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The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) announced the winners at its 45th anniversary edition.

Hosted online, this year’s festival received 2528 entries from 38 different countries from around the world. Winners were chosen from the 107 animated works selected for official competition.

The Grand Prize for Short Animation was awarded to Honekami (A Bite of Bone) (Honami Yano), an animated work reflecting on a young girl’s relationship with her father at his funeral.

Set on a small island in Japan where the director was born and raised, the film explores the relationship between the death of her father and the bomb storage in the mountain behind the family house - Film Synopsis

OIAF '21’s Grand Prize for Feature Animation was awarded to Bob Spit - We Do Not Like People (Cesar Cabral). This film brought viewers into the head of cartoonist Angeli and into the post-apocalyptic world of Bob Spit.

Decided by festival attendees, the Public Prize was awarded to Night Bus (Joe Hsieh). This animated short took this year’s OIAF audience on a wild ride of intrigue and vengeance.

Canadian stop-motion animation, The Shaman’s Apprentice (Zacharias Kunuk), was also a big winner, taking home the Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation along with the prize for Best Narrative Short.

This year’s Competition Short Jury was guided by the expertise of Jodie Mack (United States), Anne Koizumi (Canada), the OIAF ‘20 winner for Best Narrative and Canadian Animation, and Kang Min Kim (United States), the OIAF ‘20 Grand Prize and Public Prize winner.

OIAF '21’s Competition Feature Jury was formed by Winnipeg animator Mike Maryniuk, Nadja Andrasev (Hungary), and Polish animator Mariusz Wilczyński, who took home the Animated Feature Grand Prize at OIAF ‘20.

The Kids Jury included children from across North America between the ages of 8-12. The winners of the Young Audiences Preschool and Ages 6-12 Competitions were selected through the Kids Jury’s careful consideration.

The full list of winners

Grand Prize for Short Animation
Winner: Honekami (A Bite of Bone) | Honami Yano | Japan

Jury Comment: This film was made on top of traditional techniques. But it has the power to lead us in a new direction. In an image composed of dots, we freely cross places and memories as if we are all small dots. After looking at the work, we can see why the director used these techniques. And it leaves a long lingering impression.

Grand Prize for Animated Feature
Winner: Bob Spit - We Do Not Like People | Cesar Cabral | Brazil
Special Mention: Elulu | Gabriel Verdugo Soto | Chile

Jury Comment: For its melange of mainstream and DIY, documentary and fiction, ingenious and visually attractive story of an artist and his universe, the Grand Prize goes to Bob Spit - We Do Not Like People by Cesar Cabral, Brazil.

Public Prize
Winner: Night Bus | Joe Hsieh | Taiwan

Canadian Film Institute (CFI) Award for Best Canadian Animation
Winner: The Shaman’s Apprentice | Zacharias Kunuk | Canada

Special Mention: Meneath: The Island of Hidden Ethics | Terril Calder | Canada

Vimeo Staff Pick Award
Winner: Un kilomètre à pied (Ten, Twenty, Thirty, Forty, Fifty Miles a Day) | Mathieu Georis | Belgium

Animated Short Competition - Category Prizes

Best Non-Narrative
Winner: Anxious Body | Yoriko Mizushiri | France and Japan

Jury Comment: Without visual texture, the film touches our bodies through its visceral fusion of the subconscious, unconscious, and conscious states of the mind and body.

Best Narrative
Winner: The Shaman’s Apprentice | Zacharias Kunuk | Canada

Jury Comment: The Shaman’s Apprentice is a masterful work of storytelling and the sharing of traditional Inuit knowledge utilizing impeccably detailed sets, costumes, props and puppets and told beautifully with precision and care. Using the Arctic landscape as a metaphor to the spiritual world, Zacharias Kunuk invites us to learn about Inuit shamanism and spirituality, a part of Inuit culture that was hidden for so long by colonialism. Like the Shaman, Kunuk transmits his knowledge and teachings through this film, and it is as if he is turning to us at the end and asking, “What have we learned?”

Bento Box Award for Best Student Animation
Winner: Space | Zhong Xian | United Kingdom

Jury Comment: Space moves us through the cyclical nature of falling in and out of love with swooping shots, original and playful transitions, a simple yet bold and expressive style, and shows us that love, like animation, can be a cycle that repeats itself.

Animation for Young Audiences (Preschool) Competition
Winner: Bémol | Oana Lacroix | Switzerland
Special Mention 1: Konigiri-Kun Concert | Mari Miyazawa | Japan
Special Mention 2: S is for Spiders | Warren Brown | Canada
Special Mention 3: Ink | Erik Verkerk & Joost van den Bosch | The Netherlands

Animation for Young Audiences (Ages 6-12) Competition
Winner: T’as vendu mes rollers (You Sold My Rollerskates?) | Margaux Cazal, Jeanne Hammel, Louis Holmes, Sandy Lachkar, Agathe Leroux & Léa Rey--Mauzaize | France
Special Mention: Only a child | Simones Giampaolo | Switzerland

Animated Series Competition
Winner: One Day At A Time 'The Politics Episode' | M.R. Horhager & Phill Lewis | United States and Canada

Virtual Reality Competition
Winner: Strands of Mind | Adrian Meyer | Germany

Canadian Student Competition
Winner: Don't Think About Her | Liza Desya | Sheridan College
Special Mention 1: Fleeting: Here and There | Gilnaz Arzpeyma | Concordia University
Special Mention 2: The GOAT | Alexandra Ouchev | Dawson College

Animated Short Competition - Craft Awards

Best Script
Winner: All Those Sensations in My Belly | Marko Djeska | Croatia and Portugal

Best Design
Winner: Abandoned Village | Mariam Kapanadze | Georgia

Best Animation Technique
Winner: Steakhouse | Špela Čadež | Slovenia, Germany, and France

Best Sound Design
Winner: A Family That Steals Dogs | John C. Kelley | United States

Jury Comment: A Family that Steals Dogs uses sound to enhance an already visually compelling portrayal of the loneliness of grief and the consequential chaos in the mind. The comforting sounds of fire crackling and rain falling make us feel more isolated while the otherworldly tones are hauntingly soothing, reinforcing the tension between the protagonist’s conflicting thoughts and emotions as we become familiar with the unfamiliar and vice versa.

Winner: Johnny Flynn and Robert Macfarlane ‘Ten Degrees of Strange’ | Lynn Tomlinson | United States and United Kingdom

OIAF ‘21 continues online and in-person until October 3rd, 2021.

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