Wouter Bongaerts’ short film Mia has won the Audience Award for Animated Short at the Austin Film Festival in Texas. It’s the first international award for the recently released animation short, kick-starting little Mia’s international career.

MiaFollowing his graduation project Mouse for Sale, which travelled to festivals worldwide, Wouter Bongaerts now created a story about seven-year-old Mia who tries to liberate her overworked mother from the clutches of an overpopulated metropolis. In her quest, the little girl unlocks the hidden secrets that make the world turn.

The animated short recently started its career on the festival circuit with invitations for the Warsaw Film Festival in Poland and the Netherlands’ Cinekid fest for children. The Austin Audience Award is the first international award bestowed on Mia. This November, the film will be screened at the Corona Cork International Film Festival in Ireland as well as at the Oscar-qualifying Foyle Film Festival where it runs in competition.

The Austin Film Festival & Conference, focusing strongly on a writer’s creative contribution to film, was established in 1993 and has since then grown to serve all filmmakers and encompasses a wealth of year-round programming dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the art and impact of storytelling. Past participants of the Austin Film Festival & Conference include Oliver Stone, Sandra Bullock, Claire Danes, Russell Crowe and Joel & Ethan Coen. Previous award winners at the festival also went on to become worldwide hits, i.e. Silver Linings Playbook, The Artist, Up In The Air, Slumdog Millionaire and Juno.

Mia is production of Viviane Vanfleteren of Vivi Film (High Heels, Low Tide, International Hareport, Brendan and the Secret of Kells) in co-production with il Luster Films. Being made at the Ghent-based animation studio Creative Conspiracy, Bongaerts supervised the entire animation process as production designer. He also directed the short and wrote its script, together with Bert Vandecasteele.

Published on Thursday 7 November 2013

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