IMAF 2005 Cmopetition Winners



The results of the IMAF 2005 Manga and Anime competition have been announced, with the Grand Prize of US$30,000 being shared by two immensely talented artists, Sumito Sakakibara from Japan, and Michiru Morikawa who lives in the UK.

According to the judges at this year's IMAF, the judging was made extremely difficult by the very high quality of the entrants' submissions. “Two factors emerged as crucial in the debate,” said Andrew Prentice of Westpark Pictures, a member of the judging panel, “all the winning entries were individual and original either in their subject matter, style or narrative voice, and in some cases all three.”

The IMAF competition was an enormous success and the judges had to select a winner in each of 12 different categories from over 450 entries received, with Student and Open awards for Animation, Character Design and Manga/Storyboard, and further divided into separate prizes for work appealing to children or adults. The Winners have come from many countries around the world including the UK, Canada, Bulgaria, Japan, Sweden and Brazil.

Joint Grand Prize winner Sumito Sakakibara's animated film Kamiya's Correspondence, a story about a girl writing a letter to her mother, is described by the judges as: “A revelation. Beautifully coloured, peaceful and emotionally measured, it was the work of a very fine artist and the unanimous choice to share the Grand Prize.” The film was the winner of the Student Animation for Adults category.

Sumito is a freelance animator, director, illustrator, comic artist and childrens book illustrator. He says: “My film is all about Japan and the essence of living in that particular culture, yet it has a universal appeal to people of all ethnic backgrounds.” Sumito is planning to spend his prize money on producing another “yet better” film!

Michiru Morikawa, who shares the Grand Prize, is a freelance cartoonist and illustrator who has been living in the UK for the past two years whilst she studies English. The IMAF judges said of her work Advent, which won the Open Manga/Storyboard for Adults category: “This Manga was clever and magical at the same time. With delightful artwork and confident storytelling it had an audacious perspective on the old idea of lost childhood innocence.” Advent describes a man's encounter with his inner child.

Michiru says that when she first came to the UK from Japan she began to use her work to help her to communicate with people more easily. “Advent reveals the Little Child in all of us – I am delighted that so many people who have read the story identify with this.”

Michuru's prize money will be used to enable her to continue to study in the UK.

The winners of the ten other categories, who receive US$3,000 each for student prizes and US$5,000 each for Open prizes are:

Qin Leng of Lasalle, Quebec, Canada for Side Effects – a battle on a peaceful beach where seagulls are faced with delicious french fries, which won the Student Animated Film for Children category.

Qin also won the Student Character Design for Adults category with Colours of Japan – Mikiko, who is a young Japanese teenager wandering around an animated city.

Alastair Graham from Marsten, Warwickshire in the UK has won the Open Animated Film for Adults prize with Suba, the story of two enormous ‘battling’ robots created by rival tribes with surprising results.

Christine Dallaire-Dupont from Neuville, Quebec, Canada won the Open Animated Film for Children prize with Chaleur d'Hiver (Winter Warmth). This a simple and appealing film with a heart-warming message - abandoned kittens should be loved.

Kevin Trieu is from Toronto, Canada, and has won the Open Character Design for Adults prize with Goldminer, an old miner looking for the retirement gold he stashed away when he was younger, but in old age, he's forgotten where he hid it.

Julia Bacellar, from Sao Paolo, Brazil, is the winner of the Open Character Design for Children with Lila, a cute little girl with a rain phobia.

Rhoda Villegas, from London, UK has created Jumper, featuring Sophia who uses her jumper in the most extraordinary ways, bringing the Student Character Design for Children prize to her creator.

Daniel Atanasov, from Yambol in Bulgaria has won the Open Manga/Storyboard for Children prize for Bonzai which is about an ancient master of martial arts whose skills even impress the gods.

Debbie Tsoi, living in Norsborg, Sweden is the winner of the Student Manga/Storyboard for Adults award. Entitled Papercuts, her story is about forgetting – and remembering.

The final category winner is Joanna Zhou from London UK for Cybercrush featuring Alice, a 16 year old who loves fashion, gossiping and boys, which won Joanna the Student Manga/Storyboard prize.

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