As part of our effort to preserve projects from film festivals that would otherwise be lost, we have curated the list of winners from the 2019 Imaginaria Film Festival. As well as entertaining thousands, as an animated video agency these award-winning animated films have provided creative inspiration for some of our projects including our animated explainer videos. The Imaginaria Film Festival continues to be held and the festival’s new website can be found at www.imaginaria.eu.
Below is more information about the award-winning entries from the 2019 Imaginaria Festival.
Best Animated Short Film – Winner
Uncle Thomas, Accounting for the Days
“Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days” is a heartfelt and personal animated short film directed by Regina Pessoa. The film is a tribute to Pessoa’s real-life uncle, Uncle Tomás, who suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and played a significant role in inspiring her to pursue a career in the arts.
The story is presented as a letter written to Uncle Thomas, describing him as “strange” due to his lack of a regular job, wife, or children. Despite his eccentricities, the young girl writing the letter finds him fascinating, extraordinary, and trustworthy. The film delves into the close relationship between Uncle Thomas and the girl, showcasing their shared interests, including writing, drawing, and spending time together riding a motorcycle in the countryside.
Throughout the film, Uncle Thomas is seen and heard through voice-overs reading tables of numbers, emphasizing his obsession with numerical order and meticulous cleanliness. The animation creatively conveys his obsession with numbers, showing them falling out of his clothes or spewing from his motorcycle’s tailpipe.
The narrative also touches upon a difficult period in Uncle Thomas’s life when he experienced a mental breakdown and separated from a girlfriend. The young girl, who had cherished their bond, realizes that his emotional burdens and relentless search for meaning in numbers might have contributed to his psychological struggles.
Despite the distance that grew between them, the film portrays the love and connection shared between Uncle Thomas and the young girl. “Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days” is a touching and visually captivating short film that explores the complexities of human relationships and the impact of mental health challenges. It has received critical acclaim and won numerous awards for its heartfelt storytelling and animation techniques.
Best Animated Short Film – Special Mention
Per Tutta La Vita
Per Tutta la Vita (For All Life) is a captivating and visually rich animated short film by Italian illustrator, animator, and educator Roberto Catani. The film takes the audience on a journey back in memory as a woman and a man retrace the most significant moments of their love story.
Through a unique and unpredictable exploration, the film delves into the complexities of relationships and how emotions and experiences leave a lasting impact on our emotional memory. Catani’s intention with the film is to portray the different moods and feelings that permanently shape us in the context of love and couple dynamics.
The animation style is distinctive, with each drawing created using Oilbar, a medium that combines oil paint sticks with gypsum, pastel, and drypoint on paper. The use of this medium adds a textured and artistic depth to the visuals, enhancing the emotional storytelling.
“Per Tutta la Vita” serves as an invitation to cherish and remember the beauty of past relationships, paying tribute to the significant connections that shape us throughout our lives. The film has earned acclaim at festivals worldwide, showcasing Catani’s talent and artistry in depicting the complexities of love and human connections.
Best Animated Short Film (Student Category) – Winner
Jung Hyun Kim
Sweet Sweat is a short animated film by Jung Hyun Kim, created as her thesis project for her Masters in Animation at the Estonian Academy of Arts. The film revolves around a child who becomes aware of the physical relationship between their parents. Curious but overwhelmed by this discovery, the child takes control of the situation.
The animation is made using pastels and has been well-received at various international animation festivals, including Imaginaria, Indie-Anifest, Ars Independent Festival, Tofuzi, Bucheon International Animation Festival, and others. Jung Hyun Kim’s portrayal of the child’s complex emotions and reactions to the adult world showcases her talent and storytelling skills in exploring sensitive themes.
Best Animated Short Film (Student Category) – Special Mention
Héloïse Courtois, Chloé Plat, Victori Jalabert and Adèle Raigneau
“Grand Bassin” is an animated film created by four graduates from MoPA, an animation school in France. The film takes place in a public swimming pool and captures the colourful characters and daily activities observed in this setting. The main focus revolves around the loss of a ginger toupee, which adds a surprising and comical element to the story. The film portrays vulnerability, relatability, and humour through its well-observed characters and familiar situations.
The animators used a step animation technique to create precise and exaggerated movements since there is no dialogue in the film. The unique aesthetic of the characters, with large limbs and relatively small heads, adds to the charm of the animation. The project took a year to complete, with each animator having specific roles in the development. Despite the challenges of working as a group, the collaborative effort allowed them to support and inspire each other during the process. After the film’s release, the animators are pursuing various opportunities in the animation industry while continuing to work on personal projects. Grand Bassin invites viewers to observe and enjoy the different characters inhabiting the pool and captures the essence of a day at a public swimming bath.
Best Animated Short Film for Kids – Winner
My Life in Versailles
Clémence Madeleine Perdrillat and Nathaniel H’Limi
“My Life in Versailles” (French: La Vie de château) is an animated short film directed by Clémence Madeleine-Perdrillat and Nathaniel H’Limi, released in 2019. The film centres around eight-year-old Violette, who loses her parents in a terror attack in Paris and is sent to live with her uncle Régis, a maintenance agent at the Palace of Versailles.
Initially, Violette dislikes her uncle and refuses to speak to him, but as they spend time together, they find comfort in each other and form a new bond to cope with their grief.
The film won the jury prize at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in 2019 and serves as the starting point for a series of five 26-minute-long episodes and a children’s illustrated book. The animation features simple but engaging character designs and immersive background visuals, capturing the emotional journey of its protagonists in the historic setting of Versailles.
Special Award – Winner
The film follows an 11-year-old Palestinian girl named Wardi, who lives with her family in a refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. Wardi’s great-grandfather, Sidi, was one of the first refugees to settle in the camp after being forced from his home in 1948. When Sidi gives Wardi the key to his old house back in Galilea, she fears he may have lost hope of returning home. As she explores the camp, she collects her family’s testimonies from one generation to the next, learning about their history and the struggle of the Palestinian people.
The film portrays 70 years of strife through the eyes of a young girl, offering an evocative view of the Palestinian crisis and the impact of forced displacement on generations of refugees. The animation uses a mix of claymation and 2D techniques to depict the historical events and daily life in the refugee camp. Despite some slow moments and occasional language issues in the English voiceover, the film effectively communicates the human repercussions of the ongoing conflict, making it accessible to both children and adults.
New Talent Award – Winner
La Chute is a 15-minute animated film of divine terror, massive in scope and both thematically and formally unique. It draws inspiration from literary and artistic sources like Dante’s Divine Comedy, Bosch, and Bruegel. The film plays on an ontological scale, resembling an apocalyptic blockbuster with cosmic horror elements. The narrative explores the formation of heaven and hell and depicts individual chaos, torture, and suffering on a grand scale.
The animation combines meticulous craft with a spare and unnerving score, creating an overwhelming sensory experience.
The film’s art style is reminiscent of Renaissance masterpieces, with detailed paintings displayed on a massive canvas. Over 3500 hand-drawn images in Indian ink and watercolour were used to create the film’s visuals.