Two Flemish films charmed the juries at the Brussels ANIMA festival for animated films: both Roman Klochkov’s bear love story Natasha and Boris Sverlow’s Russian revolution odysey Shattered Past were laureled with awards. The festival’s main award went to South Korean animator Beomsik Shimbe Shim's The Wonder Hospital.
The Academy Award nomination for A Cat in Paris, a French/Flemish co-production, and the international popularity and sales successes for the Chickentown series showed once again that the Belgian and Flemish animated film industries are booming. The ANIMA festival received no less than 99 Belgian animated films, 20 of which entered in official competition.
Animator Roman Klochkov’s Natasha won the SACD Award, one of three national awards issued at ANIMA. Natasha is Klochkov’s first professional work. He has, however, already earned national and international praise with Administrators, his graduation project at the KASK Film Academy in Ghent. Natasha is a 14’ animation clip telling the story of Nicolaï, a Russian bear who flees to Europe in order to prove to his loved-one Natasha that he is not a loser, but this proves to be even harder than it seems.
The award for Best Student Film went to Boris Sverlow for his graduation project Shattered Past. This short is also rooted in Russia as it revolves around a man writing down his memoirs who suddenly suffers a stroke and gets catapulted back into his childhood during the Russian revolution and his family’s ensuing escape. Shattered Past had earlier managed to rake in a prestigious VAF Wildcard, which is awarded to promising film students to help them realize their first professional project.
The ANIMA Festival’s main international prize was awarded to LA-based South Korean animator Beomsik Shimbe Shim for his 12’ short The Wonder Hospital. This 3D and puppet animated film, a surreal journey of oddity and empty illusion, did however not manage to carry off the approval of the festival audience, who chose to award Ignacio Ferrera’s Arrugas, a comic-book-based adult animation.
The ANIMA Festival ran from 17-26 February in the Brussels Flagey building.The festival draws more than 35,000 visitors each year and screens around 200 animated films.