The award was given for a caleidoscopic film that unfolds across an epic painterly canvas and echoes medieval visions of the apocalypse to show us timeless and tragic vision of humanity. The same jury awarded The Golden Zagreb Award for creativity and innovative artistic achievement to Nikita Diakur for his film Fest (Germany, self-produced) that brings fresh perspective, digital innovation and creative use of contemporary technology while referencing modern subcultures.
Zlatko Grgić Award for the best first film made outside of an educational institution was awarded to German-Mexican work 32-Rbit by Victor Orozco Ramirez for the brave and impressive personal animated vision rooted in the contemporary social media landscape.
Each of the jury members also presented one special mention award. Jeanette Bonds gave the award to the Croatian film How Steel Was Tempered (produced by Kreativni sindikat) by Igor Grubić, praising its ability to illustrate multiple levels of relationships from personal, familial, historical and political standpoint in what is deceptively a simple narrative. Sanja Borčić was particularly impressed with the Polish film III (produced by Animoon) by Marta Pajek, because it says so much with so little and manages to express emotions in a strong and powerful way. It is a story of a toxic relationship being unable to break. Understanding and sympathizing, it draws us into itself – said Borčić. Piotr Dumała singled out the Iranian film Mr. Deer by Mojtaba Mousavi because it is a film that takes part in the everyday circumstances of city life in which the human wildness creates breathtaking horror. Robert Morgan, on the other hand, selected the Dutch-Belgian film Finity Calling by Jasper Kuipers for it's amazing craftsmanship and it's use of gestures and rituals to depict a nightmarish personal awakening.
Lastly, Pedro Rivero presented his special mention award to Negative Space by Ru Kuwahata and Max Porter, French film produced by Ikki Films, for showing how a good joke can be a sad reflection about our weird family relationships and playing with a perfect combination of the cinematic tools of animation.
By the decision of Grand Competition - Feature Film jury consisting of Olga Bobrowska, Joni Männistö and Arsen Anton Ostojić, Grand Prix – Feature Film went to This Magnificent Cake! (Belgium, France, Netherlands) by Emma De Swaef and Marc James Roels, produced by Beast Animation and Vivement Lundi. Jury gave them the award for a masterful exploration of a colonial history of their own country in a subtle, both humoristic and cruel way, as well as for amazing cinematography and creating both convincing and expressive character design.
The same jury also awarded their special mention award to the Man-Woman Case (France) by Anaïs Caura for depicting a true historical subject whose issues strongly resonate in contemporary society, as well as for brave artistic approach which combines stylization and documentary values.
The same jury also decided to award special mention to films Take Me Please (Hungary, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest) by Olivér Hegyi and Bless You! (Poland, The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Lodz) by Paulina Ziółkowska.
Best Croatian Film of this year's Animafest is Cyclists by Veljko Popović, made by Croatian-French co-production (Lemonade 3D / Krupni kadar / 3D2D animatori), while the special mention went to Jelena Oroz for Two for Two, produced by Bonobostudio. Award for Best Croatian Film is sponsored by Croatian Film Director's Guild.
'The Grand Prix Award for Best Croatian Film is sexy and simple, but also says boatloads about what really motivates the entire human race at the end of the day. It was no small task for the director of this film to take on the story of one of Croatia's great artists, but the rest of the chances he took when making this piece paid off in a big way', the jury wrote about Cyclists.
'Our jury was attracted to the atmosphere and strong sound design of this animation. All elements of this piece were delicate yet clearly defined and ultimately came together for a sensitive and elegant experience', the jury wrote about Two for Two.
Lastly, Mr. M - Short Film audience award went to Alice Guimarães and Mónica Santos for their film Between the Shadows, while the Mr. M - Feature Film audience award will travel to Patrick Imbert and Benjamin Renner in France for The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales.