The 29th Animafest Zagreb closed with awards ceremony

During the 29th edition of the World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb, the audience had the opportunity to see as many as 400 titles and its conclusion was marked by the award ceremony on Saturday, 8 June. The Grand Prix in the Grand Competition Short Film was awarded to the Polish film Acid Rain by Tomek Popakul and the Hungarian film Ruben Brandt, Collector by Milorad Krstić was the best feature film. In the Croatian Film Competition, the film A Demonstration of Brilliance in Four Acts triumphed while Imbued Life by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson was given special mention by the jury in the Short Film Competition and Croatian Film Competition.

The 29th World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2019 was closed tonight with the award ceremony at Tuškanac Cinema. After over 400 screened films and many side events in six festival days, the most festive moment came – the best authors and films were announced.

The Grand Competition Short Film jury members Boris Labbé, Ruth Lingford, Michaela Müller, Tünde Vollenbroek and Chen Xi decided to award the Grand Prix to the Polish film Acid Rain directed by Tomek Popakul, produced by the Animoon production company. The jury noted, 'Acid Rain is a film that takes us through some extreme adventures in a way that is sometime uncomfortable but always compelling. The author creates a complex and convincing central protagonist and allows us to identify with her risky quest for intensity and experience'.

In the Grand Competition Short Film, Chen Xi gave his special mention to the Croatian film Imbued Life by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson, produced by Bonobostudio because 'through its imagery and mise-en-scene of dissolution and embodiment, disappearance and emergence, it powerfully conveys feelings, both painful and seductive, of alienation and the sensory experience is like a proof of life, of existence'.

According to the Grand Competition Feature Film jury, consisting of Frank Gladstone, Dina Goder and Dalibor Barić, the Grand Prix went to the Hungarian film Ruben Brandt, Collector by Milorad Krstić. The jury noted, 'The award goes to a film that plays with the notion of fine art. This entertaining, out-of-the ordinary view is satirical while at the same time respects the classical art as the centre of the story. We have awarded this prize for a well scripted detective yarn, cleverly thought out, wonderfully written with imaginative direction, flavoured with eclectic music score and a design sense that takes chances and is not beholding to anything that has come before.' 

The same jury gave its special mention to the French-Belgian-Luxembourg-Cambodian film Funan by Denis Do, a film that could not be more different in subject or tone from the Grand Prix recipient. Set in the time of Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror in Cambodia, this is a heartrending story of love, loss, sacrifice, the will to survive and the human capability for good and evil, as seen through the eyes of one family, especially the mother, Chou. It also asks us to remember these terrible times, lest we forget and repeat the same inhumanity over again – noted the jury. 

The joint jury of the Student and Croatian Film Competition consisting of Nikita Diakur, Vasco Sá and Bruno Razum decided to give the Dušan Vukotić Award for the best student film to the Czech film After by Matouš Valchář, made at the Ladislav Sutnar University of Design and Art of Western Bohemia. A raw and direct film about a delicate subject that concerns each and every one of us - explained the jury. 

The same jury also gave special mentions to the films Happy Ending by EunJu Ara Choi and Love at the Crossroads by Hee-seung Choi

The best film in the Croatian Film Competition is A Demonstration of Brilliance in Four Acts by Morten Tšinakov and Lucija Mrzljak, an Estonian-Croatian co-production (Eesti Joonisfilm), and a special mention went to Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson for the film Imbued Life produced by Bonobostudio.

The award for the best Croatian minority co-production went to Balász Turai for The Fall of Rome, a collaboration between the Hungarian Boddah studio and Adriatic Animation from Croatia.

The winner of the newly established VR-Project Competition was selected by a jury composed of David Doutel, Marc Betrand and Milan Gostimir. The award went to the French piece Accused #2 Walter Sisulu by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte.

The winners in the Films for Children Competition were chosen by the jury composed of Nina Bukovina, Sven Fritz, Lara Grgec, Vigo Urbanke and Grgur Valkaj. Their award went to the film Big Wolf, Little Wolf by Rémij Durin (France-Belgium). According to a decision of the same jury, a special mention in the Films for Children Competition was given to the Belgian film Sweet Night by Lia Bertels

Finally, the Mr. M Audience Award for the best film in Grand Competition Short Film also went to Tomek Popakul for Acid Rain, while the same award in the Grand Competition Feature Film went to Denis Dou for Funan.

For a full list of winners and jury explanations please visit Animafest official web site

The 30th World Festival of Animated Film takes place from 8 to 13 June 2020. 

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