2022 JURY AND AUDIENCE AWARDS 

We’re proud to share the winners of this year’s jury and audience prizes at GIRAF. The festival jury was Arielle McCuaig, an animator and long time QAS member; Alla Gadassik, media scholar, curator, educator, and a Visiting Artistfor GIRAF 18; as well as Evan DeRushie, an artist specializing in stop-motion animation, director of animation as well as a long serving board member of the Toronto Animated Image Society. We're grateful to the jury for working their way through all the short films, experiencing them will the live GIRAF 18 crowd and all the difficult deliberations they had with each other in order to arrive at the award-winners below.

JURY STATEMENT

The “Homegrown” shorts programme that opened GIRAF-18 set the tone for our experience of this festival. The films were diverse in their themes and styles, but all of them demonstrated creative risk-taking. Following the screening, the long row of artists who came to the stage included emerging animators debuting their first films, seasoned animators credited as mentors by others, and internationally recognized filmmakers showcasing their latest work. We were struck by GIRAF’s embrace of animation as an inclusive and community-centered art form. We were grateful to be welcomed into this community and left inspired by its energy and collaborative spirit.

With such a diverse and high quality group of films, it felt like it would be a true challenge getting three people together to pick animations that represented the best of the festival this year. I had visions of us trapped in jurors’ limbo, the three of us in a small digital room, fighting and debating the merits and detriments of the year’s animations, sweaty and exhausted, emerging days or even weeks later and still having not come to a conclusion. Thankfully, this was not the case at all. Being part of this jury was such a pleasure, and discussing these films a true privilege. In the end it was just three people speaking passionately to the films that spoke to them personally. Congrats to the Filmmakers as their work was a pleasure to witness.

 

- Arielle McCuaig, Alla Gadassik & Evan DeRushie

JURY AWARDS

Our jury awards for Best Canadian Short Film and Best International Short Film both come with a $200CAD cash prize for the filmmakers.

JURY AWARD: TOP CANADIAN SHORT FILM

Michelle Longpre

CANADA, 2022

PLANETA CARNOM

Planeta Carnom takes us on a fantastic voyage into the microscopic landscapes of the human body, without the protection of a Magic School Bus. The film channels the compelling beauty of anatomical illustration and the uncanny qualities of medical animation toward a visceral journey of bodily and planetary change. We were unsettled and transported by this otherworldly take on a post-pandemic landscape.

- Alla Gadassik

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HONORABLE MENTION

THE STATUE

ANDREW CORMIER

CANADA, 2022

JURY AWARD: STORYTELLING

From the first frame of Andrew Cormier’s film, The Statue feels like it’s from an alternate-timeline – a queer fairytale TV interstitial hidden in the BBC archives since the 70s, and just now being rediscovered. We appreciated the repetition in both the film’s sequencing and classic limited animation style. The textures of the watercolour paper gave a tactile feeling, with characters sometimes peeling right off the page as they came to life. A timeless fable, excellently crafted.

- Evan DeRushie

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JURY AWARD: TOP INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM

INGLORIOUS LIAISONS

CHLOÉ ALLIEZ, VIOLETTE DELVOYE

FRANCE, BELGIUM, 2021

For our international prize, we chose a film that poked at the vulnerable memories of adolescence that some of us would be happier to forget. Like a game of spin the bottle where the bottle stops in the middle of two people, and YOU HAVE TO CHOOSE!! Inglorious Liaisons captures one particular night, with a group of friends who are familiar with each other, but whose desires and relationships are changing. Everyone at the party is made of light-switches and electrical plugs, and although filmmakers Chloé Alliez & Violette Delvoye don’t waste any time drawing attention to it, we appreciated the significance of lights on/off in our teenage lives, and commentary on the false binary in young queer relationships. Plus, the layered performances of the voice cast were stellar.

- Evan DeRushie

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS 

We ask our audience to rate all the shorts they watch at GIRAF, so we can say with mathematical certainty that the films below are the selections that blew their minds. As you'll see, the GIRAF audience was intrigued by the ocean this year. Interesting...

Congratulations to all the filmmakers!

AUDIENCE AWARD: TOP CANADIAN SHORT FILM

THE TEMPLE

ALAIN FOURNIER

CANADA, 2022

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​AUDIENCE AWARD:
TOP CANADIAN SHORT FILM
HONOURABLE MENTION

THE FLYING SAILOR

AMANDA FORBIS & WENDY TILBY

CANADA, 2022

AUDIENCE AWARD: TOP INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM

INGLORIOUS LIAISONS

CHLOÉ ALLIEZ, VIOLETTE DELVOYE

FRANCE, BELGIUM, 2021

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​AUDIENCE AWARD:
TOP INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM
HONOURABLE MENTION

BYE LITTLE BLOCK!

ÉVA DARABOS

HUNGARY, 2020

JURY HONOURABLE MENTIONS

POETIC CHAOS

IN THE BIG YARD INSIDE THE TEENY-WEENY POCKET

YOKO YUKI

JAPAN, 2022

In the Big Yard Inside the Teeny-Weeny Pocket is a frantic loose film, full of ever changing mark making, a highly distinctive style, and sound design that made us scream(!) with delight. It’s fast paced, and the amount of intense labour to create it is evident, but it’s freewheeling line work gives it a feeling of purposeful amateurism, reminiscent of manga found in Garo magazine. Watching it feels violent, with bright flashing colours at every turn, but the characters in their mayhem remain sweet and cute to us, even giving us beautiful lines of poetry to break up the chaos. This maximalist animation pushed our senses to the limits but at its core, it’s a perfect poetic film that just makes sense.

- Arielle McCuaig

SOCIAL OBSERVATION

BYE LITTLE BLOCK!

ÉVA DARABOS

HUNGARY, 2020

Bye Little Block! is a tender study of a housing development from the perspective of a reluctantly departing resident. Structured as a series of interlocking vignettes, the film blends close observation of everyday life with poignant commentary on urban neighbourhoods and community rhythms. We were delighted by the filmmaker’s ability to find wonder and humour in the mundane through the use of carefully structured visual gags and comedic timing, in the silent slapstick tradition of Buster Keaton or Jacques Tati. Viewers familiar with planned apartment complexes may recognize the characters who populate this block and will appreciate the empathy the film brings to their stories.

 

- Alla Gadassik

BOUNDARY-PUSHING ANIMATION

SWALLOW THE UNIVERSE

LUIS NIETO

FRANCE, 2021

Swallow the Universe is a mind-bending fusion of underground art comics and virtuosic CGI visual effects, patterned after emakimono handscrolls and placed in the service of an epic post-humanist tale. The music of Colin Stetson forms the right hypnotic soundtrack to the film’s spellbinding and nightmarish vision. After regaining our senses, we applauded the film’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of animated form and storytelling. We also acknowledge that this film tests the boundaries of indie authorship, as it claims to be a collaboration between a French filmmaker and a reclusive Japanese outsider artist, but may in fact be a fictional product of Japanophilia fantasy.

 

- Alla Gadassik