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Elli Vuorinen (Still Lives), Sander Joon (Sounds Good) win at the Fredrikstad Animation Festival 2019. View all winners.

This year saw nominees compete for the Golden Gunnar in a total of five categories: best student film, best commissioned film, best children’s film, best short film, and for the first time this year: best feature film.

The job of selecting the winners of this year’s Golden Gunnar fell to our three juries, composed of a global team of industry professionals:

Commissioned films: Irene Sparre, Yngve Aasenand and Sverre Fredriksen.
Best Feature Film: Sarah van den Boom, Jørgen Søderberg Jansen and Juliette Marchand
Best Short Film, Best Student Film: Michael Frei, Rune Spaans and Aggie Pak Yee Lee

Golden Gunnar Grand Prix
Still Lives, Director: Elli Vuorinen

Jury’s motivation: The winning film is in equal parts funny, sacral and contemplative. Dancing between modernity and history, it seems grounded in reality, yet not. We like its visual language, humor and delicacy. It leaves us with many questions, as this film has made us consider that there is life even within that which seems still.

Best Student Film
Sounds Good Director: Sander Joon

Jury’s motivation: This wonderfully playful film oozes with humor, acute observations and great ideas. It displays a strong sense of timing, design and a seamless blend of techniques that impressed the jury. It’s a pleasure to watch and an outstanding film.

Best Commissioned Film
Belzebubs – Cathedrals of Mourning, Director: Samppa Kukkonen

Jury’s motivation: The process of choosing a winner was surprisingly easy. There was no doubt in our minds as there was one film that clearly stood out among the others. Technically wonderfully executed, stylish, appropriate, innovative, and humorous, the film was unanimously selected as this year’s winner.

Best Children’s Film
Teofrastus: Director: Sergei Kibus

Special Mention:
Rudy and the Lightning Monster: Director: Endre Skandfer

The children’s jury handed out the award for Best Children’s Film at a separate award ceremony at Fredrikstad Cinema earlier in the day.

Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Anna Tystad Aronsen during the opening ceremony on 10/24, in recognition of her long career within and dedication to Nordic animation.

Best Nordic-Baltic Short Film
Farce, Director: Robin Jensen

Jury’s motivation (they wrote a poem for the occasion): A film that made us smile. Not too much. Not too little. Just like a good kiss that makes you chuckle with bliss.

Audience Award
Origin of Man, Director: Pjotr Sapegin

Best Nordic-Baltic Feature Film
Top3, Director: Sofie Edvardsson

Jury’s motivation: The first film to win the Golden Gunnar in the new category of Best Animated Feature is a touching and intelligent movie with an original topic. It displays a lot of humor and tenderness, without resorting to clichés. The story is told with minimalistic animation, but the rhythm and the amazing voice work makes it emotional and relatable. The movie very effectively makes us feel what the characters are going through. Many movies tell stories about someone who wants to leave small cities. This is a story about a boy who wants to stay. We would love to see more films from these talented filmmakers!

Fredrikstad Animation Festival took place at Fredrikstad, Norway (24-27 November 2019).

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