Void Festival Winners 2021: Average Happiness, To The Dusty Sea

Void Festival Winners 2021: Average Happiness, To The Dusty Sea

VOID  International Animation Film Festival (this year, Digital Void) handed over its prizes on 7 March 2021, after an amount of animation activities and programme for both adults and children. The top prize of the festival, the Lejf Marcussen Award went to the Swiss film Average Happiness by Maja Gehrig.

During a PowerPoint presentation, statistical diagrams are breaking free from the strait-jacket of their coordinates. A trip into the sensual world of statistics begins. Pie charts are melting, arrow diagrams twisting, scatter plots, bar graphs and stock market curves join in a collective climax - Film Synopsis

(Jury members: Jihee Nam, Ditte Daugbjerg Christensen,Carina Randløv)

Jihee: Average Happiness presents a unique expression in blending together humor and factuality. It takes us on an unexpected journey, one could call it a dance through the world of Powerpoint.

Carina: It starts up with a social-realistic narrative, then allows itself to follow another and more abstract traces, to return to the starting point without following an A-B film curve in its classical sense. The film creates a playful and dynamic relationship between image and sound - very much in the spirit of Leif Marcussen.

Ditte: It allows the audience to be caught up in its own thoughts along the way - but also shows us different paths of abstraction to walk by - as a student at a lecture being sidetracked by
random associations - and suddenly distracted by more lustful emotions. This film shows us that animation is still a free playful canvas, and it can work perfectly in various ways than in the traditional animation techniques.

Special mention: Beyond Noh (2020, 3:00, USA, Patrick Smith)
Jury Statement: Beyond Noh is a clever film with a strong concept. The film stood out a bit from the rest of the films in the category, for its strong conceptual idea and fixed camera with no editing or no change of the viewing point.
For that reason, it could easily be shown in an exhibition space. It is incredible how the film manages to create a dynamic space, a feeling of being on a long and versatile journey through different times and cultures - with such a simple visual approach. The whole film is accompanied by a drum rhythm creating an invisible space around the masks for us as viewers to put feelings and understandings into it. Beyond Noh is a film that because of its timing as well as the choice of masks leaves us with a delightful happy feeling.

The Graduation Film Award was won by Héloïse Ferlay and her film To the Dusty Sea.

Left alone in the deepest of the summer, Malo and Zoe are trying their best to catch their mother’s elusive eye... - Film Synopsis

Jury members:Irene Sparre, Mette Tange, Karla Nor Holmbäck

Irene: To The Dusty Sea is an emotionally touching and connecting story. As an audience we care for all the characters.The brother, the sister and the mother. We feel the frustration in and desperation from all three characters.

Karla: The subtle build-up of the conflict between brother and sister is well conducted. And something all families can relate to.The build-up of conflict and the culmination at the lunch table is convincing and very touching.

Irene: The desperation in the acting of the daughter when the mother is about to leave again(!) feels so genuine. Like being there yourself.

Mette: The beautiful details in the design, the fluffy felt feel, the way the FX was integrated, the camera work and cinematography all adds to the perfect experience for us as Jurors - and hopefully for you as future audiences. The end scene in the water showing our three characters naked indicates compassion, love and healthy family feel.

Karla: Great conclusion on a beautiful short film. This film has it all.

Special Mention: Porridge Story (2020, 5:25, USA, Anna Lee)

Jury Statement: We would love to give a special mention to ‘Porridge Story’. It’s a very relatable and heartfelt story. Often we forget the people that are the closest and mean the most to us. We tend to focus on the next work goal, notification or meeting that needs our attention. ‘Porridge Story’ is a great reminder for everyone to remember to take out time and recognize who we really care for and the ones that care for us. 

The Digital VOID 2021 takes place 25 Feb-25 Mar 2021 (online)

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