The short animation Oh Willy... by Marc James Roels and Emma De Swaef has been nominated for the Cartoon d’Or, the pan-European award for the best animated short film of the year. The film will be competing with four other shorts to convince the jury, consisting of directors Alain Gagnol, Esben Toft Jacobsen and Giuseppe Lagana.
The cartoon d’Or rewards the best of the best since only prize-winning films from the major European festivals can compete. This year’s winner will be announced at Cartoon Forum in Toulouse on Thursday 13 September. Oh Willy... is nominated next to Edmond was a Donkey (Franck Dion), Flamingo Pride (Tomer Eshed), Tram (Michaela Pavlatova) and Zing (Kyra Buschor & Cynthia Collins).
The 17-minute film already won numerous Awards, such as the prize for Best Animated Short at the Holland Animation Film Festival and the Grand Prix and Audience Award at the Animafest in Zagreb. Recently the film was also confirmed for the Odense International Film Festival.
Oh Willy... is produced by Ben Tesseur and Steven De Beul for Flemish stop-motion studio Beast Animation (A Town Called Panic) and was made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund amongst others.
In the short stop-motion animation film, fiftysomething Willy returns to the naturist community where he spent his youth to visit his dying mother. When she dies shortly after he arrives, Willy is confronted with the choices he made in his life. In confused sadness he flees into the forest. After a rough start, he finds the motherly protection of a big, gentle, hairy beast.