Independent- and solo- animation film maker Don Hertzfeldt has won the best short film jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The prestigious award is all the more stunning in that Sundance does not segregate it’s animation short award from the other shorts- Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow (which premiered at the festival, too) won in competition against 60 features from the full field of shorts including the dramatic and documentary styles. Winners in the Best Short category were selected by jurors K.K. Barrett, Alia Shawkat and Autumn de Wilde.This is also Hertzfeldt’s second win at the Utah festival. His Everything Will Be OK won the same award in 2007. Don Hertzfeldt is infamous for producing, writing, directing and animating all his films. Hertzfeldt is also strarting up his first feature project, in partnership with Snoot productions. Again, he will write, direct and produce, but will take some help in the animation end of things. To be called Antarctica, no release date has yet been set.
Other winners in the short film competition at Sundance are:
The Short Film Grand Jury Prize
“World of Tomorrow” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Don Hertzfeldt) — A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of the distant future.
The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction
“SMILF” / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Frankie Shaw) — A young single mother struggles to balance her old life of freedom with her new one as mom. It all comes to a head during one particular nap-time when Bridgette invites an old friend over for a visit.
The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction
“Oh Lucy!” / Japan, Singapore, U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Atsuko Hirayanagi) — Setsuko, a 55-year-old single so-called office lady in Tokyo, is given a blonde wig and a new identity, Lucy, by her young unconventional English-language teacher. “Lucy” awakens desires in Setsuko she never knew existed.
The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction
“The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul” / Australia (Director: Kitty Green) — Adorned in pink sequins, little girls from across a divided, war-torn Ukraine audition to play the role of Olympic champion figure skater Oksana Baiul, whose tears of joy once united their troubled country.
The Short Film Jury Award: Animation
“Tempête Sur Anorak (Storm Hits Jacket)” / France (Director and screenwriter: Paul Cabon) — A storm reaches the shores of Brittany. Nature goes crazy, two young scientists get caught up in the chaos. Espionage, romantic tension, and mysterious events clash with enthusiasm and randomness.
A Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting
“Back Alley” / France (Director and screenwriter: Cécile Ducrocq) — Suzanne, a prostitute for 15 years, has her turf, her regular johns, and her freedom. One day, however, young African prostitutes settle nearby, and she is threatened.
A Short Film Special Jury Award for Visual Poetry
“Object “/ Poland (Director: Paulina Skibińska) — A creative image of an underwater search in the dimensions of two worlds — ice desert and under water — told from the point of view of the rescue team, of the diver, and of the ordinary people waiting on the shore.