining or lecturing, the film simultaneously moves like a fable and a poetic essay."

AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FOR CHILDREN:
(Jury: Olivier Catherin, Aline Quertain & Eric Montchaud)
LINDA VEUT DU POULET ! Chiara Malta & Sébastien Laudenbach, FR/IT, 2023, 75'

"The jury praised the intelligence and subtlety of the screenplay, the formal daring and also the humor, which, combined with the delicately portrayed characters, is not inferior to the great Italian comedies. A vibrant, heartwarming film."


AUDIENCE AWARDS

AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
THE PEASANTS, DK Welchman & Hugh Welchman, PL/LT/RS, 2024, 104'

AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FOR CHILDREN
LINDA VEUT DU POULET !, Chiara Malta & Sébastien Laudenbach, FR/IT, 2023, 75'
PARTNER AWARD

BE TV AWARD FOR BEST ANIMATED FEATURE OF THE OFFICIAL SELECTION
MARS EXPRESS, Jérémie Périn, FR, 2023, 85'

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: SHORT FILMS
(Jury: Barry Purves, Rocío Alvarez & Steve Henderson)

GRAND PRIX ANIMA 2024 FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM, PROVIDED BY THE BRUSSELS-CAPITAL REGION (€ 2.500) 
WANDER TO WONDER, Nina Gantz, NL, 2023, 13’20”
 
"An outstanding film which delves into the depths of human condition, masterfully delivering big ideas in a perfectly constructed small scale world with Wagnerian ambition, sublimely acted animation and dark humoured delivery."

SPECIAL JURY AWARD
THE WAITING, Volker Schlecht, DE, 2023, 15’35”
 
"A film that delivers a powerful message revealing the fragility of the natural world whilst reminding us of our responsibility to take better care of it. The jury were all captivated by the metamorphic movement and craftsmanship that compliments the subject beautifully."


AWARD FOR BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM,PROVIDED BY THE MUNICIPALITY OF IXELLES (€ 1.000)
LA NUIT BLANCHE, Audrey Delepoulle, FR, 2022, 4’05”
 
"A film that skilfully captures the action and drama of an epic battle against nature, telling a self contained story revelling in a carefully selected colour palette which projects its elemental force upon the audience."


SPECIAL MENTION OF THE JURY
SUCH MIRACLES DO HAPPEN, Barbara Rupik, PL, 2022, 13’48”
 
"An engrossing film unlike anything we’ve seen before which revelled in its mesmerising technique."

AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM FOR CHILDREN, PROVIDED BY THE MUNICIPALITY OF IXELLES (€ 1.000)  
Jury ( Olivier Catherin, Aline Quertain & Eric Montchaud)
BEURK ! Loïc Espuche, FR, 2023, 13’10”
 
"For its ability to enter the world of childhood, for its masterful direction and well-crafted narrative, the jury awarded Beurk !, a film that subtly tackles a question that concerns all human beings, at all ages, but which here evokes with mischief and tenderness the contradictory feelings of children about this mysterious kiss."

SPECIAL MENTION OF THE JURY
ENTRE DEUX SOEURS, Anne-Sophie Gousset & Clément Céard, FR, 2022, 7’20”
 
"The jury gave a special mention to "Entre deux sœurs" for the emotion the film manages to evoke thanks to its delicate, sublime direction. A particularly tender film that touched us deeply."


AUDIENCE AWARDS

AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
LES PISSENLITS PAR LA RACINE, Chloé Farr, FR, 2023, 4’18”

AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM FOR CHILDREN
BATTERY MOMMY, Seung-Bae Jeon, KR, 2023, 8’35”

ANIMATION NIGHT AUDIENCE AWARD
MY NAME IS EDGAR AND I HAVE A COW, Filip Diviak, CZ/SK, 2023, 7’47”

PARTNER AWARD: PRESS AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM (UPCB and UCC).
Jury:  Quentin Moyon, Richard Harris & Ann Lauryssen
WANDER TO WONDER, Nina Gantz, NL, 2023, 13’20”

“Because the first moments made us think it was a trite story; because insignificant clues like a buzzing fly triggered our senses without even realizing it; because we suddenly found ourselves in a world where reality and fantasy interchanged; because it portrayed highly original situations in a meticulous set design that suited the story perfectly.”
 

NATIONAL COMPETITION: SHORT FILMS
Jury: Catherine Totems, Raman Djafari & Muriel Andrin

GRAND PRIX FOR BEST SHORT FILM OF THE FÉDÉRATION WALLONIE-BRUXELLES, PROVIDED BY FÉDÉRATION WALLONIE-BRUXELLES (€ 2.500)
CONTE SAUVAGE, Aline Quertain, BE/FR, 2023, 15’52”
 
"This film seduces the audience with its charming visual language. We expect to watch a sweet tale of friendship, between a bird and a beast, but we learn all too quickly about the pain of peer pressure, manipulation, self-sacrifice and abuse."

AWARD FOR BEST BELGIAN SHORT FILM,PROVIDED BY SABAM (€ 2.500) 
BEAUTIFUL MEN, Nicolas Keppens, BE/FR/NL, 2023, 18’35”
 
"A sock, thrown in deep rage, hits a wall and sinks to the ground where it lies in deflated anger and shame. This one amazing scene captures so much of the depth this story about brotherhood, toxic masculinity, hope and shame unravels. This film is a true gem."

AUTHOR AWARD, PROVIDED BY SACD (€ 2.500)
DRIJF, Levi Stoops, BE, 2023, 14’59”
 
"Floating on a piece of driftwood, through a seemingly infinite ocean, a couple desperately is looking for dolphins. The audience becomes desperate with them, following the disappointments and frustrations of their relationship with a stunning intensity. Hilarious, gory and painfully relatable."

AWARD FOR BEST STUDENT SHORT FILM, PROVIDED BY AMPLO (€ 1.000)
JAN, Febe Van Avermaet, BE, 2023, 5’05”
 
"A nervous man on a train, nervously missing what he knows and loves, daydreaming, transforming the world around him for comfort. This film is as funny as it is poetic and left us all feeling surprisingly touched watching a flock of geese fly off into the sky."

SPECIAL MENTION OF THE JURY
LE CAS D'HERVÉ C'QUI ?, Luna Filippini, BE, 2023, 6’23”
 
"A film about a morning routine, a day at the office and watching commercials with your pet... and yet it left us with a profound sense of depth and poetry. What a joy. We adored the playful writing, the humor and refreshing bravery of this film and we can't wait to see more of this director."

PARTNER AWARDS

BE TV AWARD (ACQUISITION OF BROADCASTING RIGHTS)
MUSCLE MAN IN: METAL MAYHEM, Nicolas Gemoets, BE, 2023, 8’21”

RTBF -  LA TROIS AWARD (ACQUISITION OF BROADCASTING RIGHTS)
CONTE SAUVAGE, Aline Quertain, BE/FR, 2023, 15’52”

CINERGIE AWARD
MUSCLE MAN IN: METAL MAYHEM , Nicolas Gemoets, BE, 2023, 8’21”

AUDIENCE AWARD

AUDIENCE AWARD FOR BEST BELGIAN SHORT FILM,PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL LOTTERY (€ 2.500)
MUSCLE MAN IN: METAL MAYHEM, Nicolas Gemoets, BE, 2023, 8’21”

The Anima Festival took place between 23 February and 1 March in Brussels, Belgium.

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