Spain’s foremost animation film festival, Animayo Gran Canaria, awarded Oscar-qualifying honors to animation shorts “Our Uniform” by Iran’s Yegane Moghaddam and “Amarradas” by Spain’s Carmen Córdoba as it reported a 29% jump in attendance, the biggest ever in its 18-year history.
Sixty animation shorts were in contention, selected out of 2,000 entries from more than 80 countries. Disney animation legend Andreas Deja (“The Lion King,” “Aladdin”), who presented the Spanish premiere of his 2D animation short, “Mushka,” presided over the international jury. He also held a Master Class on his 30 years at Disney, delivered a keynote address on the making of “Mushka” and led a three-hour drawing class on animated villains. “The students made me feel like a rock star,” he told Variety. “What better thing to hear than that the films I worked on still impact many people to this day,” he mused.
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From the scores of animation shorts he watched as a juror, he observed a surprising trend away from computer generated projects and a return to 2D and stop-motion techniques.
The winning “Our Uniform,” about a young Iranian woman who remembers her school days through the wrinkles and seams of her old uniform, is a combination of both techniques, earning it an Animayo Best Mixed Media award as well.
Cordoba, singled out by Variety in 2021 as one of 10 Spanish Cineastes on the Rise, won the Spanish animation category, Animación con Ñ, with “Amarradas,” an exploration of the bond between mothers and daughters. It also took home the Best 2D Award.
“Pasajero” by Argentina’s Juan Pablo Zaramella won the awards for Best Art Direction from the International Jury and Best Stop Motion (ex aequo) with the French film “Les Liaisons Foireuses” by Chloé Alliez and Violette Delvoye.
Underscoring the festival’s educational and vocational goals, Animayo Gran Canaria doled out 600,000 euros ($660,000) in talent scholarships, an additional 100,000 euros compared to the previous edition.
In its recruitment sessions, the festival scheduled over 400 interviews for 78 job offers in 30 categories to meet the demands of 13 recruiting companies.
The festival’s impact on the Canary Islands is marked by the growing number of animation studios on the islands, also bolstered by generous incentives. “There were few studios in the past, now there are more than 25 of them,” Deja observed.
The official Animayo 2023 Awards will tour different cities and countries around the world, including Los Angeles, Madrid, Barcelona, Lanzarote, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Brussels, Chicago, Mumbai, Prague, Colombia, Belgrade and South Korea through its “Animayo Itinerante” program.
“Our Uniform” and “Amarradas” are eligible for consideration in the Academy Awards’ animated short film category.
Founded by its director Damian Perea, the Festival counts on the sponsorship of several institutions, led by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, the Ayuntamiento de las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Fundación La Caja de Canarias.
The 18th Animayo was held in the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from May 3 to 6.
International Jury Awards:
Grand Jury Prize. €3,000, pre-selection for the Oscars® and trophy for “Our Uniform” by Yegane Moghaddam. Iran.
Best Student Short Film to “Swing to the Moon” by Marie Bordessoule, Adriana Bouissie, Nadine de Boer, Elisa Drique, Chloé Luau, Vincent Levrero, and Solenne Moreau.
Best Social Short Film to “A coeur perdu” by Sarah Saidan. France.
Best 3D to “Distance – Act I: The peacock and the sphinx” by Eddy Loukil. Canada.
Best Art Direction to “Pasajero” by Juan Pablo Zaramella. Argentina.
Best Mixed Technique to “Our Uniform” by Yegane Moghaddam. Iran.
Best Stop Motion (ex aequo) to “Les Liaisons Foireuses” by Chloé Alliez and Violette Delvoye. France.
Best Stop Motion (ex aequo) to “Pasajero” by Juan Pablo Zaramella. Argentina.
Best Adult Comedy Short Film to “Phonorama” by Alex Rey. Spain.
Best 2D to “Amarradas” by Carmen Córdoba. Spain.
Best Screenplay to “A Coeur Perdu” by Sarah Saidan. France.
Special Mention of the Animayo Festival to “Tahlequah the Whale: a Dance of Grief” by Daniel Kreizberg. United States, Lithuania.
Best Short Film in Spanish – Animación con Ñ. Pre-selection for the Oscars® and honorary trophy to “Amarradas” by Carmen Córdoba, Spain.
Best Video Game Cinematics to “Lords of the Fallen” by Digic Pictures, Hungary.
Best Music Video to “Arlo Parks – Weightless (DC)” by Marc Oller, Canada. United Kingdom.
Best Advertising / Commissioned o “Lil’Sugar Master of Disguise” by Paulo García, Brazil.
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