They journeyed, they quested, they battled and they returned!

Animators headed our call spent a week crafting brand new animated films in our Call to Adventure edition of the animation lockdown. All in all and incredible 18 new animations were brought forth into the world!

All films this year were required to incorporate the following:

  • THEME: Call to Adventure. One of the world’s oldest storytelling tropes, a Call to Adventure beckons our heroes out from the world of the familiar into the realms of the unknown. You’ve seen it a million times, but we wanted this years animators to show us THEIR takes on it!
  • SECRET CAMERA TECHNIQUE: THE HERO POSE We challenged participants to include that classic low angle shot of their Hero (or villain or character of choice) striking a mighty pose.
  • SECRET EDITING TECHNIQUE: MATCH SHOT/CUT A match cut is where you visually join the imagery at the end of one clip with the beginning of the next clip. Seen in famous examples such as 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick 1968), The Simpsons and these very animated films!
  • SECRET EDITING TECHNIQUE: L-CUT OR J-CUT This is an audio-based editing technique, where the audio from the previous shot bleeds into the next — or to reverse it, the audio from the next shot starts off in the previous!
  • SECRET LOCAL MUSIC PICK: We partnered with our rad pals at CJSW 90.9FM Community Radio to offer a selection of sweet local music tracks for participants to use. The result was spectacular, and we loved seeing how well local musicians and local animators could blend their beautiful works together.

Below are the films that stood out in their creativity, technique, and use of our technical requirements. Selected by both our jury and audience choice of favourite.

We would like to graciously thank our 2020 QAS Animation Lockdown SPONSORS who without their support we would not have been able to run the event or provide awesome prizes! 


From the Jury:

Choosing an outstanding film to award this prize to was no easy feat. We had eighteen outstanding films to choose from!

When considering this award, the film that stood out the most for us was Michelle Longpre’s Searching. We were blown away by the film’s absolutely exquisite technique, and even more so by it’s powerful narrative, meditating on the notion of our past and present selves, and the memories that define us. A beautiful interpretation of the “Call to Adventure” prompt and an inspired use of CJSW selected track “Sugar Coated” by Yves Jarvis, Michelle truly rose to the challenge of this year’s QAS Animation Lockdown, and for that we award Searching the Jury Special Award for Outstanding Film.


From the Jury:

We would also like to give a special mention in this category to Molly Little for their film, Yo Woe. A timely and hilarious glimpse into isolation, Yo Woe‘s comical tale of a would-be yoyo enthusiast, cleverly accentuated with whimsical mixed-media moments and wildly entertaining sound effects, truly captured the spirit of this year’s Animation Lockdown.

JURY SPECIAL MENTION AWARD: Shelf Life by Noah Spencer

From the Jury:

Exceptionally well planned mix of stop motion and careful placement of digital character are perfectly intertwined.

Dynamic camera angles and innovative transitions such as using books as elevators, the film progresses through an upward journey in search of higher knowledge.

JURY SPECIAL MENTION SHOUT OUT: The Call of the Rose by Joanne Fisher

From the Jury:

A surreal homage to flower power.

Only the nose knows where the rose grows…

and it goes on an adventure of discovery…witty and to the point.


From the jury:

A unique blend of still, live action and animated sequences, Leslie has created a contemporary document of this moment in time through expressive and alternative techniques.

The film delivers a message by presenting various points of view experimenting with both narrative and abstract concepts. A whimsical and innovative adventure into the imagination.

The choice of soundtrack amplifies the urgency and emotional response to the situation.

JURY BEST USE OF TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS AWARD: There’s No Guarantee But That’s Not The Point by Tank Standing Buffalo

From the Jury:

With its lovely scratchy simplicity Tank Standing Buffalo’s film stood out for its exceptional use of the technical requirements. All 54 seconds of the space pursuit are dynamic and perfectly synched to the soundtrack. The music– which announces the speeding duo to the space creature– seems to be carried by the action. In the end we are left with an actual cliffhanger– looking down to the character in an inverted hero pose.


From the Jury:

We’d also like to mention the impressive use of technical requirements in “Ravenous Rat.” We loved the use of music to create a ravenous mood in this film. The drift of the camera to the periphery of the meticulous sets and into the studio added to the chaos. A great call to rat adventure.


This one wasn’t a juried award, we just really wanted to commend Daniel for all of his hard work and spirit over the course of this lockdown! Doing this event fully remotely was new territory for us, and for all the little things we planned to make it feel like we were all together when we couldn’t be all together — daily trivia, breakfast over online video stream, challenges to get animators to show off their work stations — and Daniel showed up on the front lines for all of it. Thanks Daniel!

AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD: Shelf Life by Noah Spencer!

We also opened up the floor to our spectators to vote on the films, handing our prizes and special mentions to the top 3! Number 1 audience favorite went to Noah Spencer, with their delightful short film Shelf Life!

AUDIENCE CHOICE RUNNER-UP: Searching by Michelle Longpre

Number 2 audience favorite went to Michelle Longpre, with their incredibly detailed and moving animation, Searching!



Finally the number 3 spot for audience favorite went to Molly Little, with their lovely film, Yo-Woes




RICHARD REEVES: Creates experimental animations by drawing both sound and picture directly onto film. He has been a member of Quickdraw since 1990 and worked as Film Production Coordinator for 8 years. He mentored at the Gulf Islands Film and Television School for 10 years and has taught cameraless animation in Canada, USA, Europe and South America. He enjoys collaboration with artists and started the Optical Orchestra to perform live optical sounds to an animation film involving 16mm violins and human projections screens. Richard continues to explore animation as a visual music time and space artform.

MORGAN CAIRNS: A Calgary arts professional, Morgan Cairns has worked for such organizations as Sled Island, BIG Winter Classic, Music Calgary, Emmedia and BeatRoute, as well as founded and books under her own promotion label, CryBaby. She wants to be Jane Fonda when she grows up.

ANNA FIRTH: A Vancouver-based visual artist from California who primarily works with traditional animation methods to create gifs and expanded cinema installations. Her practice also incorporates illustration and drawing. Anna currently runs the screening series Soft Screen and is a member of the new animation collective Channel 8. She graduated from Emily Carr University’s MFA program and previously attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

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