Marc James Roels and Emma de Swaef’s Oh Willy... has won the prestigious Cartoon d’Or, the Award for the Best Animated Short in Europe. That makes four awards in less than one week for the creative short. The Award Ceremony of the Cartoon d’Or took place during the Cartoon Forum in Toulouse (4-11 September).
This is the first time that a Flemish film has grabbed the European Award since its founding in 1991. In the past, the Cartoon d’Or has gone to big names such as Nick Park, Sylvain Chomet and Michael Dudok de Wit. Only the ‘best of the best’ are eligible for the Cartoon d’Or – to make it onto the award’s longlist, a film needs to grab the main prize at one of Europe’s top festivals.
In total, Oh Willy… can now boast 70 festival selections and 11 awards all over the world. Earlier this year the film won, amongst other honours, Best Short Animation at the Holland Animation Film Festival in Utrecht. The short was also selected for Annecy and Clermont-Ferrand.
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.
The 17-minute film is produced by Ben Tesseur for Flemish stop-motion studio Beast Animation (A Town Called Panic). The short was made with the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF).