2021 JURY AND AUDIENCE AWARDS 

We’re excited to be able to announce the winners of this year’s jury and audience prizes at GIRAF. This year’s festival jury was Ryan Pierson, an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary’s Department of Film, Media and Communications whose research often focuses on animation history; local illustrator and animator Jarett Sitter, whose artwork has been part of numerous festivals, magazines and other publications; and Vicki Chau, long-time Programming Director of EMMEDIA, a Calgary-based artist-run centre dedicated to media art production and exhibition.

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

IN THE SHADOW OF THE PINES | ANNE KOIZUMI | CANADA | 2020

Through an endearing combination of stop-motion animation, family photos and archival footage, Anne Koizumi’s beautiful short film offers a highly personal glimpse into her experience growing up between cultural identities in the Calgary suburbs, and the struggles she faced coming to terms with the loss of her Japanese immigrant father — who also worked as a janitor at her school. Exploring themes of shame, grief and otherness, Koizumi’s short film is a well-crafted, emotional journey full of colourful scenes and delicate sets, that will open your heart and make you reflect on the everchanging way we see ourselves and others within the world.

- Laura Anzola

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HONORABLE MENTION

WhateverTree | Isaac King | Canada | 2020

The jury enjoyed this thoughtful take on the complexity of social media’s footprint, its impact and its potential to serve as a gateway to appreciating things off screen. The integration of social media screens and interfaces was lovely and showed a delicious attention to detail. 

- Myfanwy Ashmore

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JURY AWARD: BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM

GENIUS LOCI | ADRIEN MERIGEAU | FRANCE | 2020

Genius Loci was an immediate standout in the festival offerings. It is brimming with gorgeous, poetic imagery. The main character Reine takes a dreamlike odyssey guided by an unseen force and supposes if the sounds of the city can be music, then so too can everyday objects and encounters be art. It’s a dazzling blend of mixed media, narrative and the ineffable, distraction and focus, order and chaos. A real tour de force.

- Court Brinsmead

HONORABLE MENTION

Freeze Frame | Soetkin Verstegen | Belgium | 2020

Animators are fond of saying that to animate is to imbue with life, not merely create the illusion of movement. Freeze Frame deconstructs and meditates on the very essence of film: as a way to capture, preserve, and commit to memory, and in the process uncovers a means of giving life to something new. Captured in what appear to be glass plate black and white exposures, it is mesmerizingly beautiful on screen. And did we mention parts are animated with ice?

- Court Brinsmead

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS 

At each of our shorts packages, audiences are asked to rate each film they watch on a scale of one to five. On top of giving our programmers a good idea of what films were hits for the GIRAF crowd, we also use those ballots to figure out our Audience Choice winners. This year, our audience and jury were very much on the same page.

AUDIENCE AWARD: BEST CANADIAN SHORT FILM 

FILM NAME | DIRECTOR | ORIGIN

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HONORABLE MENTION

Film Name | Director | Origin | 2020 

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AUDIENCE AWARD: BEST INTERNATIONAL
SHORT FILM

FILM NAME | DIRECTOR | ORIGIN

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HONORABLE MENTION

Film Name | Director | Origin | 2020 

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SPECIAL MENTIONS

NAME OF MENTION

Film Name | Director | Origin | 2020 

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NAME OF MENTION

Film Name | Director | Origin | 2020 

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