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2023 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 Teresa Tam, an artist and Calgary local; Emily Pelstring, educator, animator, witch, and a Visiting Artistfor GIRAF 19; as well as Laura Harrison, an artist, animator, and GIRAF alumni. We're grateful to the jury for working their way through all the short films, experiencing them will the live GIRAF 19 crowd and all the difficult deliberations they had with each other in order to arrive at the award-winners below.

JURY STATEMENT

Jurying a film festival like GIRAF demands that you give screening after screening your full attention, try to remember everything you saw, and then compare apples and oranges. After watching what felt like hundreds of short animations in the span of one weekend, with eyeballs glued open, it’s amazing that we are still able to form coherent sentences. Yet, here we are, and we have the incredibly warm and enthusiastic community around this festival and Quickdraw to thank for making this process fun and fascinating. 

We knew making choices would be a challenge after seeing the quality and range of films in the first screening. Each one had something special to offer to audiences, whether it was a truly innovative style, a new technique, an original way of telling a story, or some ineffable charm. The three of us all have different tastes, concerns, and things that move us based on our own experiences. But we also enjoyed the opportunity to notice what makes a film work for us, and we embraced the challenge of articulating that to each other. We loved so many of the films for different reasons and are thrilled to honour these selections as ones that stood out.


 
- Laura Harrison, Emily Pelstring & Teresa Tam

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

A CRAB IN THE POOL

ALEXANDRA MYOTTE, JEAN-SÉBASTIEN HAMEL

CANADA, 2023

This film’s eccentricity had a purpose within the narrative and felt true to a child’s perspective. The transitions between fantasy and reality were handled beautifully. The meaning of the narrative was revealed slowly and with subtlety, offering audiences an emotionally moving window into the experience of grief. We also appreciated the details that transport us to suburban Quebec.
 

©Travelling - Un trou dans la poitrine (A Crab in the Pool) - Alexandra Myotte, Jean-Sebas

HONORABLE MENTION

CUT KNIFE CREEK

BERIC DEAN MANYWOUNDS, BEN PIPESTEM, ALANNA BLUEBIRD-ONESPOT,
RYAN VON HAGEN

JURY AWARD

We would like to commend this film for the unique way that animation is used to archive oral tradition and as an important means of record-keeping. It feels like this story is part of a much longer story, one which we hope continues to be interpreted through animation.

CANADA, 2023

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JURY AWARD: TOP INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM

THE HOUSE OF LOSS

JINKYU JEON

JAPAN, 2022

The way this story is animated is bound with everything it asks the viewer to reckon with: generational divides; the inevitably changing world; care for the suffering. The film helps us access painful states of being in an uncompromising way, ultimately allowing us to be softened by the tenderness of holding loss without release or solution.

HONORABLE MENTION

I'M LATE

SAWAKO KABUKI

JURY AWARD

We were struck by the variety of testimonials of bodies that can and are often expected to experience pregnancies. The short film was a poignant confrontation with the anxiety around childbirth.

FRANCE, JAPAN, 2021

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS 

The GIRAF audience has a voice, too. Thank you to all of our dedicated audience members who completed their ballots to determine our audience awards!

AUDIENCE AWARD: TOP CANADIAN SHORT FILM

VRDLK: FAMILY OF VURDULAK

SAM CHOU

CANADA, 2022

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AUDIENCE AWARD: RUNNER UP FOR TOP CANADIAN SHORT FILM

RETOUR À HAIRY HILL

DANIEL GIES

CANADA, 2022

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AUDIENCE AWARD: TOP INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM

ELECTRA

DARIA KASHCHEEVA

CZECH REPUBLIC, 2023

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AUDIENCE AWARD: RUNNER UP FOR TOP INTERNATIONAL
SHORT FILM

SHACKLE

AINSLIE HENDERSON

BRITAIN, 2022

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JURY HONOURABLE MENTIONS

BEST DISEMBODIMENT

WHATEVER MOVES IS ALIVE

NOÉMIE MARSILY

The film takes one by surprise with its way of disintegrating bodies and relationships. With its dissolving boundary lines, it expresses a dissolution of self that one might feel in becoming a parent.
 

BELGIUM, 2022

BEST SENSE OF HUMOUR

THE FINAL NAIL IN THE COFFIN

CONOR KEHELLY

IRELAND, 2023

We appreciated the sideways humour of this film, which snuck up on us as the film escalated in self-reflexivity and took one witty, surprising turn after another.

BEST STYLE

GARRANO

VASCO SÁ, DAVID DOUTEL

PORTUGAL, 2022

The very beautifully executed oil-painted style, reminiscent of Corot, lends itself well to the long-ago mythological feeling of the story. 
 

BEST SOUND

INTERSEXTION

RICHARD REEVES

CANADA, 2022

This contemporary film made in the tradition of visual music harkened back to Norman MacLaren with its use of recognizably hand-made optical sound. The precision of the synaesthetic audiovisual play, the quality of the sound production and the composition of the soundscape made this film stand out.

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