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      Imaginaria 2020

      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 2020 Imaginaria Film Festival. As well as entertaining thousands, as an animated explainer video production company, these award-winning animated films have provided creative inspiration for some of our projects. The Imaginaria Film Festival continues to be held and the festival’s new website can be found at

      Below is more information about the award-winning entries from the 2020 Imaginaria Festival.

      Best Animated Short Film – Winner

      The Physics of Sorrow

      Theodore Ushev

      The Physics of Sorrow is an animated short film directed by Theodore Ushev, released in 2019. Based on the novel by Bulgarian writer Georgi Gospodinov, the film follows a man reflecting on his childhood while trying to understand the meaning and purpose of his life.

      The film’s animation is done entirely through encaustic painting, an old artistic technique involving the melting of pigmented beeswax. It is narrated by Rossif Sutherland, with a small voice appearance by his father, Donald Sutherland.

      Upon its release, the film received critical acclaim and various awards. It premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, where it received an honourable mention for Best Canadian Short Film. It also received accolades at the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival and the 2019 Sommets du cinéma d’animation, where it was named Best Canadian Film.

      The Physics of Sorrow was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2019 and won the Prix Iris for Best Animated Short Film at the 22nd Quebec Cinema Awards in 2020. Additionally, it won a Golden Sheaf Award for Best Animation at the 2020 Yorkton Film Festival and the prestigious Annecy Cristal at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2020.

      Best Animated Short Film – Special Mention

      Dreams into Drawings

      Koji Yamamura

      The film is an autobiographical fiction that combines the main character from UEDA Akinari’s ‘A Carp in My Dream’ with the mid-Edo period painter KUWAGATA Keisai. In the story, Keisai falls asleep while painting a carp and, in his dream, transforms into a calmly swimming carp who later gets caught by a fisherman. The visuals use Keisai’s sample sketchbook as a motif, depicting his transformation into various creatures in his dream. The film aims to explore the shared experience of dreams and encourage empathy with the world and others, seeking to restore a primitive consciousness lost in modern times due to the dichotomy of matter and mind.


      Best Animated Short Film – Special Mention


      Izibene Onederra

      Lursaguak is a 12-minute film directed, produced, and written by Izibene Oñederra. The film explores the undermining of the conceptual basis of an age-old culture by an unprecedented species. The film has received mixed reviews, with some viewers finding it uncomfortable and disturbing, while others criticize its content.

      Best Animated Short Film – Special Mention

      Freeze Frame

      Soetkin Verstegen

      Freeze Frame is an experimental animation with a loose narrative that revolves around characters struggling to stop ice from melting. The filmmaker, Soetkin Verstegen, draws inspiration from a century-old box of negatives found in the ice in Antarctica and explores the concept of the “freeze frame” in filmmaking. The film is a playful puzzle with formal ideas around early cinema, decay, and preservation. It balances a classical feel with a contemporary twist and uses recurring imagery and themes to convey its subject. While it lacks a traditional storyline, it captivates viewers with its meditative atmosphere and ambitious production. Verstegen’s creation is an imaginative and visually mesmerizing short film.


      Best Animated Short Film (Student Category) – Winner

      En Rang Pard Deux

      Elisabetta Bosco, Margherita Giusti and Viola Mancini

      En Rang Par Deux is a graduation film produced by Margherita Giusti, Elisabetta Bosco, and Viola Mancini during their last year at the “Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia” in Turin. The film is inspired by the music of two African boys, Tunisian Afif, and Senegalese Aliou, who live in Rome. It serves as a blend of an interview and a music video, where the boys share their stories, discussing friendship, immigration, freedom, and the value of making music together.

      The animation features a minimalist presentation with sketched portraits and photographs that capture the essence of Italy and its people. It portrays the boys’ encounter and how music brought them together, offering a sense of charm and cheer. The film combines animation techniques, such as drawing over footage, to create a rhythmic and catchy sense of improvisation. The animators’ styles complement each other, providing a fond and fun representation of the subjects and their music.


