Festival Stop Motion Montreal’s 12th edition wrapped up its first-ever virtual edition, which ran online September 14-20. In a live-streamed closing ceremony held Sunday, September 20, the festival team and jury members assembled to announce this year’s award winners; thanks to the virtual format, many filmmakers joined in to accept their awards from across the globe. The jury of industry professionals was composed of National Film Board of Canada producer Maral Mohammadian; Montreal animator and independent filmmaker Bren López Zepeda; and London’s Slurpy Studios co-founder and producer, Aaron Wood.
Festival Stop Motion Montreal 12th edition winners in each official award category:
- Best Emerging Talent Film: Une de Perdue | A Lost One by Marie Clerc (France)
- Best Independent Film: KKUM by Kangmin Kim (South Korea)
- Best Professional Film: Uzi | Ties by Dina Velikovskaya (Germany / Russia)
- Best Youth Film: The Silly Duck Wizard by Terry Ibele (Canada)
- École NAD – UQAC special prize for a Canadian film: In the Shadow of the Pines by Anne Koizumi (Canada)
- Public Choice Award presented by See Learn Academy: Un Coeur d’Or | Heart of Gold by Simon Filliot (France)
The Jury also prepared “Special Mentions” for each of the categories:
- Youth Films: Something Witchy by Arielle Demilecamps (Norway)
- Emerging Talent Films: À la mer poussière | To the Dusty Sea by Héloïse Ferlay (France)
- Independent Films: Machini by Tétshim and Frank Mukunday (Democratic Republic of Congo)
- Professional Films: Matilda ir atsarginė galva | Matilda and the Spare Head by Ignas Meilunas (Lithuania)
The festival partnered with Canadian broadcast platform VUCAVU to bring 90 short films from 30 different countries and 3 special guest masterclass conferences online and available to the public worldwide this year. This provided a safe festival experience to all participants during these unprecedented pandemic times.
The event was extended to a full 7-day experience, as compared to past physical editions which took place over 3 days. A total of 11 different film screening programs were offered, which included 9 in competition and 2 thematic programs with one highlighting local talent in a Quebec films retrospective and another with a selection of Scottish films from the Edinburgh Short Film Festival.
Two technical skills animation workshops were led by industry leaders; Julia Peguet, See Learn Academy’s Dale Hayward; and Sylvie Trouvé, attracting all levels of participants from India, the United States, Germany, France, Colombia, Montreal, and Hungary.
“Dale and Sylvie were amazing mentors and super generous with their knowledge about stop motion craft and the industry- I took SO many notes,” commented American animator and fabricator, Aarica North. “Their feedback on our tests was helpful and encouraging. I left feeling inspired and confident and it was a beautiful experience to be animating from my home while alongside a group of animators in different time zones all over the world!”
“The workshop was amazing,” noted animation student and 2D/stop-motion animator, William Pakyntein. “There are so many students [in India] who love stop motion and are very talented but can’t afford to come to Montreal. I learned so much in two days from miss Julia. It really helped me to focus on my own goals as an animator and my short film. It was my first film festival experience and I loved every bit of it. I hope I can be a part of next year’s film festival too.”
Several free activities were offered throughout the week on social networks keeping viewers connected and engaged including a multitude of interactive watch parties and live streams. Activities included a virtual studio tour with Vancouver-based Alicia Eisen; 19 different meetings with the filmmakers from the competition programs; a fireside chat with 2020 jury members; and a cozy brunch conversation with Jean-François Lévesque and the crew members of I, Barnabé (NFB).
VIP Pass holders were given access to a private Networking Pod, which allowed interaction and networking such as asking questions; film and masterclass reviews; job opportunities and more. The opening and closing ceremonies were also live streamed with the addition of a bonus Official 2020 Cake Bake Along; these free activities remain on the Festival’s Facebook page for continued viewing.
Participants tuned in from almost every continent and over 400,000 accounts reached on the festival’s growing social media networks. The pandemic challenge was met and surpassed, with the event having maintained its mandate in making stop motion animation discoverable and accessible to all and in providing a platform for the artists and their works to shine.
The successful reception of this online edition will shape the future of the Festival which will continue to develop and broaden its reach. Upcoming hybrid editions are being considered to meet the diverse needs of its local and international stop motion communities.
The 13th edition of Festival Stop Motion Montreal will take place in September 2021.
Source: Festival Stop Motion Montreal