We’re excited to be able to announce the winners of this year’s jury and audience prizes at GIRAF. This year’s festival jury was Ryan Pierson, an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary’s Department of Film, Media and Communications whose research often focuses on animation history; local illustrator and animator Jarett Sitter, whose artwork has been a part of numerous festivals, magazines and other publications; and Vicki Chau, long-time Programming Director of EMMEDIA, a Calgary-based artist-run centre dedicated to media art production and exhibition.
The Jury Awards:
Our jury awards for Best Canadian Short Film and Best International Short Film both come with a $200CAD cash prize for the filmmakers.

Jury award for Best Canadian Short Film:

ERODIUM THUNK (dir. Winston Hacking)
The jury chose to recognize this film for for its sheer visual inventiveness and sense of technical accomplishment. It is confrontational with its style, and yet weirdly approachable because of its pop culture materials and its sense of humour.

Honourable Mention:
Recognized by our jury for its narrative power, its superlative sound design, and especially its distinct visuals. The software is remarkable, and is used remarkably: the landscapes, atmospheres, and details are sumptuous and sublime.
Jury Award for Best International Short Film:

SWEET NIGHT (dir. Lia Bertels, Belgium)
Our jury felt that Lia Bertels’ film had the most accomplished narrative of any film at the festival. This story of a monkey, a bear, and a wakeful Himalayan winter was warm, funny and touching.

Honourable Mention:
PER TUTTA LA VITA (dir. Robert Catani, France/Italy)
Part of our closing “Love, Sweet Love” shorts package, this film was recognized for its excellent use of morphing space, both technically and thematically, with a nice bit of breathing space at the end.
Audience Choice Awards:
At each of our shorts packages, audiences are asked to rate each film they watch on a scale of one to five. On top of giving our programmers a good idea of what films were hits for the GIRAF crowd, we also use those ballots to figure out our Audience Choice winners. This year, our audience and jury were very much on the same page.

Audience Award for Best Canadian Short Film:


GIANT BEAR (dir. Daniel Gies)
It was our jury’s runner up, but Giant Bear was our most highly rated Canadian film of the year. Its painterly visuals, dramatic storytelling, and ethereal score combined for a stunning cinematic experience.

Audience Award for Best International Short Film:
SWEET NIGHT (dir. Lia Bertels, Belgium)
What else can we say about Lia Bertels’ film? The runaway favourite in our audience ballots, its sweet personality, subtle melancholy, and overall feeling of magic won over GIRAF’s crowds just as well as it won over our jury.

Congratulations to all the films and filmmakers, and thanks again to our jury for their hard work in selecting this year’s award-winning films!

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