      Best Animated Short Film (Student Category) – Special Mention


      Daria Kashcheeva

      Daughter is a 2019 Czech short animated drama film directed by Daria Kashcheeva. The film received numerous awards, including the Annecy Cristal for the best film in the graduation films category and a Student Academy Award (Student Oscar). It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

      The film is a wordless tale about the complicated relationship between a young woman and her father. Through a series of memories, the woman revisits her childhood and the strained bond with her father, leading up to their reunion and eventual reconciliation in a hospital room.

      Kashcheeva’s inspiration for “Daughter” came from her interest in psychology, relationships, and the lasting impact of childhood experiences. She innovatively used hand-held camera movement in stop-motion animation, creating a unique and gritty aesthetic reminiscent of Dogme 95 and films by the Dardenne brothers.

      The film received accolades from various film festivals and award ceremonies, recognizing its emotional storytelling and creative animation techniques. “Daughter” has been praised for its compelling narrative and experimental visual approach, earning acclaim from audiences and critics alike.


      Best Animated Short Film (Student Category) – Special Mention

      Such a Beautiful Town

      Marta Koch

      Such a Beautiful Town (Polish: Takie piekne miasto) is a 2019 short film directed by Marta Koch. The film follows a young woman on a solitary journey through the city to confront her unfaithful partner. As she progresses through the streets, the city becomes more stifling and unsympathetic.

      The film delves into themes of betrayal, loneliness, and the emotional turmoil experienced by the protagonist as she grapples with her partner’s infidelity. The city serves as a backdrop to the woman’s inner struggle, mirroring her feelings of isolation and alienation.

      “Such a Beautiful Town” is a concise and intense exploration of human emotions, using the urban landscape to convey the emotional weight of the story. The film received a mix of reviews, with some praising its emotional depth and others finding it to be a challenging and raw portrayal of relationship issues.


      Best Animated Short Film (Student Category) – Special Mention

      Jacques’ Rampage or When Do We Lose Our Self-confidence?

      Máté Horesnyi

      Jacque’s Rampage or When Do We Lose Our Self-Confidence? is an 8-minute black and white animated film by Máté Horesnyi. The film feels like a moving graphic novel, comprising little vignettes that seamlessly connect to define the real substance of day-to-day life. It uses hand-drawn, 2D animation to explore the relationships between the scenes through the unintelligible features of the characters.The film is the debut work of director Máté Horesnyi, at the time a student at Budapest Metropolitan University, who drew inspiration from the work of Jacques Tati. The animation showcases an excellent sound design by Alex Riczko, adding a darkly humorous note to the overall experience.

      “Jacque’s Rampage or When Do We Lose Our Self-Confidence?” has garnered multiple awards and recognition for its creative and unique approach to storytelling, drawing connections between seemingly independent scenes to highlight the influence and essence of day-to-day life in a monochrome world influenced by the spirit of Jacques Tati’s work.


      Best Animated Short Film For Kids – Winner


      Jose Prats and Alvaro Robles

      Umbrellas is set in a faraway land where the rain never stops, six-year-old Kyna lives with her father, Din, who has grown a protective “umbrella beard” to shelter her from the rain. In this land, babies are delivered by flying umbrellas. Kyna developed a fear of rain on the day she was born when her umbrella had a hole in it. One day, Kyna’s dog Nana disappears, and she sets off on an adventure to find her. Along the way, Kyna will have to confront her great fear, the Rain.

      This heartwarming short film follows Kyna’s journey of self-discovery and courage as she faces her fear and braves the rain to rescue her dog’s stranded puppy. The film participated in various international film festivals and received a nomination for the Goya Award for Best Animated Short Film in Spain in 2022.


      Best Animated Short Film For Kids – Special Mention

      The Kite

      The Kite is an animated short film by Martin Smatana that tells the enchanting tale of a young boy and his beloved grandpa. As summer comes to an end, the grandpa gives the boy a kite, and they fly it together. The film uses layers as a metaphor for age, with the boy having many layers representing his youth and the grandpa having only a few left, symbolizing his old age. As the seasons change and the grandpa grows weaker, a strong autumn wind carries him away into the cloudy sky. However, the warm breeze of spring brings them together again, showing that death doesn’t mean the end of their connection. “The Kite” deals with the theme of death in a simple and symbolic way, emphasizing the importance of cherishing memories of loved ones who are no longer with us.