2021 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 Greg Doble, an animator and director of short animated films currently based in Montreal, QC; Siloën Daley, founder of Halifax's Carbon Arc Cinema and the Animation Festival of Halifax, and currently part of Nelson, BC's Civic Theatre Society; and Animation Obsessive, an outlet run by a small collective of writers and artists in the United States. We're grateful to the jury for working their way through over 11 hours of short films and difficult deliberations to arrive at the award-winners below.

JURY STATEMENT

GIRAF International Animation Festival wonderfully encapsulates the best of contemporary independent animation, bringing together top Canadian talent, as well as animation innovators from around the world. In 2021, its Indie Mixtape genre served up a little bit of everything, the Canadian Showcase featured some of the most beautifully creative works this country has cooked up over the last couple of years, and Cosmic Trips took us to other worlds and back. All this to say, GIRAF 2021 not only had something for everyone, but the best the world has to offer, perfectly curated on their online platform so that you can choose your own adventure! Entranced, shocked, heartbroken, or in stitches laughing, GIRAF 2021 had it all, and I personally can’t wait to see what GIRAF 2022 brings next.

- Greg Doble

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: BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM

MY HEAD ACHES WHEN I LOOK TOO LONG | CALLAHAN BRACKEN | CANADA | 2020

A haunting meditation on self-worth, love and loneliness in the world of impersonal online infrastructure. With this painterly film, Bracken expresses mysterious truths about a digital way of life whose implications we're only just beginning to understand.

- Greg Doble

My_Head_Aches.jpg

HONORABLE MENTION

Petal to the Metal | Emily Pelstring | Canada | 2021

I’m not alone in feeling drawn to something tactile and showing life. Literally placing petals and garden found items to the metals in the alchemicy found on light sensitive film stock then hand processing, Petal to the Metal allows the artist to work directly with the film, bypassing the camera lens and creating a beautiful play with nature.

- Siloën Daley

BOXBALLET.jpg

JURY AWARD: BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM

BOXBALLET | ANTON DYAKOV | RUSSIA | 2020

The jury's decision to select this film was swift. Funny and touching, with just-so animation and filmmaking, BoxBallet calls back to the cartoons of the Russian master Eduard Nazarov — while confidently pushing this style forward into the future.

- Animation Obsessive

HONORABLE MENTION

Fall of the Ibis King | Mikai Geronimo and Josh O'Caoimh | Ireland | 2021

Tensions build at the opera after the unlikely return of its lead actor. Fall of the Ibis King is a tale of love and jealousy which simmers with emotion throughout and boils to a dramatic crescendo. Directors Mikai Geronimo and Josh O’Caoimh masterfully weave together a story which is visually stunning and had the jury deeply invested in each decision its characters made.

- Greg Doble

SPECIAL MENTIONS

SPECIAL MENTION

A Bite of Bone | Honami Yano | Japan | 2021

There’s something for everyone in A Bite of Bone. From the heartfelt story, the creatively drawn ‘camera work’, to the outstanding technique, the film illustrates a man’s passions that will carry on into the next generation. “If you bite the bone you can be with your father forever.” - Siloën Daley

SPECIAL MENTION

And Yet We're Not Super Heroes | Lia Bertels | Belgium/Portugal/France | 2019

At first in darkness, I was drawn into the mystery. I became part of the story and then when the characters were revealed as high-contrast comic-like illustrations I believed them real. I was already drawn in. As the piece played out the honesty and creativity brought joy and captivated me. - Siloën Daley

SPECIAL MENTION

Camille | Nathanaël Sonn | France | 2020 

With the short film Camille, Nathanaël Sonn beautifully crafts a piece that is both visually gorgeous and deeply personal. With a runtime just over 3 and a half minutes, Camille manages to succinctly bring the audience along for a glimpse into one trans woman’s experience of self doubt and struggle with her past. It’s a tale which portrays an experience that may be foreign to some people, but all too familiar to so many within the LGBTQ2+ community. No matter where you may fall as an audience member, its deeply passionate story will have you captivated and emotionally invested. - Greg Doble

SPECIAL MENTION

Fledge | Hani Dombe and Tom Kouris | Israel/France | 2021

An inspired piece of magical realism. Fledge uses its refreshingly specific and unique premise — a Russian family trying to fit into Israel during the 1990s — to tell a story about heritage, identity and individuality that resonates at the universal level.

- Animation Obsessive

SPECIAL MENTION

Sanctuary | Eva Matejovičová | Czech Republic | 2021

Sanctuary brought a ray of light. I recalled the power an animated short film has to connect with its audience — unlike any other medium. I felt blessed to take in this film through the GIRAF festival. Thank you Sanctuary for inspiring me and spreading love!
- Siloën Daley