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Production I.G's Giovanni's Island Wins Jury Prize at Annecy

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Mirai Mizue's crowdfunded "Wonder" short also wins prize

France's annual Annecy International Animation Film Festival announced the winners of its awards on Saturday. Production I.G's hand-drawn Giovanni's Island film won the Jury Distinction prize. This is the first Annecy prize won by a Japanese feature since 2011, when Keiichi Hara and Sunrise's Colorful anime film won at the festival.

Giovanni's Island tells the story of two brothers living on the island of Shikotan. Their family and the people of the island hear of Japan's loss in the war and are told not to worry. However, their island gets caught in the middle of the continuing conflict in the west and is invaded by Russian soldiers. The boys meet a western girl on the island named Tanya and the older of the brothers, despite their language barriers, cultural differences, and warnings from friends, starts to fall in love with her. The boys' father gets lured out by the army is and is captured and taken to Siberia. The brothers embark on a journey to see their father again.

Award-winning abstract animation director Mirai Mizue's (Toru Matsumoto: AND AND., Modern No. 2) "Wonder" short also won the CANAL+Creative Aid Award for a Short Film.

Mizue successfully funded "Wonder" through Kickstarter last year. Mizue created the short over the course of 365 days by animating one second, or 24 frames of abstract art, each day. Mizue created a total of 8,760 drawings with the help of 160 painters. Mizue began working on the film on April 1, 2012 and finished on March 31, but turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for a soundtrack, editing costs, and creating a 35mm print.

This year's festival also screened The Tale of Princess Kaguya by Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday). Takahata received the Honorary Award "to celebrate his career and contribution to animation."

Fuyu Arai's "Tissue Animals" short won the Cristal for a commissioned film prize.

Other screened short films include Atsushi Wada's "Anomalies," Sumito Sakakibara's "É in Motion No.2," "Calimero 'Rendez-vous au théâtre,'" "Sour 'Life Is Music,'" "SUNTORY 'Sound of the Woods,'" "00:08," "Cycloid,""Ishikeri," "Sukkavartaankatu 8," and "Waiter."

Thanks to Daniel Zelter for the news tip

Source: Deadline

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